• 1. Mark Richt: Is it his fault? No. The only reason I'm listing him first is to address this Tweet by former player and current ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit:
Herbstreit must've been besieged by Georgia fans but he has since followed up with comments that he admires Richt and that his comments weren't meant to be a criticism of Richt as much as the frequency of arrests at Georgia.
A couple of thoughts: I've been as critical of Richt as anybody through the years. But he's far tougher on crime than he ever was before and that, in combination with Georgia's strict anti-drug policy, can't possibly send a stronger message to players. There have a number of high profile players kicked off the team in recent years, including running back Isaiah Crowell, quarterback Zack Mettenberger and the guy who just led Auburn to the BCS championship game, quarterback Nick Marshall.
Now, if somebody wants to pose the question as to whether Georgia should have a tougher filter in terms of which kids to recruit, that's another issue. But it seems Richt has been far better in this area than in the past.
• 2. The players: They need to be suspended. They need to sit out games and feel the consequences of their actions. Whether they need to be expelled depends on how many other off-the-field issues they've shown that maybe we're not aware of yet. But these acts of stupidity are all on them.
• 3. The system: The only thing dumber than the players for thinking they can get away with this are the short-sighted fans who scream, "Give them more money, that will solve the problem."
No, it won't. I'm not arguing against increasing the stipend of athletic scholarships. That's for another blog. But if an athlete is going to do something dumb, he'll do it whether he has $1 in pocket or $100. If you give him more money, he'll spend more money and need more money. Increasing stipends will not fix this issue.
Those are my early thoughts. Let's see how this story plays today.
Some recent blogs and columns
-- Blog: NFL must deal with Irsay (and Roddy White has his say)
-- MyAJC ($):Georgia loses but Fox goes down swinging at NCAA
-- MyAJC ($): Florida proving football school can win at hoops
-- Blog: Bad sign? Florida struggles in win over Tennessee
-- MyAJC ($): Georgia is given its chance to shine
-- MyAJC ($): Page 2 special: College playoff arguments don't make it wrong
-- MyAJC ($):
Falcons' makeover has nice start but there's more to do
-- Blog: Braves make move for Santana, credit to Wren
Falcons' moves should improve both lines
-- Blog: Braves now being bit by offseason decisions
-- Blog: Braves' rotation can't afford Medlen's loss
-- MyAJC ($): Gregory says Tech needs to be tougher next season
-- MyAJC ($): Nobody's laughing at Ron Hunter, Georgia State now
-- Blog: Denver to cut Champ Bailey, should Falcons cut him?
-- MyAJC ($): Any use of 'N' word by athletes disrespects history
-- MyAJC ($): Hawks' season unravels; does anybody care?
-- MyAJC ($): Mark Fox deserves to come back for Georgia