As for the fundamental changes being discussed in college athletics, Richt said, “nothing’s going to happen real fast on it.” He was more coy about the possible expansion to a nine-game SEC schedule and what that might entail.
“That conversation was about a lot of different options,” Richt said. “They told us, ‘Think about them, and we’ll talk about them (at the annual SEC meetings in Destin, Fla., in late May).’ There was not a vote or a discussion, really. They said, ‘here’s some possibilities and look them over between now and then and try to figure out what you like.’ But it doesn’t mean we’re going to get to vote and decide.”
Pressed on the “options,” Richt said, “I’m not going to make a comment right now because I don’t know if I’m supposed to. So I’m just going to be quiet.”
As for the UGA Day event, nearly 300 people paid about $25 for a chance to eat a steak dinner and hear from Morehead, Richt and gymnastics coach Danna Durante. Basketball coach Mark Fox usually makes an appearance, but had a conflict Tuesday.
Tuesday’s meeting was the second of 12 UGA Days to be held this year, mainly in Georgia but sometimes out of state. Last week there was a meeting in Greenville, S.C., and the tour will make stops in Orlando, Fla., (April 30) and Houston (May 13) before wrapping up at Gwinnett Arena as usual (July 15).
Richt’s question-and-answer session with fans typically is the highlight of every meeting, and Tuesday was no different. The Bulldogs’ 14-year coach was hit right out of the box with a hard-hitter from the president of the Gainesville Bulldog Club. Ron Fritchley wanted to know if some flaw in Georgia’s strength-and-conditioning program was the cause of all the knee injuries the team suffered last season.
“I don’t think so,” Richt told him. “We look at that all the time. … But who can predict Malcolm Mitchell chest-bumping his teammate and coming down and tearing his ACL. It doesn’t have anything to do with how we train. We don’t believe that.”
Richt did say the Bulldogs are restructuring their offseason strength-and-conditioning program to focus on trimming down Georgia’s linebackers and linemen.
“It’s not that we’re a bunch of fat guys,” Richt said. “But in some ways we’re strong and thick in the legs and rear and all that kind of thing. Not that we don’t want to be strong, but we’re willing to give up a little bit of size for quickness. … So most everybody is in a trim-down phase.”
Richt was asked if the Bulldogs plan to launch a Heisman Trophy campaign for star tailback Todd Gurley. They don’t.
“I don’t think you have to have a campaign for Heisman,” Richt said. “I think the numbers speaks for themselves, that winning speaks for itself. Most have him in the top five (going into the season) anyway.”