Georgia coach Kirby Smart was asked about opposing team locker rooms in the SEC, and he suddenly became a news editor.
“Some of the SEC facilities on the road, y'all should go around and do a story on,” Smart told reporters after the Bulldogs’ practice Tuesday. “Because there's not very good locker rooms in the SEC on the road.”
The topic came up because LSU coach Ed Orgeron and some of the Tigers’ players complained that their locker room at Texas’ Darryl Royal Memorial Stadium did not have air conditioning. It was 103 degrees in Austin, Texas, this past Saturday. LSU still managed to win 45-38, however.
Smart said that’s basically status quo for the visiting team, especially in the SEC.
“They're mostly the old '60s and '70s locker rooms from stadium to stadium,” Smart said. “It'd be a nice little story. Some of the places that I've been to, and the dungeons you've been in. They're not high quality.”
Georgia senior Michael Barnett seconded his coach’s opinion. He said he’s been in some real stinkers his five years at UGA. Some have pointed to Mississippi State’s as being pretty bad. Barnett said the one the Bulldogs used at Vanderbilt two weeks ago was subpar.
“Their locker room was so bad, we could hardly move,” said Barnett, who plays on the defensive line. “You could just imagine me right here and Jordan Davis on one side of me and Tyler Clark on the other and a small little bench. Come on, man!”
There are stories of Iowa painting its visiting locker rooms pink and other places refusing to clean them from one week to the next, perhaps “accidentally” leaving behind a dirty sock or perhaps a postgame meal in the trash can.
“It’s not supposed to be pleasant,” Barnett said with a laugh. “They’re coming to your place. You don’t want them to have a lavish locker room. I understand why they do that.”
And, to be clear, Georgia is no different. While it is air conditioned, the cinder-block dressing room the Bulldogs provide for their guests is nothing to write home about.
“I'm not picking on other places because it's not very good here,” Smart said. “They're not very nice. That's just the way it is. We had to walk two blocks at Vanderbilt because of a situation that occurred. Things happen and you deal with it.”
Dealing with injuries too
Smart gave updates on receiver Tommy Bush and defensive tackle Tramel Walthour Tuesday.
“Tommy Bush is a couple weeks away,” Smart said. “He’s had some sports hernia, osteo – I can’t say the word – he’s got groin problems. So we’re hoping to get him back, I don’t know when. Tramel hopefully we get him back soon too. He’s running and moving and he may be cleared this weekend. It may be next week.”