Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the beginning of the Grit Tree. We all think it has been a pretty good first year, and we thank everyone for reading our opinions.
The Grit Tree
All things Georgia. All things Southern.
Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the beginning of the Grit Tree. We all think it has been a pretty good first year, and we thank everyone for reading our opinions.
The Grit Tree
I’m guessing many (some/most?) of you have heard about the shoving match that went on after the Wilcox-Fitzgerald scrimmage last Friday. The AJC did a piece on it, but it was pretty broad.
I’ll recap what happened quickly, then talk about possible outcomes, specifically concerning Marshall.
Fitzgerald, a powerhouse AA school, played Wilcox, an up-and-coming powerhouse in A in a scrimmage. The two communities of Rochelle and Fitzgerald are only a few miles apart and there is a large sense of rivalry between the two schools, even though they don’t play each other every year.
They played what was a pretty close game up until the end. With just a few seconds left in the third quarter (JV was to play the 4th alone), Fitzgerald was up by a couple of scores and decided to throw a long bomb. They scored, essentially running up the score in a scrimmage. It was really no big deal at that point, but it is frustrating to the opposing team when that is done, especially in a scrimmage. A point to note here is that Wilcox has to play its players on both sides of the ball the entire game, and Fitz only has one or two guys who go both ways. Wilcox already had some JV guys in at this point. But I digress.
After the game while shaking hands, Wilcox coach said something to the effect of “Thanks for running up the score”, to which HC Pruitt from Fitzgerald replied with some language I’m not going to repeat. Of course tempers flared, guys went to swinging, and things got ugly. There’s actually a funny part here; one of the bozo officials threw a flag during the mess. I guess he thought that would stop the melee.
That’s a quick recap of what went down. You can hear varying stories, and what I gave you is not very detailed (for a reason), but that’s essentially what caused the brawl.
Now, it is my understanding that the GHSA has reviewed the tape and is taking no further action since it was not a GHSA sanctioned event. However, the individual schools involved have some tough decisions to make. There are many things that have to be considered, such as did any players hit coaches and does that constitute as a student hitting a teacher, are any actions taken towards coaches that were using foul language, and what type of punishment is going to be levied for fighting on school property?
I can say this, officials within both school systems are not happy. They also face tough decisions, because both of these teams are poised to contend for State Championships in their classifications. Furthermore, they both have kids who are going to play ball at the next level in 2011.
So, as far as UGA is concerned, what is going to happen with Nick Marshall? Who knows at this point? It’s my understanding that it is solely in the schools hands right now. Maybe nothing. Maybe a multi-game suspension. It’s not clear. It could be worse, but I hope not. I hope that the situation resolves itself and it can be handled internally in both systems. I also hope that for the coaches involved that nothing major happens, because both coaches are really good guys.
More on Marshall: He really is a good kid. Folks from Wilcox County will tell you that he’s not a trouble maker. However, as we can all relate to, some of his influences have short tempers, and in a situation like this emotions can escalate. I can relate back many years ago when I played HS ball. I was not a great football player by any means, but I know that when things got heated on the field, you get that “teammate first” mentality. It’s hard to show maturity at 17 years old, especially when you have a rivalry and you feed off the emotions of other players and the coaches. I really don’t fault any of the players too much here; it never should have reached that point. The coaches have to show more responsibility.
Which leads to another point: I have a suspicion that if any disciplinary actions are taken, the coaches will be involved to some extent. This whole exchange was started by them, and the players got involved in the aftermath.
It may all blow over, who knows. I simply wanted to put some things out there that maybe helped clear up the subject as well as defend Nick Marshall a little bit. There will be negative things said about him and his involvement in the coming days, but I really feel that it is unjustified at this point. He is a good kid, and will make a great Dawg.
If and when more things come from this, I’ll attempt to clear up the jumble above.
According to one columnist, it’s time for CMR to either make players stop misbehaving off the field or he should leave the University and quit embarrassing it, with the argument also made that nothing like this happened when Pollack and Greene were around…..anyone ever heard of this guy named Odell?
To suggest that this problem is a UGA-only issue is silly. You saw it at Tennessee last week. It happens at other schools too with players such as Florida’s Ronnie ‘Machine Gun’ Wilson.
The “Fire Coach Richt” crowd can try to use this as an excuse to send Richt packing all they want, but they’re just spouting off dead air. In this era of not having athletic dorms, players cannot be watched by coaches 24/7. The coaching staff can tell players all they want about not getting into trouble, but they cannot be there looking over their shoulders all the time.
You know all that laughing and cojoling about Tennessee’s off-field problems many of us enjoyed yesterday? It seems that it’s the Dawgs’ turn on the police blotter. Seriously, how hard is it to stay out of trouble and just be keep your nose clean for three more weeks?
Ultimately, this means that Dontavious Jackson and Tavarres King may or may not play in the first few games of the year. If either player is suspended, it would be more hurtful for King. Other than A.J. Green, the field is wide open for players to contribute at receiver. King was among the leading contenders, but if he misses a game or two, that could clear the way for the likes of wootentheballcarrier, aka Rantavious Wooten to step up more in addition to Kris Durham, Marlon Brown or Israel Troupe.
It isn’t quite as hurtful for Jackson with Caleb King and Washaun Ealey ahead of him at tailback, but it certainly won’t help him get a few touches as the year goes on.
Apparently there was a no-holds barred brawl at a bar in Knoxville, injuring an off-duty cop. Numerous UT players are among those involved, including Da’Rick Rogers.
This is a tough time of the year for everyone incollege football. Fans can’t wait for preseason to arrive, players are antsy and coaches worry about what kind of trouble players might get into.
It has become inevitable that if you are an SEC school, offseason problems of some sort are likely. It’s just a matter of minimizing it.
Heard an entertaining story this morning at breakfast about Coach Kirby Smart. It appears that last week he was driving through south GA headed to Rochelle to visit with Nick Marshall when a trooper pulled him over for doing 85 in a 55 outside of Cordele.
The trooper, being a big Bulldog fan and a fan of college football in general, recognized Kirby immediately. The Bama gear probably helped, but what really sealed the deal was the fact that he recognized Kirby from his playing days in the SW corner of the state. Apparently they had played high school ball against one another.
Long story short, Smart asked if the guy could help him out. The trooper told him he wasn’t sure, since 85 in a 55 would qualify him as a super speeder. He asked if Kirby was headed to visit Nick Marshall, to which Smart said he was. Thinking fast, the trooper said he’d help CKS out if he’d do one thing. He asked Kirby to get out of the vehicle, so he did. Kirby was led to the patrol car and was ordered to look into the camera and say “Go Dawgs!” The story I was told was that Smart even gave a few barks.
I wish we could find this on video, but that will probably never surface. However, it is troopers like this guy who make me proud to be a Dawg. If it were me in Florida, I’d pay the ticket before ever giving the Gator chomp. Thanks for selling out Kirby, you made my day. I hope CTG wouldn’t do the same.
What a great day of sports yesterday!
The legend of J-Hey Kid continues to grow. If the poor kid ever lives up to these expectations, he’ll go down as one of the greats. When he ripped that ball over the right field fence, deep into the bullpen, I’m not sure Turner Field has ever been louder. I was listening to the call on the radio (103.9 FM if you’re in the mid-state) and it sounded like pandemonium had broken loose. Later, when I caught the replay on television, the place was bananas. And yes, I’ll admit, he’s got me giddy too. Kid can play. I think my favorite part was the greeting he got from Chipper. Don’t you love baseball?
Lost in the madness of all that is J-Hey Kid, the Braves went on to rout the Cubbies by a count of 16-5! I couldn’t have scripted a better opening day game. Well, maybe I could have. Derek Lowe could have not given up 5 ER, but other than that, what a game! And Yunel is on my fantasy team this year, so the 5 RBI sure were helpful.
Finally, and then I’ll quit talking about the Braves (do I sound like your preacher on Easter morning?) I have a question. Corbin- how do we curb our enthusiasm when J-Hey looks so dadgum good? It’s impossible not to be excited about this kid!
On to basketball: The Dukies broke the hearts of many Americans last night with their thriller over Butler. This was one of the best Nat’l Championship games I have seen in quite some time. Mike Golic quoted someone (I can’t remember who) best this morning when he said “When the basketball didn’t go in, Duke won one of the best Championship games ever. Had the basketball fallen, Butler would have won The Best Championship game ever.” I have to agree. A thriller to the end. And you have to give it to the kids from Butler. They never let Duke intimidate, and they gave the Blue Devils all they wanted and more. In the end, Duke was just too good. This was a year when we didn’t have any really great teams, but a lot of good ones. It was a great ending to a great tourney. But it would have been even better had the Bulldogs, the Butler Bulldogs that is, had won.
I love Masters week. It’s one of my favorite weeks of the year. I hope my fiance hasn’t read this far, so I’ll say it. I hope Tiger wins this week. I’ve never pulled for Tiger in the Masters once. I’m a Lefty fan myself. But Tiger needs this. Yeah, he screwed up. He made a mistake a lot of mistakes that most of us will never make. But I feel like he truly regrets it. He’s not an actor, he’s an athlete and a businessman. If he’s got me fooled, then kudos to him. But I think he realizes the magnitude of his mistakes. He’s the one who has to live with them, not me nor you nor the TMZ’s of the world. Frankly, I’m sick of hearing about the sex scandal. I want to see Tiger play golf, make birdies, and ignite the crowd with a Tiger Pump after a birdie on #16.
Speaking of the Masters, here’s a fun little game to play while at work.
And there was some news from UGA football in the midst of everything else too. The creeps in the taxi were not UGA football players. That makes me feel much better.
And Montez Robinson is no longer a Dawg. You know, this does anger me a little. PWD said it best. Maybe I’m wrong, but if God had blessed me with the athletic ability he did Mr. Robinson, I think I would have found a way to not be a screw up. Good riddance to you, sir. As SB said, it’s a bigger loss for him than it is the squad. Of course, if you read DH’s take, it may soften you up some. I get that some kids aren’t blessed with all that I was. I had two parents tell me they loved me every day, even when I was a major screw up at times. But I’ve also known kids who had drunks for parents or had no parents that turned out to be pretty decent people. And I’ve known folks who grew up with everything they could ever want and turn into scumbags. So, ultimately I think Montez should be held responsible for his decisions. He was surrounded by good people, and could have chosen to surround himself more. He wasn’t back on the streets. He was living in Athens, GA, and was living pretty high on the hog. So, in the end, I do find it hard to feel very sorry for him. He’s not the only kid on the team that came from a troubled past. Yeah, I hate that it happened, but we all have the opportunity to make our own choices, and thus, we are a product of those. He made some poor ones, and now what was once a pretty successful road has turned into a tough row to hoe for this kid. I do wish you luck, Montez, and may this be the wakeup call you needed, but I’m glad you’re not on our team anymore.
Ok, I’ve got that off my chest. Today won’t be quite the sports day for us. I guess you could watch UConn beat Stanford tonight, but is a 30 point win in a women’s basketball game that much fun to watch? The Braves are off, but there are some other games on. It’s probably a good day of rest for us though. Enjoy your Masters Tuesday!
Again, this really has nothing to do with anything UGA related or southern. It’s Friday and incredibly slow.
Proceed with caution, Ucheedawg’s mom…
I read this article in the Macon Telegraph‘s online edition and just laughed out loud.
If you have been up and down I-75, you’ll see the billboards advertising the “massage parolors” scatterd from Macon to Tifton. An undercover police officer apparently went to see if the lady would play along, and allegedly she would. According to the story, the officer waited until the act was over before calling for back up.
In Macon, they have recently voted on a propety tax increase. I see how they are spending my money.
The Macon Police Department probably gets this type of training…
One of the biggest day’s of the year for college football fans is finally here, National Signing Day! It could be a little more interesting than recent years for the Dawgs. I know for sure that Bernie and David Hale are on site at Butts-Mehre. We couldn’t make it, too many other obligations. But I will keep an open thread going throughout the day for you, but I’m relying on the aforementioned bloggers and 960theref for most of my news. And here’s DH’s twitter link for up-to-date news. Enjoy, we’ll keep you posted.
On a side-note, I am going to postpone the final write-up in my mini-series on rural recruiting until tomorrow. Too much going on today to finish it up. Focusing on NSD today.
On another side note, we will not have Lewis Grizzard Wednesday today, for the same reasons as listed above. I’m guessing that you won’t need it to get you through the hump day this week. We’ll have a special tomorrow.
Update 1: Michael Bennett and Brandon Burrows signed early this morning. Welcome aboard guys!
Update 2: Kenarious Gates has signed with UGA.
960the ref is already playing Chicken Little. We’ll see.
Update 3: TJ Stripling is in, and CTG is excited. Says he wants several guys like him every year. This is a good sign.
Sounds bleak for Rogers from what I’m hearing. I view it as his loss more than ours, but more on that later.
Chattanooga paper is already counting it’s chickens about Da’Rick.
Update 4: Hutson Mason and Mark Deas have sent in their letters. No surprises there, but we’re glad to have them on board!
Update 5: Mike Thornton, big DT from Stephenson, signed with UGA! Great news for Dawgs! And RB Ken Malcome has signed on as well. And both Ogletrees.
Update 6: Da’Rick Rogers has chosen UT. Dern.
Looks like we’re all but wrapped up with signing day at UGA. 18 commits, 16 coming in today. Could be a late surprise or 2, but not making any promises. There is one name out there of which I am personally very excited about, but it will have to remain a teaser right now until I can get some confirmation. May have to go to GMC first, which is what I have expected all along. I’ll let you know as I learn more. Where we are now:
Looks like a better class than most are giving us credit for. We’ll have a wrap later this evening after the dust has settled. Quick thought- looks like a very defensive heavy class this year. Not all bad though. Losing Rogers may hurt, but that is yet to be seen. I hope Rambo takes care of that for us next year.
This morning I had breakfast with the Superintendent of schools in Wilcox County. As usual, things turned to sports, and we began discussing the circus that has been surrounding Nick Marshall. If you’ve ever been through Wilcox County, you would understand that nothing this exciting has happened since they crowned the Georgia Watermelon Queen back in 2006.
I say this to give you a glimpse at what it is like to be a small town kid being recruited by the “big boys” of college football. Last week, Paul Johnson was in Rochelle. He told Nick that he would get him a Heisman. We’ve paraded several members of our coaching staff to this rural South Georgia town over the past few months. So has FSU.
This kid is being offered the moon to come play football (and basketball). Rochelle, Georgia has one restaurant, a Subway, since Nell’s Fried Chicken closed down a few months ago. Life’s just different in little towns like Rochelle, and things are moving faster for the Marshall family than ever imagined.
Wilcox County sent a kid to play football for Nebraska two years ago. He’s now the starting CB. He still has to have his former defensive coach pick him up at the airport, make plane reservations, etc. That’s not something that he or his family know how to do. It is so much different than the life of a prize recruit within the 285 perimeter. A lot of these kids don’t have parents with any type of knowledge about this process. Many have never even set foot on a college campus. A lot of the coaches don’t even have the experience. So it’s tough for a 17-18 year old kid to make a decision of this magnitude. Just another one of the reasons UGA is so lucky is that we have a man like CMR helping to father these kids and help them with the decision making process. There are just a lot of unknowns.
The conversation was interesting this morning, and I really enjoyed the insight given to this particular situation. For a lot of these kids, this is by far the biggest and toughest decision they’ve ever made.
To wrap this up, if you’re in the mid-state this Friday evening, Wilcox County will be playing Hawkinsville in basketball- in Hawkinsville. Coaches Richt, Bobo, and McClendon will be in attendance. I’m sure some others will be too. This kid is as good on the hardwood as he is on grass. It would probably be worth the trip over. I hear there are a few good bbq restaurants in town.
UPDATE: Per request, I’ve been asked to give some info on Nick Marshall. Nick is listed as a 2-sport athlete (fb,bb) but I think he also plays baseball and runs track. Athletic QB, very mobile but likes to throw it. 6`2, 186. Junior in high school, rated 3 star by scout. May be better at b-ball than football. FSU has already said he can play both. May get the same offer from UGA (like we did with Fred until he realized that football was his sport.) On that, I have 2 thoughts. 1) I’m a firm believer that kids who play multiple sports (i.e. football and baseball or football and basketball, etc.) in high school are better recruits than those who focus on one sport year round as you see often times in baseball. 2) With the rigors of collegiate athletics and scholastics, I think it is very tough to play 2 sports. Some kids do it and excel, but it is really tough. My advice is to find the sport you want to go pro in and focus once you get to college. But if a kid wants to play 2 sports at the collegiate level, then all my blessings to him.