July 22, 2010

Richt takes high road

HOOVER, Ala. One day after Alabama coach Nick Saban and Florida coach Urban Meyer railed against unscrupulous agents and their representatives, Georgia coach Mark Richt Thursday took the high road when asked what his solution to fixing the problem would be.

"I think if there was an easy answer we would already have it in place. It's just like anything else in life, if there are rules in place they are there for a reason and if everybody abides by them there's no problem. If you break the rules, then you've got problems," Richt said. "When you add more restrictions the people who are going to abide by the rules, they probably are the only ones who are getting punished if everybody else is going to do what the heck they want to do anyway."

One thing Richt said he can do is to continue to educate his players on the right things to do.

To help do that, he's brought in Joe Menzel of the NFL Players Association to help Georgia's would-be pros get a handle on how the process works.

"We educate them on the rules and through compliance plus we've had Joe Menzel for at least a year and Joe tries to help them navigate that process, because it's hard. I've never wanted to get in the middle of it as far as trying to help who to choose because I don't want him to think I'm trying to steer him toward a guy that might be my friend or have some type of tie in there where I could get some kind of a gain out of it," Richt said. "I don't want a gain out of it, but I do want to encourage our guys to get good, solid people, but Joe Menzel with his experience can help a player and his parents understand the process better. I really feel good about having Joe."

Ultimately, though, Richt says it's up to the players to make the right decisions.

"We just try to educate our young men and appeal to them to do the right thing for themselves and the University," Richt said. "We love you and care about you, but at the same time we expect you to return the favor."

Butler does it for the D

As technically the only member of Georgia's "defense" to attend Media Day, punter Drew Butler joked that he was ready to answer any questions the press might have about the 3-4.

"I was a little surprised when I was asked to go, but after I started thinking about it I thought what the heck?" Butler said. "I just thought it would be something that would be a lot of fun."

Butler made some history along the way.

The junior became the first punter ever invited to speak in the 20-plus year history of Media Days.

Chapas dressed to a T

It was no coincidence that fullback Shaun Chapas looked a tad uncomfortable in a suit and tie while he waited for interviews Thursday morning.

"I wore this same suit in a wedding last May," Chapas said. "I try to stay out of them."

As far as his opinion on Media Day, Chapas called it "our Media Day on Steroids."

He scoffed at the notion the impending NCAA inquiry would affect the team's preparation for the upcoming campaign.

"I feel we've got nothing to hide, so it doesn't matter to me," Chapas said.

Richt feels team has right ingredients

Although the Bulldogs have yet to take the practice field, Richt said he doesn't suspect attitude and emotion will be a problem for his squad.

"Everything I've seen so far makes me feel like we're going to have what it takes from an emotional standpoint, from a physical standpoint," Richt said. "We've got a group of guys that are kind of bonding and saying, 'You know what, we're taking control of this football team.' When you've got a team that's led by your players in the right way, you've got a chance to be really successful. I see that."

Caldwell a comedian

New Vanderbilt coach Robbie Caldwell might want to consider a second career as a standup comedian after his turn in front of the assembled media reminded some of a comedy club act.

When asked about his virtual anonymity, Caldwell was quick with a quip.

"Here I am, I go from lining the field to I'm head coach in the SEC! I'm telling you, what a thrill! It's a dream. I can still walk in places and nobody knows me. Last night I was opening a door and they gave me a tip," Caldwell said. "I thought 'Hey, that's great!' How can you get it any better than that?"

Caldwell also told a story when he worked at a turkey farm as part of the insemination crew.

"It's an interesting process. I'll be glad to show you sometimes. Can we get a Tom in here?" Caldwell said. "Hey, it was a great job. I really appreciated them giving me that. I think the worst part was gathering dead turkeys that had been out for a while. That was something."

Spurrier no longer most quotable?

After Caldwell's performance, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier was asked he was worried about no longer being the most quotable coach in the SEC.

"No, I'm not worried about that at all (smiling). I don't think I've won enough games lately to have any outlandish quotes," Spurrier said. "If you win a bunch of games, it's pretty easy to give all the answers up here. But we haven't won enough. I'm just another ball coach trying to win a whole bunch of games that we haven't quite done yet."

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