Mark Richt Finds Cell Phones Confusing

June 21, 2011 – 12:26 pm by McD

Coming off a dismal 6-7 season that included a 1-4 start and a 10-6 loss to Central Florida in the Liberty Bowl, Georgia head coach Mark Richt figures to spend most of 2011 on the hot seat once again.

Things are embarrassing off the field too, since Richt’s program had to report a couple of minor NCAA violations for impermissible contact with the family of a recruit.

What actually happened is Richt got a text message from Ron Jenkins, the father of Georgia recruit Jordan Jenkins, asking for the dates of UGA’s football camps. I’ll let the article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution explain the rest:

“Since Richt did not have the number programmed in his phone, the text was identified as ‘unknown.’ Richt intended to forward the text to a recruiting assistant for identification but accidentally replied to Mr. Jenkins, which was a violation NCAA Bylaw

Richt immediately reported the inadvertent violation to compliance director Eric Baumgartner, who subsequently asked if Mr. Jenkins had replied. In an attempt to forward Mr. Jenkins’ response to Baumgartner, Richt accidently replied to Mr. Jenkins again, hence he had to report another text violation.”

Really, coach? You couldn’t figure out the difference between replying to the person who sent the text and forwarding it to some one else? You know that’s exactly what happened because there’s no way anyone would make that lie up and look that ridiculous.

The mere fact that Richt reported this at all speaks to his character as a head coach. He doesn’t have the same reputation as some other SEC head coaches and football programs for pretty much doing whatever it takes to buy good players. That’s not to say he might not have done “bidness” as they call it down there, but he’s just got a better public face than most.

Actually, he’s probably not cheating since his teams have been largely mediocre the last few years, though it’s probably nice to have A.J. Green’s salary off his SEC salary cap in case any big-name free agents are out there.

It’s so awesome that Richt had to report pocket-dialing the parent of a player at all. He probably even had to show the messages to UGA’s compliance people:

From: Ron Jenkins

Hey coach, when are your camp dates? Jordan’s dying to get over there and get a preview of what it’s like to be a Dawg!

From: Coach Richt

A;lsdjkfa;sij;qoi wje;flaksndf;alskdfja;sldkfjas :)

From: Ron Jenkins

Uh, coach, that was hard to understand. It doesn’t look like the usual code you use to let us know when a, uh, “inducement” is on it’s way to our house. What the dilly-yo?

From: Coach Richt

Akajsd;inl;aisndalksdfSATANSATANSATANal;sdiaslidfna;lsdifja;sdf !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I await the NCAA’s ruling on this matter. I’m sure Georgia will ask they vacate the loss to UCF last December.

But as the article said, this really is what compliance people at schools have to do most of the time. It’s a pretty menial job done by people with law degrees in school-logo shirts.

That said, this makes Ohio State look even worse. That something this small gets run through the compliance meat grinder while Jim Tressel lets a whole host of violations just slide shows how bad it was in Columbus. Proof once again that if your school gets caught, it’s probably much worse than what can be proved.

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