When Georgia football coach Mark Richt met with beat reporters and some national writers to start off SEC Media Days last week, he was asked about the testy exchange in his postgame press conference after the SEC championship game loss to Alabama.
“I don’t know if it was a question or comment,” Richt said. “I was trying to understand what the gentleman was trying to say.”
Chuck Oliver, who goes by the “King of College Football,” said this after the 32-28 loss in the Georgia Dome: “There are some people whether it’s fans, media or whomever else that will maybe want to make further conclusions about you or your quarterback, specifically, in big games. Would you have any response to those people?”
Richt’s response: “I don’t know what you’re saying. Why don’t you just say it straight up what you’re trying to say.”
Here’s the video of the exchange:
Richt agreed that after coming so close to winning the SEC title and getting to the BCS national championship game, it was less about what was said than when it was said.
“I guess timing is everything,” Richt said. “I just didn’t think that was appropriate at the moment. Everybody’s got to do their job and ask the questions they’ve got to ask whether they’re comfortable or not. I didn’t think that was a good time to say it because I thought (Aaron) Murray played his tail off. I thought both teams…I don’t know if it was an epic game or not. People seemed to think so when the game was over. I think there were a lot more appropriate things to talk about than that at that very moment.”
Later on this day in Hoover, Ala., Richt sat down on radio row with Oliver and his broadcast partner Matt Chernoff. The interview was cordial.
That’s the Richt most on display representing Georgia.
Defensive end Garrison Smith spoke about when Richt sometimes gets close to the edge of a different side.
“I’ve seen coach Richt so mad one time that he almost said a cussing word. He said fiddlesticks,” Smith said. “A lot of people put on that façade of being a Christian guy and it’s just a tool that they use. I can honestly say, and I’m a stand-up guy, that coach Richt, he’s a genuine guy.”
Richt was told about the `fiddlesticks’ comment from Smith: “Nah, he’s being kind. The boys have seen and heard a few things that the public hasn’t seen and heard and my family has as well. Garrison, he’s a trip.”
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