MACON‚ÄîGeorgia‚Äôs Mark Richt was among football coaches on hand today at the annual Peach State Pigskin Preview.
Richt touched on several topics in answering questions from reporters.
–Count Richt as someone who would support Rutgers coach Greg Schiano‚Äôs effort to scrap kickoffs from the college game to curtails serious injuries.
Richt didn‚Äôt know all the details. Schiano proposed teams punt from the 30-yard line after scores and at the start of each half. A team could choose to try a fourth-and-15 that would serve as similiar to an onsides kick.
‚ÄúThe part about not kicking off I think if it went to a vote, I would vote for no kickoff also,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúI would just place the ball at the 23-yard line or whatever the average has been. I‚Äôm sure the defensive coaches would want it on the 18. Offensive coaches would want it on the 30.‚Äù
Richt said as a head coach he‚Äôs seen from the sideline the violence of hits on kickoffs.
‚ÄúIt is violent,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúIt is very, very physical. You‚Äôve got a bunch of guys that can run fast and are strong and are not afraid, it‚Äôs kind of a manhood thing. No one‚Äôs going to back down.‚Äù
Richt said he‚Äôs not expecting imminent change.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt think it‚Äôs going to happen anytime soon,‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúI really don‚Äôt.‚Äù
–Two weeks ago, Richt met with his fellow SEC football coaches in Destin, Fla, where oversigning was the hot topic.
The SEC presidents voted to cap signing classes at 25, down from 28.
‚ÄúLet me just say this,‚Äù Richt said. ‚Äú I don‚Äôt know if I should say this. ‚Ä¶Just keep my mouth shut.‚Äù
Here‚Äôs what he said: ‚ÄúOversigning. I‚Äôll just say this. You guys can figure it out. 85 on scholarship, ok? If 15 guys leave, how many do you have room for?‚Äù
Richt said it wasn‚Äôt a trick question.
‚ÄúFifteen,‚Äù one reporter said.
‚ÄúThank you for being brave enough to answer that question,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúHow many are you allowed to sign?‚Äù
‚ÄúTwenty-five,‚Äù he was told.
‚ÄúIs 25 more than 15?,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt know if you catch my drift of what I‚Äôm trying to say. ‚Ä¶All I‚Äôm saying is you can still oversign with 25. If you only have 15 and you sign 25, you still sign more than you got. The question is everybody‚Äôs integrity. That‚Äôs the question. Are we all going to do things in the right way. I think everybody‚Äôs trying to do that. It‚Äôs not an easy thing to manage. It really is not.‚Äù
Richt said if you ‚Äúsign right to the 85 number,‚Äù on signing day, by the time preseason practices start in August, attrition could bring that number down to 79.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not as simple as everybody wants to make it,‚Äù Richt said.
–It‚Äôs been an offseason without any Georgia players that have been arrested. At least those that have come to light.
‚ÄúI think that they think they know that‚Äôs probably part of our issue as to why maybe we haven‚Äôt had the success that we believe that we should have,‚Äù Richt said.
Richt said players need to be accountable to each other, their families and the school.
‚ÄúWe know that we can wake up tomorrow and have a bad situation,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúTo this point, they‚Äôve done a nice job.‚Äù
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