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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Rules Are Meant to be Broken

In case you hadn't seen it in Chris Low's original post, the Senator is kind enough to point it out again: Steve Spurrier is none too thrilled with the cavalier attitude SEC coaches seem to be taking toward secondary violations.

I spoke with Mark Richt about this issue a few weeks ago, and while he's not necessarily taking the same tone as Spurrier, he's not exactly giving his coaches a ringing endorsement either.

"If you read about a secondary violation, you might have an opinion to say, well they did that on purpose or they planned that out or they don't care," Richt said. "I don't know what's going through the minds of everybody. I can't sit here and judge. You'd like to think nobody's doing that. You hope they're not."

Given the number of stories that came out this offseason surrounding programs like Tennessee and Alabama, it's a bit of a hot topic. Commissioner Mike Slive even addressed it in his opening remarks at SEC Media Days. But is anything really going to be done about it?

The problem is, according to Richt, there simply isn't enough of a distinction between accidental secondary violations and legitimate cheating.

"I think there's some secondary violations, what are considered secondary violations, as I look at them some are very minor and some are very serious, but they both fall in the same category of a secondary violation," Richt said. "I'm not sure that we don't need to do a better job of defining what is a more severe one or another way to declare things. Some things I think are done on purpose and some things can truly have a competitive advantage, whereas if you have your cell phone in your pocket and it accidentally rings a number because you're not good at locking it and you don't even make contact with them – you see that it happened and you shut it off but you rang that number – that still shows up on our records and it is a secondary violation. You've got to turn it in – an inadvertent rear-end call is a secondary violation. Did that person mean to do it? Did he get any recruiting advantage out of it? No, but it's a secondary violation. Other things that happen, I think can become a recruiting advantage."

Butt dialing? It's a legitimate problem, folks. If only we could get Richt a flip phone.

In any case, the bottom line on secondary violations is that everyone has them.

"In my opinion, if you never report a secondary violation, I'd be more concerned about that as a compliance guy than if there was a few here and there," Richt said. "It's nearly impossible not to have something slip up on you, as diligent as you might be."

The problem is, so much of that diligence is spent coming up with ways around the system.

1 comment:

Ubiquitous GA Alum said...

Butt dialing and stink eye ... these are the inside details that all true Dawg fans require .. ;-)