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Friday, December 18, 2009

Practice Notes: Richt Mum on Koenning Rumors

A few quick hitters from UGA's practice today...

-- Justin Anderson called it the coldest practice he's ever experienced. I was cold watching from inside the Butts-Mehre building.

-- Richt praised the work the GAs have done so far. "Day 1, we began to install some things -- one segment of what we wanted to install. It wasn't super complicated, but it was a way to gain confidence and everybody locked in beautifully. Yesterday, we added a little bit more, plus reviewing what we had, and it was a little bit sluggish, as a normal Tuesday would be when you're throwing in a lot of the game plan. But they didn't lose heart or anything like that. Then today, we had a little drill where we were getting formations out there in a hurry and seeing how guys would react and make the right calls, and I think they did a nice job. I would think today certainly gave them more confidence."

-- On the forgotten man in Georgia's backfield: "I like, today Carlton Thomas really had a fine practice," Richt said. "He's a tough kid and a good runner. He's improving, too. I think there's still a place for him to be real productive in the future, too."

-- Richard Samuel is scheduled to return to full practices as early as tomorrow after suffering a concussion prior to the Georgia Tech game. Richt said he expects him to be fine for the bowl game and Samuel will play on several special teams units.

-- Richt remained pretty mum on the whole Vic Koenning debacle and the coaching search. Here's what he had to say:

On waiting to hire a coach: "There's just a lot of guys that are working right now. I think that it's very difficult to do both. I think most everybody feels a sense of obligation to coach through the season because they care about their players and the people they work with. It's just a really crummy time of the year to be trying to do what we're doing here, but that's just part of it right now."

On the Koenning rumors: "I think everything is just -- this whole search stuff, I'll just say I've got nothing to shed on it."

On the number of applications he's gotten: "We've got a stack of stuff. There's an awful lot of people, and it's more than just the D coordinator's job, too. There's other position coaches. But we've got to get the D coordinator thing squared away before we get to any of those. But I've looked at everything that's come in."

And he added he would let whatever Koenning has to say at his scheduled press conference (2 p.m. Eastern) stand for itself.


Anonymous said...

You know what would clear up this entire coaching search process? Have reporters stop quoting "anonymous" sources. This isn't directed towards you at all, David, since you've largely stayed above the fray with this garbage. And, it's not really my original thought, a good friend of mine was railing against it yesterday.

But seriously, let's cut the anonymous sourcing garbage. It's become far too commonplace these days. Ten years ago, when a reporter talked about an anonymous source, you could be reasonably sure they were talking to somebody on the inside, in the athletic department or on the coaching staff. These days? It's just as likely to be an internet poster, a coach's agent looking to increase a payday, or someone who simply has no idea what's going on. And, I know we've all seen that "anatomy of a coaching rumor" article, and it's absolutely true. 95% of everything you're reading out there is garbage. So why waste your time?

Anonymous sourcing has a place in journalism. But it's not like we're bringing down a corrupt president or uncovering a secret nuclear weapons program here. No, we're trying to tell Georgia fans who will be running their defense two weeks before Georgia tells them who will be running their defense. And, we're continuing to trample what's left of journalism ethics in the process. When I went to J-School, we were told to avoid anonymous sources. And, if we had to have them, we were told any less than three, and it's not getting on the air. Well, these days, all you have to do is call a source anonymous, tell the people that you haven't confirmed the information, and then report it. That's not reporting. That's spreading gossip.

So, yeah, let's keep the anonymous sources in government reporting, where they're unfortunately necessary. And in sports, unless someone's willing to attach their name to the "UGA's just offered Vic Koenning" story, let's leave it unreported. It's just not a big enough deal to compromise your integrity to be the first person to report a story that's going to be told in a press release two weeks from now.

Now try to wrap your head around the irony of me posting this anonymously!

Les Dilghow said...

I actually agree with Anonymous. The Joe Schadds of the world cast a bad light on the guys like Hale who do it right.

Anonymous said...

But it looks like the journalists who were quoting the anon. sources regarding Koenning were right. CMR's non-denial today of the story essentially confirms it. Just because a source is an agent, doesn't mean the agent is wrong. There is very much a "shoot the messenger" line of thinking going on here.

That being said, I agree with Hale that the best thing for fans to do is just chill and wait til someone gets introduced at a press conference.

jferg said...

I partially agree with you folks...Unless that source is a true source within the decision making camp speaking on the condition of anonimity...because true reporters need these to break stories.

"Anonymous Source" should never be a random twitter, blog post, or waffle house chatter box.

Thanks for the practice updates. What should we expect from our departing seniors and NFL-bound juniors? Half-hearted, injury-prevention play? Or will they show up and go to work like any other game? Also, how are the young'uns holding up with all the change and chatter? I suspect they are the most easily swayed and distracted?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:23, it actually looks like the "anonymous sources" weren't right. If you have an account with, go look at the latest reporting up over there. Apparently, we never offered the job to Koenning, we never asked him to back out on Illinois, and apparently it was his agent trying to get more cash out of the Illini. Hence, why this kind of rumor-mongering by "reporters" is harmful.

David Hale said...

jferg -- regarding the seniors, etc, outside of the three DTs, I doubt any of them are getting drafted, and I don't see Garner letting those three DTs slack. So I'd expect a relatively strong performance from them -- at least in terms of attitude.

Regarding the rumors -- Trust me, I don't like this any more than any of you. I absolutely hated writing anything last night because my feeling is, if it isn't on the record and it isn't all confirmed, it's not a story. But when other people are floating it out there -- particularly people with outlets as big and influential as ESPN -- it's very tough to ignore it, particularly when I am getting information, too.

I can tell you that I had several people tell me that Koenning was reconsidering the Illinois situation at least 2 hours before Schad wrote anything about it on his Twitter page, and I didn't write anything until an hour after that -- mostly because I didn't feel comfortable with it.

Eventually, I figured the best thing to do was to pass along what I was hearing, let you know that I hadn't been able to confirm it, and hopefully you guys would have more background on the other stories that were out there as a result.

Still, I felt less than comfortable doing it.

It's tricky these days -- particularly when you add Twitter and blogs and message boards to the horde of other media covering this stuff. I know where I'd like to draw the line, but it's awfully tough when there are literally hundreds of others pushing the envelope.