When Georgia has been in the news this offseason, it’s usually been for all the wrong reasons. With several players leaving the program due to a myriad of off the field incidents, the most recent being starting safety Tray Matthews, some began to look at head coach Mark Richt and wonder if he had a handle on his program.
He had a lot to say.
“When I read some of the things said, it just made me sick to my stomach,” Bailey said. “That young man (Matthews) needs to realize who opened doors for him first. I’m speaking as a member of the Georgia Bulldog family, of the Bulldog Nation, because my son goes to school down there, too. I love Tray. I love his mom and dad, too. We’re good friends. But the comments I read made me feel like they were putting down the University of Georgia, the system and the coaches. Not one time did I see it mentioned what Coach Richt or the other coaches have done for him. That’s what made me mad.
“Coach Richt and the coaching staff opened their arms to this kid. They welcomed him into the Bulldog Nation and they stood behind him. For him to come out like that and make it seem like the University of Georgia had done him wrong, that’s what makes me so mad. Same with Shaq Wiggins and the other kids who had the opportunity to play at the University of Georgia. They leave and transfer and get dismissed from the team and they blame it on the school system. It’s not the system; it’s the kids. If you come and do what you’re supposed to do and do it right, you wouldn’t get in trouble and things like this wouldn’t come about.”
It’s hard to disagree with Bailey’s sentiment here. Each player was given the chance to succeed at Georgia, but could not seem to avoid trouble.
Matthews was one of four Georgia players who were arrested in March for attempting to deposit their student tuition checks twice. Matthews reportedly electronically deposited his checks using a mobile application, then took the checks to a bank and tried to cash them. Matthews, who recently announced he'd be attending Auburn, was then dismissed following a classroom incident earlier in June.
Earlier in the offseason, fellow starting safety Josh Harvey-Clemons was booted from the team after multiple violations of the program’s marijuana policy. Cornerback Shaq Wiggins also opted to transfer citing playing time concerns. Both players landed at Louisville.
Additionally, wide receiver Uriah LeMay, one of the players arrested with Matthews in the checks incident, also transferred and reportedly landed at Charlotte.
The Bulldogs are coming off an injury-plagued 8-5 campaign in 2013 and open the 2014 on August 30 against Clemson.
For more Georgia news, visit UGASports.com.
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