Mark Richt Defends Georgia's Player Discipline Policies

The Georgia Bulldogs entered the 2012 offseason as the prohibitive favorites to repeat as SEC East Champions, but have been sidetracked by a rash of off-field player discipline issues that will leave them without several defensive starters for their first two games this fall.

Obviously that blight has taken center stage as Richt makes the alumni dinner rounds after spring practice. Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph has a full transcript of Richt's very, very long response to a fan's comment at the beginning of a Bulldog Club dinner in Augusta Tuesday.

Here's some of the highlights - the fan thanked Richt for his stance on player discipline, which opened the floor for a lot of this...

"Did anybody here go through college, did anybody maybe do something stupid, and not have the whole world know? I know I did. ...

"When a mistake is made, there needs to be a consequence, there needs to be a discipline, there needs to be a learning experience from it. I'm not gonna change the way I discipline. Some people may think it's soft. A lot of people think you might be losing control of your program because you have a lot of suspensions for the season. But the reality is that's how you keep control of your team, by disciplining your team.

And this...

"And I think a lot of guys think it's bulletproof. They don't think it's not gonna happen - and it does. Once they live through it, they understand how tough it is. But then again, the third thing is you've gotta love them. I love Sanders Commings. Do I love all these other guys that have had issues over the year? I sure do.

And this...

"The sad part of it is it's so public. The other part of it that's sad is it does affect myself. The coaching staff. It affects the Bulldogs nation, the University of Georgia, their teammates. But that's what a team is all about. The good and the bad. ...

You can't blame Richt for being verbose in defense of his policies and his commentary on the state of NCAA player discipline. He's as well versed on the subject as any coach in America.

For more on the Georgia Bulldogs, check out Dawg Sports and SB Nation's college football page.

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