Georgia Coach Kirby Smart Needs To Get A Clue, And Fast, Regarding Culture Of His Football Program

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Georgia football coach Kirby Smart broke his silence with the media this week after mounting issues with his program have come to a head.

He has won back-to-back national championships and will likely win more, but he has more important matters in front of him.


In the last two weeks, Georgia star players Jalen Carter and Jamon Dumas-Johnson were each arrested for reckless driving and racing. Carter was racing in the early hours of Jan. 15 with Georgia football recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy at extremely high speeds, according to Athens Police.

Later at the hospital, LeCroy died from the crash. So did Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock, who was in the back seat without a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. He died at the scene.

Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter is expected to be a top five pick in the first round of the NFL Draft in April. (Getty Images)

Police only put out arrest warrants for Carter last Wednesday after the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s investigative reports earlier that morning had Carter racing LeCroy.

Carter returned to Athens from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis late Wednesday and turned himself in to Athens Police. The defensive tackle has been projected to be the No. 1 pick of the 2023 NFL Draft in April or in the top five.

Police say Dumas-Johnson was racing on Jan. 10 in Athens, but he was not charged until five weeks later after an investigation.

Last September, Athens Police cited Carter for driving 89 mph in a 45 mph zone and warned him and his teammates.

“Y’all need to slow down, dude,” the officer said, according to an ESPN story on Friday. “Your break is you’re not going to jail. Because that would make all kinds of news, right?’

Maybe, they should have sent him to jail to wake him up and make him stop. That way Smart would know about it or remember it.

Smart told ESPN’s Mark Schlabach that he was unaware that Carter had been cited in September.

I find that hard to believe. NFL and college football coaches are constantly discussing how they know every detail of their program. Yeah, until something bad happens. Then, you know, they can’t keep track of all these kids.

And there is all this drama with former quarterback Stetson Bennett with Smart seemingly looking the other way. And should Bennett be the one talking about whether or not Georgia has a culture problem?

Georgia Football Has Had Previous Incidents

Also in April of 2022, Georgia star defensive end Travon Walker drove into two parked cars late one night, Athens Police say. But no citation was issued. Are the Athens Police in cahoots with the football program in Athens? Maybe they ought to do their job better regardless of how good the football player is they’re pulling over. Arrests may change behavior better than citations, dude.

“Just a little fender-bender,” Walker said, according to Matt Hayes of Saturday Down South.

“Nothing crazy. Nobody was hurt,” said Walker, who became the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft instead of another driving death statistic.

Jesus. Don’t drive around Athens after sundown.

Racing is becoming more and more of a problem in cities across the country, and even in small towns like Athens.

“I mean, there are laws in place for these things to prevent it for a reason,” Smart told ESPN.

Kirby Smart Needs To Do More

Yes, but before the law gets involved, you are involved Kirby. And you need to get more involved.

And you need to wake up and smell the clues.

Georgia football has had a rough couple of months to start 2023. (Getty Images)

“Absolutely not,” Smart said when Schlabach asked if his program had a culture problem. “I would say we’re far from it.”

Sounds like you’re far from helping it stop.

“When you talk to people outside our program that come into it, they talk about what a great culture we do have,” Smart said.

Has that been lately, by any chance?

“And we do an incredible job,” Smart said. “I feel really good about the culture within our program.”

Maybe these are isolated incidents that happened to happen in a short period of time. Or maybe there have been more incidents that the police have kept quiet about.

Information on arrests of Georgia football players seem to be coming out after quite a time lapse.

Georgia Football Must Realize It Has A Problem

Sure, Smart can’t do everything. He has more than 100 players and can’t keep track of them, particularly in the off-season and particularly late at night. He was naturally asleep at the time when LeCroy and Willock died, and Carter was lying to and fleeing police.

Smart was probably dreaming of the national championship parade and celebration he took part in earlier that day on Jan. 14.

“Heartache,” Smart said. “Got a call at 3 in the morning. Went immediately to the emergency room. Probably one of the toughest moments I’ve ever experienced as a coach and a leader to see the pain in the faces of players.”

It’s not Smart’s fault.

But I know this, college football coaches and the police in college towns spend too much time protecting athletes under too much secrecy. Too many times, that is not protection because their behavior doesn’t change. Instead, such protection can put them in harm’s way.

Written by Glenn Guilbeau


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  1. To Quote that esteemed philosopher Lane Kiffen or whoever he stole this from:
    ………. “Angels don’t play football … so we don’t recruit angels”

    CHARACTER is “on the list” when recruiting a kid … but its not in the top three.

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