The Chick-fil-A Bowl’s annual charity golf tournament kicks off this weekend, forcing 16 ACC and SEC skippers to mute their phones (probably), partner up with celebrity alums from their current programs and battle for scholarship dollars in the carefully sculpted wilds of Georgia. The pairings for the main event have been released. We have some thoughts.
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“Oh, well, if you’ve seen one Stradivarius, you’ve seen them all.” — Mark Richt, probably.
There are times when it seems as though Mark Richt commits these NCAA nanoviolations on purpose, as if to prove, through the slightest of actions, that he belongs with his cutthroat colleagues in the lawless SEC. Like he’s the kid behind the 7-Eleven with his greaser pals who takes precisely one puff of the proffered cigarette, doesn’t inhale, but makes very sure the other street toughs surrounding him see how coolly satisfied he is to be breaking the rules. And even when he does plant a heel on the occasional institutional banana peel, the resulting tumble seems more of a pratfall in the service of his enduring Gallant image to the Goofuses of his conference-mates: Remember him writing his assistants thousands of dollars’ worth of checks out of his own pocket because he thought they were underpaid?
This latest hiccup, though, elevates the inadvertent secondary violation to an art form. My Georgia-bred, UGA-educated better half arrived home from work yesterday, sighing, “Mark Richt is the Inspector Clouseau of accidental NCAA infractions.” It seems Josh Harvey-Clemons, a five-star UGA recruit, committed to the Dawgs in a televised ceremony on Wednesday, as elite prospects are wont to do. Mark Richt, in addressing the media regarding the 2012 signing class, made mention of Harvey-Clemons. Only, some brief family drama delayed the arrival of the signed letter of intent in Athens until Thursday morning, creating what may perhaps be the new most inadvertent violation in program history. On the all-time leaderboard, it’s neck-and-neck with the time Richt butt-dialed a recruit. How does he do it?
Well, you know, it wasn’t easy. — Mark Richt, probably.