Mark Richt always seems to do everything the proper way.
Just ask him a question at a press conference.
No matter how critical or discourteous the question, his willingness to answer it — if sometimes sarcastically — is unmatched by any other football coach in the country.
Talk to his players.
They would all take a bullet for their coach—a second father, or even first, for many.
Even the guys Richt harshly disciplines love him. Just reference his post-Vanderbilt hug with Bacarri Rambo, following what was presumably the safety’s last game of suspension.
Rambo was suspended for the first four games of his senior season, and still he adores Richt.
Shoot, even the NCAA will tell you Richt handles things appropriately.
If one of his assistants even spends a quarter on a piece of bubble gum for a recruit on a visit, the coach will report himself for a secondary recruiting violation.
Needless to say, Richt is usually right.
But not this time.
On Monday, a caller on Richt’s show requested that the Sanford Stadium faithful participate in a full-fledged “red out” against Tennessee.
Richt embraced the idea yesterday, taking the plan to Twitter to inform “DawgNation” to wear their finest red to Saturday’s contest against one of Georgia's most bitter rivals.
It might sound picky, but Mark Richt should know better.
The whole “color-out” thing hasn’t resonated well in recent history for the Bulldogs.
The “blackout funeral” versus Alabama in 2008 set the tone, a tone that rang true in the Georgia Dome in 2011, when that “red out” failed against Boise State.
This isn’t a knock against the entire notion of a whole stadium wearing the same color, but a knock against the head coach for leading the motion to do so.
This is a guy that told his players last week to avoid getting caught in the “Grantham-Franklin” drama from last year, and just perform on the field.
An argument could be made that this is different — this is for a good cause.
The claims are simple: “Richt just wants the crowd to be loud” or “He doesn’t want his players to get complacent a week before South Carolina.”
I agree, but it doesn’t justify Richt going out of his way to call for a red out. Yes, Richt wants Sanford to be rowdy on Saturday. Why wouldn’t he? And of course he doesn't want his players looking ahead to the Gamecocks.
But that kind of stuff needs to be handled where Richt normally expects his players to handle it — the field.
If Richt coaches his team up right, they won’t be looking ahead to next weekend’s matchup in Columbia. And if Georgia isn’t looking ahead a week, its talent will reign supreme against the Volunteers on Saturday.
Bulldog fans will respect the coach’s wishes — as they should.
However, Richt needs to take a piece of his own advice and just handle everything between the hedges.
If the players and coaches do that, the fans will do their part as well.