Georgia head coach Kirby Smart didn’t mince words when asked about the quality of some of the away team locker rooms his teams have dealt with over the years.
In fact, he encouraged the media in attendance to write a story on it. Here we are.
“It would be a neat little story to see the dungeons we’ve been in,” Smart said on Tuesday. “They’re not very nice.”
This all comes after reports surfaced out of Austin that the LSU Tigers came prepared for harsh conditions in the visiting locker room during their game against Texas. According to The Advocate, LSU brought fans to the game because they heard from Texas’ previous opponent that the locker room at Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium didn’t have air conditioning.
The Longhorns aren’t the first team to make life difficult in the locker room for the opponent. The Iowa Hawkeyes famously have an entirely pink visitors locker room. Everything from the floor to the ceiling and even the urinals are coated in pink paint.
The Bulldogs apparently had their own issues with road-game hospitality during their trip to Nashville in Week 1. Senior defensive lineman Michael Barnett didn’t have to think too hard about his answer when asked if he remembers any away locker rooms that were especially uncomfortable.
“Right off the bat, Vanderbilt’s locker room,” Barnett said. “We didn’t have anywhere to stretch. Being home this past weekend, I had forgotten what it was like to have so much room.”
It may not have been pink, but the cramped quarters in the depths of Vanderbilt Stadium made for an unpleasant experience for the Bulldogs. Barnett says that’s par for the course.
“It’s not supposed to be pleasant,” Barnett said. “When you have another team coming in, you don’t want them to have a lavish locker room. I understand why they do that.”
Smart had another explanation for the lack of amenities in the visiting team’s quarters. He said that most of the road locker rooms in SEC stadiums used to be for the home team when the stadium was built. He only mentioned one school by name, and it was his own.
“The locker rooms are not high quality,” Smart said. “And I’m not picking on other places because they’re not very good here [at Georgia]. That’s just the way it is.”
It’s understood that most teams will use any tactic they can to try and get an edge over the incoming team. After all, it’s called a ‘home field advantage’ for a reason. But even though he gets the reason behind it, Barnett wished opposing schools would think of the ‘big boys’ when designing their tiny locker rooms.
“I understand why they do that,” Barnett said. “But come on, at least make it bigger. Imagine me standing next to Jordan Davis and Tyler Clark, man we need room. We’re big boys.”