Tarkenton calls Richt’s Georgia program ‘unsavory’
Fran Tarkenton, the greatest quarterback the University of Georgia has produced, lashed out at Mark Richt and the current Bulldogs program. Speaking on WCNN 680 in Atlanta, Tarkenton said: “This staff that is over there today – and I am going to be very kind about it – it is not functioning properly. . . . As we all know, Mark Richt is a good, fine, wonderful person. I think there are things going on inside of his staff that are unsavory . . . We’ve got troubles in our program that need to be fixed. It’s not about play calling, it’s not about a defense call. It’s about a culture. . . “ Richt drew widespread criticism when the Bulldogs, a preseason Top 10 team, fell out of SEC contention with losses to Alabama, Tennessee and Florida. USA Today reported that Georgia’s athletics director Greg McGarity wanted to fire Richt after last season but was overruled by the school’s president, Jere Morehead. The paper said the relationship of Richt and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is “dysfunctional.” Pruitt and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer are both expected to leave at the end of the season, if not sooner. But Richt, tweeting that he’s happy with his assistant coaches, rallied his team for a 27-3 victory Saturday over ascending Kentucky. That may turn down the heat for a few days at least.
Mizzou prez forced out by football team protesting racism
The University of Missouri president, Tim Wolfe, resigned in the face of rising protest by African-American students about racial injustice at the school. Choking up as he announced his resignation Monday, Wolfe said: “The frustration and anger I see is real, and I don’t doubt it for a second.” Wolfe basically was forced out by about 30 black football players who threatened to boycott the upcoming game against Brigham Young unless he resigned. At its main campus in Columbia the university has 35,000 students, the overwhelming majority being white. In recent months many of the black students complained of racial slurs directed at them by white students and also of swastikas appearing on campus. The football team has demanded the hiring of more black faculty members and the institution of a mandatory racial-awareness program. Head football coach Gary Pinkel expressed support for the protest. “We are united; we are behind our players,” Pinkel said.
Zimmer blames Rams coaches for injuring his quarterback
In the fourth quarter of Sunday’s St. Louis Rams’ game at Minnesota, Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater was sliding after a run, and Rams cornerback Lamarcus Joyner rolled into him, causing a concussion. Joyner drew a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. After the game, which Minnesota won 21-18 in overtime, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer called Joyner’s shot “a dirty play.” He added that “there’s a history there with their defensive coordinator.” That was a reference to Gregg Williams, who was fined and suspended for being the instigator of “Bountygate” when he was with the New Orleans Saints. Rams coach Jeff Fisher said that when he tried to speak to Zimmer after the game, his adversary shook hands very briefly and turned away. Joyner was fined for the hit but was not suspended.
Rex names as captain the player who punched Geno Smith
In a move which is expected to rile his upcoming opponent, Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan named as a weekly captain the reserve linebacker, IK Enemkpali, who punched out Geno Smith in a New York Jets locker room altercation during training camp. Smith, who at the time was the Jets’ No. 1 quarterback, suffered a broken jaw. Enemkpali was released by the team, and Ryan, who coached the Jets last season, signed the player for his new team. Ryan said he was “a little shocked” that the captaincy move drew heavy media attention. He said he’s always made it a practice to name captains who formerly played for the opponent. When the Bills and Jets play at the Meadowlands this Sunday, Smith will be backing up Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Broncos’ Talib suspended for poking Dwayne Allen’s eye
Denver Broncos Pro Bowl cornerback Aquib Talib was suspended for the upcoming game with Kansas City because he gouged an eye of Indianapolis tight end Dwayne Allen. Broncos coach Gary Kubiak spoke with Talib and said, “He’s wrong. He knows that. He needs to stay out of that situation.” Talib insisted it was “an honest mistake.” He appealed the suspension, but the appeal was denied. Talib, who then said he deserved to be punished, will lose his weekly check which amounts to about $350,000.