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College Football’s Jerk of the Day: Kirby Smart


USATSI

USATSI

Kirby Smart learned a lot during his Alabama tenure with Nick Saban.  His robotic bottom-line approach is evident, but he forgot the importance of the placekicker.

Remember Rodrigo Blankenship?  The odd name rings a bell.  Let this picture help.

Now you remember the kid with glasses that took down Kentucky on the road with a game-winning field goal as time expired.  That kick ensured bowl eligibility for Georgia in Smart’s first year as the head coach of his alma mater.

The redshirt freshman was an All-SEC Freshman and an SEC Special Teams Player of the Week as a walk-on.  Despite his success, he will remain a walk-on.

Even though six scholarships have opened up following early declarations for the NFL Draft, Smart simply can’t waste a valuable scholarship on a kicker.  I mean, all Blankenship did was lead the team in points scored.  No big deal.

Fed up with Smart’s crafty BS, Blankenship’s parents took the case to the public.  In this lengthy e-mail to Dawg Nation, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s UGA website, Smart is put on blast.

You can read the letter in its entirety here, but due to length I’ll simply provide a few excerpts.

In two months, Coach Smart went from “We have a damn good field goal kicker over there” to “I’m not sure if we trust Rodrigo to be the player we want in that position.” That was the excuse/rationale/explanation he employed in our meeting on Jan. 2 after delivering a well-planned and well-conceived litany of deficiencies regarding our son’s practice, injury and emotional “issues.” This would be AFTER he trusted our son enough to kick field goals and extra points for the last 10 games of the season…

…Somebody’s going to get the scholarships left behind by Wilson, Briscoe, Choates, McGee, McGraw, McKenzie (they weren’t simply vacated into thin air, were they?), and it is very distressing to us that our son, who has ALREADY made fairly significant, valid and measurable contributions to this program commands a lower priority than those who have yet to provide a single play or single point for that same program. Isn’t Rodrigo a somewhat viable candidate for future contributions? Has he not established a somewhat impressive track record on which to base future projections?

That means the newbies will be cashing those weekly $200 maintenance checks (not to mention the free housing, tuition, books, etc.) while our son uses his debit card for weekend meals and incidentals; back home in Marietta there’s a dad who has to keep his son’s checking account balance on the plus side…

…Coach Smart said he came to Georgia as a walk-on and had to earn a scholarship, so he knows what our son is feeling. Our son has been a walk-on for two years and still doesn’t have a scholarship, and has made All-SEC and still does not have a scholarship. Does Coach Smart know how that feels? Did Coach Smart make All-SEC as a walk-on his freshman season?

Complaining parents are a coach’s worse nightmare.  Instead of having a thorn in his side, Smart’s decision to be the anti-Richt has turned into a PR nightmare.

Parents will always have their kids’ self-interest before the team’s.  Their subjectivity does not matter in this case.  After being told, “you’re up next if you keep doing well,” you should get that scholarship for exceeding expectations.  That’s how it works.  That’s how it worked for my little brother.  It motivated him to perform better and it worked, just liked it worked for Blankenship.

Instead, Blankenship’s family will continue to carry a financial burden for the foreseeable future.  Unfortunately, this letter probably only made things worse.  If Smart changes course, it will set dangerous precedent.  A guy who watched kickers consistently blow it for Bama finally found a good one at Georgia, and it only took one season to get the kicker on his bad side.

Instead of being a decent human being, Saban’s robotic offspring is the biggest jerk in college football.

[DawgNation]

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

14 responses to “College Football’s Jerk of the Day: Kirby Smart”

  1. runningunnin.454

    Tough situation for that kid.

  2. Kelkat

    Hopefully Dawg nation will get behind this kid and the kid will get the scholarship he deserves.

  3. Ninjashock

    The posts at Dawg Nation are mostly siding with the coach, which I find odd. I checked the stats, and that kid kicked for a higher percentage than Georgia’s had for four of the last five years, and he did it as a Freshman. I don’t think there’s any question about whether he deserves a scholarship, just based on his numbers alone. It’s really strange how hostile a reaction he’s getting just for asking what he rightfully deserves. Athletic scholarships are merit-based, and his numbers easily merit one.

    1. ScoggDog

      Chief … it’s not that odd.

      They just want the show to go on. They want to turn on the TV, or drive to the stadium, wear the gear, and watch the kids play.

      They want the show. They want to be entertained.

      That’s it.

  4. plumloopy
  5. BigBlue4Three

    As the parent of a current D-I full scholarship athlete, I often wonder how some of these coaches are actually employed as coaches and leaders of young adults. Common sense and a strong moral compass are definitely NOT prerequisites for the job. Athletes are most often treated as nothing more than income generating commodities.

  6. Wakecrash

    Each colleges and university should determine how many scholarships they can provide per sport. The NCAA sets these limits. The georgia program generates a profit of about $50M, I am sure coach smart would love to use that money for a few more scholarships.
    The NCAA sets the rules in the interest of fairness. I saw nothing in the article about transfer?

  7. ThankfulCat

    Good lord you can’t be more wrong about this. His Dad is a moron. Rodrigo has now written a letter asking the fan base to stick with him and overlook his farher’s actions. He will stay at Georgia.

  8. ThankfulCat

    Oh and another thing regarding the financial burden. He is at UGA on the HOPE Scholarship so all Dad pays is room and board

  9. CATandMONKEY

    Would think Dad would have waited until he was out of there to write that letter. Can’t imagine anything but Hell for the kid from Smart from here on out. Awkward.

    That being said, sounds like the kid deserves a scholarship and that Smart has changed his tune and acted the jerk.

  10. ThankfulCat

    Kid can’t kick the ball in the end zone and his max range is 49 yards. He’s coming back and wants fans to ignore his Dad. Georgia has the number two class coming in.

  11. StuckinLville

    Well he helped beat us, looked pretty solid. If coach doesnt appreciate him, then maybe he should transfer somewhere where he would be. He was an All-SEC selection, how could you not give him a scholarship?

  12. tlwood43

    As a dad, I think the best thing you do in that situation is write the letter to get it out of your system then throw it away. If you must make a public comment, it should be along the lines of “we’re disappointed in Coach Smart’s decision, but Rodrigo loves the Dawgs and will continue to do what he’s always done – work hard and kick well.” The long letter of complaint puts his son in a terrible position. All that said, All SEC anything should be on scholarship.

  13. satcheluk

    If you earn all sec status as a walk on there is no justification for not getting a scholarship unless you got arrested or something like that.