It's been the Offseason of the Transfer for the Georgia football team. Safety Tray Matthews, cornerback Shaquille Wiggins and wide receiver Uriah LeMay have each departed from the Bulldogs' program in recent months.
Anytime a crop of players exit from a school in conflict, it can paint the program in a bad light. One father of a current Georgia student-athlete is speaking out in defense of coach Mark Richt.
In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kevin Bailey, the dad to Bulldogs' junior defensive lineman Sterling Bailey, vented his disappointed with the way the transfer situation is being viewed.
“When I read some of the things said, it just made me sick to my stomach,” Bailey said. “That young man (Matthews) needs to realize who opened doors for him first. I’m speaking as a member of the Georgia Bulldog family, of the Bulldog Nation, because my son goes to school down there, too. I love Tray. I love his mom and dad, too. We’re good friends. But the comments I read made me feel like they were putting down the University of Georgia, the system and the coaches. Not one time did I see it mentioned what Coach Richt or the other coaches have done for him. That’s what made me mad.
“Coach Richt and the coaching staff opened their arms to this kid. They welcomed him into the Bulldog Nation and they stood behind him. For him to come out like that and make it seem like the University of Georgia had done him wrong, that’s what makes me so mad. Same with Shaq Wiggins and the other kids who had the opportunity to play at the University of Georgia. They leave and transfer and get dismissed from the team and they blame it on the school system. It’s not the system; it’s the kids. If you come and do what you’re supposed to do and do it right, you wouldn’t get in trouble and things like this wouldn’t come about.”
It's tough to argue against what Kevin Bailey is saying. Each of the players had issues during their time in Athens; most so, Matthews, who was reportedly kicked off the team for a classroom incident.
Georgia opens its 2014 season Aug. 30 against Clemson.