Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Smart's limited media access accomplishing nothing


ATHENS -- Jacob Eason hasn't been allowed to speak to the media since signing day.

Greyson Lambert hasn't been allowed to speak publicly since last year's bowl game.

When Georgia's offensive linemen had their lunch handed to them by Nicholls State's defensive front in Saturday's 26-24 win, do you know how many of them were made available to the media?

Zero.

I counted.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart maintained his policy of radio silence when it comes to his quarterbacks and he continues to limit access to several players. Why is that exactly? Because it's not like allotting limited media access to players is going to be the difference between Georgia winning and losing games -- particularly after winning or losing the game already has been determined.

"I don’t know that they’re ready to talk," Smart said of his quarterbacks. "It's not a settled position. We'll continue to do that until we feel comfortable with Jacob with the media, or Greyson as the quarterback."

And what of no offensive linemen being made available?

"We're not holding back the linemen," Smart said.

Not true.

Left tackle Tyler Catalina, a graduate transfer, has been requested multiple times but Smart has red-lined him each time, including after Saturday's game. Georgia generally has made center Brandon Kublanow, tackle Greg Pyke and guard Isaiah Wynn available every week but none of the three were brought out following the Nicholls State game.

Each of the three were requested by only one or two media members, and Catalina by several, even while Smart incorrectly maintained during and after Saturday's post-game news conference, "None of the offensive linemen were requested."

I'm sure Smart believes on some level that he is protecting his players. But he's overthinking this issue. One would also believe that he has more important things on his mind after a game than who should be allowed to comment and who shouldn't.

Is this the most important thing going on with Georgia's program now? Hardly. The narrow escape Saturday illustrated that. But players can provide insight about what went on in the game and Smart isn't accomplishing anything with this act.

"No comment" never made an athlete better and no access never made a coach better.

For my column on the game, click here.

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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.