October 22, 2009

Players agree with SEC decision

Defensive end Justin Houston hadn't heard about the ruling handed down by the SEC stating that the same officiating crew which called Georgia's game against LSU was being suspended by the conference until Nov. 14.

But he certainly welcomed the news.

"They suspended that crew?" Houston said. "I'm glad somebody saw it before it got even worse. Everybody saw what was going on, the calls they were calling. It wasn't fair."

Wednesday, SEC commissioner Mike Slive announced that the league was suspending Marc Curles' crew, the same one which incorrectly called a late unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on A.J. Green that played a role in the Tigers being able to come back and beat the Bulldogs 20-13.

The same group of officials was involved in another controversy over the weekend in Gainesville, Fla. when it called a personal foul on Arkansas' Malcome Sheppard in the fourth quarter of last week's 23-20 win by Florida. Video evidence did not support the penalty.

Head coach Mark Richt chose his words carefully.

"I think that Rogers Redding (SEC head of officials) and Commissioner Slive want things to be done with excellence and I guess they felt there was a reason to make that move," Richt said. "They're just trying to improve the quality of the officiating. I guess that's what they're doing."

Other players spoken said that the conference made the right decision.

"If that's what the Commissioner wants to do then I support his decision," offensive tackle Clint Boling said.

Tight end Aron White agreed.

"Anytime they crack down and make it more efficient the players are going to like it. All the SEC officials a great bunch of guys and they wouldn't be in the position they are in if they didn't know how to call a game. Everybody makes mistakes," White said. "I don't wish any ill-will on anybody, but if we could have had that call back … I'm sure Arkansas wants theirs back, too. I hate it that they got suspended, but if it's going help make it better, I'm all for it."

Houston said it's about time something was done to at least try to solve the problems.

"I think it is fair. We (the players) can't say anything about it but I know a lot of people don't agree with some of the calls they make," Houston said. "If we say something about it, it's just more trouble on us. I'm glad somebody did something about it."

White thrilled with fullback move

Redshirt sophomore Charles White said Thursday that he's thrilled with his recent move from linebacker to fullback.

He's actually no stranger to the position.

"I thought it was a great idea," White said. "From middle school to 10th grade I was a running back and sometimes a fullback in goal line and short yardage situations to try and blow it up a little bit. It's definitely good to be back."

One of South Carolina's top linebackers when he signed with the Bulldogs out of Blythewood High in 2006, White's career was dealt a setback last season when he tore his Achilles tendon.

However, he said his health is no longer an issue.

"I'll miss playing linebacker, but it's still Georgia and I'm still wearing the G," said White, who made the switch prior to last week's game against Vanderbilt. "It (wearing the G) means everything to me. For the guys who have worn the G before me and turned out to be the best in the conference, the best in the nation … to me, it's a chance to carry on the tradition of greatness."

Richt wants plays to enjoy their time off

Following Thursday's practice, the Bulldogs don't have to report back to school until 6 p.m. Sunday at what time they will begin their weekly preparations for next week's game against Florida.

Until then, Richt said he just wants his players to enjoy their free time. If they want to forget about football, that's fine with him.

"I probably wouldn't mind if they did that, whatever it takes to recharge their energy," Richt said. "Now, it would be nice if they watched the ball game (Florida at Mississippi State), but we've got plenty of film so they'll see what we need to show them. So, I don't mind if they just go fishing."

This and that

Freshman tight end Orson Charles has been put off limits to the media until the Florida game is complete. While still in high school, Charles accidently broke one of the Gators' national championship trophies during a recruiting trip.

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