John Clay: Georgia assistant's action warrants firing

Choking gesture deserves firing

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistNovember 4, 2010 

Random (soapbox) notes:

■ Todd Grantham should be fired. Now. The Georgia defensive coordinator who made a "choke" gesture and yelled obscenities at Chas Henry as the Florida kicker was lining up for the winning overtime field goal in last Saturday's game, should be relieved of his employment.

He won't be, of course. Georgia Coach Mark Richt has already downplayed the incident, but the SEC should step in and at least suspend Grantham for one, if not multiple games.

Come on. Have college athletics become so mercenary, so dollar-oriented it would let something so egregious — a coach of one team making insulting gestures and screaming obscenities at a player on the other team — slide? Will we excuse anything and everything in the name of winning?

Some Georgians have insinuated Henry said something to the Bulldogs' sideline earlier in the game. Maybe he did. But Grantham is the adult. Supposedly.

And for those who think Grantham got caught up in the heat of the moment: then, I guess, it would be OK if Billy Donovan or Bruce Pearl or Mark Fox were to make similar gestures and yell obscenities at a UK player at the foul line at the end of a tie game?

■ On a related note, there is a good reason no one at Notre Dame has been fired over the tragic death of Declan Sullivan, the student and film crew member who died when his scissors lift collapsed at practice during a windy day. Notre Dame doesn't want to admit fault. Not before a settlement.

■ One more from the soapbox: Maybe Kevin Garnett shouldn't be fired, or at least released. But if the Celtic really did trash-talk Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva by saying he looked like a "cancer victim," then Garnett should be suspended, as well.

■ The thing about John Wall: he can rise to the occasion. Tuesday night was not just his home debut with the Washington Wizards, it was his first game against No. 2 overall pick Evan Turner. Wall responded with 29 points, 13 assists and nine steals. No one has put those kinds of numbers together in an NBA game this season. No one.

■ Didn't you think ex-UK defensive tackle Myron Pryor had broken Brett Favre's jaw last Sunday when the Patriot slammed into the Vikings' quarterback?

■ Combine the Blue-White scrimmage with Monday's exhibition game and Kentucky has made eight of 37 three-point attempts. Ouch.

■ That said, Brandon Knight is going to be fun to watch, and listen to this season.

■ I'm all for the new rules cracking down on hand-checking and bumping in college basketball. As often happens, the pros tried it out first, and it has worked for the NBA. Watching more of the play-for-pay guys these days, and at present the NBA offers a cleaner game.

■ The Bengals are done. But you knew that already. Were I Mike Brown, I'd shed Ocho and T.O. and play for the future. I would not shed Marvin Lewis.

■ Mississippi State's cowbells are a minor problem. A major problem will be holding on to Dan Mullen after this season. Some big boys are going to be knocking on Scott Stricklin's door asking for permission to speak to Mullen.

■ Speaking of MSU, a 7-2 start and Top 25 ranking are overshadowed by the reality check offered by the unexpected passing of 20-year-old Nick Bell, a State defensive end who died Tuesday from skin cancer complications.

■ Poor Randy Moss. After the Vikings lost to the Jets, and he skipped the post-game interview, he was fined $25,000 for not cooperating with the media. After the Vikings lost to the Patriots, and Moss talked to the media, telling them how much he loved the Patriots, he was placed on waivers. The guy just can't win.

Reach John Clay at (859) 231-3226 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3226, or jclay@herald-leader.com. Read his blog at Kentucky.com.

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