ATHENS, Ga. — There were no conspiracies surrounding Georgia’s final game this season, but there are some harsh criticisms following the 28-21 loss to Texas in the Sugar Bowl.
Former Georgia great Tim Worley wrote a long, unapologetic rant published on USA Today fan site UGA Wire, taking issue with a number of factors surrounding Georgia's overall performance in New Orleans.
Worley has issues with players, including Deandre Baker, skipping the bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft, writing:
“I played in our bowl game when I knew I was declaring for the NFL Draft as a junior. ...
Why? Because we were supposed to play. Because our universities expected us to play. Because our scholarships required us to play. Because we gave our word to our families and to ourselves that, every time we were on the field, we were going to leave everything on it. And equally as importantly as all of those reasons, because our teammates depended on us to play, and we were not going to abandon our brothers.”
Worley took umbrage at coach Kirby Smart’s remarks, in which he said Texas just wanted the win more.
Specifically, Worley made reference to Smart suggesting players “hope they learn you better show up to play every game,” writing:
“With all due respect, Coach, ‘hope’ isn’t gonna get it done. You can’t ‘hope’ they get it. You have to make them get it. That only happens with a no-exceptions culture that is either bought into, or players play somewhere else. You’ve seen it done. As Alabama’s defensive coordinator, you have championship rings proving it can be done….with this generation of athletes. I mean no disrespect, but later for all that ‘hope’ stuff, bruh.
I’m not a journalist. I’m a ticked-off member of ‘Running Back U,’ and the issue that concerns me is entitled apathy.”
Worley is a former All-American tailback with the Bulldogs.
He is one of nearly two dozen Bulldogs to rush (1988: 1,216 yards) for more than 1,000 yards in a season.
His 89-yard run against Florida in 1985 -- in a famous 24-3 upset of the nation’s No. 1 team -- still stands as Georgia’s longest run.
Worley further questioned Smart’s leadership after players made critical remarks on social media following some subpar performances during the College Football Playoff semifinal games, which were played before the Sugar Bowl, writing:
“Here’s the truth. UGA players being comfortable with publicly blasting the Playoff Committee is, without question, a leadership failure. Mic. Drop.”
“Stop whining about where you’re not, and commit to where you are. You didn’t make it to the Playoff. You made it to the Sugar Bowl. Your job was to play like your life depended on it ... in the Sugar Bowl.
Jan. 2, 2019 hurt recruiting. It hurt the futures of those who will declare for the draft. It may not seem like it right away, but the long-term effects could be irreparable. The performance last night sent the wrong message. It encourages the pervasive sentiment that college ball is just a stepping stone to the NFL.”
Worley was an All-American at Georgia and a first-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He spends his time now traveling the country as a motivational speaker and life skills consultant to college and professional athletes.
Our investigative partners at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and AJC.com contributed to this report.
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