June 17, 2009

Players blast Internet report

Georgia players reacted disparagingly to an Internet report brought to light by the Atlanta-Constitution that suggested a number of Bulldogs were only participating in summer weightlifting sessions three or four times a month.

Wednesday, an anonymous Internet article in Bleacher Report claimed players were only working out three or four times in a 30-day period.

"That's total BS," junior defensive tackle Brandon Wood said. "How can people say things like that?"

Actually, according to Wood, it's exactly the opposite.

Players lift weights four times a week - Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Participation, he said, has been 100 percent.

Woe be unto to the player that misses one of those days.

"If somebody comes in late, they have to stay over and we (the upperclassmen) make them do something," Wood said. "I admit it. I was late for my workout on Friday by a couple of minutes and my teammates held me accountable and made me go run after we got done with practice."

The article also suggested that strength and conditioning Coach Dave Van Halanger wasn't holding athletes accountable.

That very notion made head coach Mark Richt squirm. Truth is, Van Halanger has no say, but that doesn't mean the players haven't.

"The summer workouts are not mandatory. Period. If you try to make them mandatory you're breaking an NCAA rule," Richt said. "Bottom line, he's not allowed to, OK? But I tell you what. If you want an answer to that, you could talk to Joe Cox, Jeff Owens, talk to one of those cats and see what they say."

Cornerback Brandon Boykin agreed.

"This team is working hard to get better every single day. Everybody's in there, working hard to get ready for Oklahoma State," he said. "This is a player-driven team. If anybody has an excuse to miss a workout it better be a good reason. But everybody's out here working because they understand what we want to try and do this year."

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