Georgia coach Mark Richt was having lunch Thursday at the Georgia Continuing Education Center with former Bulldog coach Vince Dooley, Loran Smith and former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr when time came for the bill to be paid.
"I was getting to pay but Loran seemed pretty anxious to be the one," Richt laughed before Thursday night's practice. "I don't know, maybe it (the money to pay the bill) came from the Athletic Association or something. Maybe it came out of the fund for the (coaching) clinic."
Richt was being factitious, of course.
With Thursday's decision by the UGA Athletic Association that it was bumping Richt's salary from $2.2 million to $2.8 million, Georgia's head coach could have certainly afforded to spring for his friends.
Richt joked that his wife Katharyn doesn't even know about his boost in pay.
"She's in Romania right now, so I don't think she even knows," Richt said. "She might come home and not read the paper. If she does that, I'll be in good shape."
Richt's assistants will also receive a bump in pay which he will disperse at a later date.
"I've always been excited about being at Georgia, that's never waned," Richt said. "I've been treated extremely well in a lot of areas and one being salary.
"I've never felt like I've been mistreated in any way. I've always been treated extremely well and thankful and I was excited a month ago as I'm excited today. The money doesn't drive me, but I believe a strong contract is good for the stability of the program, it's good for the stability for our coaching staff and our players, too, I believe."
As for celebrating with his wife when she returns; Richt says don't count on it.
"It's a big deal, no doubt, but we won't go bonkers over it or anything," he said. "I'm just thankful that we've got more that we can find good causes to give to."
Coaching clinic draws hundreds
Between 350 and 400 high school coaches from across the state and southeast are attending this week's annual Coaching Clinic being hosted by UGA.
Carr was the featured speaker for the clinic, and spent much of Thursday with Richt, who took the former Michigan coach on a tour of the Bulldog facilities.
"He's a very humble guy who would have every right to think he's pretty good," Richt said. "I really enjoyed spending time with him."
Richt expects some spring answers
Richt doesn't anticipate spring to provide all the answers regarding what players will fill the few vacant starting and backup roles. But he figures on having a pretty good idea.
"I think we'll learn how many guys will at least show signs they deserve to play and deserve an x-amount of playing time," Richt said. "Some guys may leave spring as a No. 1, but won't be guaranteed that they'll remain that way."
Richt cited former great David Pollack as an example.
"David really kind of struggled in the spring before really coming on in the summer before preseason," Richt said. "Sometimes you just never know."
This and that
High school coaches were given an up close and personal look at Thursday night's practice, which was limited to just 12 periods instead of the customary 18. Coaches were allowed to mingle amongst the different positions as they took park in individual drills.
Demiko Goodman (leg), db]Justin Houston[/db] (leg), ( Neland Ball (shoulder), Darius Dewberry (groin), and Tanner Strickland (ankle) each wore green non-contact jerseys Thursday.
The Bulldogs wrap up their first week of spring drills this afternoon before taking next week off for spring break. ... Offensive lineman Vince Vance and linebacker Akeem Dent got in a brief scuffle during a scrimmage Thursday. No one was injured.
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