ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart didn’t sound surprised when asked about LSU’s charges that there was no air conditioning in the visitor locker room at Texas last Saturday night.
“Some of the SEC facilities on the road, y’all should go around and do a story on, because there’s not very good locker rooms in the SEC on the road,” Smart said. “They’re mostly the old ’60s and ’70s locker rooms from stadium to stadium.
“It’d be a nice little story, some of the places that I’ve been to, and the dungeons you’ve been in. They’re not high-quality, and I’m not picking on other places because it’s not very good here. They’re not very nice. That’s just the way it is.”
Georgia senior defensive tackle Michael Barnett said the most recent example was at the start of this season, when the Bulldogs were severely cramped into the visiting locker room at Vanderbilt.
“I mean, how you’re sitting right there with this camera right here, and this camera right there, that’s how lockers are set up,” Barnett said.
“You can just imagine me (6-foo-4, 304 pounds) standing next to Jordan Davis (6-6, 330) and Tyler Clark (6-4, 300), and it’s like man, c’mon now, we need room, we’re big boys. And then there’s like a small little bench …. “
The Georgia players also had to walk an extra two blocks to Vanderbilt Stadium before the game. The lead UGA patrol escort had to respond to an incident, Smart said, and that led to the team bus taking a different route to the stadium.
Smart mentioned some of the problems on other bus trips, too.
“There were a couple of times we got stuck in a road block and couldn’t get to the game on buses and thought we were going to have to get out and walk on I-85,” Smart said. “That frustrates you but there’s not a lot you can do. Some things you can control and some you can’t.”
No doubt, Georgia couldn’t control it last season when the power went out at the team hotel during their morning preparations for LSU before departing the team hotel.
The visiting locker room issues certainly aren’t limited to the SEC.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh complained in 2017 about the facilities at Purdue’s Ross-Ade Stadium. Harbaugh told ESPN Purdue didn’t have air conditioning and had a medical table “out of the 1920s” and was missing an X-ray machine.
“It’s not supposed to be pleasant, you have another team coming in, you don’t want them to have a lavish locker room,” Barnett said. “But at least have them bigger.”
Georgia’s next road game is Oct. 5 at Tennessee, where Neyland Stadium once had a small, cramped road locker room with spider webs and bugs.
Georgia football coach Kirby Smart