ATHENS — Kirby Smart is eager to kick Georgia’s offseason speeding issues to the curb, but the two-time CFP championship coach has yet to figure out how to get that done.

“I’ll be the first to admit, we haven’t solved that issue or problem,” Smart said at a press conference held on Tuesday. “I don’t honestly know that anybody has, but for us it’s important to acknowledge it first.

“We’ve had a lot of intervention in terms of talking and visiting and discipline measures have been implemented.”

Coaches’ abilities to look out for players in the offseason has become more challenging since the introduction of Name Image Likeness legislation these past two years.

Unintended consequences

A trend of Georgia football players being ticketed for speeding and/or arrested on charges of reckless driving has made headlines throughout a challenging offseason.

Smart acknowledged some of the excessive speeding issues are in part a result of unintended consequences of NIL deals.

More than one Georgia player has been pulled over in a Jeep Trackhawk, a 707-horsepower vehicle capable of accelerating from 0-to-60 in 3.4 seconds and reaching 180 mph.

Some of the Georgia players’ super-charged vehicles were secured through NIL deals — including the powerful Trackhawks and Dodge Chargers involved in recent traffic violations.

Smart takes issue that some of his players’ speeding violations have been excessive, quite literally.

“NIL has given some of our players, and players in general, the capacity to get probably faster cars,” Smart said. “I think that points to (the article saying that it’s not necessarily just the volume of speeding tickets, it’s the speed of the speeding tickets.

“And that’s a bigger concern to me is the speed of the speeding tickets. Because high speeds, according to Georgia State Patrol who talked to our team, is where you get bigger accidents. And that’s the biggest concern we have in regards to that.”

More to the story

Smart said he’s “not going to blame NIL” for Georgia’s off-field issues.

The NIL funds have also done a lot of good for the players, Smart said, like enabling them to have their parents attend games or help family members in need.

“(But) has it also given them the ability to have a higher horsepower car? Absolutely,” Smart said. “That’s a microcosm of our society and the age group that we’re talking about that does that.”

Indeed, younger Georgia players have very little driving experience, much less behind the wheel of a supercharged car.

“It is a tough situation to manage when you have 18- to-22 year old men, a lot of them driving for the first time,” Smart said. " Every fall we have 25 new guys. We’ve averaged five guys who come here at 18 years old with no driver’s license, and we continue to work at it.

“I don’t have the exact answer. I wish I did. But we’ll continue to work at it.”

Youthful exuberance

Smart agreed there is a degree of human nature at work, as it is common for young men to sometimes feel an air of invincibility.

“That’s always a concern for the football coach … I worry about that every year, and I worry about that all the time,” Smart said.

“Like, how do we make sure that they understand that this is real life, that you’re not above the law, that you have to adhere to the principles and values of the organization?

“We’ve had guys who have been kicked off for not adhering to the principles and values of the organization.”

What’s next

The Georgia football offseason is rapidly coming to an end, with the annual SEC Media Days serving as the unofficial re-start of football talking season next Monday in Nashville.

Smart will be asked more questions, some about off-field issues, others about the prospect of this team becoming the first to three-peat since 1936 Minnesota.

Smart’s answers and approach aren’t any more likely to change than his resolve.

“I don’t know that we can ever eradicate speeding; I don’t know that that’s possible,” Smart said. “But I’m going to damn sure try. I’ll try my best because I don’t think what we’re doing right now has been effective enough.”