ATHENS — It had been a staple of most Georgia football team preseasons. They’d come to the locker room expecting to hold another practice, only to be given a treat: A day of swimming and diving.
“We’re going to the Ramsey!” players would yell, meaning UGA’s Ramsey Aquatic Center. Loud shouting and stomping would ensue, then players would head over to watch teammates – and Mark Richt – dive off the high board, and horse around in the water.
Alas – or perhaps not alas, depending on your outlook – that tradition isn’t continuing into the Kirby Smart era.
Smart said the preseason Ramsey trip was “not in the plans” after Tuesday’s practice, which was No. 15 out of 29 this preseason.
“Our guys understand that we’ve got work to do,” Smart said. “We’ve got a certain amount of time to get it in in that amount of time. Not to mention, I have no idea when I’ll lose a practice to rain, so the minute I do that (go to the Ramsey) I could lose two. And I’ve got to keep that in my back pocket.”
The Ramsey Day also didn’t happen in 2005, the one year Smart was on Richt’s staff as an assistant coach. But it did happen most other years. Since 2010, the only time it hadn’t occurred was 2011, the year after the Bulldogs had their only losing season under Richt.
Richt, who grew up diving in south Florida, would often highlight the trip with a backwards fall and dive off the high board. Sometimes Richt would do it fully-clothed. Last year men’s basketball coach Mark Fox joined the festivities and jumped in fully-clothed.