Former UGA RB Tim Worley calls out UGA effort after Sugar Bowl performance
A number of Georgia fans were less than thrilled about the Bulldogs’ performance in the Sugar Bowl against Texas. Georgia fell behind 17-0 just seconds into the second quarter and had its worst rushing output of the season in the 28-21 loss.
The effort came just days after a number of Georgia players tweeted about the College Football Playoff committee’s decision to put Notre Dame and Oklahoma into the College Football Playoff.
But few fans were as pointed with their critique as former Georgia running back Tim Worley. In a letter published on UGAwire.com, Worley called out a number of players as well as the leadership of the team.
Worley began by essentially calling out Deandre Baker for not playing in the Sugar Bowl. The senior defensive back made the decision to sit out Georgia’s bowl game. He projects to be a top NFL draft pick.
“‘Don’t @ me about their NFL careers. That’s not the point,” Worley said. “The point is, the bowl game I played in had three first-round picks in it. And we didn’t just play in the game. We. Went. At. It. Along with my backfield mate, Rodney Hampton (who was a first-round pick the following year), we flat out battled in that game. And, UGA won by a score of 34-27 in front of 76,000 people.
“Why? Because we were supposed to play. Because our universities expected us to play. Because our scholarships required us to play. Because we gave our word to our families and to ourselves that, every time we were on the field, we were going to leave everything on it. And equally as importantly as all of those reasons, because our teammates depended on us to play, and we were not going to abandon our brothers.”
Worley is far from being the only one critical of Baker’s decision to be with the team but not play in the Sugar Bowl, as Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN had similar comments.
Worley then went on to call out the leadership of Smart on multiple occasions in the letter.
“Coach Smart said Texas “wanted it more” and he said, ‘I hope they learn you better show up to play every game because the teams you’re playing at the end of the year are all capable of topping you.’
With all due respect, Coach, “hope” isn’t gonna get it done. You can’t “hope” they get it. You have to make them get it. That only happens with a no-exceptions culture that is either bought into, or players play somewhere else. You’ve seen it done. As Alabama’s defensive coordinator, you have championship rings proving it can be done….with this generation of athletes. I mean no disrespect, but later for all that “hope” stuff, bruh.
He also said that the fact the Georgia players were able to critique the College Football Playoff committee’s decision, “a leadership failure.”
Worley added that this game and effort will hurt Georgia in the future in a number of areas.
January 2, 2019 hurt recruiting. It hurt the futures of those who will declare for the draft. It may not seem like it right away, but the long-term effects could be irreparable. The performance last night sent the wrong message. It encourages the pervasive sentiment that college ball is just a stepping stone to the NFL. This dishonors the integrity of amateur football, diminishes the privilege it is to play next-level ball, disrespects the scholarship/investment the school has made in the player’s education and athletic ability (for those on scholarship), and throws up the middle finger at the responsibility that comes with the privilege of playing NCAA – and, I will with much bias say, especially SEC – football.
In his time at Georgia (1985-88), Worley rushed for 2,038 yards and 27 touchdowns. He was also a first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1989 NFL Draft.
The loss was Georgia’s third of the season, dropping them to an 11-3 record. Georgia opens the 2019 season on Aug. 31 when it takes on Vanderbilt. It will be safe to say that the Bulldogs could use the poor Sugar Bowl performance as motivation over the course of what will be a long offseason.