CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mark Richt is casting a skeptical eye on recent rumors that Texas and Oklahoma have interest in going the SEC in the near future.
“I think if you are an assistant coach and you want to get a raise, you tell your head coach someone else is in love with you,” said Richt, the former Georgia and Miami head coach who now serves as an analyst for the ACC Network.
“Same thing as a head coach, you get a job offer from another school, and you find out how much your school loves you,’ Richt said on Thursday.
“I got a feeling these guys are trying to find out how much the league loves them, and if they don’t love them enough, they may make the jump.”
Richt said he was impressed with the ACC athletes who represented themselves at the Charlotte Westin, and particularly how they handled the hot-button issue of Name Image and Likeness.
“The NIL question, when they got asked about it, it was very mature answers,” said Richt, who originally said he felt locker room chemistry could be at risk.
“It seems they will be very responsible and keep the team concept. A lot of times they just say the right things, (but) they had me convinced they were going down the right path with it.”
Richt’s duties on Thursday were limited to football analysts, but on Wednesday the 61-year-old held a small press gathering where he revealed he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in May.
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“I’ve been doing a lot of speaking, and just getting around town, and it was becoming obvious I’ve slowed down a bit and my balance is not very good,” Richt said. “Everybody keeps asking, ‘What’s going on? Are you hurt? Is your back OK?’
“After a while, I got tired of feeding everybody a bunch of junk. So instead of one by one telling people what’s happening, I figured I’d just get out there and get it over with so I can move on with life.”
Moving on with the football narrative, Richt chuckled when asked about Dabo Swinney’s desire to play Georgia every year.
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“It would be a monster game year in and year out the way the programs are now,” Richt said. “I think Dabo likes to challenge his guys, and so does Kirby, so this will be probably the best game between the SEC and ACC this season, and they may play twice this year.
“The loser won’t be out, and the winner is not guaranteed to get in, but it’s going to be a great battle.”