INDIANAPOLIS — When Georgia fired Mark Richt last autumn, it effectively sent a message to coaches across the SEC that 10-win seasons are not enough when rings are absent.
As his former star receiver Malcom Mitchell put it: “The SEC has become a league where the schools want championships, regardless of how many games you win.”
Mitchell spoke with reporters at the NFL scouting combine Friday. He was focused on a potential switch to defensive back, but he also had time to reflect on the end of the Richt era, saying he was “surprised” by the move but understood why it happened.
“From the business aspect of it — which is all I can answer, ’cause I don’t know their personal decisions — they wanted a championship,” Mitchell said. “And we as a team did not deliver that last season.”
While Mitchell moves on to the NFL, Richt has already begun building his program down in Miami. Meanwhile, Georgia went to the source of heightened expectations — Alabama — and hired defensive coordinator Kirby Smart to bring some of Nick Saban’s magic to Athens.
He’ll need to win 145 times before he reaches Richt in the Georgia record book.
“What’s fair and what’s not fair for a college football program?” Mitchell said. “I’m not sure. I know I loved (Richt) as a coach and as a person, and I was sad to see him leave that university.”
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