Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War in 400 b.c. and it appears that Alabama and Nick Saban have been using this ancient text as their proverbial playbook since the great leader arrived in Tuscaloosa. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” One has to wonder why Greg McGarity and Kirby Smart did not employ that tactic regarding Jeremy Pruitt as the college football season winds down and recruiting battles heat up.
Kirby Smart, after spending several years under the tutelage of Nick Saban, has finally come home to Athens to be the field general for the University of Georgia football program. As the new leader, it is Smart’s responsibility to find those men who will serve under him to carry out his teachings and wishes. Georgia has not been a championship caliber program for some time. In fact, the only real bright spot that played with any consistency in 2015 was the defensive side of the ball.
Jeremy Pruitt, by way of Florida State, and prior to that Alabama, began to develop Georgia’s defense into one of the up and coming squads in college football. After only two seasons in Athens, Pruitt raised the level of talent and play for the “Junkyard Dawgs”. But Pruitt’s personality and style seemed to run counter to Richt and McGarity’s low profile approach. Well, now Richt has headed south and McGarity has hired Kirby Smart. Since Smart took over as the lead dawg just about one week ago, he has not hired a staff, left many questioning what direction the program will take, and made it clear that some coaches will not be retained for service.
Stories persist that Pruitt was gruff and rubbed members of Georgia’s administration the wrong way. So, with little fanfare, Pruitt appears poised to take over Kirby’s former position in Tuscaloosa. Smart could have gone a long way to smoothing over the situation and keeping Pruitt on staff for continuity, but he chose not to do so. DawgNation will have to wait to see who Smart employs to fill out his coaching vacancies. But while doing so, the enemy of a friend has now become an enemy of a nation. McGarity seemingly outflanked the Tide for a moment, and then Saban channeled Sun Tzu again.