ATLANTA -- The body was still warm Monday morning when college football programs began dissecting the decaying carcass that is Penn States football program.
Georgias coaches joined the feeding frenzy.
A short time after the NCAA announced staggering penalties to Penn State and announced that its players could transfer immediately with no penalty, the Bulldogs began exploring their options. Head coach Mark Richt said Monday night that he and his staff looked at Penn States two-deep depth chart and discussed things.
I dont know whats gonna happen, but were at least going to explore, Richt said, after speaking to Georgia fans at a UGA Day event in Atlanta.
One of his staff members who might have been contributing to the discussion was John Thomas, the associate director of strength and conditioning; Thomas spent two decades as Penn States strength coach before leaving for Georgia earlier this year.
Then again, the fact Georgia is interested, or has Thomas, doesnt mean it will get anybody.
Probably every football coach in America is looking at their roster, Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity said.
Richt cannot comment on specific recruits, per NCAA rules. Georgia was a finalist for at least two current Penn State players: linebacker Khairri Fortt and defensive end Deion Barnes.
But Georgia, which has lost numerous players this offseason, needs help in many areas, at least as far as depth. The NCAA scholarship limit is 85, while Georgia is more than a dozen below that.
We do have some space available, and if somebody fits a need, and they would be excited about coming, we were looking into that possibility, Richt said.
The timing of the news could also complicate matters. Georgia is scheduled to begin practice Aug. 2, so Richt sought to lower expectations that the Bulldogs would be pulling off any massive raid -- especially since plenty of other programs are making the same inquiries.
I dont want everybody to sit there and think were trying to load up a bunch of them, Richt said of Penn State players. It could be zero; it could be one or two. I dont know what it could be. Well just see if its a fit; well see if anybodys interested and go from there.
Georgia also reacted to the Penn State news on the administrative side.
Technically, McGarity was on vacation until noon on Monday. Still, the Georgia athletics director made sure he was in front of a television at 9 a.m..
Like anyone else in college sports, McGarity wanted to see the Penn State sanctions come down.
Its kind of a gut-check for all institutions to make sure your house is in order, McGarity said.
Two weeks ago, after the Freeh Report came out, McGarity met with his senior staff and requested that everyone review the reports 278 pages. McGarity said they did the same thing after previous NCAA findings at Tennessee and Southern California.
Then we huddled to make sure that what was in the Freeh Report was not happening here. We cant assume that we have no problems, McGarity said.
You never can assume that you dont have those situations there. But I know from the big picture that that is not the atmosphere on our campus.
McGarity said he also was confident in the chain of command procedures on campus, that all necessary information is passed up the chain correctly.
Absolutely, he said. But youve got to talk about it. Next time we meet with our coaches, were going to talk about it.
McGarity said he was fine with the NCAA coming down on Penn State in the manner it did, despite the lack of a formal investigation by the NCAA. The organization relied on the Freeh Report and the Sandusky court case.
Georgia basketball head coach Mark Fox wondered whether future cases -- such as those involving competitive violations -- would be treated as harshly.
Will the NCAA be as stiff on people that are cheating to get a competitive advantage? Are we going to throw the book at those people? I guess thats the great question, Fox said. Its ground-breaking territory.