Georgia Team News

Father of Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship calls lack of scholarship an ‘injustice’

Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship
Philip Williams/Georgia Athletics

Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship’s father still isn’t happy about the lack of scholarship for his son.

In an email statement sent to the Macon Telegraph on Thursday, Ken Blankenship said it was an “injustice” that his son still hasn’t been awarded a scholarship for his play.

On Monday, both Rodrigo and Ken met with Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart where he informed the two that a scholarship was unlikely to be awarded for the 2017 spring semester.

“This is for public consumption, and I am writing this only as a parent’s attempt to defend his son’s victimization of an injustice,” Ken Blankenship wrote. “This has gone beyond the point of money being an issue. The real issue is whether our son deserves to be on scholarship.

“In two months, Coach Smart went from ‘We have a damn good field goal kicker over there’ to ‘I’m not sure if we trust Rodrigo to be the player we want in that position.’ That was the excuse/rationale/explanation he employed in our meeting on Jan. 2 after delivering a well-planned and well-conceived litany of deficiencies regarding our son’s practice, injury and emotional ‘issues.’ This would be AFTER he trusted our son enough to kick field goals and extra points for the last 10 games of the season.”

Blankenship, a walk-on redshirt freshman this season, made 14 of 18 field goals this season, with a long of 49. He took over the primary kicking duties from William Ham in the fourth game and kept them for the rest of 2016.

Ken Blankenship also wrote in the statement to the Telegraph that Smart said that “somebody else” could have done what his son did this season in a manner in which to discredit Blankenship’s on-field accomplishments.

Ken Blankenship said that Smart never mentioned anything about lack of scholarship numbers, which the NCAA caps at 85 per team.

“If Coach Smart had simply said, whether truthfully or not, that it was a numbers issue, it would have been much better than the tearing-down tactic with our son sitting there beside us,” Blankenship wrote. “What did he do for you ON THE FIELD, Coach Smart? For us, there exist no acceptable rationalizations or explanations for denying our son what he has deservedly earned: an athletic scholarship to continue playing football at the University of Georgia.”

As noted by Ken Blankenship, several scholarship players are leaving the program this offseason. He also added that the Bulldogs’ starting punter, holder and long snapper are all on scholarship.

Rodrigo Blankenship offered his take on the situation via Twitter.

In October, Ken Blankenship told the AJC that his son possibly would have to leave the school for financial reasons if he was not granted a scholarship. Earlier this week though after speaking with his father, Ken Blankenship Jr., Blankenship’s brother, said that was no longer the case.

For the full statement from Ken Blankenship, visit Macon.com.

RELATED: There’s now an air of mystery with Georgia’s kicking situation

(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)

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