A brief AD dissent (not the one you’re thinking of)

I’m sorry if this offends some of you, but I can’t let this little bit of hackery from Tony Barnhart slide by without objection:

[Vince] Dooley is in the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach. His peers will tell you that he was an even better athletics director.

If by peers, he means people like Mike Hamilton, well, okay.  For the rest of us non-arena folks, “better than Hall of Fame” seems a bit of a stretch.  I’m not saying Coach Dooley was a bad athletic director – he had his share of hits and misses on hirings (although Goff’s was a debacle due to the department’s disarray in the wake of Dooley’s resignation) and firings (hanging Goff out to dry with how that last year was handled wasn’t fair to either the coach or the program) but he was a good steward on the budget front and the program certainly grew under his direction.  Plus, he was on the side of the angels in bringing the antitrust suit against the NCAA over TV broadcast rights.

However, when you’ve got Jan Kemp and Jim Harrick, Jr. on your watch and your defense in both cases is essentially blissful ignorance, it’s hard to make a case that you walk with the immortals.  The school and its supporters were not served well in either situation.

So welcome back and eyes on the prize, Greg McGarity.  Here’s hoping that Barnhart got the part of his post about you dead on.

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35 Comments

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35 responses to “A brief AD dissent (not the one you’re thinking of)

  1. Dawg93

    Couldn’t agree more. And ask any long-time, rabid UGA basketball supporter (if you can find one) and they will laugh at the notion of Dooley being a HOF AD.

    Or how about letting a guy like Freddie Jones continue to run the ticket office for so many years?

    • No One Knows You're a Dawg

      The way he and Adams tried to use the problems of the basketball program as a weapon to destroy the other created problems which endure to this day.

      Ultimately, Vince wasn’t looking out for the best interests of UGA athletics, but rather was looking out for #1 whatever the consequences. It’s a character trait which appears to have been passed on to his son in Knoxville.

  2. Scott W.

    Well, in the same article he calls “Panty-gate” an unspeakable human tragedy. I mean it was a crap day but that’s a little dramatic.

  3. Dog in Fla

    Correct. History plus current events clearly show that thus far Vince was a better AD than Mike Hamilton. And the one at Vanderbilt.

    “They [us?] were profoundly embarrassed by the Damon Evans episode, which was an unspeakable human tragedy,”

    somewhat like when my church co-ed league softball game was rained out, i knew exactly how the victims of Katrina felt.

  4. 69Dawg

    Sports hacks are such Drama Queens. Damon was caught with his panties down but the only tragedy was his personal one. The Greeks were right on with their drama of how the hero always was undone by his faults. Damon knew better but his ego and testosterone got the best of him.

  5. HVL Dawg

    For a few years I thought that I was the only one looking at Dooley with a little skepticism. I worshiped the man as a child, but in his twilight he sullied himself several times and thought he could get away with it because he’s Vince Dooley.
    In retrospect, I never looked at him the same way after he told us he was going to coach at Auburn.

    Jan Kemp? I give him a pass. That was the way things were done back then. Jim Harrick? No pass.

    Don’t forget schools right to collect royalties for their trademarks. That was a HUGE and Dooley gets the credit.

    • Don’t forget schools right to collect royalties for their trademarks. That was a HUGE and Dooley gets the credit.

      That and the antitrust suit are the reasons why I suspect his peers hold him in high esteem.

  6. Smitty

    7 years of Ray Goff.

    • Zdawg

      That is a stain that is really tough to bleach out. Goff’s last year I couldn’t give away Auburn tickets out in front of the gate. But its really more than 7 years when you consider how long it took to rebuild.

      • Gen. Stoopnagle

        two years? 10-2 in ’97 got UGA back on track.

        Dooley wanted to keep Donnan for ’01.

        Dooley didn’t hire Goff, but he did hire Ron Jirsa. Granted, he hired Tubby Smith, too.

        • Gen. Stoopnagle

          Wait, isn’t that right? Dooley excused himself from the football search that hired Goff, right? I may not have the whole story on it, so if someone with a better since of that time wants to re-cap, I’m all ears.

          • Here’s the story, as Ray Goff tells it. It’s fairly accurate, except that he undersells the Erk Russell part. Erk wanted the job; the fan base wanted Erk. However, the search committee and Knapp couldn’t get their act together and initially made a contingent offer that led Erk to realize he didn’t want to screw around with them.

            • HowlnWoof

              I would argue that Charles Knapp was the greatest force in the demise of Georgia football. As I understand it, Dooley wanted Erk as HC. In addition, Knapp seemed determined to raise academic standards at UGA with student-athletes! This led to disappointing athletic results, and of course, no notable improvements to overall academic success.

              God, how I wish we could turn back the hands of time to see what might have been with Erk at the helm!

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                You got that right!

                • rbubp

                  Knapp was an outstanding president in almost every other way, though.

                  Please do not forget that before getting Donnan, Dooley hired Glen Freaking Mason, who saved the school’s bacon considerably by turning down the position and then going to the powerhouse University of Minnesota a year later, where he confirmed his third-rate status without delay.

                  • Mayor of Dawgtown

                    You’re right! I forgot about that potential disaster Glen Mason–and VD was going to hire him. Plus, remember that VD endorsed DE as the guy to succeed him as AD, though I always thought that VD knew that DE was a loser and did that as a way to get back at UGA for running him off. The more we talk about this the worse the job VD did as AD is beginning to look.

              • NCT

                Knapp had been executive vp at Tulane in the administration that saw Tulane’s basketball problem blow up in scandal. I’ve always believed that was a significant plus on his résumé in the minds the hiring powers. From the University’s standpoint in the wake of the Kemp matter, it was absolutely necessary to make as many strong statements as possible that the University was serious about not sacrificing academic reputation to favor athletics. Knapp was exactly the right man at the time and did a fantastic job.

                I don’t know if reputation recovery from Kemp required so many years of wandering in the football wilderness, but if there is a causal relationship, it was absolutely worth it. Let us not forget that UGA’s recruiting standards changed and were, for a time, more academically stringent than our competitors’.

  7. JaxDawg

    The hiring of Ray Goff was the worst hire in the history of UGA. There were so many more qualified candidates and we went with what the bullshit “search committee” recommended. ANd anyone know a horse designed by a committee is a camel.

    Hold it – Goff was the second worst hire. Ron Jirsa was the worst. Both were on Dooley’s watch.

    But so was Tubby and Richt so I credit him for that. But Goff? Really? We could have had ERK!

  8. Noonan

    I can’t forgive Dooley for the Goff hire, which made my years at UGA very dismal (2-2 against Vandy as an undergrad).

    • HowlnWoof

      Dooley did not make the hire, or at least he was not responsible for it. The “search committee” screwed it up before he could.

      Erk could not afford to have it look like UGA turned him down, so he acted first. We screwed up…or that is the way I understand it.

  9. Bulldog Bry

    Am I dreaming or were our “student athletes” less studious under Dooley? Seems like Damon improved that part of it as well.

  10. I must disagree. Dooley helped start several programs & for the most part did an excellent job of hiring coaches, running the dep’t, & making UGA relevant in all sports. I respect & admire both Butts & Dooley as HCs but i definitely believe that Dooley was an even better AD than He was a HC.

    • Russ

      I agree. Dooley had a couple of wiffs (Jirsa being the main one), but Harrick was as much Adams as Dooley. Adams had already neutered Vince by that time.

      I’m a little surprised by the vitriol here towards Vince. I think Richt is a better coach, but Vince was a great steward of the program and overall was a big reason for any success we’ve had over the past 35 years.

  11. Thank you.

    Vince Dooley was a HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE AD.

    He presided over multiple outrageous scandals, and hired countless trash coaches.

    The way he handled the Goff era was unreal. Hiring him in the first place, keeping him as long as he did, and when he finally fired him, doing it in a super crappy way.

    Donnan was similar. Not a stupid hire, but not a great one, and if not for Michael Adams, Dooley would have kept Donnan even longer.

    Vince Dooley presided over the near DESTRUCTION of UGA’s football pedigree. He was a terrible, terrible AD.

  12. Tommy

    I can’t help but feel embarrassed for Tony Barnhart. He writes like your golf buddy, which is fine as a premise, but it’s remarkable how bland, melodramatic and unprofessional that looks in print.

    How many columns has he written that contain a sentence that starts with “Trust me …” Um, Tony, as a member of the Fourth Estate, isn’t it your job to provide well-sourced facts so I don’t have to trust you? Is that asking too much of someone employed by such fringe outlets as CBS and the AJC?

    That “profound” embarrassment over Damon? A coworker kidded me at lunch about it. Such was the extent of my suffering. Had the panties been in my lap, sure. But in the lap of some administrator I’ve never met? Eh, life goes on, Tony.

    My issue with the Hall of Fame AD bit isn’t the implied historical revisionism. It’s the emptiness of the statement. Basically, Barnhart’s comment boils down to “Vince’s friends say nice things about him.” Not exactly Woodward & Bernstein reporting there, Tony.

  13. AthensHomerDawg

    My neighbor -a big Tech fan ….hung red panties out on his porch flagpole. Yes it was a shot at me and my Bulldog flag, and yes each and every time he violates an ordinance …..parks against the traffic flow, runs his blower after hours, or what ever I am on the phone. Color me petty. That Evans thing will take as long or longer than the Goff hire to get past.

    • NCT

      That Evans thing may take longer to get past, but the consequences aren’t nearly as significant (your personal neighborhood misfortune notwithstanding). That Evans thing likely will linger forever, as did the Kemp thing and Goff. But it’s not nearly as significant as either of those, nor is it as embarrassing.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I recommend that you go over to your neighbor’s porch with a cigarette lighter and end the problem.

  14. Ben There

    Guys, you really need to know that Vince DID NOT HIRE RAY or HARRICK. If you believe that you are simply WRONG. A committee hired Ray and Vince was not on the committee. He was busy planning to run for a political office. Adams hired Harrick. They were pal from way back. He didn’t ask Vince for an opinion.

  15. shane#1

    Let’s get real here fellas, Donnan was not a bad coach and, IMO, he was NOT fired for losing ball games. The guy just wanted to be left alone to coach his players. Donnan either did not understand or did not care about the most important job of a head coach at a state university, which is to get big checks from wealthy boosters. If a coach becomes a living legend like Bear Bryant he can afford to tell the fat cats to go to hell, but it takes several NCs to reach that point.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      There was also the problem of Donnan having his kid as QB coach. As I understand the story Adams told Donnan that he had to get rid of some assistants including Donnan’s kid and Donnan refused.That is supposedly what led directly to Donnan getting fired.