This morning, Tony Barnhart asks:
So instead of its fourth straight win, Georgia absorbs a heartbreaking loss. So I ask you: If Georgia’s Blair Walsh kicks the winning field goal in overtime instead of Florida’s Chas Henry, are we even having this discussion today? If Georgia wins that game is everybody saying that Richt has things back on track and he’s good to go for the future?
… and then has this for an answer.
If the answer to that question is yes, if the line between keeping a coach and letting him go is that fine, then you have to keep him.
I get his point, but I’m not sure it’s that simple. And in the case of Richt’s immediate supervisor, I hope it’s not that simple. McGarity’s got two things to be concerned about. One is focusing on what Richt can do to make the program better and providing whatever reasonable assistance he can to achieve that goal. On that front, Richt himself indicated on last night’s Bulldog Hotline that McGarity has some ideas to which the coach is receptive.
“So what are we going to do? We are going to go back and make sure everything we’re doing is the very best it can be. I am very encouraged with our new athletics director Mr. McGarity, Greg McGarity. I think he is very intent and excited about looking at every facet of our program and helping me and us make any type of changes that can help us. Of course, him being at Florida for some time certainly gives him the credibility of knowing what the national championship team looks like . . . I am excited about some of the things Mr. McGarity and I have talked about.”
But there’s another factor in the equation McGarity can’t ignore. Barnhart can talk all he wants about making dispassionate decisions about Richt’s fate, but fan bases by their very nature aren’t dispassionate. At some point, if apathy sets in, the program starts taking a hit in the pocketbook. And that’s something McGarity won’t be able to afford to tolerate for very long.