Is the squeaky wheel about to get greased?

In a USA Today piece about the NCAA considering a modification of some of the new recruiting rules, Greg McGarity is the only AD cited by name raising concerns:

Others in the Southeastern Conference, notably Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity, have been outspoken in their concerns about the measures, which they fear will escalate the “arms race” in recruiting even more.

Five years from now, if it’s apparent that McGarity’s only lasting legacy is saving the athletic department money, I suspect that in the circles that matter he’ll be considered a raging success.

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12 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

12 responses to “Is the squeaky wheel about to get greased?

  1. JG Shellnutt

    I still just don’t get it. I’ve asked before and I’ll ask again, in what way do we benefit from having a large surplus and not spending it?

    • i’ll caveat my response in that I don’t agree with the way our Athletic Department goes about its business. My understanding is multi-pronged on why the Athletic Department would want to keep the reserve fund pretty high. One is to avoid a Tennessee situation where we’re completely bankrupt because of bad decisions and having to pay multiple buy-outs concurrently. That is a completely stupid reason t keep money laying around, IMO, because it’s nothing more than a CYA fund if McGarity decides to become the next Mike Hamilton. Another reason is the goodwill engendered with taxing authorities when you are able to make a significant contribution to the University in keeping tax-exempt status.

      However, the most likely reason for keeping these funds on reserve (other than the obvious fact that this is the way business has been handled since Jan Kemp) is that when the Athletic Department does take on large capital projects such as the BM renovation, it can finance those through debt with a significantly lower cost of borrowing due to the extensive liquid assets on hand.

      I certainly understand why things are this way, but it seems silly to me that to upgrade our investment in the largest money-maker on campus to be commiserate with our peers would be a small drop in that surplus bucket when compared to the money that’s about to be rolling in from these new television contracts and upcoming SEC Network. Who knows how much of this philosophy is McGarity and how much of this are the marching orders he gets from his boss?

      • JG Shellnutt

        Thanks.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          I don’t know … Jobs hung onto a lot of cash at Apple. Was he hedging against a downturn? Or did he foresee Samsung and the need to litigate with deep pockets? Of course his mantra was copyright and litigate. At any rate those cash reserves are coming in handy. The way the new ESPN money is coming in the kids hawking cokes will have a 401 K. During the “if you build it they will pay big bucks years” I remember standing in a corn field in Oconee County listening to the owner explain why he wanted a zillion dollars for his 35 acres. And there was corn growing. Amazing.

  2. Well…if you know that you can’t or won’t compete with Saban in an arms race at least do the smart thing and avoid the arms race. Beats what we were doing which was just watching them get better without copying them OR fighting them.

    I’ve said for 2 years that he is an empty suit. I still feel that way. But at least he is fighting for something instead of just getting plowed over.

    If he had gone to any school other than UGA, I think fan tolerance for this penny pinching nonsense would have ended already.

    • MGW

      Not spending on facilities, etc. is one thing. But I agree; why force everyone in the league to all spend a bunch of extra money so they can all have the same exact competitive “advantage”. For example, does anyone in a knife fight really gain any advantage if everyone goes out and buys a gun? Its the exact same thing. Its just creating more expense for everyone so they can all effectively maintain the status quo among each other.

      So instead of saying, “yeah, lets all spend a bunch of extra unnecessary money on salaries so we can all still be better than the non BCS schools who can’t afford it.” Its, “how bout lets just not and it’ll be the exact same net result.”

      He hasn’t made any indication that if the rule survives we’ll just sit this one out; he’s fighting the rule. If it becomes permanent, expect him to end up doing the same thing as everyone else, and hiring these extra staffs.

  3. paul

    Take a look at Adams. His primary legacy is completely restructuring the university’s fundraising efforts. Give the man credit where credit is due. He’s quite good at it. They’re bringing in more money than ever before.The state continues to de-fund education while simultaneously demanding better results despite those shrinking budgets. As such, private money becomes ever more important. We are quickly turning into a system of privately funded public education. Administrators who can bring in money and manage that money wisely will be increasingly vital to the success of all institutions.

    • Jax

      This is true on the University level and for the individual colleges. Specifically, the Terry College is in the process of raising $90mm now – all private – to construct the new BLC (Business Learning Center). $10mm of this will not be used for hard costs, but to attract and retain the best business professors money can buy.

      The arms race does not stop with athletics, it drives the budgets of every school within the system. And it will eventually create backlash and major funding problems in the future. Your private donors are only going to give so much and you can only raise tuition so much.

  4. Jax

    McGarity is looking like a myopic bean-counter, not the president of an athletic business. Too bad, everyone will suffer watching him step over dollars to get to pennies.

  5. Hunkering Hank

    I think the question is, what is the mission? If the mission of the athletic department is to continue in operation over a lengthy period of time and to make money doing it, like a business, then McGarity’s actions can be seen as a logical way of going about that business. If the athletic department’s mission is to stay in the black while doing everything it can to help the red and black win, then McGarity is failing in front of our eyes.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      I think the mission is that we have a fine university that enjoys some monetary gain from its successful athletics program. Not an Alabama style semi-pro team that also has an educational subsidiary.