Dithering, a Butts-Mehre tradition

Before you get cranked up, this isn’t a post about Mark Fox.  It’s a post about the decision-making process behind Fox’ future.

Say what you will about the mediocrity of this season’s SEC basketball, Fox has coached a historical season at Georgia.  And as Towers notes, he’s done that in the wake of the departure of the most talented player he’s coached in Athens. Even so, realistically speaking, the best this team can likely hope for is a middling seed in the NIT.

If you’re Greg McGarity, you pretty much know what you’ve got with Fox’ five years in Athens.  The only question left to answer is whether this season represents a floor from which Fox will inspire recruits to come to his program and lead Georgia basketball to bigger and better things, or a ceiling that shows the limit on how much Fox can wring out of the talent he’s able to coax to come play for him. That’s a conclusion you should have already reached by now.  We shouldn’t be reading tweets like the above and nodding our heads in agreement.

There are three possibilities about Fox’ fate.  One, McGarity is waiting to deal with an extension until after the season is over.  (That begs the question why, but roll with me here.)  Two, maybe Fox is gone, but McGarity doesn’t want that news to affect the rest of this season.  And three, McGarity is reluctant to make a decision, and is waiting to see if a decision can be forced upon him by a turn of events, like, say, Georgia shocking the world by winning the SEC Tournament and landing as a high seed in the NCAAs, or the opposite in a two-game flame-out in the SEC and NIT.

I have no idea which is the case.  If it’s the third scenario, what he’s likely to get is something in between, and what he’s likely to do as a result of that is uncertain.  It seems to me that passivity in the form of letting Fox stay without a contract extension likely dooms Fox and the program to more seasons of mediocrity.  But it’s an option that wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if taken.

The reason I’m playing the pessimist here is because I hear the faint echoes of a decision made by one of McGarity’s predecessors – Vince Dooley’s infamous one-year ultimatum to Ray Goff.  It was a call that served no interests well, other than letting Dooley put off an unpleasant task for a year while hoping for a miracle to let him off the hook.  That’s not good management.  But sitting in limbo is too often the Georgia way.

When it comes to folks behaving badly, this athletic department has no problem cutting them off with alacrity, condemning and decisive all the way. But when it comes to judging how to deal with performance, that’s a whole ‘nother matter. Routinely operating in no man’s land is a sign of lacking confidence in decision-making on an organizational level.  It’s why I marvel at those of you who are so certain that finding a successor to Mark Richt is such a slam dunk.  I don’t say that because I think Richt is the man, come hell or high water.  I just don’t get why some of you fail to see what I see – that the hire of Richt, in the context of how the athletic department has often screwed around with hirings and firings since Joel Eaves’ departure, was a lucky break as much as anything else.  There’s no guarantee they’ll have the same luck the next time.

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79 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

79 responses to “Dithering, a Butts-Mehre tradition

  1. DawgPhan

    I dont understanding why waiting till the season is over with is a bad thing. Seems like the prudent thing to do.

    Coaches negatively recruiting…how is that new?

    • If you’ve decided Fox is getting an extension, why is it prudent to wait to announce it?

      • 81Dog

        I would argue the same is true if you’ve decided to fire him. Either way, if you made the decision, what is the point of keeping it a secret? That suggests to me that no decision has been made, because the decision makers can’t make up their mind(s).

        Me? I think Fox has shown this year that he’s a pretty damn good coach on the floor. He deserves a chance to show that he can get a couple of top shelf recruits to buy in to what he’s doing here. I’m not sold that he’s the next John Wooden, but I think he’s earned an extension by getting his team to focus, improve and play hard after a pretty bad November/December run. After the Tech game, I figured this team might not win an SEC game, but my hat is off to the coach.

        You’re right, though. Dithering over personnel decisions in the athletic department is a hallowed tradition at UGA. I’m not a win immediately or you’re all fired kind of guy by any means. Sometimes, the suits need to do what Fred Davison did in 1974, after a mediocre football season when the cries to “dump Dooley” were getting pretty loud. Fred called VD in, gave him an extension, and let him get back to coaching.

        If you think you have the guy, support him. If you think you have the wrong guy, fire him. But make the call.

      • DawgPhan

        Because you havent decided on the details of the extension and the next week or so is going to play a role in that.

        • If the next week matters, then you really haven’t made up your mind, right?

          • DawgPhan

            The next week is a pretty big data point. Mind made up or not, at this point it seems prudent to me to gather one more set of data before finalizing things.

            For me, if Fox does pull the shocker and wins the SEC or somehow wins an NCAA game, I am paying up for him. 2 NIT wins also makes me pay up, meaning add a year and $100k ish and maybe some contracts for assistance.

          • Bright Idea

            This may be the ceiling and the floor. Surely Fox won’t be fired now. As for the extension, I’m glad I don’t have to make that call. Continuing to blame Stegeman is stupid. The bb/gym facility is first class.

        • Joe Schmoe

          You could easily leak that you were in negotiations on an extension without details. It would silence the negative recruiting.

  2. Silver Britches

    Hell, McGarity might just be waiting on another revenue stream to come in before he deals with Fox.

    In all seriousness, Fox has done a fantastic job this year. The continual improvement is a sign of good coaching. Everybody but Williams is back next year. But Fox strikes me as the kind of guy that wouldn’t appreciate being jerked around by his boss. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he made a lateral move.

    • 81Dog

      One wonders what Coach Fox could do with just one or two more difference makers, especially big guys. If the Parker kid had come to UGA instead of UCLA, or the Carter kid had come to UGA instead of Tech, or one of the shooters that always end up someplace else? Just a little more talent.

      It’s clear the guy knows what he’s doing as a teacher and motivator. The tradition (sic) of UGA basketball is not exactly compelling, but if we could just string a few good years together, it could change. History is what happened in the last 3 or 4 years to a kid in high school, and there is lots of high school talent in this state.

      that said, I’ve been watching coaches push that boulder up the hill since Ken Rosemond. One of these days, someone will get to the top of the hill.

      • My dad and I were talking about that this weekend. One view is that Fox’s recruiting simply hasn’t been up to snuff, based on who actually signed (which ultimately is what matters). And I think we all agree.

        But the other side of the coin is that Fox has had us in the mix for more elite talent than prior coaches. He signed KCP. But he came close with guys like Parker, Carter, etc who may not have even looked at us before, and we at least got some serious consideration. Hard to quantify that as a success though because whether you finish 2nd in the sweepstakes or never get considered at all, the result is the same. But on the other hand, you gotta start somewhere, and at least we are being considered.

        But I have no idea how you factor that into the evaluation of a coach.

        • Otto

          I’m not sure anyone can recruit better within the rules without the University spending more on Basketball facilities. In my opinion Fox is doing a great job, and the recruits will come when the AD and school funs show recruits that everything behind football isn’t a distant 2nd.

          • Otto -over the last 10 years, UGA has spent 45million on facilities for hoops. Only AU has spent more in the SEC. Over the past 15 years, we are 3rd behind AU and SC. Both of whom suck. It ain’t the bricks on the outside. It’s the ones on the court that are killing us.

        • D.N. Nation

          I like Fox and think he’s a terrific in-game coach. Give him Calipari’s players (remember: Kentucky and Georgia have the same SEC record) and he’s taking that team to the Final Four.

          That said, Fox has often been his own worst enemy with recruiting. I suppose it’s good that we’re mentioned in the mix for all these blue chips, but that’s all it ever is. Meanwhile, we’re letting 3- and 4-star guys slip away in the night. As has been noted on DawgSports, Wichita State has a guard averaging 11/4/2 a game from Marietta. Why isn’t he in Athens?

          If Fox can nail down the middle guys, rather than whiffing on the top and settling for the bottom, then he’ll build a winner.

  3. If Fox was strapped by losing a talented player Felton was equally compromised by facing a loss of scholarships and cleaning up after the Adams/Harrick disaster. Felton went on to two NIT’s, won an improbable SEC tourney and made the one and done trip to the NCAAs. In his 5 years he held a .480 record.
    Fox in his 5 years has made an NCAA trip and has that bye for the SEC tourney. He currently has a .520 record at Georgia.

    • Normaltown Mike

      Felton’s biggest problem was Felton.

      He was bad at the PR side of job (hated the tipoff club), refused to work with AAU coaches and dismissed players capriciously. If Georgia B-ball is a deformed 3 legged stool that requires at least 2 of the above to be in place to survive, then Fox is ok.

    • Alkaline

      If your point is that we’re going to have to give a coach more time to prove himself and get over the program’s inherent shortcomings, then I mostly agree. But apart from the SEC tourney run, Felton had been trending downward for several seasons. Besides, I think Sundiata deserves the credit for that and not Felton.

    • Felton never lost scholarships. The 5/8 rule made it so those sanctions never had a real impact on his recruiting. Felton had plenty of scholarships, especially when a majority of the kids he brought in failed to more than 2 years on campus before getting out.

  4. Normaltown Mike

    To his credit, McGarity canned Jay Clark after just 3 years. He also didn’t continue the charade of Perno as skipper of the Diamond Dawgs.

    Both of those guys had deep ties to the program and community but McGarity saw them underperforming to the expectations of their respective program.

  5. JRod1229

    While I do think Fox has proved his ability as a floor general the fact of the matter is, he can’t recruit at his current level and hope to succeed. He found some diamonds in the rough (Kenny Gaines) but to truly compete year over year he’ll need to get some actual quality recruits and he has plenty of opportunities in Atlanta.

    To me this isn’t an easy decision.. because if you give him an extension for 4 years and UGA immediately goes back to previous years (something I doubt happens, but could) then where are you?

    • Silver Britches

      I’m only 33, so my history with UGA basketball is somewhat limited. That being said, the only coach I’ve seen that could flat out recruit was Harrick, and we all know how that turned out. I’m of the opinion that you can be a good recruiter (Fox got KCP and had several NBA players at Nevada), but the negative inertia of Georgia basketball is a monster to overcome. It’s going to take time. You have to rely on the diamonds in the rough (DA Layne, Sundiata Gaines, Charles Mann) and hope you can eventually blow the lid off. I truly believe we’re a sleeping giant, but we haven’t had sustainable success to wake us up.

  6. With Fox, I’m kinda where I was after the 2010 season with Richt. Extend him, but don’t put too big of a buyout on there. Mad props to Fox and the team for their turnaround, but they did catch some breaks. The first obvious break was how awful the conference is as a whole. The second was that even though we had to play all 3 on the road, we only had to play UF, UK, and UT one time each, and those are the 3 best teams in the conference.

    I guess you could argue that playing them a second time would have given a chance for an RPI boosting win, but we lost by 20 to all 3 of them, odds are playing them a 2nd time, even at home, would have meant more losses. But I don’t see how you can’t give Fox another year, and if you’re gonna give him another year, you have to extend him for recruiting purposes. Like I said, just don’t put too big a buyout in there in case this is the ceiling, not the floor.

    But yeah, regardless of what decision you’re gonna make, just go ahead and do it. I do tend to be a “benefit of the doubt” kind of guy though….it’s possible McG has decided to keep Fox, has communicated that to Fox, and Fox asked for all discussions to be held off until after the season so it didn’t appear that he was being distracted from coaching.

    • It isn’t the MEN’S basketball coach that McGarity should be making a decision on.

      • Normaltown Mike

        No kidding.

        He’s been saying he’s “about to retire” for several years now. Get it over with already.

      • Bob

        Amen, amen, amen. In my mind, Mark Fox is a slam dunk. Given what he is working with in tradition (lack of) and facilities (nice face on an old dump), it is a steep climb. He/we have got to start recruiting those 4 star kids…but we also need some stability and the guy can flat out coach. Listen towhat other coaches in the conference have to say about him.

        On the other hand, our women’s basketball program has been in free fall. And I have heard nothing about changing there. In a league traditionally dominated by the Vols, the Lady Dawgs used to be their sole challenge. Now we are challenging for the bottom of the league and have ceased to be considered remotely competitive in the league.

        • sUGArdaddy

          If only we had some former alumni who are former multi-Olympians, love UGA, and are iconic in the women’s game, who might just make awesome coaches and recruit lights out. If only…wait, what?

  7. Governor Milledge

    I think your 3 options, Senator, are not the only options.

    Only 1 scholarship is up for grabs in the next year. Literally speaking, Fox will win or lose next year with the horses who he has on the roster this season. So don’t be so quick to sound the recruiting alarm… it’s a concern absolutely, but the horizon on this is a lot further out than the Tweet or your post suggests.

    Sure, losing KCP was a big loss and affected the early rhythm of the team. But if Fox really is our guy, he has the opportunity to show that he can coach up the same guys next season to bigger and better things. Given our apparent recent progress, there’s no reason to think we shouldn’t be a Tournament-level team next year. And I don’t think McG is being dilatory to not automatically extend Fox, especially when any recruiting impact is very minimal, as highlighted above.

    All that being said, if Fox wins a game or two in the SEC Tourney to make it into the Tournament this year, he gets his extension.

    • All that being said, if Fox wins a game or two in the SEC Tourney to make it into the Tournament this year, he gets his extension.

      That worked out great with Felton.

      Perfect illustration of the B-M mindset.

      • Governor Milledge

        Evans made that personnel decision, not McG.

        Besides, Felton crapped himself in 2008-09 season with both Leslie AND Thompkins on the roster. Given the run to the miracle run to the Tournament, winning an SEC basketball title, and with both primary talents returning, I don’t recall you or anyone else at the time advocating for Felton to be canned after that run. Do you think a new coach at the time would have been able to keep Leslie & Thompkins from not declaring early?

        With the roster returning under Felton the following year (losing only Bliss and Gaines), I think there was cautious optimism that Felton could coach the roster up. And Felton proved himself very inadequate that following year.

        I get that you’re basically advocating a more general ‘crap or get off the pot’ to B-M, but given the lack of specific basketball recruiting pressure for the following season, what is the real pressure to sign Fox to an extension immediately? Your premise is that recruiting may be affected, but if there’s only one scholarship up in the air, is it really an issue (scholly source: http://dogbytesonline.com/fox-mcgarity-tight-lipped-on-coachs-future-81692/)?

        Fox is going to have the same horses next year, so he willl have all the opportunities to show whether it’s a roster maturity/imbalance after KCP graduating, or if it’s a sheer inability to coach YoY improvements in his players.

        • Normaltown Mike

          If only the Blockin’ Moroccan hadn’t left Georgia for Iona, Felton might still be our coach…

        • Evans made that personnel decision, not McG.

          Did you read my post, starting with the header? This is how Butts-Mehre functions.

          I get that you’re basically advocating a more general ‘crap or get off the pot’ to B-M, but given the lack of specific basketball recruiting pressure for the following season, what is the real pressure to sign Fox to an extension immediately?

          Um… how ‘out the season after next? Heaven forbid thinking past next week.

          Can you explain McGarity’s vision for his department to me? What does he expect out of his coaches?

          • Governor Milledge

            So you really think then Evans::McG as Felton::Fox? That both Evans and McG are the same men, with the same thought process? That’s what your first response 100% suggests.

            I understand you’re trying to take Fox’s siituation and expand it to represent all of B-M’s lack of decisiveness, from practice facilities and other personnel changes and everything in between, but just because one fact pattern broadly parallels another doesn’t mean B-M is an illogical, irrational, unwielding institution in Fox’s case. I agree with you on a lot of your stances, but I fail to see why failing to pull the trigger on any of your 3 outlined options is necessarily an indictment of B-M, as I’ve explained above.

            Sure, the following year is a recruiting concern (never said it wasn’t), but where exactly is the urgency to sign an extension TODAY? Or tomorrow? You’ve failed to state where that is beyond it maybe tenuously being an indictment of the UGA Athletic admin, and even then that’s a real stretch.

            Maybe we should just give Fox a Hewitt-type contract to eliminate any purported recruiting concerns… Sometimes the best decision is not being forced into making one and standing pat, sorta like how Tech should’ve approached Hewitt before giving him a perpetual, auto-renewing 6 year contract.

            • Again, I go back much farther than that in my pessimism. Both Damon and McGarity learned dithering from the master, Vince Dooley.

              I’m not arguing for or against an extension for Fox. I thought I made that clear in my post. What I am saying is that if McGarity has a clear vision for the department he directs, it sure isn’t apparent from his actions.

              • Governor Milledge

                Fair enough on the systemic view.

                You made that very clear in your post that you weren’t taking a stance either way, and that instead it was a larger B-M concern. I also made pretty clear why I think a ‘do nothing’ approach in this one instance actually makes some sense.

                Even if McG decides to roll it over contract talks into the next year, due to 2014-15 roster makeup, it would not doom the program and be indicative of B-M pushing it off & waiting for a miracle. Fox would have a real shot with the same talent base he has this year and would sink or swim based on his coaching ability alone. Pushing it off also would not doom recruiting prospects either, as noted (note that I’m not advocating any one approach either; I personally think Fox is deserving of a vote of confidence).

                Extending after this season could make sense for other reasons. And if McG decides to axe Fox, it could make sense for entirely different reasons. Again, your overarching concern about general passivity and pessimism in B-M has some validity, but I think it fails as-applied to Fox’s situation.

        • Stick jackson

          I disagree about the lack of recruiting pressure. The 2015 class (in a loaded year for instate talent) will commit this summer. Will Jackson, a Top 30-ish national talent, who lives in Athens, has already committed elsewhere.

          Fox missed on every top prospect he pursed in 2014. The football program plays mostly juniors and seniors, too. Would you be OK with not signing anyone in a whole class because the starting lineup is set for the next season anyway?

          For actual fans of the hoops program, the recruiting situation could not be more immediately urgent, or worrisome. I like Coach Fox. He is a good enough coach that if he were a successful recruiter, he would be a consistent winner. But he hasn’t been, and more whiffs in the next few months would cripple the hoops program for years to come.

      • D.N. Nation

        Felton had two options going into the ’08 conference tournament week:

        1) Win the SEC tournament (ha ha ha ha ha, yeah right).
        2) Get fired.

        And then he pulled off the most improbable conference tournament run in the history of the SEC. I don’t think you could dump him after that without getting serious side-eye from prospective coaches and their agents. (“What, winning the conference isn’t good enough? It has to be in a normal fashion?”) Evans gave Felton a small extension, Felton proved he wasn’t worth it, and that was that. I always thought it was a good handling of a bizarre series of circumstances. I guess you could say Evans should’ve fired Felton with a few weeks left in the year, but what do you do then after that SEC run? (I know, butterfly effects.)

        • I don’t think you could dump him after that without getting serious side-eye from prospective coaches and their agents.

          First of all, judged by his entire body of work up to then, why not? Second, all the more reason to have to come to a decision about his fate before the tournament.

          • D.N. Nation

            Felton’s body of work to that point was as follows:

            03-04: Narrowly missed the NCAA tournament. Swept #1 seed Kentucky in the regular season. Beat Florida and Tennessee. Team was a little all over the place but Felton did a good job.
            04-05: Bottom fell out due to lingering effects of l’Affair Harrick.
            05-06: Team improved a little.
            06-07: Narrowly missed the NCAA tournament. (Probably needed one more conference win to get in.) Program going in the right direction.

            At this point, Felton’s on solid footing. The team looked to be in good shape for a NCAA bid in 07-08. But then, he boots TK Brown and Mike Mercer off the team, the remaining guys can’t pick up the slack, and the team goes belly-up midseason. Is that cause for immediate, mid-season dismissal? Tough call. And the Athletic Department still was, for better or for worse, still operating with the Harrick stuff in mind. Felton was still running a clean program. I can understand not rushing to make a move, and then the tournament insanity hit and IMO UGA had no other option than to reward that.

            It didn’t work out. So Fox is hired, and…

            09-10: Team plays better. A lot better. They aren’t great or anything, but they beat Florida, destroy an Elite 8-bound Tennessee team, and nearly upset the John Wall/Boogie Cousins UK team at Rupp Arena.
            10-11: NCAA bid. Team beats Final Four-bound Kentucky.

            The way I see it, by holding onto Felton a little bit too long, we cost ourselves a lost year. Not necessarily a disaster.

            • D.N. Nation

              I’ll note here that it wouldn’t take that much to make me go the other way with the Felton stuff. What sunk the 07-08 team before that run was something that haunted Felton during his time here- he was too much of a hardass with his players. (That and his offense was….not good.)

  8. Bulldog Joe

    Coach Fox has two years on his contract after a significant raise in 2011.

    I am OK with waiting until the end of the season to negotiate an extension. I wouldn’t want to distract him from preparing the team for the upcoming game, or any subsequent games this post-season.

    Ask Dave Braine how moving too early with Paul Hewitt worked out for Georgia Tech. They were stuck with him for six more years and had to pay a $7.2M buyout to finally cut him loose.

    Or ask Auburn’s Jay Jacobs how he feels about having Tony Barbee on contract for three more years after the end of this season.

    Coach Fox has earned the opportunity fo go back to the table at the end of this season. I believe it will happen.

  9. MGW

    Won’t be surprised at all if a school that is much easier to recruit to hires Fox away from Georgia. He’s proven he’s an excellent coach, but he just can’t recruit to a school with such a bad basketball tradition.

    A school with a little basketball tradition would do well to hire Fox.

    Georgia isn’t a school that’s going to be able to pull itself up by its bootstraps. If UGA is going to do well in basketball, its got to spend a lot of money on a coach that recruits are going to follow wherever he goes.

    • Normaltown Mike

      The challenge is recruiting the right type of players.

      Fox won’t play the “you dropped this envelope” game with AAU coaches in Atlanta, which is why he relies upon players from the rest of the state, or even outside the state. Small town Georgia occasionally creates epic talent, but it’s the exception.

      If Georgia hired Bruce Pearl or a Calipari type coach, we could easily clean up with recruiting top flight A-T-L talent. But then we’d have an NCAA investigation and the program would get shut down, etc. Wash, rinse repeat.

      I’ll take the former over the latter.

      • Bullshit. Are you saying we are the only school that isn’t cheating? Is Youngstown State cheating? Iona? Davidson?

        Bullshit.

        Every kid we have played AAU ball. The CEO of one of the top 2 AAU Programs in the state has UGA license plate.

        We lose because our recruiters aren’t good enough. We have too many Janeck’s and not enough McClendons

        • Lorenzo Dawgriguez

          Even so, AAU recruiting is dirtier than a combination of Auburn and Hugh Freeze

        • Normaltown Mike

          Great point.

          Georgia would do awesome in the Horizon, MAAC or the Southern Conference.

          Instead of comparing ourselves to SEC opponents, we should aim to compete against mid majors.

          Maybe we should hire Felton again…

      • MGW

        First of all, there’s a lot of grey area in between Fox and Pearl on the “ethics” front. There are plenty of good household name type coaches who aren’t going to get the school in trouble.

        Secondly, its boosters that pay those AAU coaches, not the coaches themselves. Lets face it, Georgia fans don’t care enough about basketball to do that.

        • MGW

          Further, the fans not giving a rats ass about basketball is exactly why you will never see UGA springing for a household name type coach. This is Georgia, not Indiana – we, as a whole, just don’t care about basketball. Face it, everyone here would like to see Georgia be good at basketball, but very few people really, truly care at all.

          Here’s how it goes every single year: Football season ends, people finally come to grips with the fact that football is over for about a month, then there’s a little excitement from national signing day, then its, “Hey march madness is almost here, wouldn’t it be cool if Georgia were in it? hey there’s a chance, neat! Awe, we didn’t make it. How come we didn’t make it?” Then spring practice rolls around and everyone completely forgets about it till next February because its pretty much football season again.

          Is McGarity’s job ever going to be the slightest bit in jeopardy over basketball if the football program is on the right track? No. So why would he spend the money on a top flight basketball coach?

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            “So why would he spend the money on a top flight coach?” To win, that’s why. But the mood at B-M has never been about winning–it’s been about hording $$. McGarity just is doing what the university “leaders” want him to do. We need to clean out that entire rat’s nest in Athens. I had hoped that ol’ Jere would be different but I haven’t seen any evidence of that.

            • MGW

              You hire anyone in the country and they’ll do the same thing, because they’ll be trying to do their job well. Football is king at Georgia.

              • Believe it or not, there have been times when the fan base has gotten excited about the basketball program. They’ve just been on a shitty roll of identifying the right coach for the job.

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  Actually, Tubby Smith had the program turned around and then left for UK. That was actually the real downfall of the Georgia basketball program IMHO.

          • We offered Mike Anderson more money in 2009 to coach at UGA than Roy Williams was making at UNC or Jim Calhoun was making at Uconn. That offer was approved by the UGA Athletic Board. Damon offered him between $2 million and $2.3 million per year. He turned it down to take a million less and stay at Missouri. Money isn’t the reason we have Mark Fox as our coach.

            Also, we have spent $45 million on bball facilities over the past 10 years. That’s more than anyone in the SEC except Auburn over that period. Over a 15 year period, we have spent more than anyone except AU and SC.

            It isn’t money.

  10. I Wanna Red Cup

    The Senator’s post here was to point out the B-M tradition of sitting on the fence too long and being unwilling/unable to make personnel decisions on its coaches, and for the Richt bashers to realize there is considerable risk of making it worse if GMG decides he wants a new FB coach.

    As for UGA hoops, none of us knows what GMG and Fox have talked about and what each is thinking. But, It seems awfully short sighted to wait and see if he wins one more game or two or the team gets on hot streak. We waited on making a decision on Felton, and we had to give him another year after the tornado struck and they won the thing, thus wasting a year to get someone else in place. There is enough body of work on Fox now to make a decision. Make it. You either think he can improve recruiting and build a winning program that can get to the dance every other year or so or you don’t. I do.
    I have been a UGA hoops season ticket holder since the Harrick years. That man could coach offense. It was a beauty to watch. But he was a crook ( thank you again Mr Adams) . Felton could not do anything except stomp his feet and occasionally beat UK. He could recruit, but could not coach em or keep them in school. So far with Fox we have not seen upper level recruiting except with KCP. He can motivate and coach. The players graduate and seem to have a cleaner arrest record than most college students. I believe Gaines and Mann were 3 star recruits but could be wrong. They are the type who will be here 4 years. I am in favor of an extension based on what I have seen, and if I were in charge, I would make a splash during the SEC tournament by announcing it.

  11. Joe Schmoe

    I wonder if perhaps we are passing judgement on Fox’s recruiting a little prematurely. He came to UGA with no ties to the region. One could argue that it takes years to build relationships with the HS and AAU coaches that help direct talent and raise awareness to talent that feeds good recruiting. Given that Fox has proven he can coach, I am certainly in favor of seeing if he can parlay that into more success on the recruiting front given that he has now has some time to build more relationships in the area.

  12. I don’t know what the hurry up is over the extension. He has two years left. Let’s see him improve on his .520 . If he can make it happen next year then fine give him that extension. He’s not going anywhere.

  13. Cosmic Dawg

    I wonder if Georgia shouldn’t set a policy so coaches, recruits, staff, everybody always knows exactly when reviews and extensions are going to happen and for exactly how long each time, to take the rumor mill out of the process. Kind of like how the Fed announcing their targets calms the market b/c the information lets people know what is going on.

    One week after each sport ends, you review any head coach with 1 year remaining on their contracts. The coach is either renewed for four years total or the coach is let go and UGA eats the last year of salary.

    That way, everybody knows that Fox cannot get a contract extension until the week after next season ends, or whatever, because it’s school policy that is the same for every single coach.

    You could make the contract review happen at any regularly scheduled time you wanted, of course, but two years ahead of expiration seems pretty early when we’re not talking about ten year contracts to begin with, imho…(and I’m in the camp that hopes they keep Fox). And what kind of commitment does a two year extension suggest, anyway?

  14. Q

    If it’s systemic, who is behind it? Employees cycle in and out. Is it booster driven?

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      It’s like an ocean liner. Once it starts going in a certain direction it is really difficult to turn it around.

  15. Russ

    I wish McGarity would just pay Fox and let him go out and recruit. He did a great job with the team this year and next year should be much better, which can only help recruiting.

  16. Go Dawgs!

    I have no idea how college basketball recruiting works in season, but I have to imagine that we’re in a dead period with March Madness cranking up. I could be wrong. But, if we are in a dead period then I don’t think delaying an announcement on Fox’s potential extension is a mistake.

    However, whether they announce it today or a week from today, Mark Fox needs to be the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. So much of his troubles as coach have been created by injuries, early departures, or factors beyond his control. He’s a brilliant motivator and game coach. This season has shown what he can do with a group of talented players to mold. If you take the core of the this team and add two or even three talented pieces in recruiting, you’ve got something, baby. Fox deserves to be extended.

    Either way, letting him drift into 14-15 without a new deal is a mistake. It will cripple his recruiting and right now, that is vital. If it doesn’t work out with an extension, we can afford his buyout.

    • I don’t know if this matters to some of you commenting in this thread, but it was just announced that Cannon is transferring. That opens up another recruiting slot for next season.

      • Go Dawgs!

        And that takes what was already a crucial recruiting cycle to bridge from this bunch to the next one even more crucial. Either fire Fox or pay him and give him more years. This year’s recruiting class is going to be the key to the future of Georgia basketball.

        I say pay the man.

        • Are you serious? Pay him for what? That .520 win record? That NCAA trip and the 3rd round bye? He has two years on his contract. The man makes 1.7 million a year.
          “Georgia rewarded basketball coach Mark Fox with a contract extension and a $400,000-a-year raise on Thursday.

          The Georgia Athletic Association Executive Board approved a new five-year deal worth $8.5 million for the second-year coach during a specially-called meeting Thursday. The contract was extended one year through June of 2016 and his salary was increased to $1.7 million annually, effective April 1. Fox’s previous contract paid him $1.3 annually and was set to expire in 2015.

          The boosts were recommended by to the board by UGA President Michael Adams and Athletic Director Greg McGarity. The motion was unanimously approved..”

          You and Cojones need to quit hanging out together. That cognitive thinking is taking a hit.

          • You extend him to assist in recruiting as so many are saying above. It’s already negative, and only getting worse. He, or his replacement, needs recruits to succeed. Give him the ability to recruit. If he’s not secure in his job, keep the buyout reasonable for the school, but he has to have more years on his deal to recruit. The buyout matters to the school for firing, but the length remaining matters in recruiting.

      • Somehow I think we will survive the loss from his production. 1.5 points per game and 1 rebound per game.

  17. Juan

    Brilliant post, Senator.