Greg McGarity grows tired of getting punched.

As much of an unabashed proponent of openness and transparency as I am, I can’t say I blame Greg McGarity for feeling like this:

“I think I’ve got a good pulse of what’s going on internally, and I don’t sense there are team-related issues that are of major concern,” athletic director Greg McGarity said. “We’ve got some spots where we need tightening up, but that’s true with every program.”

But McGarity is aware of the perception.

“We’re getting beat up a lot — and maybe we can do some things where we don’t have to get beat up so much,” he said.

Elaborating: McGarity said Georgia may begin a practice of not announcing any disciplinary action of players, unless there’s a legal issue that would make it unavoidable.

“If you announce that somebody has violated team policy today, you have to read about it for five months before the first game,” McGarity said. “Do we need to put ourselves in that position?”

Schultz says the problem is that information like that tends to leak out to the media anyway – a compliant Alabama media begs to differ with him on that point, by the way – but I suspect the bigger problem here is that such a policy would dramatically cut down on the number of AJ-C posts on the subject.  The paper’s fish for hits marketing approach would take a hit.  (To be fair, the AJ-C is far from the only local media outlet which devotes plenty of attention to the subject.  It just tends to be the most sarcastic.)

McGarity’s also got a point that the internal reality of program discipline may very well be quite different from the public perception, but that comes with the territory of what people tend to pay attention to.  Regardless of whether you hear about it once or five times, bad news sells.

As far as controlling the message, though, if Schultz’ opening paragraph is an example of how McGarity’s done that by being open with the information, I can hardly see how keeping quiet could produce worse results.  Schultz’ whole piece is a self-refutation of his argument.

Like I said, this isn’t what I’d like to see McGarity do.  Less information is bad for blogging.  But I get where the man is coming from.


UPDATE:  Elkon raises the obvious question about how much any of this should matter in the first place.

… As I learned when I wrote about Georgia’s drug policy, UGA’s strict approach to marijuana use is the result of a school-wide effort to deter drug and excessive alcohol use. Mark Richt did not implement the policy based on a belief that casual marijuana use is bad for team morale or on-field performance. Indeed, he is not the one who implemented the policy in the first place. If that would have been his rationale, then Florida’s experience under Meyer would completely refute it. As it is, Hayes’ article should be mandatory reading for someone like Jeff Schultz, whose angle on Georgia football seems to be that the police blotter reflects that Mark Richt has lost total control over the team and the loss of control is affecting results on the field. Meyer managed to win a pair of national titles with off-field issues that put Georgia’s scooter issues to shame.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

26 responses to “Greg McGarity grows tired of getting punched.

  1. Lrgk9

    Sub Rosa as it were…


  2. HahiraDawg

    I am all for it, have been for a while…
    …but I find I’m a contradiction even to myself…can one be a machiavelian libertarian?


  3. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Jeff Schultz and the AJC suck. Why give them ammo voluntarily? McGarity is right.


  4. HahiraDawg

    I want to know my scotch loving friend’s opinion of this, ante up Mac.


  5. Mitt

    If you announce it, you make it easier for the AJC and others to talk about it. You legitimize the conversation. If you don’t annouce it, then the media can still report it – but it’s making a different sort of decision to do so. It’s “piling on” a kid who’s already being punished. That changes the way the story gets read, in some ways, and it puts the reporter directly in an uncomfortable position on many fronts. Honestly, what do such announcements accomplish for the kid?

    Funny how Alabama’s all wrong – until Georgia figures out Alabama’s doing it all right. Bottom line: Georgia’s looking at Alabama’s business model and realizing it just works better across the board. Except that 4-year scholarship thing. I guess Nick and Co. will have to prove that one to Richt and McGarity too before they sign on.


    • Dawgwalker07

      Im pretty sure richt has said he will offer 4 year schollies to everyone since he’s always considered his scholarship offers 4 year commitments anyways.


    • William

      Also, lets be honest. They are not copying AL’s model as much as Saban’s. Prior to Saban, there wasn’t much anyone wanted to follow from that school.


      • HahiraDawg

        Well I disagree with Mitt that it’s so all or nothing, ‘copying the model’…to use your language but change the verbage somewhat…could mean ‘liking some features of one or two rooms’ without following the entire blueprint, which I don’t think they are doing and I wouldn’t want done anyways


    • Joe Shmoe

      I think you are right here. Just reading how they have to caveat everytime they mention the Ogletree and Rambo suspensions due to the fact that they haven’t been confirmed shows how this tactic can help dilute the story.

      Also, Richt has always stated that scholies are for 4 years. I don’t see how that has ever been Saban’s tact as he is always trying to push non-performers off the team through medical hardships, etc. And maybe that was your point (that UGA needs to get away from holding onto so many players who are not performing). I do think you are seeing the UGA get a little more aggressive with letting guys know that they are probably not going to play much and should seek other opportunities. It’s not so much that they are forcing them out as being honest with them about their chances.


      • Mitt

        Saban offers 4 year scholarships. Richt doesn’t.

        So Saban throws kids off the team and Richt just gets honest with them about their prospects? is there any reason to believe Saban wasn’t the one just being more honest to begin with in his own program, other than fan-based bias?

        Look, Georgia is starting to do some things that, when other programs do them, we rant about ethics and character. Either we were off-base then to criticize or we’ve off-base now to look the other way, Can’t have it both ways.


        • BCDawg97

          Sorry, but you are just wrong. Richt has always treated them as 4 year schollies. And I’m pretty sure it was Saban who treated them as a 1 yr upon review as his way to manage the roster only to recently switch them to a 4 ye with push from the league


        • BCDawg97

          “We had the (four-year) rule years ago, and there were legal challenges to it,” Saban said. “So we changed to the one-year scholarship then. I think that was why some of the schools had concerns.”

          “I don’t really think that would affect us much at all,” Richt said last month. “When we sign a young man, we expect to see him through to graduation. I know contractually it’s one year at a time, but from what’s in my heart and what’s in the heart of the University of Georgia is for these guys to make it all the way through to graduation. …I don’t think it will change the way we view taking care of these guys.”


        • Joe Shmoe

          I think you have that exactly backwards. Also there is a big difference in approach. Saban tells guys that they don’t have a scholarship anymore and forces them to either take a medical hardship or transfer elsewhere. The UGA coaches are saying “Hey, you have a scholarship for 4 years regardless, but at this point we don’t see you getting a lot of playing time so you may want to consider other options.” That is a real and legitimate distinction.


          • Mitt

            So…. Saban pulls scholarships and FORCES kids to transfer. Richt just pats them on the back and encourages them to move on – but the kid can stay if he really wants. However, they can’t at Alabama.

            And… Alabama offers a 4 year deal because the league made them, but they likely won’t honor it, but Richt, under no pressure from the league, only offers 1 year deals, even though he treats it like a 4 year deal, so there’s no need to go beyonf the 1 year contract.

            O.K., that all makes perfect sense. I stand corrected.


            • Joe Shmoe

              OK, Mitt. If you want to be an obtuse moron and not acknowledge facts, then that’s your purogative I suppose. But for those interested in looking at what is actually happening, this is what I’m talking about:


              No one has EVER accused UGA of this type of tactic under Richt. Saban has his reputation for this type of stuff for a reason.


              • Always Someone Else's Fault

                Because athletes always know when it’s time to hang it up, right? Kids kept their scholarship and even got a free ride to a graduate degree – but removing them from the football roster somehow represents the evil of all evils.

                Dumbest article ever, IMO. Given the data on football medical injuries, especially degenerative conditions that start on the field and worsen over time, this sort of thing should happen MORE often, not less.

                To the main point – Georgia has no responsibility whatsoever to feed the media stories. If reporters want to find out things – like the WSJ crew with Alabama – more power to them.

                Whatever Mitt’s worried about, it’s not the purity of Georgia football. Hopefully Georgia can take down Spurrier, Dooley, and Muschamp (Saban Lite, Saban disciples) along the way to taking down Saban himself in the championship game.


  6. Uglydawg

    “Look, Georgia is starting to do some things that, when other programs do them, we rant about ethics and character. Either we were off-base then to criticize or we’ve off-base now to look the other way, Can’t have it both ways.” Sorry Mitt, but I see this in another light. Georgia has been trying to do the open and honest thing for years and the Anti-Dawg Army (See AJC, ESPN, GT, UA, AU, USC, UF, etc.), has been holding the self-disclosed dirty laundry up for everyone to express their shock and disgust over, even while covering up their own filthy deeds,
    I agree with the Mayor of Dawgtown…why help the ahole AJC? Do you remember when GT’s NCAA investigation was announced? I don’t mind playing any game on a level field, but all of these other “institutions” have had any information concerning the slightest sniff of odor from the UGA program giftwrapped and handed to them on a silver platter. I’m not advocating overlooking or not punishing misdeeds by those that screw up, but I just don’t think we should help those who seed to damage the Bulldog brand.
    Just a question for any who can help me….The Auburn player who commited armed robbery and then transferred to Arkansas St. when Malhzan (however you spell it) left to take the head coaching job there…was that player still on the roster at AU before the transfer?
    Was he actually going to play again? And now, will he be suspended or otherwise punished at ASU? Really, just wondering. Just imagine had this happened at UGA. It’s possible I have the whole story wrong, and if so, my apologies.


    • Bryant Denny

      The gun belonged to Michael Dyer. One of his teammates came over to borrow it so he could hit a lick. To my knowledge, he wasn’t punished at ASU – and I don’t know that he should have been. He had been suspended at AU.


  7. Bryant Denny

    Spring practice is over so I guess it’s time to discuss program morals. 🙂

    I’m on record as having no problem with “roster management,” because I think the truth eventually comes out. If Saban is systematically lying to recruits and/or current players, that message will eventually spread around. Therefore, I operate under the assumption that he is generally honest. And admit it – recruits and players know he is hard. They know if they don’t perform, they are gone.

    Also, players host recruits – recruits that are coming in to take their jobs. Word gets around – good or bad.

    As far as the media in Alabama goes. Puhlease. The Birmingham News is run by an Auburn graduate. During the Albert Means scandal the state media nearly passed out every day from excitement. But during Camgate? Crickets.


  8. W Cobb Dawg

    AJC uses disciplinary announcements to paint a huge black eye on the program, the coaches, and the player(s). I consider the latest round of announcements as very minor infractions, and I don’t believe it’s a significant media issue. I think its appropriate if McGarity decides to adjust the announcement policy (or discipline policy for that matter) – if for no other reason to be more in line with all other sec and cfb programs.


  9. Lrgk9

    2012 UA = 26
    2011 UA = 22
    2010 UA = 26
    2009 UA = 27
    2008 UA = 32 = 133

    2012 UGA = 19
    2011 UGA = 26
    2010 UGA = 19
    2009 UGA = 19
    2008 UGA = 24 = 107

    Oh Pish Posh, Fiddle-de-de, don’t worry y’alls little ole Dawggone pumkin haids about any ole silly arithmatic! See here now – just worry about that tomorrow…


  10. Cojones

    Gave all of you a chance:

    F’ing Scooters!