Some follow up thoughts on the Richt contract

As Adams and McGarity pat themselves on the back for the way they’ve threaded the needle on Richt’s compensation, I can’t help but wonder something that I’ve wondered before.  How much is Mark Richt motivated by incentive clauses?  Does this sound like somebody who lives to squeeze every nickel he can out of life?

“I’m not gonna work any harder to get these guys graduated because of a bonus or because of a policy. My intention from the first day I got to Georgia is to do everything we possibly can to support these guys and motivate these guys and discipline these guys if need be to take care of their academic responsibilities. It doesn’t change the way we do anything.”

Not to these ears.

Indeed, this whole thing smacks of the NeSmith silliness from a few years ago.  The truth is that this attention to incentives isn’t so much about motivating Richt as it is about making a goodly chunk of the fan base (including some who are involved in the decision-making process) feel better.  That this kind of thinking has gone from mockworthy to being taken seriously says a lot more about us than it does about Richt, I’m afraid.

I’m not saying that to defend Richt.  Westerdawg’s message board post about the coach having nobody to blame but himself for where fan support is now is spot on, in my opinion.  But the idea that this new contract emphasis on performance incentives will be some sort of magic bullet that will spur Richt to higher levels of accomplishment is unserious thinking at its worst.  I don’t know whether the source for that is Adams, McGarity or both, but if you’re a fan of the program, or of Georgia athletics in general, it should trouble you.

And speaking of Georgia athletics, McGarity’s announcement that David Perno’s continued employment at Georgia is not a matter in jeopardy (“It’s not even an issue.”) makes for an interesting juxtaposition here.  Not in the decisions themselves – Richt’s dismissal isn’t even on the table after a successful 2011 season – but in the difference in the firmness displayed in the calls.  Empires have risen and fallen in less time than it’s taking to put Richt’s new deal to bed, yet McGarity is able to affirm Perno’s status, despite increasingly shaky results, in the blink of an eye.

Groo’s linked post raises a good point.

It is, though, an attempt to understand the expectations that the athletic department has of the Georgia baseball program. McGarity will be held to his own rubric for evaluating coaches which includes this expectation: “Develop a program that is competitive in the SEC and nationally, understanding that the definition of ‘competitive’ is different from sport to sport.”

That’s what’s puzzling about McGarity’s statements about the state of the program. Over the long term, and that matters, Perno has taken Georgia to half of its College World Series.

All of which makes me wonder if there isn’t something of a double standard in play here.  How would the fan base and, more importantly, how would Adams, McGarity and the Athletic Board feel today about Richt if his career in Athens had played out in the context of, say, a sixteen-team D-1 football playoff?

I believe I recently read that Georgia is one of only three SEC schools never to win a conference title in baseball.  Given the way college baseball is structured these days, that’s close to an irrelevancy – just ask South Carolina – but can you imagine the hue and cry if that were the case with Georgia’s football program over the past decade or so?  (In fact, it was the case in the nineties and you see where that got Goff and Donnan.)

We’re in a weird place, man.


Filed under Georgia Football

45 responses to “Some follow up thoughts on the Richt contract

  1. Lrgk9

    Yea, verily. However – It is a Darn good precedent for doing things. All those assistant coaches and their WIVES can see the handwriting on the wall for THEIR incomes and jkob security.

    So to me – it’s all about 1) the statement of direction on compensation 2) the pegging of the acheivement expectations and 3) letting the significant others what has to be done to get some extra moola.

    • Sounds great. Except what happens when somebody like Grantham gets offered a deal without the incentive BS? Or sometime in the future McGarity finds himself in a bidding war with a school that’s willing to offer a coaching candidate compensation with no strings attached?

      We live in Jimmy Sexton’s world, remember.

      • Ubiquitous GA Alum

        If we lose CTG, over money McGarity will have an absolute revolt on his hands … And if not, we as a fan base don’t deserve to be national champs of anything

    • Otto

      I think it is a valid point CMR is not out to make more $$$. He was selling his lakehouse to give more, not pocket more. He isn’t Saban or Urban looking for the next big job. I admire Richt for wanting to settle down some place and stay, it isn’t common anymore.

      A few other bloggers/columnists have taken the view that McGarity may not be 100% sure that CMR is the guy that can win at his standards. However, it is clear he does not have the fanbase support to fire CMR for a Zook level coach. If that happens he is out the door with his coach and no hire is a certain success.

      Usually when contracts go up buyouts go up, So my question is how does the new contract impact buyouts?

      An upside to CMR not being after more $$$ is it opens up funding to be spent on, facilities, assistants (CTG) and other teams (Baseball).

      While we’re on Baseball maybe UGA doesn’t have a Baseball Tournament championship but others have said there are regular season titles and more important 1 CWS title and a few deep CWS runs. Baseball is a tough job now playing with UF, Vandy, and USCe. The East is as powerful in Baseball as the West is in Football.

      • Skeptic Dawg

        It is thoughts and opinions such as yours Mr. Otto that keep the Dawgs mediocre. In regards to baseball, we must raise our level of play to match that of UF, Vandy and USC. Not simply acknowledge those programs have passed us by. There is simply no reason the Dawgs should not compete in the East and for the SEC title on a regular basis. I understand the baseball program has been hit with injuries and that Perno is dealing with a family illness (?), but it is time to regroup and get this program back on track. No questions asked! As for football, McGarity is clearly stating that Richt has not done enough with the talent and resources at his disposal. And he is right to say so. No one will argue with 2001-2005. That was a great 5 season run. However, 2006-2011 has not been so great. Averaging 4 losses a year during that 6 year stretch is simply not good enough. Add to that the discipline issues that constantly surround this program (yes, Georgia is not alone in this matter) and anyone can see that there are issues to be corrected. So, if Richt wants to stay in Athens as the head coach he has to win at a greater clip than he has over the last 6 years. Do that he he gets paid more. Don’t win and he can start packing. All in all, it is high time both programs show major improvement moving forward.

        • Macallanlover

          I think the unusual number of negative fans, like you, is the biggest reason UGA hasn’t maximized our opportunities. CMR should be given a raise for just being able to overcome the fallout from the continual whining and bitching. Amazing we still get the recruits we are able to land with folks like you, and we will never know how many have turned away because of the atmosphere we must endure.

        • Otto

          Fans like me? I’ve posted on here that I don’t think Richt especially with Bobo can get over the hump. After Michigan St. I posted my fear was that UGA lucks into a BCS CG and then ends the streak with predictable play calling.

          Negative fans? Bama and UF are both much more negative when they have a coach that can’t get over the hump. Does anyone think CMR would be employeed at those schools with his record against their biggest rival? LSU? They have a coach that won a title and they still have fans grumbling, yet they’re a front runner in the West.

          It is the Coaches not doing the best with the situation (talent and staff) they have created that keeps UGA from winning it all.

          McGarity? he did the best of the situation. He can not fire Richt with wide support of the alumni and he does not have enough positive results to lock him in with a bigger contract.

  2. ChicagoDawg

    No question there is a double standard being applied here. No question.

  3. Silver Creek Dawg

    UGA is one of three schools to never the SEC baseball tournament. We have won a few regular season titles, including more than one outright.

    The Perno situation is a difficult one for me. Dave is a classmate (literally, we took classes together and graduated together) and a friend. The guy lives and breathes UGA baseball. Personally, he’s the kind of man I want for a coach and a UGA representative.

    Objectively, I have to believe it’s time for a change. I know he can’t control some things (the Veazey/Taylor injuries), but his in-game management skills continue to confound me and many others. With the prep talent in this state, how are we not a consistent upper-tier conference/national baseball program?

    • Beer Money

      The biggest problems with our team the way I see it:

      1. Perno acting as his own pitching coach. This just seems puzzling. Our bullpen has blown quite a few game this year late in the game when we need it most. Not having Maloof was huge, but the lack of depth is a concern.

      2. Lack of getting the big hit. How many times this year have we had men in scoring position with 0-1 outs and end up with 0-1 runs out of it while stranding 2-3?

      3. Lack of getting the BIG hit. We have not had a true power hitter since Rich Poythress left. It’s been awhile. New bats or not, it doesn’t seem to have phased South Carolina and Florida. I don’t expect players to hit 20-30 HRs, but our power numbers are very weak.

  4. Cojones

    Agreed. And it makes me ill. It ain’t your loyalty and decency toward players that we are paying you for, Coach. If your Ws and Ls are in the correct perspective, that’s all that matters. We will hail you on high, no matter whether you start acting like Spurrier and Saban, as long as you keep some of our fanbase happy. We don’t admire you as an all around decent person who is a shining example of our University, it’s just the redneck mentality of Bama and SC would make you appear better to a small part of our fanbase. Screw the alums. You guys are turning this into an FU copy of sports, like neither one of you know of any UGA traditions to hold up as a model..

    OK, aholes. I’m going to be busy sending e-mails and faxes to the AD and President, congratulating them on the lower standard we all will adhere to while all the other recruiters take this little “motivation” missile and tell recruits that Richt ‘s days are numbered. “If they treat their Coach this way, what do you think your chances will be? Does it look like they want to keep him around past your first year?”

    Bush leaguers.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      “you guys are turning this into an FU copy of sports…” Do you mean the University of Florida, that team to the south that beat us in football 18 out of the last 22 years? That Florida? The Florida that won countless NCAA All-Around Sports Trophies for having the best overall sports program in the nation? The Florida that won the BCSNCG 2 out of 3 years? The Florida that won the NCAA National Championship in football AND basketball in the same year? THAT Florida? Oh. I guess there is nothing we could learn from how they do things.Forget it McGarity. Just keep on doing things the way Damon Evans did them before Red Pantygate happened. Yeah, right (eyes rolling). The truth is hiring McGarity is the best thing that ever happened to UGA sports, particularly football. Just wait and see.

  5. The other Doug

    Incentive clauses work on guys like Bobby Petrino.

  6. Z-Dawg

    Can we get some sort of Lexicon entry for “the kind of man I would want my son to play for”? As a fan base we seem to deal with that argument a lot whenever the accountability train pulls into the station.

  7. I read the thread and some of the comments. I forgot why I don’t read the message boards anymore until I saw the comments from the same old commenters. Some people will never be satisfied until we never lose a game. One particular commenter states that last season was smoke and mirrors. I think most people would have said a successful season would have been 10 wins including one over UF and a trip to the Dome in December. We got that and they’re still not satisfied.

    • 69Dawg

      Welcome to the Wonderful World of UGA football. As a fan base we have two camps, the “we are who we thought we were camp” and the “I’ll be pissed if we lose a game camp”. Coaching for our fans is a daily walk in a Land Mine Field. UGA fans are as screwed up as any fan base in college football.

      • Good point. It just seems that we have a part of our fan base that will not be happy no matter what. I lived that for a while and maybe age has mellowed out my perspective.

    • reddawn

      Never lose a game? That’s a big jump you’re making there chief. We lost 4 last year. If people were that upset after a 1 or 2 loss year and you wanted to make that claim, fine.

      But don’t let reality get in the way of a good lecture.

      • Was last season fulfilling? I would say partially. Any season where you beat the Big 3 plus UT is a good season. Should we have beaten USCe and MSU? Yes, but does that overshadow the rest of the season? In my opinion, no. My only point is that we have a segment of our fan base that will not be happy until we win a national championship and beat everyone by double digits. I want the program to win big and do it the right way.

        I didn’t think the staff was going to survive after starting 0-2 last season. If not for Drew Butler’s tackle on the blocked punt, I would have questioned whether 9-3 with no division championship would have been enough to save Richt’s job.

        • Cojones

          And Grantham has taken responsibility (and rightfully so) for the D allowing MSU and LSU to come back and to tack points on in the 4th qtr. If there weren’t two injuries, to Robinson and Rambo, it was thought the Boise St game could have gone better. Grantham said the D should have prevented the last TDs scored by SC’s O.

          No one seems to relate back to 06-07 when O line injuries accumulated and began to affect everything, including portending cross-training that got two coaches at each other’s throats on the sidelines when one wanted a guy to play D and another wanted the same guy to play O. I can’t begin to remember all the details …..the point is that many give Perno room for devastating injuries occurring whereas Richt and others don’t get a pass for what contributed to our downturn. No one reads the words Grantham utters when he takes the D responsibility for lost games. Both O and D win and lose games together, but the devisiveness created by those who wish to dethrone Richt and hoist Grantham up is ludicrous. It is dividing the fanbase and will devide the team.

          When it gets so bad that you can’t tell the difference between a troll and a fan (and alum); that trash is spilled toward a Head Coach from those who insist their God-given rights as fans to criticize to the point of devastation is simply being exercised; that his last victorious year and a trip to the SECCG is not good enough for some of the loudest;- all of these ingredients put together make sufficient reason to not hold your Head Coach in high enough regard to give an appropriate raise to a contract that extends for 4yrs. It is beyond belief that anyone would do that in the face of 80% fanbase support of Richt (Senator, could you do another poll?). All the efforts to give a united front have been dashed with this piece of chicanery that lies at the feet of the Bd of Regents, Adams , McGarity and the raucous dissenting portion of the fanbase.

          • Cojones

            Good Lord- divisive is misspelled in differing sentences and in the same sentence. I’m done.

  8. Bright Idea

    The truth is this UGA administration does not judge coaches on wins and losses. Their situations are judged purely on how can we do enough on the field to avoid dipping heavily into the $72 million reserve. Richt’s new 5 year deal means no discussion or wrangling on the matter for at least 4 more years. Perno’s contract has 1 more year which can allow him to sail off into the sunset while the team floats through 2013 .500 at best. The verdict is still out on Fox and who can we get better anyway. If the fans are disinterested in the guys then surely few care if Landers remains forever. Who knows what politics were involved with Clark. Until there is a HUGE drop in fan support/money it will remain that way. Meanwhile golf and tennis can keep up us propped up to 2nd overall in the SEC. Looks good without costing too much.

  9. wnc dawg

    The incentive thing is certainly something to monitor, but I think you may be making too much of this particular case. It is doubtful that Richt is pushing for max money given his public comments. Of the coaches ahead of him, all have a NC at their current school or are on the SEC Mt Rushmore (HBC), save for Muschamp. I don’t feel GA should overpay Richt b/c FL overpaid Muschamp. If Richt wins another SEC title (or a NC), I’d imagine the bump will come. The devilish detail that I’ve always been most interested in seeing with the new deal is UGA’s buyout number. We had a solid season last year, but the Admin has a good counter point to all of the accomplishments (10 wins? Yes, but none against the elite teams. Won the East? Yes, but didn’t compare well to LSU). We’ve all known this contract was more for recruiting purposes, not rewarding a championship season. So I think it’s a point to monitor, not something from which to draw too many conclusions.

    • I’m not the one trumpeting the brilliance of ladling out the incentives as a substitute for a raise.

      And if you don’t think the form of this extension is going to get played against Richt on the recruiting trail…

      • wnc dawg

        Not meant to be snarky: If Richt says he’s not trying to grab every last nickel and is happy with the deal, the Admin can (in my mind) justifiably say he is right in line for his level of achievement relative to his peers (granting the Muschamp outlier), and is prepared to pay him more for championships, what should we expect them to do? I’ll give you the self congratulatory comments get a DWM, but that is to be expected with the egos involved. The real fear I have as a fan is that we stay at or near the top of a weak East, but fail to make a bigger leap that keeps this stuff coming more often than not. McGarity made so much fuss about harping on the fact Richt could tell recruits he has a deal through their eligibility, are we going to have to revisit this mess every year since it’s not a roll over?

        And, yea, I’d think the extension has the potential to get played against Richt. But, I also think he can combat the negative recruiting stuff w/ his comments and track record about not being money hungry/he is happy with it, never looks for another job, etc. Again, I think the buyout is the key. If they are altered in a significant way, then there could be an issue.

        • Myers Quad funkster

          Ask Dan Radakovich if he likes rollover contracts.

          If contracts were so important in recruiting, how did Richt do so well this year when he had 2 years left on his contract? What about last year when he had 3 years left?

          • wnc dawg

            I didn’t mean to suggest roll over contracts are great, just that this contract gets the minimum # of years for recruiting purposes. But I imagine Paul Hewitt could give me some good copy about them if I asked.

            In terms of recruiting with this last class, all the Powers That Be were on public record saying an extension was “basically done.” The class really picked up steam around that same time. As for the Dream Team class, they had a good bit of it nailed down before the wheels came off. They were able to hold it together and close well, mainly b/c they had playing time to offer (that’s what I think anyway).

    • Cojones

      Your comments are well taken. I think the recruiting purpose was lost on young men who will have other school’s coaches to interpret it in the worst light that it portrays.

  10. No comment on Richt’s new contract.

    I will comment on Perno. I like and support him. I also remember what happened when Ron Polk left. No one wanted the Georgia job except Perno. And then he ushered in the most successful period of Georgia baseball ever. We’ll be back in the tourney next year and if he can get the right player here or there, then we’ll be in Omaha sooner rather than later; but we will be back to Omaha again. Perno’s baseball program got one game away from a national championship. It’s not his fault other programs use shortcuts and don’t get caught (points towards Columbia, simulates giving self a shot in the arm).

    • Dude, pass me that kool-aid. Perno sucks. Three CWS in nine years, six mediocre to poor seasons in between. We’re middle-to-bottom of the pack in the SEC, with no excuses. Don’t start that BS about how other programs take “shortcuts.” This is baseball, man. It’s not football. Bottom line is that Perno can’t compete with the South Carolina’s, the LSU’s and the FSU’s of the baseball world, and that’s his fault. If you’re happy with mediocrity and only being excited about Georgia baseball once every three years or so, then good for you. I’m not.

      Georgia isn’t committed to it’s baseball program, and it shows in the facility and in the head coach. And that pisses me off.

      • Skeptic Dawg

        One could replace Perno’s name with Richt and the argument would be the same. We are in the exact same position with our football program as we are with our baseball program. Both coaches are living off of their past success. Neither has accomplished anything of late. One could argue that Perno did reach the championship, something Richt has not come close to doing.

        • Cojones

          While you are doing everybody, let’s hear your take on Fox.

        • HirsuteDawg

          You are wrong on Richt. Georgia has only won 10 or more games 19 times in their entire history. Richt has 7 of those – he has already matched Dooley and exceeded all the others. Those of us expecting 10+ wins every year are the real Disney Dogs.

  11. fuelk2

    Thank you for more thoroughly and artfully stating what I tried to say in a comment to your post yesterday. The contract situation is just embarrassing.

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  13. HVL Dawg

    It is interesting that the unresolved items are about buyout clauses. The fire.

    I think McGarity wants everyone to call it a 5 year deal, but also wants to be able to cut CMR loose on the cheap.

  14. Cojones

    How in hell do you not give a raise to the Head Coach, but come up with one for his D Coach without creating a split in team spirit? You think that the players don’t give a damn about the man to whom they have great loyalty? How can you raise Grantham’s salary enough to keep him here without it being insulting to the Head Coach? How can they run onto the field and we not feel embarrassed for Richt and at the same time say,” Nevermind. Here comes his replacement.”
    By the way, the replacement states that he was responsible for the 4 losses last year.

    You have to have a genuinely calloused conscience to let this happen to the Head of our football program. Making this a Bd of Regents against one man, but not the rest that he hired to support him ought to send a great message to others. Just loose a few and let the Head Dawg take the lumps for you and you too can become Head Coach. You bunch of dumbasses. Grantham would never stay here after seeing that you can embarrass your Head Coach before the nation, the team and many fans. This is the most shortsighted Pome de Rue to ever hit the ground.

    Just because some fans think this is OK doesn’t mean that they aren’t shortsighted as well. Talking about cutting off your nose to spite your face….Cheez! You idiots, firing would be preferable to watching our team and fan spirit atrophy and die.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      Because the Defensive coach outperformed his existing pay more than the head coach outperformed his pay?

      Agreed with your earlier comments, btw

      • Cojones

        No. For running it into an ongoing 4yr contract with this shit coming up every week. The divisiveness index for this can’t be listed. Hell, Grantham works for the man! By not including them together, you divide the team into different camps at the time they should all play for one. We had that united team in reach earlier this week. Dividing the work into “This is mine and that is yours” is like taking the team away from the Coach. Can’t anyone see past this and project just a little?

        They have to ameliorate this crud or we won’t have a team, much less fans.

        Before it’s signed.

  15. shane#1

    Just get the deal done. For a rich program UGA seems to pinch pennies in weird places sometimes. There will be some help for Perno coming. UGA has landed Daniel Nichols from Lee Co HS. Nichols was named Region1AAAA Baseball Player of the Year. His older brother played at Tech.

  16. Habanero

    I think Greg McGarity handle the contract structuring brilliantly on that which we have been told. Something had to be done to place performance metrics on Mark Richt to avoid another 5 year downslide which took the Dawg Nation along for the ride. Richt is where he should be on salary,while others who have won national championships quietly pass him by on salary. And they should!

    • Cojones

      And this is your team and University you are espousing pride in? You have a funny way of expressing your love. And you don’t seem to be able to think past today and into the future.

      Even if you hate Richt, can’t you be objective and see what has been done? If the message was for the last 5 yrs, why is he still our Coach and allowed to limp along under scrutiny of recruits and other SEC members for 4 yrs? The point is, if the majority felt this way, he would be fired. Appeasing a minority is simply going to ruin the team.

  17. Cojones

    By the way, if you think my rant about loss of pride by the team is a nuance, I invite you to read Chris Robinson’s column today to see what words and inflection can do to a player’s psyche. Some of you will never read it nor begin to understand why I chose to attack detractors and negativity toward the team. Just when I thought we were in a good place, along comes the Administration to fuck it up and put a 4-yr weight on the team’s neck.

    • Cojones

      Until we all pull together as a united group, UGA Football will always wallow around in divisiveness, no matter who gets their way with negativity. Instead of past mistakes corrected, we pile them on deeper and deeper.

      The words “Physician, heal thyself” takes on a double meaning with this fanbase.