It’s interesting that Greg McGarity feels the need to explain why Georgia won’t take advantage of the SEC’s new rule permitting recruits to attend as guests of the “home” school at neutral site games. (Maybe there’s more to that Internet chatter thing than I thought.) Anyway, here’s what he told Seth Emerson yesterday:
“Here’s the thing, and it’s probably educating the general public: The only thing we could do down there (in Jacksonville) is provide (a recruit) and two friends (or) family members tickets to the game. My coaches can’t interact, support staff can’t,” McGarity said, while in Atlanta for a welcome to the SEC bash for Missouri and Texas A&M. “Once we’re off campus, we can have no contact with those unofficial recruits. So they are there getting a ticket from our operations staff or our compliance staff and going in the stadium.
“As opposed to an official or unofficial visit on campus, we’re able to entertain them, show them around the campus, we’re able to give them access to the field, to the locker room, all these things.”
Wow, that sounds like lots of hard work – for somebody other than the coaching staff. Yet Arkansas and Texas A&M couldn’t wait to get the new rule passed.
“I think it’s a fair rule,” Arkansas recruiting coordinator Tim Horton told ArkansasSports360. “It’s something that will obviously help us in Little Rock. Obviously, with the support we have in Little Rock, it’s a great sell to recruits.”
And then there’s the Red River Rivalry, the other neutral site conference game on a level with the Cocktail Party. Mack Brown seems to have no problem with hosting recruits in Dallas.
“It means so much to recruiting,” Texas coach Mack Brown said last season during Oklahoma week. “Every recruit in this state and in Oklahoma will be there Saturday. Probably all the juniors and all the seniors. All of them.”
McGarity’s stance makes little sense to me. The Cocktail Party is one of the SEC’s crown jewels, made even better in that only two schools ever get to wear it. Why wouldn’t you want to show it off and make an impression? And why wouldn’t you want to make it easier for kids and their families from South Georgia and North Florida to get a taste of big time Georgia football? Well, um, as to that…
McGarity said the ticket allotment for recruits could be between 500-700 – and “you’re not gonna be dealing with your worst tickets in the house.” So Florida and Georgia would rather those tickets remain available to the general public. (In other words, the fans who pay, rather than recruits and their friends who get the tickets on a complimentary basis.)
Now I know what he means by “bang for your buck”. That’s Georgia.