“It’s just not worth your bang for your buck there.”

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.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Recruiting

61 responses to ““It’s just not worth your bang for your buck there.”

  1. Spike

    Pretty lame explanation, Greg. And, by the way, I’m the one who has the worse seats in the house.

  2. jadams

    I agree with the policy. The tickets are already in incredibly high demand from the fans. If you give a recruit tickets, you get nothing in return other than maybe talking about it later. AND you are probably competing with Florida for those South GA and North FLA kids. So you would be giving them a taste of big time UF football, too. Why?

    PS – Spike, if they give tickets to recruits, you won’t get any.

    • HaveuseenmyStapler

      Also probably competing w/ bama and fsu. Why not show the recruit something even the crimson gods out west can’t offer and make it a two man race. Our odds in that senario automatically jump from 25 to 50%…if the recruit’s impressed.

  3. Jrod1229

    Don’t see why this is an issue.. we can’t talk to the kid.. so the only thing we get out of it is a phone call? At least when we have them on campus we can talk to them, walk em around, etc.. so even if they aren’t really interested we have a chance.. at this game we’d be just giving away seats, maybe to a kid who has no interest at all, just thought it’d be fun.

    Isn’t even about the seats to me.. more just what makes realistic sense.

    • Not sure why you’re satisfied with McGarity’s explanation. If it’s such a bad idea, why are TAMU and Arkansas happy about it? (And this has to be about the first official move TAMU’s made as a member of the SEC.)

      Mack Brown has forgotten more about recruiting than Greg McGarity will ever know. If Brown thinks this has its uses, then maybe we ought to question why Georgia doesn’t.

      • Dante

        Mack Brown has a better record at the Cotton Bowl than Richt does at the Gator Bowl. Personally, I think Georgia needs to start winning regularly in Jacksonville before Georgia starts touting that game to recruits.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            +1. Giving free tickets to a recruit to a game you lose doesn’t seem very smart. That might be a good way to get the kid to sign with the other team. Florida ought to be all for it…..unless somebody at Gatorland thinks the worm may have turned in that series.

        • If Richt could recruit a Dream Team class after the debacle of the 2010 season, I think he and his staff could figure out a way to pitch the Cocktail Party.

          • Dante

            Marge didn’t say Homer couldn’t deep fry his shirt. She said he shouldn’t.

          • adbarnhart

            Hiding the biggest stage in SEC regular season play is nuts.
            Why not hand out sideline passes instead of seats anyway?

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Playing time Senator. Recruits saw the opportunity at UGA in ’11 and they took it.

      • Keese

        I’m with McGarity on this one.

  4. 1honose

    Since when are TAMU and Arkansas the litmus test for determining whether an idea is good or not?

    As an Account Executive by trade I wouldn’t be interested in this setup. I would liken it to providing a prospect with tickets to a trade show that I was displaying at. Some guys do that, but I’ve never been for that. What for…so the prospect can look at all my competition on my dime. In this case, the competition is only one Vendor (UF), but with this setup they get as much UF as they get UGA.

    How long do you think TAMU and Arkansas will think its a good idea after a recruit gets arrested for underage drinking, DUI, fight, etc… and broadcast out that they were attending the game as a recruit. God forbid its domestic violence. That’d kill it on the spot.

    Solidly behind Greg on this one. Nothing to see here…

    • I notice you didn’t mention Texas or Oklahoma.

      • Cojones

        That’s because their fans aren’t getting banged for their bucks. Our fans like getting banged regularly. But I draw the line when good ole Greg doesn’t even use lubrication.

      • Keese

        The schools, the game, the recruiting…makeup of red river is entirely diff than cocktail party.

        UF has kicked our ass regularly…you want us to showcase the game with recruits we’re competing for with UF?

        If a recruit can’t get their ass to Athens for the red carpet treatment, how serious are they in the first place?

        • The schools, the game, the recruiting…makeup of red river is entirely diff than cocktail party.

          How so?

          UF has kicked our ass regularly…you want us to showcase the game with recruits we’re competing for with UF?

          Yes. Georgia looks scared if it doesn’t. Besides, it’s a special game.

          If a recruit can’t get their ass to Athens for the red carpet treatment, how serious are they in the first place?

          It’s not an either/or choice. And besides, some recruits and their families can’t afford to keep swinging up to Athens.

          • Keese

            -How so?…big 12 enough said
            -Not driven by ego
            -Official visits school pays for transportation

          • Keese

            If UGA starts kicking the shit out of UF, then maybe. Until then.. let’s see how many boosters will share in your position and give up their tickets in protest of McGarity.

            Plenty of recruits still make it to the game our of proximity to hometown. Remember Ray Drew. Give me the name of one recruit that A) lives close to Jax B) GA-FLA recruited heavily C) Did not attend game due to travel, cost, etc that otherwise UGA stood a good shot at getting D) Went to UF instead

            • What is with this “give up tickets” objection?

              I’ve been to every game in Jax since ’79. The number of times I’ve been to a Cocktail Party where you couldn’t score tickets there at a reasonable price? The next time that happens will be the first.

              You’re talking about approximately a tenth of a percent of the tickets Georgia has. Not exactly a major amount. And that’s before you try to get creative in terms of how you accommodate the recruits.

              • Keese

                I get the basic premise. UGA’s being cheap and cocktail party is something every recruit should experience. They also experience Bulldog nation in full force.
                But once you get to the nuts and bolts, I just don’t see the end justifying the means. UGA stands to do more potential harm than good…all over the possiblity of converting a miniscule fraction.🙂

  5. Bubs

    I would rather recruits see where they will be playing and spending their lives for the next 3-4 years (Athens) than have them venture down to Jax just to watch us play in a game that we have lost much more often than not the past 25 years (thus perhaps making them give UF more of a look than they would have if they had not gone to the game). It’s not like these kids don’t know that UGA/UF is a huge game every season.

    And yes I know that we could be blown out by a team at home and recruits might give them a look too, but I’ll take my chances on my home turf rather than on what is basically Florida’s turf.

    Plus, these kids can’t ever truly take advantage of the Cocktail Party until their football playing days are over. None of them get to drink themselves into oblivion before the game then go to the Landing or elsewhere afterwards. They can do that in Athens on a weekly basis if they choose to (and we all know that some of them have chosen to do that).

    If we had trouble recruiting the state of Florida and surrounding areas then maybe I could get on board with recruiting visits to Jax. But we recruit well there and I just don’t see this thing paying off enough to warrant any changes.

    • Who said trips to Jax and Athens are mutually exclusive?

      Jax is a useful – excuse me, should be a useful – recruiting tool for two reasons: proximity to South Georgia/North Florida and the uniqueness of the game. We’re just too lazy, too cheap and maybe too scared of Florida to take advantage of it. Shame on us.

      • W Cobb Dawg

        I agree it’s another tool in our toolbox. Such advantages should be maximized, not discarded. Then again, UGA has all types of advantages – money out the wazoo, prestige, abundant in-state talent, multiple nfl players, state flagship school, etc., which we underutilize. Why would this advantage be any different. Yet one more difference between programs that win national championships and one’s that don’t.

        • Cojones

          Yeah, prestige. Like not giving your coach a raise so that you demonstrate how valuable he is to the school and recruits ? If you call that prestige, then there are a lot of prestigious people in the unemployment office, except they probably weren’t sent such a “prestigious” contract as Richt’s.

          Some of the people on here will never look at the elephant in the room.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Senator, we control the environment in Athens. We don’t in Jax. If anything the opposition (i.e. FU) controls that environment. A recipe for disaster.

        • Let’s ask Jimmy Williamson about that control.

          Or Deion Bonner.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            I’m talking about FU poaching our recruits not theft or malcontent Athens cops. Kids could go down there on our nickel and end up signing with the other team-even pretending to be interested in us just to get the tickets then hanging with a bunch of Florida fans/alums/students. As long as it was not FU coaches or players that would not be a violation. BTW do you wanna give up your seat for a recruit to go? We already lose about 15,000 seats every 2 years versus home and away at Sanford and the Swamp because Jax Mun. Stadium is smaller than both schools’ stadia.

            • How is that any different from a kid and his family taking an official trip to Athens and then being coaxed away by another school? Or giving good tickets to that kid and his family for a game in Athens, only to see him sign elsewhere?

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                It is the same–if you invite FU fans/alums/students to Athens for the UGA-GA Tech game so they use that opportunity to snake a UGA recruit while there. Generally I don’t think FU fans show up in Athens in large numbers much.

                • What difference does it make where they approach the recruit?

                  • Mayor of Dawgtown

                    No difference. It is just that the likelihood of that happening in JAX as opposed to Athens is much greater because of the plethora of FU fans/alums/students at that game. Ergo, don’t invite kids to Jacksonville where they will be exposed to that. It also removes the “use the dumbass Georgia folks” as a source of tickets for kids who are already secretly going to sign with the Gators as a method to get into the game. I repeat: Do you want to give up your seat at that game on the off-chance that a recruit who sits in it might sign with the Dawgs? Tell the truth, Senator. When it gets down to that are you REALLY in favor?

                    • How many recruits have you seen swayed by fans?

                      As for your question, let me see proof that McGarity can’t squeeze a few kids/families in without taking seats away from fans, and I’ll answer. (Although my seats in Jax definitely don’t fall into the good category.)

                    • Mayor of Dawgtown

                      OK! Great! Send all your WLOCP tickets to: Mayor’s Office, City Hall, Dawgtown, GA 30601. I will be certain to see that they are used to bring UGA football recruits to Jacksonville for that game and will PERSONALLY safeguard the recruits and prevent poaching by FU fans/alums/students. You can count on me! On behalf of a thankful Bulldog Nation let me thank you from the bottom of my heart for this sacrifice you are making to the betterment of our team! Your graciousness will go down in UGA history!

                  • Cojones

                    Mayor, if we play the game in Athens or Gainesville, you think we shouldn’t have our recruits viewing the game at those sites? Certainly we would have them in the seats at both sites. How is this different , except for FU being in Georgia recruiting at our own stadium with the Georgia recruits they invite for that game?

  6. Heathbar09

    Regardless of whether or not hosting recruits in Jax is a good idea, it’s good to know that the future success of our football program can be bought out by a couple hundred tickets!

  7. Go Dawgs!

    Just to play devil’s advocate, it’s not like either Georgia or Florida are having much trouble recruiting players without taking them to the Cocktail Party. If it’s true that there are rules about interactions away from campus, then he’s got a point that the recruits aren’t getting recruited much at the game site… other than any self-recruiting that might go on if they’re impressed by the venue and the atmosphere. Personally, I’d love to have a bunch of recruits on unofficials there just to see how crazy it is outside the stadium and also inside. A lot of recruits find their way down there on their own anyway, of course. I’d like to know if the fact that coaches can’t have contact with the players is an NCAA thing or an SEC thing, though, because I do find it a little odd that Texas and OU have all of their top recruits at the Red River Shootout. Can those coaches talk to players there?

    Of all the seemingly wonky things UGA has done over the years, this one doesn’t bother me all that much. And the fact that Florida agrees with Georgia on it tells me more or less everything I need to know… Florida would sacrifice a coach’s family on the 50 yard line if there was a recruiting advantage to be gained from it.

    • Cojones

      What if FU’s recruits saw us wipe the floor with FU’s ass? Don’t you think that represents a big intrusion in FU’s big recruiting ground? How is that different than Bama’s visit to the Chi-Fil-A each year? More players from that area will be able to make the game at Gainesville because it’s closer. Maybe we could save money by showing them who we are at that Jax-site game and not pay for their trip to Athens( plus their family).

      Nope. I think some of you have gone weenie on us concerning this game. With that kind of support, I don’t want to see anymore comments about players losing in that game. What the hell’s going on here? Play and win and then I’ll cheer for you? That ain’t a fan.

      I agree with those of you who would like the game in Athens, but not for the same reason(home and home). I want it so that Athens merchants and the local economy grow more because of the championship team in town. But we should at least support our team on the road with everything that we have. Is it just me or do our fans actually cheer louder when competing with like numbers across from us at the Ga/FU Game? Your confidence should match your cheering, otherwise you are getting hoarse and inebriated for no good reason.

  8. Mike

    I think Florida is also taking this stance? Not sure if I have read any explanation from Foley. If I had to guess, I would think Muschamp might want to extend tickets to potential recruits

  9. stoopnagle

    Go figure: Greg McGarity and Jeremy Foley are on the same page on the issue. That one must be indexed in the little orange and blue notebook.

  10. Hilton Head Dawg

    So far McGarity has given us crappy home football schedules, no recruiting in Jax, fired the gymnastics coach and retained the baseball coach. Greg is not looking like the leader we had hoped for. I sure hope his master plan comes together soon! However, I am not really sure he has one yet.

  11. Bulldog Joe

    Great. Maybe UF can host our recruits at the game.

  12. Bright Idea

    Neither school has brought recruits to J’ville before and it has not hurt. Why start not? McGarity’s reasons sound legit to me.

  13. Hill Dawg

    OK, who is ready to mail their GEORGIA-florida tickets to the recruiting office. Only need 500-700. Step right up. Think of the money you’ll save and I’m sure it will be a major factor in the kids decision in picking his school….. Oh,,,,,and don’t wait on mine. I’ll use’m myself. Let’s have a poll. If you never go to the GEORGIA-florida game and you think some other UGA fan should give-up their tickets, raise your hand……..I thought so.

  14. Cojones

    Sorry, this doesn’t apply to all, but I’m dismayed by the lack of cojones from a few for our playing in this game. If the fear of losing is behind some of the “logic” here, then pushing a niggardly attitude toward recruits getting tickets bounces hard against your confidence toward this team. It’s a dead giveaway. And it is sad.

    H H Dawg (10:34) states the obvious, but McGarityphiles are not allowing Greg’s foibles to be reviewed in the same way they nitpick our coaches. McGarity is here to support our coaches in making them as successful as they can be. He is not here as an axe man. Anything that coaches are in favor of, he should support. Have we heard from the coaches or our new recruiter on this issue?

    • Cojones

      HHDawg left out the part about what stagnating Richt’s salary will do to recruiting. McGarity had to go along with that, didn’t he?

      Don’t get me wrong. I was initially happy with McGarity being here and I think he does what he thinks is best for the program, but not pushing recruiting anyway that he can as the key to success of all UGA teams is a shortcoming I never forsaw.

      • Hilton Head Dawg

        Greg started off with a bang, claiming he was there to offer any assistance Richt needed to make the football program successful. This was viewed as a tool to free Richt up to give his full attention to the team. However, since then I have not been overly impressed with McGarity. You hit the mark in stating that Greg is here to support the coaches. I get the feeling that he has more in mind than that. Which is fine if his agenda falls in line with the coaches thoughts and ideas. I just do not like the direction I currently see from Greg.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          HHD, the resurgence of UGA’s football program and the hiring of Greg McGarity as AD are not coincidences. Red Panties was an absentee AD who, when he did show up, was a negative. We’re all beating up CMR for letting the program slip. The direction of the program is the responsibility of the AD, too, not just the HC of the football team.

          • Hilton Head Dawg

            I do not disagree that the Dawgs had a solid 2011. I am not willing to proclaim them as being back yet. 2012 will go along way to determining if they are back. Yes, they are headed in the right direction, thank you coach Grantham. As far as the atheletic department as a whole, Greg still has a ton to prove. Look no further than baseball and hoops. And his football scheduling philosophy is complete garbage for what it is worth. I am simply not sold on they guy as of yet.

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              Maybe–maybe not. One thing that I think we can agree on though–it is a good thing for UGA that “Red Panties” is gone.

              • Hilton Head Dawg

                You are correct about Mr. Evans being gone. However, I for one will miss his football scheduling ideas. While not always successful on the field, trips to Ok. State and ASU were great for the fans. Much better than Coastal Carolina and Buffalo. Would you agree?

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  The Coastal Carolina and Buffalo games are in Athens where basically all the people who get to see the game (86,000+) are UGA fans/alums/students/ players’ family. Going to ASU or Okie State gave the opportunity to attend in person to about 5000 UGA folks and cost over 80,000 UGA fans/alums/students/players’ family the chance to see their team play in person.

  15. Todd

    I have said it before and will say it again, “Georgia is cheap old money”. Georgia has not arrived…yet. When Georgia dominates big boy teams, then you can say they have arrived. Georgia is one of the top 5 most profitable athletic departments in the country. Even with no crystal football to display. Look at the “indoor” facility at Butts-Mehre and stuff just like this. Alabama may be spending the @#$% out of some money, but they are getting the rewards. The Georgia Way is half-ass. I guess I would be labeled a win at all cost guy if I pointed out that Saban would find a way to make this happen and interact with the recruits. No doubt Georgia is profitable, but are they putting the best possible product on the field?

    • Cojones

      I think you make a point that we skip over. We act as if , being fans, we don’t have any responsibility for what goes on, but we do. One of those responsibilities is to act in concert with our school to place the best foot forward and the best light on our program that we can assist with. We fail miserably when we sit back and say, “Well, I’ll wait until they are champions before I’ll back them anymore.” They need our continued support: the team, coaches and administration that makes decisions that affects all sports.

      We are as fragmented as those in Washington. Until we get our act together, we don’t have the right to poke fingers at aholes and detractors. That includes me.