Hit ’em with your wallet, Greg.

Recently, Alabama flipped a Georgia commit.  One reason given for his change of heart:  facilities.

Recruiting is an ‘arms race’ and many schools use its facilities as a ‘wow factor’ in getting a commitment. Saban has invested a lot of money into upgrading Alabama’s athletic facilities. Alabama has one of the nicest indoor practice facilities in the nation and Georgia is currently building one.  Alabama’s facilities were a contributing factor in McGraw’s decision to flip to the Crimson Tide.

“Every program in the country wants to win the ‘wow’ factor with recruits,” McGraw replied. “Certainly as a recruit, Alabama’s facilities catch your eye immediately.”

Maybe McGarity should have shown him the reserve account balance.  It’s pretty impressive in its own way.

(h/t Carvell)


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

65 responses to “Hit ’em with your wallet, Greg.

  1. AthensHomerDawg

    And where is the nations largest, indoor practice facility located… right next to the outdoor practice facility.

    • DawgFaithful

      I know right. They’re gonna put ours down by the softball fields almost in Oconee County. WTF? You mean to tell me it won’t fit anywhere on campus?

      • Maybe they will build a monorail from Butts-Mehre to the IPF. That’ll show ’em who da best! Maybe Disney will design it. Take that ‘Bama.

  2. Joe Schmoe

    UGA’s facilities are extremely nice. Personally, if a kid is going to make one of the most important decisions of his life to date based on whether or not we have an indoor practice facility, I question his decision making (granted, he cited some other reasons as well). I guess this will all be a moot point in a few years.

    • 3rdandGrantham

      They certainly are, but as someone who has toured both Bama’s and UGA’s facilities, theirs easily trumps ours, I’m afraid to say (even taking their IPF completely out of the equation.)

      • mwo

        I like the visitors locker room over at Bryant Denney. It says “Fail Room”

        • 3rdandGrantham

          The general atmosphere over there alone basically has more of an edge to it, if that makes sense. It just ‘feels’ like football is really, really important there, and the little details here and there add up to more of an overall wow factor. At UGA, its a bit more relaxed and not anywhere near as intense, and the overall feeling of commitment certainly isn’t the same either (that goes for both the facilities and personnel).

          • Scorpio Jones, III

            “It just ‘feels’ like football is really, really important there”

            It is. Maybe the most important.

            • 3rdandGrantham

              No doubt about it. Football means everything to them, as there’s not much else going on over there and basically not much else to do, sadly.

              Not saying Bama’s culture is better or anything of the sort…just giving MHO on it. As someone who isn’t a fanatical football fan who moved from Athens to a college town more known for its elite academics, wine/food, wealth/snobbery, and Thomas Jefferson (and certainly not football), I personally don’t have much of an issue with UGA’s lack of total commitment and fanatical desire to win.

              • Mayor

                That attitude right there is the problem. “We have met the enemy and it is us.”

                • 3rdandGrantham

                  I respectfully disagree. Not only is there nothing wrong with not being a fanatical, win at all costs football fan, but I strongly believe that its much healthier to live a life of overall balance than to be totally consumed and wrapped up in something (football) that you have absolutely no control over or input on whatsoever. And as a UGA alum, I’m much more concerned about UGA academic prestige or ranking than the success of its football program. With that said, I’m glad that UGA has a somewhat healthier balance and isn’t full tilt football…academics and overall reputation be dammed.

                • KingCantona00

                  So you want to be a Gump?

                  I agree Georgia could be more committed when it comes to football, but in no way do I hope Athens ever defines itself solely by football as the folks in Tusky do.

                  There is a middle ground.

                  • Scorpio Jones, III

                    And we are in it.

                  • Mayor

                    Yep. It’s called “losing.”

                    • Dawgfan Will

                      In all seriousness, do you only value the University of Georgia for its football program?

                    • Mayor

                      No, but one does not preclude the other. However, not trying hard DOES preclude the other.

                    • 3rdandGrantham

                      UGA certainly is trying hard (I seriously doubt the likes of ADGM and CMR are only putting in 20 hours a week), but they are doing it under tighter guidelines with more ethical standards in accordance with university policies, the same polices that have helped UGA skyrocket up various university rankings publications over the past several decades.

                      You called out my attitude for daring to suggest that a healthy life balance is somehow aberrant. You do realize that you have no control over the program, and whether UGA goes 14-0 or 0-14 this year, it has no major effect or impact on your life whatsoever, right?

                    • Bulldawg165

                      I believe the Mayor is indicating a desire for the people in power (Richt and McGarity & company) to take a more stern approach. That doesn’t require the mayor himself to make his life solely about football. They can do that without the university abandoning our morals or sacrificing our academics.

                      You, sir, are setting up straw men. Big ones.

                    • Mayor

                      165 is right, but not just about CMR and McGarity. The shortcomings are with that entire crew at B-M, the Athletic Board, the Administration, even the President (although I see signs that THIS President may be more on board with winning than his predecessor, God love him).

                    • Mayor, I agree with you most of the time, but to say that we aren’t trying is just laughable. I can’t agree with you at all. If CMR thought Georgia wasn’t dedicated to winning at the highest level, he would have never had Coach Bowden make the one call about a job he wanted. I know you have problems with the governance structure of the athletic association, the game in Jacksonville, and our discipline policies, but to say we aren’t serious about winning is a cheap shot.

                • Biggus Rickus

                  What you see as a problem, I see as a virtue. Some people are entirely too consumed by the success of their preferred football team. When an entire program takes on that mentality, it’s sad, really.

                  • 3rdandGrantham

                    Yep. During some rather low years in my life some years back, I made the decision to give full attention and focus to the things in my life I actually controlled (career, health, hobbies, etc), and not too much at all to the things that I didn’t control or had no input on (sports, tv, meddling in others affairs, etc.). It was by far the best move I’ve ever made, and I’m happier and more successful than I ever imagined possible as a result.

                    • Bulldawg165

                      lol yes, it is absolutely impossible for someone to expect excellence in certain areas of their life without losing perspective (that’s sarcasm)

                      There is also no way we can take football more seriously at UGA without leading to the inevitable Penn State child rape cover up actions. We’ll also start paying players as well (that’s sarcasm too)

                      I mean, anyone who thinks our staff could do more clearly only wants them to cover for murder suspects like Urban Meyer did with Aaron Hernandez (allegedly).

    • DawgFaithful

      You mean you think kids have decision making problems because they chose the school with the nicest facilities? How does that make sense? He didn’t say it was the only factor. I can understand it being a big one. Would you rather practice at 78 degrees or 91 with a heat index of 100?

      • Sanford222view

        You really think Saban takes his team inside when it gets hot out? An indoor facility should be used to avoid losing practice time to lightening storms and other conditions that would not be experienced during a game.

        I want the team practicing in the heat to become conditioned and acclimated to it for when the season starts and it is hot as seven Hells in Chickumbia.

    • Per Radi. ( @RadiNabulsi’s Tweet:)

      • Macallanlover

        Recruiting is really on a roll these days, even a lukewarm observer like me is getting excited about the next few years…..maybe starting with this one. Still have to get them in the boat but “big mo” seems to be on our side right now. Rumor guys say another strong talent is coming our way before the end of the week.

  3. 3rdandGrantham

    Showing him the reserve account balance would only help to reassure his recent decision to flip. He would most likely say (or at least think to himself), “so, in other words, you’re not as committed to football and winning as Alabama is. Thanks for the reassurance that I made the right choice.”

    Whether we want to admit it or not, UGA is not as committed to football as the Bama’s, LSU, and AU’s of the world. Especially considering the unbelievable inherent advantages we have over such schools, the fact that we’re less successful than the Bama’s and LSU’s pretty much says it all. Some (particularly the fanatics) look at that with utter disgust, while others take solace in the notion that UGA is not a renegade like school where football trumps everything else; academics included.

    • Matt b.

      Well put. It really does get me flustered when I think of all the advantages UGA enjoys.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Two story, 37000 sq feet,9.7 million weight room. Located between the outdoor and indoor practice facility. For those of you who were wondering if the Tide and Saban were going to fall off anytime soon, watching this video will all but toss any of those thoughts out of your mind.

      Talk about the rich getting richer:

      *The two-story, 37,000-square foot facility is a heaven for workout-aholics. It overlooks the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields on one side, and connects to the Hank Crisp Indoor Practice Facility on the other.*
      “Every day I walk in the door and I’m humbled by this,” Cochran said on the tour, outstretching his arms. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.”
      *The palace of weights (as it should be dubbed) features a state-of-the-art nutrition center to fuel student-athletes. There are bowls of fresh fruit, KIND bars and cups of Gatorade set out, and there is also an interesting motivational sign on the wall that says, “Sweat is just your fat crying.”*
      *The weight room also has a booming sound system to help motivate athletes during training.*
    • pantslesspatdye

      Can this kid not appreciate how much interest the reserves are generating from all of it’s low-risk commercial paper? Greg doesn’t even have to mess with munis; everything earned is tax free.
      When football is outlawed and soccer finally takes hold in the South, Greg will be in great position to turn Sanford Stadium into a state of the art soccer arena. We’re going to lure the 2046 World Cup to Athens. Long term, baby.

      • GaskillDawg

        Alabama can promise a recruit a weight room. We can offer a recruit the opportunity to graduate and get a job as an account manager of the reserve fund! Big biceps or big bucks.

    • Bulldawg165

      I can think of quite a few things our staff and administration could have done over the past few years that wouldn’t make us “a renegade like school where football trumps everything else; academics included”

  4. W Cobb Dawg

    And if he doesn’t live up to saban’s playing standards McGraw will be out on his a$$, or maybe sweeping bama’s IPF. Of course, saban agreed to provide McGraw with a guaranteed 4 year scholly….

  5. South FL Dawg

    Bling and glitz isn’t going to turn somebody into All-SEC. I know it’s nice and all that. But if the facilities make the athlete, then most of these kids wouldn’t be here because they grew up playing on dirt fields with middling equipment.

  6. Bulldog Joe

    UA already has a regionally-competitive engineering school in Tuscaloosa and a strong med school in Birmingham.

    No need for the athletic program to “invest” in startups over there.

    • The med school is at UAB similar to the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. I’ve never heard of Alabama’s engineering program (most of the engineers that come out of Alabama come from Auburn).

      I hope you aren’t saying that Georgia shouldn’t be “investing” in a med school or an engineering school. We’ve been competitive with UF on the academic front without them. We’ll move past UF in academic reputation when those two programs are established and gaining traction. Tech will have nothing on Georgia on the STEM front at that point other than reputation.

      • Bazooka Joe

        We have a ways to go to catch UF, at least in the Med field (don’t know anything about their engineering, if they have one – I know ours is a baby program at this point isn’t it ?). FU and Vandy were the only AAU schools in the SEC until A&M and misery joined (I believe they are both AAU schools). I think we are at the top of the next tier down. The you have South Carolina and Arkansas at the bottom

  7. joe

    If you actually follow recruiting you know that this kid wants to go to uga, but his aau handler is steering the kid to bama. Look up will redmond.

    Also look up the kids height and weight from the opening. He will eat his way out of playing db soon.

    The direct payment to players and their families is a much bigger recruiting advantage that auburn, bama, ole miss enjoy than any facilities. It’s warfare out there and we continue to bring swords to an m16 battle.

    We may as well go ahead and try to keep up, because with the new autonomy situation we are in a complete wild west scenario right now. The Ncaa has literally zero recourse against cheating today. ZERO

    • 3rdandGrantham

      This is correct—the NCAA absolutely threw in the towel last week. Penn State’s punishment (which already is in the process of being greatly reduced) will go down as the last of the major CFB programs to be put on any sort of probation by the NCAA. Speaking of the infractions committee, the NCAA is quietly eliminating personnel in this department, and is no longer actively enforcing anything of significance.

      The renegade schools/programs will greatly benefit from this, while the more ethical programs will see more and more recruits lost to the win at all costs types.

    • Bulldawg165

      Are you seriously implying that other SEC schools consistently pay for recruits and UGA doesn’t? LOL

      We compete with the best of them in recruiting, and if they are throwing around money and we weren’t like some suggest I seriously doubt that would be the case.

      I might concede that there are a few one off cases here and there, but to suggest that nearly ALL of our competitors flat out cheat and don’t get caught is asinine.

  8. Normaltown Mike

    I would think the fact that Saban is a better coach and Alabama has won three Natties over the past half-decade might be a factor.

    • DawgFaithful

      That and the facilities.

    • Mayor

      Think about this for a second. In 4 years as a starter at Georgia Aaron Murray is 35-17. In only 3 years as a starter at Bama AJ McCarron is 36-4, plus he has 2 BCSNC rings. Most people would agree that Murray is the better QB, after all, Murray has just about every SEC passing record, right? It hardly seems fair. That might be a factor, too.

    • Is Saban a better head coach or is he a better defensive coordinator than the last 2 we’ve had? I tend to think it’s the latter. Go back and watch Clemson ’03, Alabama ’03, LSU ’04, and Boise ’05. We were just as nasty on defense as Alabama is now. I’m not taking anything away from Saban – he is a great head coach, but he also has some institutional advantages that whoever is the Georgia head football coach will never have.

      Our main problem since ’06 has been the mentality on defense. We haven’t gotten after people, been fundamentally sound, or forced turnovers the way we should. I hope Pruitt changes all of that.

      • Normaltown Mike

        I would say that our approach to recruiting/roster management got progressively worse around that same time.

        CMR has shown himself willing to evolve on this front (as well as playing freshman, which probably cost him the USC loss in 2007)

        • Good point about recruiting and roster management – I would also say that S&C and player development took a step backward as well. We were killing it in recruiting according to the services, but players weren’t developing.

          Maybe the dumbest thing this staff did was to redshirt Knowshon in 2006. Richt was still determining how much he could trust KM in early 2007 when the USCe loss happened. He’s even said that episode taught him a lesson about redshirting skilled players.

      • Bazooka Joe

        You hit one item on the head…. at Bama, Saban runs the place, he is given the power and freedom to do what he wants. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Univ prez ultimately reports to Saban.
        Georgia will never give a coach that much power and autonomy, I don’t care if Saban and the ghosts of Lombardi and D Shula all merge together (that would be a heck of a coach wouldn’t it….)

  9. Cojones

    I think it should be built, not as another weapon in the recruit arms race, but because Richt has wanted it for some time. He is the only one who has a purpose for it.

    I’m in total agreement with what 3rdandGrantham wrote at 2:20. Academics is the Holy Grail that I bow to at UGA. All the rest is jus’ havin’ fun while having a relaxing drink (or smoke).

    • +1 on the IPF – if CMR wants it, he should have gotten it. Adams wasn’t going to let it happen. Sounds like Morehead has a different perspective.

      +1,000 on the academic question – I moved my oldest daughter into her dorm room yesterday thankful for the academic opportunities she will have that I didn’t. Her degree from UGA in a few years will be worth more than mine was 20 years ago (and not just because of inflation).

      • Cojones

        When I left with my Grad Degree in the late 60s, the Science Depts combined made for a high tier school for that degree. The Biological Sciences esp excelled and were recognized across the US. One genetic engineering company I consulted for in Ca had over 5% UGA grads responsible for everything from Research to Product Development to Manufacturing to Quality Assurance. It was the first successful with product and is now the top biotech/genetic engineering company in the world. Several Dawgs have lived as millionaires for years due to their success there.

        When I left UGA, the top Bio Sci/ biotech schools were determined by scholarship, research grants and industry application to be designated as Centers of Excellence in Biological Sciences. Georgia stood even shoulders with two others as the best. One was some NY school and another was in Palo Alta, Ca. All 3 were given outright 10M ea for research granting/equipment by the National Science Foundation.

        They have gotten even better since.

        • Oh, I got a great education at Terry especially in the Tull School of Accounting. I guess my point is in the late 80’s, UGA didn’t have a national reputation (and the public Ivy designation) it does now and that adds to the value of all of our degrees. UGA has always had degree programs that truly stacked up against the best elite schools. I value my two degree from UGA even more today than I did the day I got them.

  10. Bright Idea

    Putting athletics second to academics is not really what bothers us. What bugs us is that nobody gives us any credit for it, especially with the arrests thrown on top. We catch hell for getting beat by folks who are selling their souls to beat us and everybody else.

    • Bulldog Joe

      UGA suffers the consequences of its own poor policy decisions.

      Zero-tolerance punishment and discipline are two different things and full-transparency is just another term for neglecting your public relations responsbilities.

      There is no award given for the moral championship.

    • Cojones

      Don’t know if you saw the returning players this summer who just received their UGA degrees because they want the prestige that goes with it. They were already set from the money end.

      It sure would be interesting if our new alums took part in this conversation. I’ll bet they could literally hang some moral victory sign on the wall alongside that degree. My Dawgs becoming my fellow alumni – kinda makes the heart get larger.

      Now’s the time that Greg should hit’em up for the new facilities. Go Dawgs!
      Sic’em Greg!

  11. Guess somebody showed Trent Thompson the reserve fund.

    • Cojones

      You really had to be diggin’ the Bama Facilities conversation here. I looked at the competition yesterday and saw 3 teams with 2 five star players, but one had three. It’s a serious wonder that yall didn’t get Trent to make it 4.

      It think it’s a great breadcrumb deficiency we have triumphed over. No one thinks of the little things here.

      • Richard Shelby and Nick Saban have been very good for Alabama’s infrastructure.

        I’ve never been to Athens, but I’ll bet it’s plenty nice. If I were a college player, I wouldn’t want an indoor practice field; I would want practice cancelled if it rained.🙂

  12. Ricky McDurden

    You guys aren’t gonna like it when I post the renderings of Moo State’s new baseball park. Because it’s nicer than most minor league parks which are exponentially nicer than Foley (with or without the new renovation). We’re getting outclassed.

    • Macallanlover

      But….but….how can that be? Our bank account is loaded to the gills…..and the academic bandits are planning more raids on the athletic piggy bank. Surely McFrugal wouldn’t let us get outclassed.