Daily Archives: February 17, 2015

I got your donor support right here.

Call it a tale of two priorities.

Let no one accuse Butts-Mehre of not knowing where its bread is buttered.

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UPDATE:  That reserve fund will need a lot of support, too.

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UPDATE #2:  If you’re looking for an explanation for the IPF price tag, Seth Emerson can shed some light for you.

As for the location, the focus now is on the area just beyond the football team’s current outdoor practice fields, off of Lumpkin Street, and leading up to Stegeman Coliseum. It would likely force the removal of the Hoke Smith annex and its parking lot, among other things.

That area is owned by UGA and not the UGA athletics association, which are two separate entities financially.

“It’s not within our fence line,” McGarity said of the proposed site. “It complicates things.”

Dang.  They might need two donations.

19 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

Name that caption, bringing it all back home edition

Obvious?  Sure.

Comments, please.

40 Comments

Filed under Name That Caption

Stability pays.

You may have heard that in the most recent (2013-4) financial report filed with the NCAA, Alabama claimed a $33 million surplus in its athletics operations while Auburn posted a deficit of $13.7 million for the same.

Setting aside the usual black magic, book-cooking disclaimer for any numbers a school generates about its athletics department, if you take it for granted that Alabama had a better financial go of it than did its neighbor on the Plains, there are some interesting takeaways from the linked article.

Start with this:

Both schools have won a football national championship in the last five years, but Auburn has gone through a coaching change and Alabama hasn’t. Same thing goes for basketball where Auburn made a change last year, while Anthony Grant has been in Tuscaloosa since 2009.

Auburn is on the hook for buyouts for former football coach Gene Chizik and basketball coach Tony Barbee, among others — adding an additional $4,846,662 in severance payments. Alabama, meanwhile, only paid $272,140 in severance payments in 2013-14.

The stability of Alabama’s two revenue sports has helped it avoid costly buyouts and build up its financial coffers.

Because Alabama hasn’t been on the roller coaster ride that Auburn football has enjoyed over the past five seasons, it hasn’t taken the hit financially.  And that just doesn’t extend to head coaches, either, when you consider what Auburn is on the hook for replacing defensive staff this offseason.  Assistants leave Alabama, but they do so of their own volition, which is a no-cost situation for the school.

The point is that while there is more than one way to skin the cat when it comes to chasing excellence, as a general rule, this suggests over the long haul that landing on the right guy and sticking with him through changing market conditions (i.e., paying your head coach $7 million/year) is going to be better for the bottom line than going the flavor of the month route.  And for those who suggest otherwise, it’s worth pointing out one last note.

Auburn collected $4.384 million in student fees, while Alabama collected nothing. Essentially, Auburn students are directly subsidizing the athletic department.

Of course, those students go to Auburn, so maybe they don’t care, but all other things being equal, I bet they’d prefer not to stroke the check if they don’t have to.

7 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, It's Just Bidness, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Sales pitch

In this post entitled “How can we fix assistant coaches leaving after signing day?” (answer: you can’t without violating contract law), there’s this:

“You should never try to convince a player to attend a school because of who the head coach is, or who his position coach or coordinator is going to be,” said one assistant at a Power 5 program. “There’s a 75 percent chance that his coordinator or position coach won’t be there by the time the player graduates, and that’s probably as high as 50 or 60 percent for the head coach. That’s just the reality.”

College coaching positions do indeed turn over at a high rate, but if kids are being dissuaded from choosing a school because of who based on who will be coaching them, what factors should they be considering? Does the quality of a university’s engineering or broadcast journalism or philosophy program truly matter to five-star prospects for whom Plan A is to spend three years playing college football before moving on to the NFL? If pro football endgame, then it’s perfectly reasonable that kids would want to be comfortable with what they’ll be learning and from whom they’ll be learning it.

I mention this because it seems one thing Mark Richt is selling these days about his program is that it’s “NFL Ready” (h/t Bulldog Illustrated).  Here’s a tweet from Georgia Football after the Schottenheimer hire.

Now there’s nothing wrong with that, since Georgia puts a lot of student-athletes in the NFL.  Also, I’m sure it’s not the only thing Richt is pitching to recruits about what they can expect out of enrolling at the school.

(Although it’s certainly ironic in a world where we’re told a kid shouldn’t go to a school because of who the head coach is, that one of Georgia’s great sales points is Richt’s longevity and the program’s stability, er, consistency.  Speaking of which:  “It does have more of an impact when it’s a position coach because kids want to know who is going to be coaching them and working with them every day to get better,” said one SEC assistant. “If a coordinator leaves they really just want to make sure the scheme is going to be the same. As long as the scheme is the same they don’t care who is calling the plays.”)

My guess is that any smart recruiter, of which Georgia certainly has its share, tailors his pitch to his audience.  The kids who want to hear about playing on Sundays more than anything else are probably going to factor coaching more prominently into their decision than others.  And, like Roquan Smith, those last minute coaching changes are going to sting more as a result for them.

Every Georgia signee commits to the G.  It’s just that “G” may mean different things to different people.  It’s up to the coaches to market that accordingly.

40 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

They’re gonna miss him when he’s gone.

Which is now.

There are some very nice things being said about Coach Brown by the folks at Wisconsin in the wake of his departure.  Here’s the main article about it from the Wisconsin Scout site.

Thomas Brown is going home, leaving Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst without one of his best recruiters.

A coaching shakeup on the Georgia coaching staff opened an opportunity for Brown to be hired at his alma mater. Georgia made the hiring official Monday afternoon.

Brown, who starred at tailback for the Bulldogs from 2004-07 and later worked as an assistant strength coach after spending three seasons in the NFL, was hired by former head coach Gary Andersen last spring and helped coach Melvin Gordon to one of the best seasons for a running back in college football history in 2014.

He also earned the reputation as the Badgers’ top recruiter, helping Wisconsin land a pair of tailbacks – four-star Jordan Stevenson and three-star Bradrick Shaw – and four-star outside linebacker Arrington Farrar from Atlanta. Brown was also the main recruiter for Antonio Williams – a four-star tailback from North Carolina who is Wisconsin’s lone verbal commit in 2016.

As we like to say here at the blog, hmmmm…

The general consensus in the fan base, at least judging by this message board thread, is that Brown’s talent as a recruiter was appreciated.

In the end, the staff has gotten younger and added another dynamic recruiter.  All in all, it sounds like something to get excited about.

47 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Facilitating the indoor practice process

The UGAAA Board meets today to hear about plans for an indoor practice facility.  As this article indicates, it’s been a long time coming.

“The Athletic Association will complete an Indoor Practice Facility behind Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, which will enable football, track and other outdoor sports to practice year-round in a climate-controlled facility. Architectural drawings and schematics are being drawn up now and we have begun securing the necessary funds to begin this project. The initial estimate of the facility is $12 million. Projections for completion have yet to be determined but we are hoping to break ground on this project immediately.”

That statement from UGA regarding a new indoor practice facility was not issued recently. In fact, it was written about 17 years ago. It was included in the Bulldogs’ 1998-99 annual report to donors.

“We had a plan,” Vince Dooley, Georgia’s athletic director at the time, acknowledged this past weekend. “The indoor facility itself was excellent and was just what we wanted.”

Better late than never, I suppose.

McGarity has been hush-hush about it…

“Due to open-records requests, there are no renders or anything other than spoken words,” Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity said. “Open records have changed our approach on projects.”

There will be nothing to see on Tuesday either, McGarity claimed. Those architects are expected to make some sort of presentation to the full board when it meets at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

… but in any event, it sounds like there won’t be anything more than a discussion of plans.

Finalization is off in the future, but Seth Emerson has heard some chatter about the site.

It is not clear whether the location for the facility will be formally approved, but one site has emerged as a possibility: The area just beyond the existing outdoor practice fields, off of Lumpkin Street, leading up to Stegeman Coliseum.

Other locations had not been ruled out as of last month: An off-campus area off Milledge Avenue, or tearing up one of the existing outdoor fields and building it there. But the location off Lumpkin seems a good compromise, keeping the existing facilities but not having it far from the Butts-Mehre building.

So expect to hear a lot of “it’s moving forward” talk, enough for the coaches to have something to sell to recruits (or at least distract them from the negative recruiting they’ll be getting about how Georgia will soon be the only program in the conference without an IPF).

There’s probably some other talk you can expect to hear soon, too.

The source of the funds could also be revealed Tuesday, although it is expected to be a mix of private and UGA reserve funds, much like the recently completed renovation of baseball’s Foley Field. That could just over $12 million, with $5 million coming through fundraising.

Hey, man, ‘ya gotta help a reserve fund out.

54 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football