Now is not a happy time for Dawgnation.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and DawgNation.com reached out to people this week who are in positions of knowledge and influence when it comes to the inner workings of the University of Georgia and its athletics association. Some declined comment and some spoke only in broad generalities. But others spoke candidly on the condition of anonymity.
This much is clear: There is a lot of dissatisfaction about the leadership and direction of Georgia football.
“There are five or six members of the board of regents that are extremely disenchanted with the state and condition of the football program at the University of Georgia,” one person with direct knowledge said about the situation.
It’s been a season of disappointments, no question. But I can’t help but chuckle over one of the complaints.
But there are more specific complaints about the way things have gone this season. Some individuals contacted complained about the pregame “skirmish” that ensued against Alabama in the season’s fifth game. They were further embarrassed when the Crimson Tide later took advantage of some major fundamental breakdowns — a blocked punt for a touchdown started the onslaught — in what ended up a lopsided 38-10 defeat.
We might have excused you for behaving like dicks before the game, boys, if only you’d have gone on to play well.
This is pretty unsurprising, too.
Even last week’s win over Georgia Southern drew criticism. The Bulldogs won 23-17 in overtime, but they obviously struggled to do so. And to have expressed such joy and exhilaration against an inferior in-state program that only recent moved up to the Sun Belt Conference did not sit well with longtime supporters.
“I love to see them win but, Saturday night, beating Georgia Southern in overtime, and we’re excited about it? Please,” said one major donor. “This is the University of Georgia. Who did we beat this year? Vanderbilt? Kentucky? And we’re excited about beating Georgia Southern in overtime?”
“This is the University of Georgia”, eh? A legend in our own minds… the reality is Georgia, historically speaking, is an above-average program with occasional peaks of greatness. (Some of which Mark Richt has supplied, by the way.) But don’t stop those regents. They’re on a roll.
Said Dr. Thomas Hopkins of Griffin, a member of the board of regents: “I don’t have a position on it. Around the table, we (regents) just say we’re glad we don’t have anything to do with hiring and firing coaches. That’s just not what the board of regents does. We entrust those duties to the president of the university and the athletic director.”
But that doesn’t mean they don’t have an opinion about it and that they wouldn’t share it. Several have.
Not on the record, though. Real profiles in courage there.
Where were you guys when Goff was hired, or Donnan? Or Richt himself, for that matter? Why were you apparently content with emphasizing the reserve fund over spending money on the football program over most of Richt’s tenure? Why was Michael Adams’ interference with the program tolerated? If you’ve known what you wanted, you’ve sure had a funny way of showing it over the years.
None of this is about keeping Richt. But to the 50% who want him gone, who think it’s time for Georgia to be what you think Georgia is, here’s what I have to say. You have checkbooks, and now is the time to put your money where your anonymous mouths are. Tell McGarity that money is no object. Tell him you’ll pay for the buyouts. Tell him that you’ll back his play with the most expensive replacement hire he can land, if that’s what it takes. And tell him that you’ll be there to pay for everything the new guy wants, because it’ll take that, too.
Otherwise, save your grumbling. Because it doesn’t mean any more than what I see in the comment threads here at the blog.