The Richt decision: the present

If you watched any of the Iron Bowl broadcast this past Saturday, as I did, you might have noticed a discussion Gary and Verne had about the number of staffers Alabama had up in the coaches booth.  Lundquist was certain it was fifteen and damned if it didn’t look like it when the CBS camera panned the booth.  That room was crowded.

I mention this story not in a fit of jealousy, nor to condemn another program’s wasteful spending.  Rather, it’s a perfect example of what the Georgia Way is up against.  Regardless of where you think Richt falls on the performance spectrum, you cannot deny that for the bulk of his time in Athens, he was not allowed the resources to duke it out with Georgia’s main rivals.

Forget about the IPF.  Georgia was one of the last schools to give out multi-year contracts to assistant coaches.  (Ironically, the administration got away with that because of staff loyalty to Richt.)  Saban bulks up support staff; Richt is forced to come out of his own pocket to pay bonuses to his assistants.  Georgia’s recruiting budget was far short of what other conference schools were allocating until this year.

If you manage an SEC football program, there’s a difference between being committed to winning and being financially committed to winning.  Everybody wants to win.  The hard part is figuring out how to allocate resources to make sure that happens.  And, no, that doesn’t mean spending money like a drunken sailor.  (We’re looking at you, Tennessee.)  It simply means that if you think your rightful place is among the Alabamas, Floridas and LSUs of the world, you’d better take a hard look at what they’re doing and make sure you’re giving your coaching staff the opportunity to keep up with them.

Are things on a better track now?  Hard to say.  Yes, spending on certain things has crept up, but look what it took to get B-M’s collective head out of its ass.  And the jury is still out on whether the increase is being spent wisely.

What do I mean by that?  Georgia is letting coaches go who just received major raises and extensions (as well as Schottenheimer’s big deal, which was a huge bump up from what Bobo was getting) less than a year ago.  It’s in the wake of a disappointing 9-3 regular season, to be sure, but 9-3 is a long way away from unexpectedly awful.  If the firing of Richt is the result of an accumulation of flaws that he was unable to overcome, how come that didn’t slow the administration down when the new deals were made?

That’s not to say that either decision on its own can’t be justified.  But taken together, it’s not a sign of an organization that goes through enough serious consideration before making major decisions.  You tell me if that’s changed in the last month.

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31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

31 responses to “The Richt decision: the present

  1. Turd Ferguson

    Speaking of the IPF, I heard an interesting rumor last night to the effect that the IPF had a significant role to play in Richt’s firing. Basically, some of the major donors were only willing to fund the thing if McGarity let go of Richt. Anyone know if there’s any truth to that?

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    • Griff

      I read that as well but it doesn’t seem to add up since McGarity opened the door for Richt to stay in some other role. If the major donors wanted Richt out I would think it would mean cutting the cord completely. But who knows…

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      • Will (The Other One)

        I wouldn’t go that far. While I can see a number of them not wanting him to be the coach any more, I don’t think there are “whale boosters” who actively disliked him as a person.

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    • Normaltown Mike

      Technically, the AA already has the money in the reserve fund so if they had faith in CMR and the boosters w/d pledges, it would still go forward.

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      • Turd Ferguson

        Yeah, that’s what I thought. But as with most things in life, I also figured that this had to come down to money, somehow, at the end of the day. And this seemed like a plausible money-related scenario.

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  2. The other Doug

    The last 24 hours hasn’t improved my view of the competence level in the Athletic Department. They basically decided to let him go after the Florida game, but did nothing to prepare for the backlash.

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  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    I agree with your point about what we’re up against. However, Alabama’s spending is gross, almost obscene. Here’s a link. Looks like Bama spends over $120 million a year. And I don’t think I’m conspiratorial to think they work the books to show those numbers.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/sports/wp/2015/11/23/running-up-the-bills/

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  4. Tronan

    This is exactly why I’m concerned about B-M handling the replacement hire correctly. I can see Kirby Smart in particular raising the same points you have, Senator, and being met with a, “Well …” from McG.

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    • Will (The Other One)

      This is where things may get a lot better or a lot worse. I imagine/suspect/hope any top candidate will be aware of the spending/staffing levels and bring it up before taking the job. The question is: have any of the big $$$ folks told McGarity he should pony up if the next coach asks?

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    • Mayor

      I don’t see a career assistant trying to get his first HC job having the balls to make the kind of waves it would take to make serious changes to the “Georgia Way.” If Smart gets hired it will be more of the same old same old from B-M and we will be having the same conversations when Smart gets fired in 5 years that we are having now on this blog. Whoever gets hired has to be given total control of all football operations and decision making authority–period. Otherwise it will be the same inmates running the asylum as I posted yesterday. If CMR is being held responsible for the decline of the Georgia football program then McGarity is at least as culpable and should go, too. Then there needs to be a serious house-cleaning at B-M where the job performance of everybody in that building needs to be examined and the new HC gets to place his own people in positions that affect what he is doing. Again, HE needs to be the one in charge of football–not the AD, Assistant ADs, workers in B-M and certainly not the “big money boosters.”

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  5. Argondawg

    We put the future of UGA football in the hands of AD McGarity, what could possibly go wrong?

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  6. Heyberto

    “If the firing of Richt is the result of an accumulation of flaws that he was unable to overcome, how come that didn’t slow the administration down when the new deals were made?”

    This is the same question that’s been in my mind since the news broke. B-M is a mess, and is exactly why I’m skeptical we can make the kind of hire it’ll take to surpass Richt. Kirby Smart? If that’s the direction McGarity goes, it’s clear he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Not saying that couldn’t work out, but all it means is McGarity will have gotten lucky if it does. No reason we can’t get someone more proven.

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  7. After 15 years, you finally start to give the man what he’d been asking for and then you fire him. Wtf?? We’re always gonna be behind everyone else for one of two reasons. 1) we’re cheap or 2) we’re slow to react. These jackasses thought that there was gonna be an immediate turnaround just because we are finally pooling resources like the big boys. It seems that we’re absolutely clueless about how to build and maintain a highly successful program. So….we allow clueless people with a lot of money to affect decisions.

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    • Russ

      That’s my thought, too, except that the Schottenheimer hire turned out to be really bad, and I think that was the final nail. But it looks like McGarity has been looking for any reason.

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    • Gravidy

      There was an immediate turnaround on defense, and (by all accounts) those coaches are the ones everyone is the most sure will not be retained. Also, that coordinator is supposedly the one that everyone within BM hated the most. I will always have trouble wrapping my feeble brain around that.

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      • They want yes men more than they want winners. Pride can be an ugly thing. Pride destroys empires.

        It wouldn’t surprise me if we were so prideful that we don’t even have a replacement. All these talking heads claiming that we’re a top 5 program, with top 5 talent and will have NC coaches lined up at the arches. No problem even though there are 12 other programs looking.

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        • Gravidy

          I don’t think winning is everything. I don’t think winning (or in Pruitt’s case, fielding an excellent defense) is the only requirement of the job. If he was truly insubordinate, then he can’t stay. But I sure would like to know McG’s definition of “insubordinate”. I have the feeling that I might disagree with it. Hopefully, the real story of all those rumors of Pruitt’s behavior/insubordination will come out soon.

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  8. Rebar

    I’ve tried not to comment because I’m upset about the way this was handled; Why did we give Coach Richt a raise and extension last year? I loved him as the coach and thought he was finally going to get the support he needed to compete with the bigs in the SEC. Now I’m wondering if this wasn’t something personal with McGarity. He has completely flubbed this transition before hiring a new coach. I thought they should have let him coach out his contract, or not extended and given him a raise last year. Does anyone else find this to be extremely confusing?

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    • Jeff

      Yes, I do. I think McGarity has always wanted to make a change and he jumped on the current sentiment of some of the big money boosters while they were mad about the Bama and UF losses. IMO, he didn’t want to give Richt another chance with a superstar QB coming in because he might win 10 or 11 games and have renewed support. Then he would be even harder to fire. McGarity is a bumbling novice without a spine, and it is showing.

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  9. SouthernYank

    I think my favorite part about the media bitching about spending on athletics, is that they’ve got nothing at all to say about bloated academia, which has seen the dramatic increase in the numbers of deans, provosts, advisers, etc. over the last few decades. It’s comical.

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    • Tronan

      Bloated academic administration, you mean. The TA who’s making $8 and hour with no hope of a permanent teaching position hasn’t benefited from the bloat at all.

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      • SouthernYank

        Not TAs. I’m talking about the need for 10 more deans, 50 more advisers, etc., cause, you know, with all this technological innovation the last 25 yrs, with all other businesses cutting the number of workers, schools need more fat asses filling offices.

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  10. SAtownDawg

    Conspiracy theorists could suggest that McGarity’s completely inept handling of the Gurley saga set all of this in motion…we win the East last year if not for our top notch “investigation”

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  11. W Cobb Dawg

    The administration is a fiasco. Extended contracts and pay increases followed by pink slips 10 months later. Allowing assistants to leave town to recruit. Ham handed announcement. One fricken dumb thing after another.

    Had a good chuckle with McG’s comment from today’s presser: ‘we honor contracts even if its just a handshake’. So we’re going to pay CMR the HC’s salary. The other part of that contract says CMR is the HC.

    How that dope became a.d. is beyond me.

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