The Smart hire, McGarity edition

There isn’t much to add, honestly, from what’s been bandied about already.

McGarity’s nonsense at the presser about not reaching a final decision to dismiss Mark Richt until after the Tech game, hiring a search firm and conducting a wide open search for a successor is belied by how soon afterwards the Smart hire was made public.  What a conveniently timed leak, eh?

That the news came out so quickly after those remarks and before the new deal has been finalized should tell you that McGarity is feeling some heat about the process and was increasingly sensitive about that.  (So should this.)

It’s been a especially dysfunctional year for Georgia football.  That’s not entirely McGarity’s fault, but he’s far from blameless.  If the Smart hire works out, no doubt the events leading up to it will be brushed aside, but if not, there will be some fingers pointing his way.  I’m not sure how much that matters, to tell you the truth.  What did matter was that McGarity wanted a hire of his own choosing in the head coaching slot at Georgia, and that’s what he got.

The bad thing for Kirby is that he’s going to have to work around the negative energy that McGarity has created.  (Although, not surprisingly, Bradley and Schultz both think McGarity’s done well with this.)  That’s not fair, but sometimes life isn’t.

109 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

109 responses to “The Smart hire, McGarity edition

  1. Scorpio Jones, III

    I can only speak for my own self, but it seems to me it will take some time for all the dust to settle and we get some clear indication that there is, in fact, some fundamental change in the way Georgia views football.

    I guess staff salaries will be some indication, but those were already going up.

    Get to the conference championship game pretty quick and none of that will matter till you don’t.

    Lotta tea leaves to parse.

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    • BrightOwl

      Please let me have a try at those tea leaves.

      I’m forming the impression that while the patented Mark-Richt-faceplant-games (TM) might have been the driving force behind booster dissatisfaction, it was something else that made ol’ Greg McG decide to pull the trigger and fire the coach.

      Namely, I think our AD was feeling a bit uncomfortable because Richt was bringing in people like Pruitt who were pushing for a culture change and being very public in their criticism of the Georgia athletic administration. When the boosters got unhappy, McGarity jumped at the chance to put a guy in place who was less established, less respected, and less able to apply leverage to make him uncomfortable. It might be an incredibly short-sighted decision – if Smart doesn’t deliver success in a season or two then McGarity will find out exactly what an uncomfortable seat feels like – but our AD hasn’t given me any impression that he thinks things through in the long term.

      It’s pure speculation of course, and it never would have happened if Richt hadn’t let the offense deteriorate so precipitously in a single season, but it does line up with the way the search was conducted (i.e., no established coaches were even considered) and it also lines up with the gossip that McGarity is determined that Pruitt not return no matter what his new coach might want.

      In the end, I really think disappointment is in the very near future for the folks who assume that Richt’s dismissal is the result of a new attitude permeating the athletic department.

      Now that I have that out of the way, I’m ready to support Smart 100%. Signing day will be here soon and if he holds the class together I feel good about our prospects. At the very least he should be able to keep us chugging along without a major drop-off. And as I’ve said before, I really only care about three games a season, and if he regularly delivers those games at 2-1 or 3-0 then I’ll be very happy with him as coach.

      Go Dawgs!

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      • PatinDC

        “Namely, I think our AD was feeling a bit uncomfortable because Richt was bringing in people like Pruitt who were pushing for a culture change and being very public in their criticism of the Georgia athletic administration.”

        I had a similar thought. I would be surprised if Kirby does not expect more than Richt was getting and won’t be afraid to push. My hope is that McG has bitten off more than he can chew with this hire and we will see the stonewalling come tumbling down.

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  2. Bradley and Schultz have treated McGarity with kid gloves. In Bradley’s most recent column, he said that McGarity was being unfairly treated as a “punching bag.” Might that have something to do with the possibility that McGarity is the source of leaks to the two AJC columnists?

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    • Derek

      So cynical! Pretty soon someone is going to suggest that Greg is being paid off for that interview a year ago.

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    • The Truth

      I don’t know. I’m absolutely not a GMc fan, but I do think he got roughed up somewhat unfairly for the press conference. He fired a class act, let the class act have the floor, and declined to sit there an malign the class act to his face.

      Conversely, to be mostly criticized for not saying enough at the presser, to choose to say he made up his mind after the Tech game when that most assuredly isn’t true given the turn of events, he’s fair game for that.

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      • Normaltown Mike

        If he had a PR agent, he would’ve suggested he introduce Richt, thank him and then leave.

        Very bad optics, the two of them up there.

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        • Absolutely agree, Mike. He looked very small with his obfuscation and lying up there in front of another man who was open, honest and forthcoming. Anyone who watched or listened to that press conference came away with the same impression of who was a man and who was a mouse.

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          • TXBaller

            “Nobody has called me from Miami”….but Richt was in Miami inside of 18 hours interviewing. Don’t feed me the honesty BS.

            McGarity did the best he could considering the circumstances. He allowed Richt to leave with Grace…didn’t have to….but he did.

            And kudos to McGarity for having a plan that obviously has been in the works for some time. He knew what he wanted (dismiss Richt), he got his man (Smart), he circumvented a cross state rival from getting a hell of a coach/recruiter (South Carolina) and maybe, just maybe has indirectly blown up the most dominating force in college football (Alabama).

            Now carry on.

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            • “He allowed Richt to leave with Grace…didn’t have to….but he did.” Yeah…just a few days after FIRING him. Good call.

              The truth is GM didn’t have a choice in playing Richt up the way he did because he knew that this would be an immensely unpopular decision. If anything, it was RICHT that was gracious enough to do it for the good UGA. Without that press conference there would be way more “Fire ADGM” signs. What Richt did was a kindness. McGarity was lucky to get it. And no–McGarity did not deserve it…but Richt understood that the next coach deserves as clean a slate as possible and agreed to that sham of a Presser.

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            • He executed on his plan, but was his plan the right one (to hire KS)? I hope for the program’s sake, it is. We’ll see and it’ll be GM’s neck on the line if it doesn’t.

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            • Gaskilldawg

              Richt was not in Miami. He talked on the phone. Folks can make calls faster than 18 hours.

              McGarity didn’t keep Smart away from SC. Smart no more was going to SC than Urban Meyer was. It was his agent’s smokescreen to make McGarity panic. Carry on.

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              • TXBaller

                My bad…per the AJC below

                “Richt met with Miami officials at an Atlanta hotel on Tuesday, a source said. Richt could not immediately be reached for comment.”

                Smart was headed to Columbia had Richt not been fired. That’s fact.

                Back to your poor mouthing McGarity and anyone within an earshot that supports the termination and new direction of UGA football.

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                • GaskillDawg

                  I have written this numerous times to chilidawgnv and I will write it to you:

                  Richt got fired. No one can bring him back. That battle is over and your side won. We might as well be debating the wisdom of firing Wally Butts.
                  I will write my check to the Hartman Fund in 2016, will buy season tickets to see Smart coach my Alma Mater and will incur the expense and energy to attend games. I do not make those investments secretly hoping my team loses. I want Smart to coach 25 years and never have a loss.

                  I also write a check yearly to the basketball enhancement fund and buy men’s basketball season tickets. I want the basketball team to be the best in the nation. Since I want Smart and Fox to be the greatest coaches in history I want then to have a top-notch AD providing to them what they need. I have taken note of McGarity’s performance since July 2010 and draw conclusions from him based on his performance. McGarity’s performance leads me to the conclusion that he lacks the skills to make Smart and Fox succeed at the level we want.

                  My concern about McGarity does not have a damn thing to do with Richt and has everything to do with my evaluation of McGarity’s 5 year track record. If your review of the AD’s performance leads you to a different conclusion about his skills than my conclusion, fine. But get off this idea that because he fired Richt I can’t independently assess his performance.

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        • Yeah, some of the criticism of McG’s press conference quotes are a bit unfair. We all knew a lot of it was nonsense, but what else was he supposed to say that didn’t paint Richt in a bad light unnecessarily?

          That said, while I don’t have an issue with what he said, the delivery couldn’t have been worse. Sitting right next to Richt who was at peace, open, honest, and spoke from the heart while McG looked tense, uptight, fidgety, and scripted. Sitting in the AD chair (and HC chair for that matter) requires a commanding presence. The contrast made it perfectly clear how far from that level McG truly is as a leader.

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          • JTP

            ADGM didn’t even need to be at that original press conference. He would have been much better served allowing Richt to have his time on Monday, and then held his own presser Monday PM or Tuesday, giving thanks to the way Richt handled himself and our program for 15 years, but we made a choice to move on, have retained a search firm, who are speaking with several of what we deem to be our top choices.

            But ADGM didn’t, and completely bombed his PR101 class. Which he was having to re-take after failing in 2014 as well.

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    • Bradley, Schultz and McGarity are birds of the same feather, so what should we expect. Lier, lier, lier as the movie goes.

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    • McGarity is the mole and the mole has to go.

      Remember some of the comments that Richt made around the time of the Bauta start that he was trying to figure out who would talk or leak.

      We have to get rid of McGarity or he will poison the well for the new coach. Hire Coach Richt or Herschel as our next AD!!!

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  3. charlottedawg

    At the expense of tapping into my inner lunatic fringe is it too early to say that mcgarity is a cowardly lying passive aggressive POS and that while I hope Kirby krushes it (see what i did there ;)) i will credit any success Kirby has to dumb luck not a well thought out process.

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    • Red Cup

      No it is not too early. Continue sir

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    • Derek

      These are the people that get put in charge of things. It’s the way of the world unfortunately. Honesty and transparency are only good things if you don’t want anybody to put you in charge of anything important.

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    • Charlotte, you are exactly where I am. AJ, TG3II, the Bradley fiasco, and this episode have shown me that someone else needs to be shown the door.

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    • 3rdandGrantham

      Some of you people are really, really disturbed with your continued anger towards ADGM. I’m going to go out on a limb and take a wild guess that the vast majority of you who are screaming bloody murder at ADGM have never been in a meaningful leadership role ever in your given career. You probably also rarely, if ever have been entrusted with making very tough decisions that must be done quickly yet soundly, which ultimately has a huge affect on myriad employees and their families.

      No, I’m not particularly a ADGM fan, and if i had to give him a grade, it probably would be a C-, but the fact that so many of you have made him out to be the worst thing that has ever happened to UGA athletics is totally beyond me.

      By the way, let’s not forget that ADGM essentially handed CMR an extra 2.5 mil severance by giving him that extra money on the extension from last year that CMR never bothered to sign. That alone speaks volumes that ADGM is, if nothing else, more than a decent man, and I’m willing to bet that many, if not most AD’s around the country would not have extended the same very gracious courtesy. And in the business world, in my experience 99% chance you’d be told to pound sand, regardless of how long you had been at the organization.

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      • I really do not care about those money and extension he had provided to Richt. I do not care that he fired Richt. But he is just plain Lier, lier, lier as the movie goes in the handling of getting a new HC. He made everyone look like a fool by appearing to be going through a process when in all likelihood Kirby had agreed even before.

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        • PTC DAWG

          I get the feeling you could find a hundred dollar bill and be angry that it wasn’t two of’em.

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        • Bro Tereshinski III

          1) It’s “liar”
          2) The movie is “Liar Liar.” Just two “liars,” not three.
          3) I wasn’t aware that the AD was under any obligation to tell anyone the truth about anything.

          Is ADGM lying when he says the decision was made after the Tech game? Probably. But… maybe Kirby wanted the job so badly he called on Saturday afternoon while GM was sitting in the drive-thru of a Winder Chick-fil-A.

          Did you want ADGM to say “we’ve been interviewing candidates behind Mark’s back for the past six weeks”? Keep in mind the man is sitting right next to him at the presser. That would have been colossally uncouth.

          Do I think that GM is a good athletic director? Eh, he’s average. But I’m not going to hate on him for playing things close to the vest with the most important coaching decision he’ll ever make.

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      • Tronan

        You make good points, but (sorry, you had to know there was going to be a “but’) McG didn’t have to offer up what was obviously bullshit on Monday. He should have just said,”We have a process in place and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s complete.” The whole “search firm,” “wide-open position,” “national scope,” etc. was unnecessary and made him look like a wanker. Not to mention the awkwardness of him sitting up there like a schlub. He’s done about as good burnishing his image in the past year as Schitty has designing an effective offensive game plan.

        Anyway, I think he made a good replacement hire, and as you note, is doing the right thing both by letting Richt have his say and paying him severance. In the grand scheme of things, these are more important things.

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        • Biggus Rickus

          Needless lying always baffles me, and it happens all the time with politicians and functionaries.

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          • Scorpio Jones, III

            Very, very few politicians or functionaries understand that the truth seldom makes a good story.

            There are copious rules about new hires at the university.

            There is a process 😀 the process is part of the red tape that has been talked about.

            Maybe at Alabama Nick just says “this is the guy I want” and that’s all there is to it. It ain’t that way in Athens. For better or worser.

            If McGarity has become the punching bag, that’s a sign he is doing the job he is paid to do. He is supposed to be the punching bag.

            An old, very important Dawg once told me that the job of the AD is to protect the administration in general, and the president of the university specifically from the slings and arrows of the football program.

            He may not look very good doing his job, but Greg McGarity is just doing his job. We may not like the way it looks sometimes, may hate the outcomes now and then, but that’s his job.

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            • Biggus Rickus

              Right, it’s not that he didn’t lay out the behind the scenes stuff. It just seems better from a PR standpoint to talk about a vague process rather than specifics. He was never going to be honest about it, but his bullshit was bad bullshit. It was an outright lie instead of an evasion.

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              • Scorpio Jones, III

                I think McGarity is perceived by some to have significantly more authority and more to the point, autonomy than he actually has. Basically that’s what I am saying.

                Georgia has a great media and communications department…one of the top four or five in the country. It has always stupefied me that nobody in either the administration or the athletic department avails themselves of this expertise.

                PR is a crucial component of crisis management. What McGarity is guilty of, it seems to me, is not understanding that, or at least somebody involved in the process does not.

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                • Debby Balcer

                  Exactly someone should be on board to make UGA look good land McGarity is doing this worst job possible. The student with the sign was noticed because they took it away. The security to keep players from talking to the pres as made it dream he was afraid of what they would say. He would be better off doing nothing.. .

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                • Coweta Dawg

                  Nothing screams “insecurity” more than dispatching security on a silent, peaceful protest of Richt’s firing by one of UGA’s tuition-paying students.
                  Man, if the AD could send security through the internet wormhole that leads to this blog, I guess he’d take our posting passes away, too.

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          • Normaltown Mike

            “Needless lying always baffles me”

            You don’t know her…she lives in Canada…I met her at Niagara Falls.

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        • “He’s done about as good burnishing his image in the past year as Schitty has designing an effective offensive game plan.”

          Damn, I wish I came up with that one. (applause)

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      • He was given the thankless role of getting rid of Mark Richt at the behest of higher ups. Even worse, Richt didn’t cooperate by losing any of his last four games.

        It is a business, a brutally tough one at that, I get it.

        But as titular head of UGA Athletics, McGarity bungled the PR aspect of this transition from every angle imaginable. He deserves all the ridicule that has been heaped his way, because this isn’t his first screw up in that regard (see Gurley, Todd).

        I would argue that PR is the most important job of an AD, unless anyone buys into the fiction that an AD can make such an important decision in isolation while soul searching on the drive up Hwy 316.

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      • I’ll admit that I probably dislike McGarity more than any other person commenting here,but I do agree that some of the types of criticism are emotional and do not have basis.

        However, what does have sufficient basis and is grounded in fact is that McG is one of the most TONE DEAF administrators I’ve ever seen, and that’s the source of most of his problems. He’s like a tone deaf politician that gets unelected and is still flabbergasted that everyone didn’t agree with him.

        I don’t criticize him for deflecting answers and BS’ing at the press conference. He had to do that, understandable. But the entire set up of the press conference displays the incompetency and tone deaf nature of McG. If he had just made a statement before or after Richt and not sat there looking like a goofball, 90% of the criticism he is facing wouldn’t exist.

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        • If he had left and not stayed for the press conference these same people would be calling him a chicken or a coward.

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        • kevinsauer

          you, uh, have it backwards there bdj. criticism is about respecting the individual and addressing the behavior. not vice versa.

          plus, emotion is a fine basis to criticize his behavior. his actions are making ppl feel a certain way, and those feels are just a fine basis to exert criticism.

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      • It wasn’t his money to give. He was just trying to earn a little forgiveness on a horrible decision. He doesn’t deserve your defense.

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      • Derek

        Unfortunately, you are right. Sneaky, two-faced SOB’s, are the people that get put in charge of things. Doesn’t mean I have to like it. The last thing anybody wants in a leadership role is integrity. What they want is someone who will do their bidding no matter what. Who will do whatever it takes to serve their masters is what is wanted. Roger Goodell is a fine example.

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      • Gaskilldawg

        Sometimes you come across as the most arrogant man on the planet. I have owned my own business for 30 years and I have also held elective office for 20. I have hired and fired and have engaged in tough negotiations. Obviously not as meaningful as you.

        Us peons outnumber you giants of industry and we get to evaluate those who manage institutions we support financially, too, and McGarity was tone deaf to us peons.

        “Never had a meaningful leadership role,” indeed.

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    • PTC DAWG

      It is obvious to me that they have been working on this a while. Well done, I say.

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    • sniffer

      I don’t think he is passive aggressive.

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  4. Normaltown Mike

    Senator et al:

    Has much ink been spilled on SCe’s handling of SOS departure? It seems he pretty well telegraphed his intention to retire in the off-season and then he jumped ship mid-season. Ostensibly, SCe was in a position to vet all angles for a month and then aggressively go after several top shelf candidates as soon as season ended.

    I by no means follow events in the palmetto state, but surely that AD has been a rudderless mess on a grander scale than GM.

    Thoughts?

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    • Hogbody Spradlin

      South Carolina would had had a coach by now if Richt hadn’t been fired. I know it’s snark on SC, but the candidates put them on hold when the Georgia job opened up.

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    • I live in Greenville SC and there’s definitely been some criticism lobbed at Ray Tanner. Many feel he’s way over his head – was a great baseball coach, but not at all qualified as AD.

      From all appearances, he had 3 names on his list – Fuente, Herman, and Smart – and never expected to go 0-for-3. And to Hogbody’s point, if we hadn’t fired Richt, they’d probably have Kirby already. But there seemed to be no contingency plan at all if none of those 3 came, and now they’re really scrambling, that’s why it seems to be a different rumor every few hours.

      But it’s just like every other hire. Whoever they end up with, if he does great, everyone will think Tanner did a great job, no matter the process that got him there. If the guy tanks, Tanner probably won’t survive it. I’d say Tanner is probably tethered to this hire even moreso than McG is to ours.

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  5. 3rdandGrantham

    From what I understand, the leaks came not from the AD, but instead from the agents, intermediaries, etc.

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  6. Sliceshs

    They are worse than useless..need to be fired.

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  7. Bright Idea

    McGarity cleared lied as if this were going to be kept a secret and we are
    all stupid, or either he doesn’t care what we think about his lie.
    I hope Kirby did not politic for this job while Richt still had it.
    I hope Saban does not dicate UGA’s and Kirby’s timeline until Jan. 12.
    and I hope Kirby does not let him.
    I hope Kirby did not acquiesce to McGarity on staff just to get the job
    because that will quickly become a habit.
    I assume Morehead will show up when this becomes official but I hope
    we don’t find out he’s not the man we think he is.
    Would Kirby’s same resume` been good enough if he were a graduate of
    another school?

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  8. Doggoned

    Getting thin-skilled over one student’s silent protest. Not a good sign (keeping up with the punses).

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    • Cousin Eddie

      I would not be surprised if the entire student section has signs at the next game. Let one guy protest and say nothing and it goes away, take away a guys right to protest and everyone will jump in that band wagon.

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      • Debby Balcer

        Agreed there is a gathering at the bridge in support of Richt on this Sunday at 2pm. The organziers has gone through channels to get approval. A move like taking a sign will bring a bigger student presence at the bridge. If you bully college students more kids step up to add there voices. Another big example of lack of leadership.

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  9. PTC DAWG

    For all those that wanted CMR gone 4 years ago….and still are not happy. Not sure how you will ever be happy. The PC Monday went about as well as one could expect IMHO…deed is done that many said would never be done. Let it go, let McG finish hiring the new guy. Support the new guy. Move on.

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  10. not sure sending GM down the yellow brick road would be the answer anyway; as a I was told by a friend this morning, “the well may be poison.”

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  11. McGarity’s handling of this fire/hire has been a mixed bag of polar opposite moves. Calling security, blatant lying at the presser, and the way he carries himself have all been a complete disaster. On the other hand, it was clear that he tried to treat CMR with as much dignity as possible and honoring an unsigned contract are gestures that make this Dawg beam with pride. It’s been a strange couple of days.

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  12. SAtownDawg

    when McGaritty was notified that his right hand man (Crumley) was banging a married subordinate and giving her raises and promotions over more qualified candidates, his response to the informer was to “keep an eye on it,” Now that’s real leadership…

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      • Scorpio Jones, III

        And Damon Evans only had one instance of ah….partying? with women not his wife, right?

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        • GaskillDawg

          Not excusing Evans at all. He was wrong and paid for his indiscretions with his job.

          You are aware of the difference. The girl in the car was not an employee of the UGA AA.

          You really think that, from a management perspective, a mid-level manager sleeping with his neighbor’s wife is the equivalent of the same manager carrying on an affair with a subordinate?

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  13. Dawgtired

    God Bless Mark Richt, he is a Great example of a human being…if you need a 4th for Bible Study he’s your man…
    Lets put the pig up on the table where we can get a look at it…UGA’s sweet and gentle coach has had our program teetering around tier II status in the SEC for the last 10 years….7-8-9 win seasons in the SEC East is safe, not inspirational….he is 5-15 against top 10 teams…
    Getting up by 2 touch downs and taking your foot off the gas so you don’t show up the other team is not inspiring…not having special teams effort is not inspiring…playing safe for a field goal in the red zone is not inspiring… An off year for a rebuilding season in the 15th year of a program is on him…its the coach…having a Vaginia Cavalier for a Bull Dawg QB is on him…Anyone watching the Bull Dawg Football Show the last few years can see he is totally disconnected from the players…he speaks to them in bumper sticker platitudes…he is as much of a spectator as Bobby Bowden was in his last years… if any of you want to turn in your season tickets and follow him to the ACC let me know…I need 4 now…

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  14. Who are candidate for replacing McGarity?

    I nominate Herschel Walker!!! Businessman and beloved Dawg.

    Any other great candidates that might actually accept?

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  15. Bro Tereshinski III

    Did Leebern shove McGarity through the same way he did Adams? I’m honestly curious.

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    • Normaltown Mike

      FWIW, Greg worked for VD for decades. I think this was his dream job and he had a great resume. Not saying he’s good or bad, but it’s one of those jobs where there aren’t a lot of candidates when you really look at the qualifications they want.

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      • Bro Tereshinski III

        I know he’s an Athens guy and a Magill guy, I just wasn’t sure if he was one of Leebern(or Nalley)’s hired goons.

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  16. DawgPhan

    So many people who spent all their time finding ways to slam Richt are now hypersensitive to people being critical of ADGM. Internet sports talk I love you.

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    • They must be trying to protect their insider information source. aka Leaky McGarity

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    • dudemankind

      I think it’s funny that guys who have preached that you should always take the high road and never criticize someones intelligence, work ethic, honesty, etc. while defending Richt on the internet are now running ADGM’s character into the ground. LOL. Just an observation. I’m so happy Richt is gone I personally could care less.

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      • GaskillDawg

        Can’t speak for others but I am running McGarity’s performance into the ground, not his character. Is his performance not fair game?

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      • DawgPhan

        yeah I dont think that I ever read people preach about never criticizing someones intelligence, ethic, honesty, etc.

        Plenty of people critical of Richt around here. Not really sure what you are talking about.

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        • dudemankind

          Yeah right. I’ve NEVER, EVER, seen a poster get up in arms on here because some guy mentioned that he thought Richt was lazy or not too bright. I could care less if people want to hang a straw dummy of McGarity on the arch and burn it, but don’t play like many calling him names and such were not the very same ones getting super pissed off over Richt being called names.

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  17. papa dawg

    Anybody catch the comments on Richt by Mark Fox at his press conference last night? Starting around 0:45

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  18. W Cobb Dawg

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but has McG bothered to lay out the reasons why Richt was fired? I mean, the guy gave us 15 years of service and won 9 games this year. This isn’t the insufferable Pelini, it’s the iconic Mark Richt. Is it unreasonable to expect rational for the decision?

    Also, the staff was out recruiting when they found out about the firing. And then there was the the way the players found out, along with the security detail. ‘Presser as retirement party’ was a foolish move.

    All that should be PR 101. I could go on with more examples. I can’t fathom how anyone could defend McG’s bumbling actions of the past 4 days. It would’ve been difficult to do a worse job.

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  19. TMC dawg

    ADGM is the problem. Kirby must be strong. The Proccess must replace the Uga way. If GM is not on board can his ass.

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