Why I despair over the rebranding, and you should, too.

It won’t surprise you to learn there’s plenty of shallow analysis regarding the coaching changes in Athens and Miami out there right now – if I had a buck for every “Jesus comes to ‘Da U” piece I’ve seen already, I could buy a nice dinner for two – but there are a couple of intelligent pieces I’ve come across with some observations worth sharing.

First, here’s what Bruce Feldman has to say about some of the events leading to Mark Richt’s dismissal:

This season, though, Richt’s program backslid, going 9-3 and getting blown out by rival Florida and by Alabama. The Dawgs didn’t defeat a single ranked team. As FOX Sports reported in early November, Richt had lost some of the support of the big UGA boosters after the 27-3 debacle vs. Florida and first-year coach Jim McElwain. Beyond that, sources told FOX Sports that Richt was dealing with lots of friction inside the Georgia football program, some of it stemming from the old-guard Bulldog staff vs. the new guard regarding many of the changes in how the Dawgs program is run.[Emphasis added.]

Many of these changes, from staffing moves to operational decisions to how the team gets ready for its games, were pushed for by second-year Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, a Nick Saban disciple who came to Athens after helping lead Florida State to the national title following the 2013 season.

None of which should come as any real shock to those of us who have been following the program closely this season.  Hell, Richt pretty much confirmed that at his last press conference when he said,

If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t say so much as going backwards as much going forwards, if I do decide to coach again that especially as a head coach and trying to do these things, which I would want to do, I have to make sure there’s enough support around me to do certain things. Also let people on the front end, I’m going to be coaching in the offseason too.  I’m going to be preparing for the season and just get the expectations to where everybody understands where I’m at on the front end.

When I first came here, I had never been a head coach. I didn’t know anything. Well, I knew a little bit, looking at Coach Dooley over there.  There’s a lot of things I didn’t know. I didn’t know the Georgia culture. I didn’t know a lot of things. I’ve learned a lot. I learned a lot…

How does a change of head coaches, in and of itself, mend the culture?  Answer:  it doesn’t.  So, then, is it reasonable to expect Kirby Smart to succeed in ways Mark Richt didn’t?  Let Andy Staples take that question.

… The hope is that, like Fisher at Florida State, Smart can replicate the recruiting system, player development program and infrastructure of Saban’s program at Alabama.

The Bulldogs tried to incorporate elements of Saban’s program in 2014 by bringing in former Saban and Fisher assistant Jeremy Pruitt to run the defense. But, as any Breaking Bad viewer knows, half measures rarely produce the desired result. Pruitt agitated for bigger changes to make Georgia more like Alabama, but that didn’t necessarily jive with the culture put in place by Richt. For this approach to work, everyone in the program must be pulling in the same direction.

And athletic director Greg McGarity had better be ready to spend some money. The Bulldogs are already building an indoor practice facility, but Smart will likely want to beef up the staff with a host of analysts and quality control personnel. When Fisher took over at Florida State prior to the 2010 season, he beefed up the academic advising staff, the analyst/quality control staff and the strength staff. He hired dietitians to monitor what players ate. He also helped raise money for a new dorm for players and for the indoor facility that the Seminoles opened in ’13. Muschamp, by comparison, didn’t get everything on his wish list at Florida. When he was fired, the Gators had no indoor facility. McElwain, however, got the indoor facility he wanted and has been allowed to create some—but not all—of the support staff positions he wants.

Georgia already has most of what Smart will need, but he’ll want more. One thing Saban and Fisher stressed when I interviewed them for that Sabanization story is that program infrastructure is as important, or possibly more important, than a team’s X’s and O’s.

It’s not simply spending more money that solves things.  It’s spending more money wisely.  That, by and large, should be within the exclusive purview of the football coach.  It’s the AD’s job to set a budget; it’s the coach’s job to maximize the resources made available to him.  That hasn’t been the Georgia Way.

And that hasn’t changed, at least not yet.  If the rumors about the negotiations between Georgia and Smart’s representatives are accurate, this is what the haggling is over.  It’s a big deal if you care about the direction the program takes from here.  If you want change, you shouldn’t be rooting for Smart to walk away from the deal.  You should be rooting for Smart to win.

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123 Comments

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123 responses to “Why I despair over the rebranding, and you should, too.

  1. JT (the other one)

    A rock solid foundation the way Smart sees it, is what is needed to win and compete for NC’s in Athens. That and get ADGM out of the way.

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  2. Mayor

    If Kirby Smart doesn’t get everything he needs to be successful he needs to walk away. That will shine the spotlight directly on B-M and McGarity as being the real cause of the problems in the Georgia football program. It is ironic that the best thing that Kirby Smart could do for his alma mater would be to be offered the HC job and turn it down.

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  3. DugLite

    Do you think Richt takes Pruitt to Miami to help with the Sabanization of Miami?

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  4. @gatriguy

    I hope Kirby gets what he wants and thinks he needs. It’s time to move on.

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  5. sniffer

    One can only hope, Senator.

    I’m going to speculate that GM is too far in to this hire that he can’t back out now (of course he could but to his own peril).

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  6. Siskey

    Senator, two questions; how much of this “Georgia Way” stuff is code for being cheap, and when did use of “Georgia Way” become prevalent?
    It seems to me that if it is code for being cheap then Smart will just have to make do and it’s unlikely that his results will be any different than Richt’s.
    But if the “Georgia Way” is just something we’ve used as an excuse since the results on the field slipped from earlier in Richt’s time in Athens then Smart should have more success moving forward than we’ve had the last decade.
    On one hand you have $80 million in the reserve fund and on the other you have the best coach by winning % in program history fired on the eve of bringing in a top recruiting class that includes a supposed generational type talent at QB so I think it may be harder question to answer than it appears no matter which side of the CMR divide you find yourself.
    I have avidly followed the Dawgs since I was 13 years old and moved to Athens. I watched us lose to Vandy at homecoming in the 90s with 20k fellow fans and watched Michael Johnson’s catch against Auburn early on a Sunday morning in Okinawa in the common room in my barracks.
    The early Richt era was the best Georgia has ever been during my life but it is hard to argue that the great teams and programs have not passed us by.

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    • Again, it’s not just about being frugal. It’s about spending the money in the right way. More importantly, it’s about letting the head coach run the football program without undercutting his ability to do so.

      I don’t think most Dawg fans grasp how dysfunctional the program has been over the last year.

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      • Jared S.

        I think you’re right Senator. We hashed and re-hashed Richts shortcomings as head coach, and they were real. But so were the ways in which admins handicapped his chance at success. I am one of the one’s who believes it’s a marvel that he accomplished as much as he did at UGA over the last 5-7 years.

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      • JT (the other one)

        Dysfunctional. That is an understatement.

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      • AO

        This is why watching CMR become the “scapegoat” in this situation is painful to fans of “the man.” Its also why some of his peers reacted with the same amazement and disdain. No, we never got the crystal football under Richt. Yes, he lost too many games to Florida. Yes, he was the leader as we all became painfully aware that 2 complete brainfart games were on the horizon every year. Was it CMR? Well, somebody had to pay. Why not let it be “Dooley’s man.” I hope Kirby gets the funds to spend it “right.” Of course, when the wins to Florida come and the brainfarts go away…McNumbnuts can be labeled a genius.
        Whatever.
        Hunker Down you Hairy Dogs!

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      • And there in lies the rub. This last year as a culmination of “issues”.

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    • AthensHomerDawg

      Did you make it into Koza?

      Like

    • GaskillDawg

      Although I first became aware of the term, “The Georgia Way” the last several years, “The Georgia Way” behaviors predate Richt and McGarity. We were frugal with the dollar when Dooley was coach. We claimed a different ethic under Eaves and Dooley. In fact, Dooley was elected chair of the NCAA Committee on Ethics. I remember in the 1970s we dismissed our returning leading rusher from the team two seasons in a row. We cinceed that a Palm Beach County deputy sheriff who had never been to Athens was a “representative of UGA’s athletic interests” and offered to the NCAA greater sanctions than the NCAA ultimately elected to impose, back during the Goff years. Michael Adams became president when Richt as an assistant at FSU and grandstanded about how UGA holds itself to a higher standard.
      “The Georgia Way” has been embedded for years before Richt came to UGA.

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      • Siskey

        Everyone above thank you for answering. I guess the ethical or moral prong of the “Georgia way” is what gives me the most pause as I do not assume that our players are any less or any more ethical or “good guys” than either players at rival schools, other people their age or the population at large and it seems like some people (not necessarily people on this site) place a greater emphasis on that being important as to why they like Richt and maybe were better at accepting some of the results than others.

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    • The “Georgia Way” is not just being “cheap” it is a philosophy of being risk averse in most decisions. It permeates most decision making from personnel hires to the conduct policies of student athletes to eligibility to recruiting to the outlay of capital. You can point to three people for the inception – Henry King Stanford, Chuck Knapp and Vince Dooley.

      The “Georgia Way” began in the aftermath of Jan Kemp. We started cleaning up academics for athletes at that point. Recruits who didn’t fully qualify under Prop 48 were not admitted.
      Our academic standards for athletes were higher than everyone in the conference except for Vandy. That was Stanford and Knapp.

      AD Dooley (who somehow survived as both Coach and AD during Kemp) had the philosophy of building up the reserve fund. Why spend cash unnecessarily if the stadium was sold out every week and the donations were rolling in to reserves.

      All of the other major decision makers at the University (except Michael Adams) have connections to those three men. Dooley was AD for 18 more years after the Kemp Trial. Knapp was there for 10 years. Morehead became a faculty member in 1986 and was on the Athletic Board as a faculty rep while Knapp and Dooley headed up UGA. We know Damon Evans’s story as well as McGarity. CMR was hired by Dooley.

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    • Napoleon BonerFart

      The Georgia Way has been around for a long time. And it was always a competitive disadvantage. No, UGA doesn’t recruit saints while other schools recruit sinners. But, UGA publicly suspends players after their first “pot” (as Spurrier would say), while other schools handle it quietly and off the field.

      It became a much bigger deal when Saban honed The Process at Alabama after 2005. While UGA was always cheaper than other programs, Alabama was spending boatloads of cash on things that paid big dividends. The gulf widened. And Richt didn’t have the support from his superiors to narrow it.

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  7. Aladawg

    As I began to see the haggling appear, I was thinking that hopefully, Kirby would be adamant. ADGM is an egomaniac that holds grudges……see Pruitt and his calling out of GM in public over the indoor facility. Kirby needs to win this battle for Georgia and for him, but ADGM won’t give in easily. If there is no official announcement by Sunday it will be clear what the problem is. We need Kirby to get what he wants and needs and those boosters hell bent on removing Pruitt and CMR need to be the ones to pay up.

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  8. MLB2

    Amen. Well said.

    Like

  9. sniffer

    …..and might I add this question. Why would the old guard and BM stop the spending now and go cheap? Makes little sense. They’ve opened the checkbook. It seemed to us that The Process was winning over The Georgia Way. Hard to believe they start saying “No” at a
    time like this.

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    • Napoleon BonerFart

      Any bureaucratic institution, including B-M, doesn’t just turn on a dime. It’s like turning an aircraft carrier. You think Richt didn’t want an IPF, a larger recruiting budget, or more support staff? Of course he did. But, when B-M started to acquiesce to those needs, it wasn’t a dam bursting, it was more like a faucet leaking.

      The fact that they’re haggling with Smart over autonomy is just more evidence that the Georgia Way will not go quietly into that good night.

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  10. From what we are hearing, your last paragraph is correct (not that the others are incorrect). I would add that we are hearing that KS won the first round by threatening to walk away. The next few months will be very interesting. If we see additions to the size of theQC/analyst cadre, Georgia will have entered the realm of potential contenders.

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    • It’s not just enlarging that cadre; it’s finding quality candidates to take positions there.

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      • And empowering them to do what they need to do to be productive. Remember our initial pass at the recruiting support staff? They hired a very well respected highschool coach and a lot of people praised the move. We had far fewer on that staff than Bama, of course, but that apparently wasn’t the biggest issue. Our guys weren’t allowed to do nearly all of the things that the Bama guys did by our compliance office (as I’ve heard it told, grain of salt and all of that). It’s also possible Richt didn’t know how to employ such a resource properly. But he (and they) could hardly learn if the admin was getting in the way.

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        • Dawgwalker07

          Another thing is for 1 year our recruiting budget has been larger than Alabama’s and so far our recruiting class has been projected to be the best that Richt had ever brought in AND is ranked higher than Alabama’s. Obviously, you’ve gotta have good coaches to get the kids in but the support staff has probably factored in to that a lot too.

          To me it’s a real shame that Richt didn’t get another year because (in my uninformed opinion) he’d been hamstrung a lot by the administration and that was just starting to crack a little. Hopefully Smart can negotiate his way out of dealing with that crap.

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    • Kirby won round 1. Yes!!!

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  11. Jared S.

    This is one of many reasons why expectations for Georgia under Smart will be insanely high. At least as high as Saban-to-Alabama, Meyer-to-OhioSt., and Harbaugh-to-Michigan. It is widely assumed that if the gets/takes the job it will be because he’s getting everything he thinks he needs to build the nation’s most feared football program.

    This is incredible, considering the fact that he’s never been a head coach anywhere. Personally, I like his chances, though. I think he’ll do great. But good enough to beat the Saban/Meyer/Harbaugh’s? Hmmmmm…..

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    • AthensHomerDawg

      Freeze has beat Saban 2x in a row and Dontario? Msp..has beat both Cryer and Harbaugh.

      Like

      • Dawgwalker07

        Not to crap on Freeze (but I’m about to crap on Freeze), but it took a massive 5 turnover game from Alabama in order for him to beat them in a close game this year, and then he proceeded to lose to Memphis and several other teams right after that. Beating Alabama is nice and all, but he sure as hell hasn’t made that program a consistent team yet so they haven’t been able to capitalize on it.

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  12. Rebar

    I’m glad Coach Richt landed at Miami, seems to put some life into him. I’m wondering why McGarity would do anything different for Coach Smart than he would for Coach Richt? More and more it is looking like McGarity is running off anyone who pissed him off and made him spend more money. Bobo supposedly left because McGarity would not pay him, I’ve read that on here. Pruitt, a go getter, ruffled McGarity’s feathers and is now persona non grata. Coach Richt is gone, and I think McGarity wanted him gone last year. McGarity seems like a spiteful son of a bitch. Why would he do anything different for Coach Smart that he would not do for Coach Richt?

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    • Jared S.

      I guess the reasoning is that he knows that he will be judged completely on this hire. If it doesn’t provide UGA with championships then his decision will look worse than bad.

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    • Jeff

      Why? Because when you’re a spiteful SOB and you have something against Richt and Pruitt, you get rid of them before the changes they are making/requesting do any good even though you know they are right. Then you hire someone from the same coaching tree as Pruitt who will implement the exact same changes, but now it’s your idea so it’s great.

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    • Puffdawg

      Because he likes his job and he wants to keep it. Hopefully.

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    • I do think there’s something to the mentality of being “his guy”. In other words, McG didn’t hire Richt, so Richt was never “his guy”. If Richt failed, McG could always think to himself “Well he was never who I really wanted anyway”.

      However, when it’s the guy YOU picked, then it becomes a direction reflection on YOU. So just human nature, he may be willing to do things for the next guy that he wouldn’t for Richt. Not saying it’s right or fair, just saying it’s human nature.

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      • Jeff

        And it’s a nature that good leaders learn to control, like a good school principal learns to treat all the teachers the same, even the ones he didn’t hire. McGarity needs to go. Let all the frenzy of a new coach die down, and in June or so, make the announcement that he’s moving on.

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        • And it’s a nature that good leaders learn to control….

          I don’t disagree with you there at all. Like I said, wasn’t saying it’s right or fair, just answering the question of why we might expect McG to do some things for Kirby that he wouldn’t for Richt. But you are correct.

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  13. Hogbody Spradlin

    Just food for thought, but Jeremy Pruitt sacrificed himself planting seeds. Kirby Smart is repeating what another successful outsider made the case for already.

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    • AthensHomerDawg

      So you’re saying it was a “process”?

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      • Hogbody Spradlin

        More like: If you’re the first person advocating for big change, you’re probably going to be rebuked and reviled. If you’re the second person, they’re likely to listen better. Not saying Pruitt isn’t tactless, but he plowed the ground for someone else to reap.

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    • Will Trane

      Amen. Spot on.
      Many of us think the reason there is no program is because dudes like Morehead, McGarity, and the Tarkenton types stand in the way.
      Have no use or support for McGarity. He was Bad hire. His record and his actions are beginning to show thru. Those three have damaged the program. Huge set back.
      My though is that when season ended and Richt did not remove Pruitt the AD was told to can Richt.
      Do not think Richt wanted Shotty. This guy has totally disappeared.
      Would not be surprised if Smart backs out.

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  14. Bright Idea

    Could we be giving McGarity too much credit for caring about his legacy or making himself look smart?

    Like

    • Jeff

      Doesn’t matter if it’s him or the big money guys. If he does their bidding for them because he is afraid of losing his job, he is one of them.

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  15. Biggus Rickus

    I may be misreading it, but it seems to me that Feldman’s line implies that it wasn’t just the administration but some members of the coaching staff itself who weren’t happy with the new guard, which makes me think that some of the clusterfuckery was of Richt’s own making.

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    • Jeff

      Maybe, but Richt also wasn’t given a chance to resolve it at the end of the season by letting some coaches go. We will never know.

      Like

      • Biggus Rickus

        We’ll never know any of the specifics that went on internally. It hasn’t stopped people from acting like McGarity (about whom I’m basically agnostic) is some gigantic problem.

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        • Jeff

          Just like people said with Richt, all we need to look at is McGarity’s performance, which is measured by overall championships. Doesn’t matter if Kirby wins 3 NCs in a row. The performances of the rest of the sports in which he has made coaching hires prove McG is a failure. Botching the handling of the Richt firing just seals it for me.

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          • Biggus Rickus

            I have no issue with them getting rid of McGarity. He’s a run of the mill college administrator. You can easily replace him. I just get tired of the idea that Richt would have succeeded if only he’d received enough support by some people. I didn’t buy it when people made the argument in favor of keeping Richt, and I don’t buy it now.

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        • DawgPhan

          I guess you are just happy with mediocrity.

          luckily I have years of snarky richts comments to direct at ADGM now thanks to people like you

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    • Justin

      This is how I’m seeing this as well. I think McGarity is a part of the “new guard” and is 100% beginning to come around to the concept of “smart” spending. I think he got to the point where he realized Richt’s vision for a strong program was different than his and he believes Smart will come it and replicate what we have seen at UofA.

      All of this McGarity hate has been shocking to me. I don’t think the guy has earned much leeway with his behavior, but to lay all the blame on him is irresponsible. I believe Richt, McGarity, Morehead, et al, were on different pages. Bringing in Smart is a clear indication that McGarity has a different vision and Richt was clearly not a part of that.

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    • This is nothing but pure speculation on my part, so anyone is free to call me out on it, but I agree with you. And especially with regards to Pruitt — people seem to think the administration doesn’t like Pruitt just because he ruffled a few feathers. Pruitt’s behavior has gone much deeper than just trying to make the program more like Bama. He, individually as a person, has gone too far with things more than once (That part is not speculation, I have pretty solid info on that point). He lived on that line of what is acceptable behavior towards your superiors, and didn’t hesitate to jump across the line whenever he felt like it. And it seemed to gradually get worse and worse up until the last blowout, after which Bluto said Pruitt was actually remorseful for (and I have no reason to doubt Bluto on that). But it took nearly two years of Pruitt doing whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, no matter what he had been instructed to do, before Pruitt went SO FAR over the line that he actually felt remorse for once.

      There’s a big part of me that feels like Richt could/should have nipped a lot of that in the bud a long time ago. He was as guilty of LETTING Pruitt act the way he did as Pruitt was of actually doing it. For the most part, I actually believe Richt is/was always a very good manager of his staff, I don’t intend in any way to paint him as being incompetent there. But I do think he failed in managing Pruitt – he gave him too much leeway for too long, and it all blew up. It’s like the parent who lets their kid get away with murder until they’re 7 or 8 years old, THEN realizes they need to start disciplining the child because they’ve created a monster, and then the situation becomes a whole lot harder to manage than if you had disciplined from the beginning.

      And I’ll say this for Richt, he has always shown he can learn from the past. I actually expect him to go to Miami and do very well. Knowing what all he knows now, and being given a clean slate to build something exactly how he wants it, no amount of success he has down there would surprise me. And if he goes down to Miami and wins a national title in Year 2, then everyone is gonna point and laugh at us – but I will still stand by the decision to make the change, because with all the factors in play here (sure, some out of his control, but plenty of his own making), I really think a clean slate is what he needed or it was just gonna never happen. And on the other side, whatever concessions Kirby is able to negotiate are probably concessions that were never going to happen as long as Richt was here. There was just this intertia – especially from a mentality standpoint – that was going to be so difficult to overcome (again, some of that mentality was from the admin, but some from Richt himself). I really do believe this is a win-win scenario. I think Richt, assuming he’s negotiated everything he now knows he needs on the front end, is going to be very happy and do very well in Miami. And if Smart can negotiate for the needed changes and change some of the mentality here, that’s a win for us.

      Lots of ifs, but I’m hopeful.

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      • There’s a big part of me that feels like Richt could/should have nipped a lot of that in the bud a long time ago. He was as guilty of LETTING Pruitt act the way he did as Pruitt was of actually doing it.

        This is accurate.

        There is plenty of blame to go around for how the program has gotten to the place it’s at. Richt bears his share of that. But just a share.

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        • Chadwick

          I’ll add that Richt did help form part of the complacent mentality that’s being railed against now. How much we won’t know, but you can damn sure bet his own nature helped build the Georgia Way.

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      • Jeff

        Very nice and very accurate, I think.

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      • Biggus Rickus

        That’s a fair assessment. It’s too bad, because I really do like Richt (as much as you can like someone you don’t personally know) and wish it could have worked out better out Georgia.

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    • @gatriguy

      Amen. I’m thinking Pruitt was sick of pool days and Tuesday night bowling as well. But that doesn’t play as well as “ADGM got in Richt’s way of breaking though in year 16!”

      Like

  16. Aside from the IPF, what administrative support did Richt make public that he did not receive? Was he pushing for an expanded QC staff that he didn’t get until Pruitt made a stink about it? If so, why isn’t Richt shouldering as much blame as we are heaping on McGarity? You know what would get McGarity to fold? Making public demands and tell the fans the AD isn’t giving you what it takes to win. McGarity would have been canned the second Adams was out, and it might have expedited his departure. Instead the most powerful man in the state of Georgia absconded his power and allowed the Georgia Way to rule the day. Poor, poor Richt, though, amirite?

    I guess that doesn’t fit with the newest narrative that McGarity was the cause and Richt was helpless and is being the scapegoat.

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    • Not sure whose narrative you’re referring to here, but it’s not mine.

      Like

      • Not your narrative, just the general sentiment I’m getting from lots of folks trying to deify Richt and make out like those not in mourning are puppy-kickers. The man had a job. He didn’t perform. He got canned. Leading a program is as much pushing for facilities, staff (advisors and nutritionists as much as pseudo-coaches called QC staff), etc. as it is taking care of former players or winning divisional titles.

        I give Richt an A+ in player relations. I don’t know of a coach that has done any better, and it is his greatest contribution to UGA.

        As far as wins and losses, he gets a B. (A+ for 2001-2005, C for 2006-2015…. two seasons worth remembering in a decade is a C in my book.)

        Program administration was a complete failure, and why he ultimately got canned. His loyalty, his hires, his roster management, his acquiescence to Adams and the Georgia Way… in those things, he got an F… for Fired.

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    • Normaltown Mike

      “why isn’t Richt shouldering as much blame as we are heaping on McGarity”

      It’s easier to concoct bizarre conspiracy reasons than accept the fact that CMR was let go for his own performance.

      BTW, if any of y’all know whale boosters that were involved in the late 90’s, they’ll tell you the IPF was being discussed in Donnan’s era. If CMR wanted to make it happen, it would’ve happened. CMR was comfortable and his comfort led to complacence.

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      • Napoleon BonerFart

        “BTW, if any of y’all know whale boosters that were involved in the late 90’s, they’ll tell you the IPF was being discussed in Donnan’s era.”

        Sure. That’s always the way with large bureaucracies. There’s always something big on the horizon, that stays on the horizon. My town has a map showing how two highways are going to be rerouted into a few one-way bypass intersections to ease rush hour traffic. The map is at least 20 years old. No ground has been broken yet. That’s probably Richt’s fault, too.

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    • Jeff

      Why do you think McG wants Pruitt gone? Because he talked to the media about UGA not having an IPF like everyone else and that it has been used negatively by recruiters of other schools for years. Pruitt embarrassed him, so he must go.

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      • Normaltown Mike

        Right.

        He was SOOOO embarrassed that he immediately went to the AA board and asked for approval to hire an architect and get the project built.

        Has nothing to do with Pruitt nearly coming to blows with other coaches in CRM’s kitchen.

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        • Jeff

          That was in response to “make public demands and tell the fans the AD isn’t giving you what it takes to win”. That’s what Pruitt did, and it worked in getting the IPF built. Like I said in another post, McG might have known we needed an IPF, but with the way Pruitt handled it, it looked like Pruitt was in charge, which was unacceptable. Heck, don’t you remember all the posts about “The Pruitt Effect”? You don’t think McG knew everybody was praising Pruitt for forcing BM to get off their wallets and catch up with other schools that have passed us? You think he liked that? You think what he was REALLY mad at was a scuffle in someone’s kitchen? Or that he didn’t show enough respect to someone’s secretary and her longevity at the university? Come on, man. Pruitt looked like he was the new sheriff in town and McG won’t have that. That’s what the questions are all about now. Will McG be forced to let Kirby have complete control of the football program or not?

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          • Jeff

            How long would you last in your job if you went past your boss’s boss’s boss, straight to the media, to decry the need for a 30 million dollar piece of equipment that they have been denying the need for for 15 years?

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      • @gatriguy

        Todd Grantham gave a college kid a choke sign and got in an f-bomb laden shouting match on national television and McG didn’t give an ultimatum to fire him. I think it’s safe to say that whatever Pruitt did to piss everyone off was pretty bad.

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        • SAtowndawg

          The “elite” running our athletic department view Pruitt as an uncouth redneck who didn’t know his place…couldn’t have someone like that pointing out the problems in the program

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        • Jeff

          That’s right. Because Grantham didn’t make McG look like a weakling or a tightwad in public and to the media like Pruitt did, which also reinforces my opinion that whatever Pruitt’s “behavior” was like is not the real reason McG wants him gone.

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  17. No One Knows You're a Dawg

    I can’t believe that even McGarity and his cabal aren’t smart enough to realize that their fates are tied up in Kirby’s performance. 8-4, 9-3, and 8-4 the first three years will get everyone in the athletic department fired. Just for purposes of self perservation, you’d think McGarity would open up the purse strings.

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    • Normaltown Mike

      I sure hope.

      Not for GM’s fate, but for UGA football. It’s sink or swim time

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      • Dawgfan Will

        I agree.

        Though I was a Richt supporter, that is not the reason I think Smart needs to be successful quickly. It’s because these events have established that what we had was not enough, so what we now have must exceed that to be satisfactory.

        Wow. I even confused myself just then.

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    • Jared S.

      Bingo. And, for that reason, the sky’s the limit now, boys!!! Wooooohooooooo!

      Like

    • AO

      I am counting on this.

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    • Napoleon BonerFart

      If that’s true, why are there reports of resistance from B-M in the negotiations? Why wouldn’t McGarity hand over the keys to the store and pat himself on the back?

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  18. AIKENDAWG

    I mentioned last week that I was tired of defending CMR and a change was needed. I also wrote that the man for us was Kirby Smart and I was vilified and told how uninformed my info was. There is now a major change at UGA in ALL areas of our football program as well as a commitment to win championships!! Keep up the good work and lets get behind Kirby and get this fan base united again. GATA JYD!!!!

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    • Napoleon BonerFart

      On behalf of all of us, I sincerely apologize for failing to realize how awesome you are at predicting the future. Obviously, the latest reports of McGarity’s reluctance to provide Smart with everything he needs is just a false flag so when he actually does the opposite, it will mean something. I don’t know. I’m obviously not as good at reading these tea leaves as you are.

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      • AIKENDAWG

        No, its not predicting the future. I’m a booster who has followed the Dawgs since 1975 and given my heart and soul at home and away games and I happen to know a little about what goes on. I can assure you that there is now a commitment to win BIG and for this to happen a coaching change had to take place. So being a smart ass is your prerogative, but again what we need to do as Georgia people is get behind Kirby and stop bickering with each other!! GATA JYD!!!

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        • Napoleon BonerFart

          Not a smart ass. Just remorseful about hurting your feelings for not believing you about being so influential and well connected. In my experience, most of the people who brag about being influential and well connected (especially on the internet), really aren’t. But you really are the elusive unicorn. So, sorry again for ever doubting you.

          However, surely with your unique insider knowledge, you can enlighten us as to why McGarity and Smart can’t come to an agreement on the details of the hire. Does McGarity want to provide TOO MANY resources for Smart’s needs? Thanks. I’ll hang up and listen.

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    • No Country 4 Old Dawgs

      Howdy there AikenDawg,
      As a fellow Georgia fan I’ve got some serious reservations about the timing of all this. UGA absolutely needs this recruiting class to be a home run, to atone for all the recent roster attrition and flat out misses. By all accounts the out going staff had themselves quite possibly a number one class in the making. Not to mention the buyout fiasco which will ensue since Richt/Pruitt/Schotty had all gotten multi-year deals TEN MONTHS AGO!!! Okay, I’ll calm down. Also McGarity HAS to get Kirby. If he doesn’t land him or fully hand over the program to the Process, McGarity has to resign, period. Any other choice as head coach will divide the fan base much worse than it was over Richt’s continued tenure. And once the Process begins the powers that be, better have the stomach for the ensuing carnage. As in cutting some of the unproductive fat off of our current roster. Am I talking about taking away scholarships from current players, yes I’m talking about taking away scholarships from current players. Hopefully another Process will be in place to put them on Hope Scholly’s immediately following. Not that you care, but I sure don’t see anyway we keep Eason in this class. There’s absolutely No One Kirby can bring in with the cache of developing Pro QB’s as there are in Gainesville, Tallahassee and Miami Florida right now. As a life long Dawg, I have a creeping feeling that UGA just let go of Tom Osborne in 1991, or Bobby Bowden in 1986. Richt winning a national title in Miami, with Eason in tow, would not shock me in the least bit.

      Like

  19. rchris

    This an excellent superb, first-class, outstanding, remarkable, marvelous, magnificent, wonderful, splendid, admirable, noteworthy, impressive, fine, exquisite, exceptional, glorious; post. It sums up succinctly why we’re the only one of 13 teams with more than 730 wins alltime that doesn’t have more than one AP national championship. (And 6 others with win totals below 730 also have more than one AP natty.)

    Like

  20. I think McG sucks, but I don’t understand why people think he controls the purse strings. McG cares about his own legacy and job. I’m sure he’s fine with spending tons of money.

    It’s the greedy, Smaug-like cronies above him that don’t want to spend. I have absolutely no idea why. They’re already old. They’ll be dead before that reserve fund hits whatever magic number it is they have a hard-on for. Wouldn’t it be more enjoyable to see some titles? Maybe they’re skimming somewhere and that’s the reason. Who knows.

    I think CMR instantly landing this job at Miami and the buzz that is creating will put more pressure on McG + BM cronies to give Smart what he wants.

    Smart has a LOT more power behind any threat to walk away now. If Smart walks, holy shit will McG and crew look really bad.

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    • Again, it’s not about the money as much as it is about who calls the shots. And that’s not gonna change without a struggle.

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      • Normaltown Mike

        A struggle? Who kissing whom?

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      • But the money is the biggest part of calling the shots.

        I hope Kirby struggles really hard right now when he has the most leverage. Because right now, if he walks, McG and BM look like keystone cops.

        Now is the time where he needs to make sure he has as much control as possible and as much decision making power as possible. Because once he signs (or doesn’t sign, which apparently we’re fine with for some reason) and becomes the coach, his leverage plummets.

        Unless he’s willing to publicly shame McG/BM whenever their sphincter clinches up, like Pruitt did. Which would be glorious.

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      • stick jackson

        Senator, I’ve always thought the money disputes were about “more” — more for assistants’ salaries, more for an IPF, more for support staff. All of which is to say, a bigger budget. Can you give an example of unproductive fighting over how to spend budgeted money? Not saying there aren’t any (or many), just that they aren’t coming to mind for me.

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  21. CannonDawg

    Every organization at some point experiences challenges with poor performance, underachieving personnel, cutthroat competition, and the friction that inevitably occurs as a result. It’s not that it happens—it does, and it will—it’s more how the organization adapts and changes and uses its energy and resources to improve its results. The leadership at the top is obviously critical. The poorly led organization will never achieve results that are solid and sustainable.

    And that’s what worries me about our situation.

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  22. Hardas

    There seems to be an underlying assumption from many comments here that lack of money was a major factor in the failure of Richt’s tenure……absolutely ridiculous.

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    • Napoleon BonerFart

      Good point. Saban, Fisher, et al obviously don’t understand what it takes to build a successful program.

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  23. HamDawg11

    “If you want change, you shouldn’t be rooting for Smart to walk away from the deal. You should be rooting for Smart to win.”

    I had someone ask me if I thought UGA would pay Smart a lot. I said, “I hope so! I hope the man gets everything he wants and needs to be successful!”

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  24. HVL Dawg

    McGarity works for a board of directors. I think we’ve all seen that he isn’t a strong charismatic leader. That means he is counting votes on his board and doing what he thinks they want while trying to look like he’s in charge. I’ve backed off on my anger toward him. He’s weak. That’s all. He won’t last.

    Re: Richt’s payout. It’s not like he didn’t have the old contract in force. the new contract just changed the numbers some, but there was going to be a payoff. McGarity deserves a lot of credit that it was a LOW payout. While LSU was looking at 15 million ADGM was chuckling about his generous 4.5 million buyout. Give McGarity some credit for being a hard ass on a weakened CMR.

    And let’s give CMR some credit for knowing what was going to happen. When the reporter asked CMR about the Miami job, the reporter did CMR a great favor. CMR: “Hey Miami, call me.” Now CMR has a 3,000 yard passer and he’s got to beat UNC next year? Impressive work there CMR.

    Then there is Eason. He didn’t grow up red & black. He’s looking for a big program that gets him to the NFL. If he comes to UGA he’ll be in a pissed off program with no OL, no receivers, Keith Marshall the 2nd (Chubb) and he’ll be asked to win as a freshman. Better practice that five step drop and getting sacked. These SEC DL boys ain’t like the ones you’ve been seeing up in Washington.

    I’ll be buying some green and orange gear for Christmas and brushing up on 2 live crew, but I’ll keep checking in here to read about the pissed off masses.

    Like

  25. Comin' Down The Track

    I am reminded of this joke my Dad told me when i was a youngster:
    One day, three scientists decided to conduct an experiment that nobody had ever tried before. They decided to leave a cork up a pig’s backside for three weeks and at the end of the three weeks they would take the cork out and see what happened. Well, they noticed that after one week the pig’s legs had turned blue, after two weeks its head turned blue and finally, after three weeks the entire pigs body had turned blue. So one scientist said to another, “I think it is time to remove the cork” Well, those scientists set up a room so that the pig was at one end of the room, and the scientists were in a line behind it, like so: Pig-Scientist-Scientist-Scientist And they trained a monkey to take the cork out. As you can imagine, when the hapless monkey took the cork out of the pig’s backside, poop went everywhere. The scientist at the back of the room was up to his knees in it. The scientist in the middle of the room was up to his chest. The last scientist was not visible. After searching around, they finally found him laughing hysterically. “What is wrong with you?” one scientist asked. “You’ve just been buried alive in pig poop and you’re laughing?!” The Third Scientist replied, “You should have seen the monkey trying to put the cork back in!”

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  26. Bulldog Joe

    Culture change in an organization is never easy, but it has a much greater chance of success if the change agent has the vision, skills and the authority to deal appropriately with those who are wedded to the old culture.

    At Georgia, our change agent has the vision but not the skills or the authority. Progress was made, but Pruitt is too low in the organization and too rough around the edges to “finish the drill” on his own.

    Kirby, too, has that vision. He also knows this organization better than Pruitt did going in. From what we’ve seen so far, he has the organizational skills Pruitt does not have AND he knows Pruitt well enough to get the lowdown who what actually happened in the first attempt to change it instead of just getting Greg’s washed down version of it.

    What remains is to be seen is whether Kirby will be given the authority to truly “finish the drill”. This is what should be negotiated now.

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  27. Hell…I don’t want the Bama culture. No thanks if we have to have the culture to go with the success.

    I’m not sure about trying to be emulate them, either. They’re always a few steps ahead of everyone and will be something else by the time we get to Bammer East status. The boosters now in charge know what they want but it doesn’t seem they know how to get there or that they have what it takes.

    Honestly, I think I’ve accepted “mediocrity” because I don’t want to see us go to the lengths we’re about to go to get to the next level.

    Like

    • Jared S.

      You mean, maybe football, and college sports in general should be about something more than simply winning at all costs? Be careful what you say!!!!! Thinking like that got Rick canned!

      Like

      • Jared S.

        *Richt

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      • Well if that’s the case and what we really want at UGA, we should drop a level. Or at least get out of the SEC. But as long as we are there, I would like us to compete at the highest level. The fact is at D1 and especially the SEC, it is win at all costs. You think all those scholars at Duke and Kentucky in BBall are there to get an education, develop character, etc.? Even pristine Duke does what it takes.

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  28. PTC DAWG

    The Georgia Way has been damn close 3 times or so under Richt to taking it all…maybe a tweak here or there can git it done.

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  29. Senator, thanks for the post and insightful info. Kirby can do it, but as said in your post, the “Georgia Way” and culture has to change to allow him to succeed. And not only in spending money. The overly punitive drug policy, the lack of aggressiveness and toughness within BM to worry less about an artificial “image” and do what’s right for program and player (examples: handling of AJ Green situation, GM handling of Gurley, etc). You just know in both cases, those guys would have played if it were Bama , TOSU, etc.
    Assume we fired Richt so we could go to level of Bama, OSU, etc. If that’s the objective, new corch needs similar support with those type things outside of the game.
    And while we’re at it, somebody should have a talk with University and Athens police. Especially Jimmy Williams. Time to lay off the football team and people in general. (Yes I got a ticket for drinking a beer on piece of land 3 feet from where I could drink the beer. I’m 51.)
    Go fight some real crime you doofus (JW)

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    • Jimmy Williamson

      You complain about my enforcement of the law AND you get my name wrong? This will forever be in the mind of Jimmy Williamson and in the mind of our police department. … So we’ll handle it. And it’s going to be a big deal.

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  30. fred russo

    I am so sick of all this crybaby stuff about CMR. Look nice guy bad coach over his career against good teams. Look it comes down to one thing,do you want to win in the big games or not? If your happy with 10 wins against less talented team root for UM because that what there going to get. If you think CMR got a raw deal become a Democrat and protest. If you want a chance to be a fan of a program that is trying to be better stay with UGA and hope they can change .

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