Splitting the baby

I admit at first glance I thought this AJ-C header – “Mark Richt may attend Senior Gala but Jacob Eason won’t” – was simply another cynical attempt to troll Georgia fans, but it turns out to be something a little more surprising.

Accurate.

Former Georgia coach Mark Richt has been invited to return to Athens to attend the Bulldogs’ annual Senior Gala on Saturday. But he won’t have any interaction with UGA’s recruits while he’s in town.

Quarterback Jacob Eason and many other of the Bulldogs’ elite recruits who will be in town on an official visit this weekend will be “attending another event” at the same time as the Gala, according to UGA officials.

That’s different than usual. In past years, the Senior Gala has been a highlight event for some of the most important recruiting prospects the Bulldogs entertain every year.

That displays a deft PR touch that has been sorely lacking from B-M of late.  Pretty Smart… er, smart.  Whoever came up with the idea, well played, sir or madam.

68 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

68 responses to “Splitting the baby

  1. A variation on this was exactly what I thought should be done. Definitely the right thing to do.

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  2. El Dawgo

    I think it is wise to split the recruits from the gala but wouldn’t it be better to just ask CMR not to attend. If he were not a HC elsewhere, then I see no issue with him being there. But that is not the case. Now that he is the head hurricane, he is a competitor for these same recruits.

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    • I Wanna Red Cup

      He will not see the recruits. That is the point

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      • Billy Mumphrey

        So they are changing the status quo for the Gala, having the recruits attend, to accommodate Richt. Got it.

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        • I Wanna Red Cup

          My guess and impression is that CKS is planning a BIG event for the recruits that will go over better than the Gala. I do not think it is necessarily an accommodation, but of course you are free to call it like you see it.

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          • Billy Mumphrey

            You are probably right, and I am probably being cynical. However, when you are fired in the real world you are not even allowed back in the building.

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            • Dawgfan Will

              Don’t you mean when you mutually agree to part ways? 😉

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            • Jeff

              Are we seriously going to talk about Mark Richt as some schmuck who got fired for poor job performance instead of the second best coach we ever had? Look, I’m fine with it that he’s gone, but I can’t stand this type of talk. You wanted him gone? Fine. He’s gone. You don’t have to make the case for him to be fired anymore. The fan base will heal a lot faster without the insults or insulting tone from some of you guys.

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              • Billy Mumphrey

                First, I have never called for anyone to be fired. Ever. Not on this blog or anywhere else. Second, he was in fact fired. People need to stop acting like he had no role in that outcome. Third, if Richt and his supporters didn’t understand that his accepting the job at Miami was going to affect his relationship with the University and his role with the team in the immediate future then they are all a bit naive. Lastly, I am not sure what I said that was so insulting.

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                • Jeff

                  “So they are changing the status quo for the Gala, having the recruits attend, to accommodate Richt. Got it.”

                  If you don’t understand how that tone is insulting, I can’t help you. Secondly, “You” means “some of you guys” as I stated in my last sentence. Sorry if you took personal offense as that was not intended, but my sentiment stands.

                  “Second, he was in fact fired. People need to stop acting like he had no role in that outcome.”

                  That is exactly what I am talking about. Instead of a sentiment of “the guy gave his best but the game passed him by and we needed to move on, but thanks for the memories, Coach. You’ll always be special to us.”, it seems like some are saying, “thanks for nothing in the last ten years, you underperformer. Good riddance. And you’re not welcome back to say goodbye to the seniors.”

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                • Billy Mumphrey

                  You are right, some people just can’t be helped.

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        • GaskillDawg

          I do not know which recruits are coming, so I am not commenting about the wisdom of holding a separate event. I do have a question, though the answer to which may shed light.

          If a kid has already taken an official visit and has not signed a financial aid agreement, would it be a recruiting violation to host that kid at the Gala, which would include the free admission and free dinner that anyone else has to pay for?

          If it would be and we want those kids who have already made an official visit to be on campus and interact with the kids who are committed, then are we having an event open to the public (but not publicized) at which all the recruits will attend?

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  3. W Cobb Dawg

    Sounds like it has McG’s fingerprints all over it. You know he’s doing everything possible to help. Oh, who am I kidding.

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  4. When it’s all said and done, I hope I’ll have one thing to thank Nick Saban for; being Kirby Smart’s tutor for several years.

    I hope BM actually is allowing HIM to build it because, goodness knows, the Georgia Way hasn’t always been great. I still don’t want us to oversign, or play too dirty, but the whole program needs to be more, for lack of a better word, aggressive.

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  5. Rick

    As the guy who gave you shit a few days for your stance on this….

    Seems fair to me.

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  6. Uglydawg

    If we’ve learned nothing else from MR, it’s that he’s a man of honor.
    Often in life, things happen for pure and honest reasons, and people are up-front about their intentions.
    MR honestly cares about and loves these young men that he’s been so close to for 5 years or so. And they love him. That’s a good thing. We need more of that…and less of the kind of parting of ways we have seen in people such as Perino, Tubberville, and Jr. Kiffen when they bailed on their teams. We all have agreed that Richt was different and that was the one constant that kept him in our good graces. That hasn’t changed.
    Cynicism in this case borders on paranoia.
    (There are very few coaches that would do this,(I think), and there are very few that I would give such trust to).
    And I believe if Coach Smart had a problem with it, Richt would back off.

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    • QSD

      I agree. I don’t want to completely sever ties with Richt. He is too good and honorable a man to do that.

      It is possible he might at some point pick up a recruit or transfer from us, but I am not worried about it. He will get the majority of his recruits from South Florida and he will put together a team that will woop GTs butt routinely.

      How is that bad?

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    • Man of honor? Then why did he ditch them and leave them high and dry for their bowl game?

      Sorry, I think he’s a pretty decent guy, but the way people make him out to be a saint is absurd.

      He’s mostly in it for the money and the ego. That’s not a crime – that’s what most people do their jobs for. But he is not especially in it for the kids more than the average coach or teacher.

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  7. Kirby already making positive changes.

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    • Daniel Simpson Day

      Yes, this is for him to close some deals in lieu of having them sit through a banquet for guys most don’t know anyway. I think the time is better spent with face time as some haven’t been recruited by CKS in the past. Smart move IMO. He knows what he’s doing.

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  8. This wasn’t to accommodate Richt. From what I understand reading elsewhere, Kirby is doing away with the Gala altogether. This will be the last one.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      Well, at bama they all leave their junior year for the nfl draft. That, and forced attrition, means no seniors around for a senior gala.

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    • Dawgfan Will

      Not to say that it is a good recruiting tool, but I was always under the impression that the Gala was to honor the players, especially the seniors. Why would he get rid of it?

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      • sUGArdaddy

        It’s not a long-standing tradition. It started under Donnan. So, it’s been around about 20 years. It’s not something we’ve ALWAYS done. Plus, if Kirby doesn’t think it helps us win (by taking valuable time away on the last recruiting weekend in December), who are we to say he’s wrong. Maybe it’s just something that needs to change.

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        • GaskillDawg

          I went to the first one in 1998. Had a great time and I agree with Dawgfan Will that the recruits were not the focus of the evening. I guess there is too much potential for recruiting violations, having drinking fans who meet the definition of “representatives of UGA’s athletic interests” in a rah rah environment hanging around recruits.

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        • Dawgfan Will

          Ah, okay. That makes sense. If it interferes with recruiting, could they move it into the dead period?

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          • Will (The Other One)

            I’d say that’s a good compromise. Especially if your goal is CFB playoffs or NY6 bowls almost every year, so you could do the gala before the holiday break but before the really heavy bowl practice kicks in.
            Might help academically too, as won’t finals continue into next week?

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    • Dog in Fla

      “Kirby is doing away with the Gala altogether.”

      Full Metal Kirby

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  9. Dawgfan Will

    It Smart can coach Bama through the playoffs because, as he said, he wants to honor the young men he recruited and coached, I don’t see any problem with Richt coming to the Gala to do the same thing, especially when he was invited.

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  10. 81Dog

    By the way, I heard Dabo Swinney on ESPN Radio this morning, talking about his experience with the 92 Alabama national champs and how it helped him prepare his Clemson team for what is coming. Dabo pointed out he told them rings and banners fade, but the relationships you build with your coaches and teammates are the lasting memories, so enjoy the ride. I’m pretty sure Dabo wants to win his remaining games, and so far I haven’t heard of any Clemson fans demanding he be fired for his lackladasical approach to winning.

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      • Dawgfan Will

        #appliestobothsides

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        • I’m not the one who dug up the old subject, skippy.

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          • GaskillDawg

            “I heard Dabo Swinney on ESPN Radio this morning, talking about his experience with the 92 Alabama national champs and how it helped him prepare his Clemson team for what is coming. ”

            Isn’t that relevant to UGA’s current circumstances? We hope that Kirby’s “experience with the [2015] Alabama national champs . . . help[s] him prepare his [Georgia] team for what is coming.”

            Thought that a forward looking fellow like yourself would be interested in how Smart is going to be able to use his 2015 playoff experience to help your team.

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          • Dawgfan Will

            On this post? You’re right, you didn’t. But it’s disingenuous of you to act like you haven’t done so several times since Richt was fired. I’m not trying to start anything, but the only minuscule chance the divide over Richt’s firing has to heal is if those who continue to get in their shots are ignored. That starts with you, me, and anyone else who has a modicum of self-control.

            And, yes, I am completely aware that this comment of mine is part of the problem. I tried to approach it a different way in another reply to this comment below.

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    • I Wanna Red Cup

      1000, School!

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    • Dawgfan Will

      Kirby just shined his four rings and said, “Huh, they don’t look faded to me.” 😉

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  11. GaskillDawg

    “Dabo pointed out he told them rings and banners fade, but the relationships you build with your coaches and teammates are the lasting memories, so enjoy the ride. ”

    So THAT’S why we made no effort to hire Soybean Wind!

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  12. Spike

    I’m about tired of this Soap Opera with Eason. Sheessh..

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    • JTP

      Yes, heaven forbid someone explore their options. I’m sure he will be so relieved when you’re back on board.

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    • I Wanna Red Cup

      Come on man. He is 18 and the school he has been committed to for 18 months just fired the coach he had a close relationship. Said school now has an exciting new head coach, but not announced the OC or QB coach, the two he will be spending the most time with the next 3-5 years of his life and who are vitally important to his career.
      Is he not supposed to even look at other options? If he did not he would be foolish. UGA gets the last official visit because of dead period between 12/13 and 1/13 and he will be enrolled at his college before the end of the dead period. He is not one to court media attention. Get off the kids back.

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      • Spike

        First of all you two.. JTP and Red Cup.. You both, of course, miss my point. I think it is a great idea he is looking at other options. I would do the same thing if I were in his shoes. I am just tired of hearing about every single breath this guy draws and every single move he makes from the media et al. Ok.. we GET IT that he is looking at other options, has already allegedly committed to UGA etc. WE GET IT! UGA better hope that if he does come to UGA he is as good as advertised. If not, a lot of people will have a lot of egg on their face. Lots of big shot recruits don’t pan out. Want some examples? So am I am “not on the kid’s back” , and I am not criticizing him for exploring other options as both of you suggest. You two are entitled to your opinions, I’m entitled to mine. Just don’t assign your misconceptions to me when I meant nothing of the sort.

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        • I Wanna Red Cup

          So you are mad with the media for creating a “soap opera”? Sorry I did not realize that from your post. Perhaps I misunderstood or perhaps your one sentence post was not clear what you meant. I thought you were criticizing young Eason. From what I have heard and read, he is not the one speaking to the media, and is not an attention seeker. Certainly I agree that some big time recruits do not pan out, but I also did not see that in your original post. Using invisible ink? My bad

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      • Didn’t seem to me that he was on anybodys back. Just said he was tired of the drama. That isn’t an indictment of Eason, I don’t think.

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      • hassan

        No kidding. And especially since the kid lives in Washington State! It’s not like he’s a south Georgia kid that has been indoctrinated with UGA propaganda all his life. Montana Project aside, I doubt UGA was high on his radar until we came a calling. Now that all those recruiting him are no longer with the program, it’s only fair for him to explore all options. In the end, if UGA is the right fit, then I think he’ll be all in. None of this sounds like a prima donna diva move to me.

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      • Will (The Other One)

        I don’t disagree about looking at options, just that UF is the primary one. Grier looked good, but they didn’t do much with Treon Harris, and Nussmeier’s time at Michigan was…not great.
        Were I him, I’d look more at Michigan Stanford or Bama if you have to go prostyle + SEC.

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  13. Debby Balcer

    Glad Coach Richt will be there to celebrate with the seniors. Sounds like a win win to me. As to the headline they want to grab you and for most that does. Eason will be a big get and if we don’t sign him we have an even higher hole in our QB depth. Bauta is gone which leaves Lambert, Ramsey and two walk ons.

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  14. WF Dawg

    So far, I really like what I’m seeing from Kirby’s hands-on approach. He replaces the Gala with something he thinks will play better to recruits. And there’s been a tighter lid on coaching change info while in the midst of a “fluid situation.” So far, so good, it seems.

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    • JarvisCrowell

      Agreed, I know I’m drinking a lot of kool-aid on CKS, but he is already looking like an amazing coach. I’m gonna be shocked if he doesn’t do great things for the dawgs.

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  15. Debby Balcer

    Pruitt headed to Bama.

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  16. Parent

    The Gala has declined sharply in attendance and excitement over the last several years, ever since ADGM got rid of the silent and live auctions, as well as the bar. The food was never very good, but everything else made it fun. It is no longer a “wow” moment for recruits, so taking them to “another event” is better anyway.

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