“It just allows us to play on the same field as Alabama and everybody else.”

The Sabanization of Georgia continues apace.

Except I’m not talking about the University of Georgia.  I’m talking about Georgia’s state government.

An amendment attached to an unrelated records bill passed by the state House and Senate late Tuesday states that “athletic departments and related private athletic associations” will have 90 days to process open records requests. The lone exception to this would be to access salaries for “nonclerical staff,” which includes coaches and other various athletic department staffers.

Senate Bill 323 with the attached amendment will be sent to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk for a signature.

This law would change how the University of Georgia operates, given that current law states that it must provide access to existing public records within three business days of it being requested, or the agency must give a timetable for how long it will take to produce the records.

State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, is a co-sponsor of the amendment and said the intention is to add extra time in returning open record requests as other states and athletic departments are afforded.

“This will help the startup programs, this applies to every single intercollegiate program in this state, every university from the University of Georgia  … [to] any intercollegiate sport at a D2, D3 school,” Ehrhart said. “It just allows us to play on the same field as  Alabama and everybody else.”

This is absurd.  And what is with this “us” shit, anyway?  I must have missed seeing Ehrhart in the coaches’ booth last season.

What it’s really about is shielding B-M from having to say much about you know what.

National Signing Day, when high school athletes can sign National Letters of Intent with universities to play college athletics, occurred this year on Feb. 3. The Atlanta Journal Constitution published a lengthy story on how much money Georgia’s athletic department spent on recruiting-related expenses since Smart took the job on Feb. 21.

“At that recruiting time of year they get absolutely inundated with people wanting to have that recruiting information and it’s not a level playing field because Georgia, our athletic associations, are private in and of themselves and they don’t have that capacity, so this just allows that type of level playing field,” Ehrhart said.

Ehrhart claims this amendment won’t restrict information.

Do I really need to ask the question when can you tell a politician is making things up?

Maybe we just need to offer the Georgia governorship to Nick Saban.  Resistance appears to be futile.  Besides, doesn’t every Georgian deserve a level playing field?

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28 Comments

Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Nick Saban Rules, Political Wankery

28 responses to ““It just allows us to play on the same field as Alabama and everybody else.”

  1. Connor

    We should take the absence of real information as an opportunity to speculate wildly. I heard UGA spent $50 million on hovercraft rides for the recruiting staff across Lake Lanier. Gregg McGarity’s new office furniture is made of endangered Brazilian rain forest timber. The toilet paper at Butts-Mehre is quadruple ply…

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  2. Go Dawgs!

    I am 100% against this and am frankly shocked that any politician would put his or her name on it. What absolute garbage. The trend should be towards MORE transparency for any and every government body, not less. While the UGA Athletic Association certainly has a lot in common with other private associations it is, in fact, a public institution attached to the state’s flagship university.

    Does this moron not remember how easily Penn State was able to obfuscate and defeat media requests during the Sandusky scandal because of their own exemptions from state open records laws? Does he really want any part of the state’s university system to be able to do the same? We shouldn’t give UGA or any other public body this kind of exemption.

    The voters of Powder Springs (and every district of any other legislator who supports this hogwash) need to pay extra close attention to any elected official who is advocating for less transparency in government. If he’s of a mind to keep your prying eyes off of Kirby Smart’s recruiting budget, he’s probably of a mind to keep your prying eyes off of a lot of other government activity.

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  3. Uglydawg

    Yes!! Give Saban the State Governorship!

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  4. Greg McGarity, your Athletic Director

    I’d just like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that it’s never too early to send us your 2017 donations!

    With your help, the UGA athletic association will break the NCAA record for number of employees making 6 figures some time in the next year or so. There are a lot of people in Athens that need your money!

    Thank you for your continued support of our organization.

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  5. TnDawg

    Sunshine law is BS anyway. Get rid of the whole damn thing!

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  6. TN Dawg

    It’s an idea who’s time has come.

    I’m for it. Universities shouldn’t have to run around like a servant every time the AJC files a request so that newspapers can publish hit pieces in a more timely fashion.

    Let ’em wait.

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    • Coweta Dawg

      Except they are servants, public servants, funded by the public.

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      • Minor detail, that.

        Just a reminder that we tend to get the government we deserve.

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        • Russ

          “Just a reminder that we tend to get the government we deserve.”

          That’s a low blow, Senator. I thought we were all friends here.

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      • TN Dawg

        AJC shouldn’t worry about how fast it gets its info, they ought to focus on how long it takes to read it accurately.

        If I recall correctly, they completely bollocksed the recruiting cost story anyway. They should amend the bill to require media to wait three months after receiving the records to print a story.

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        • Bulldog Joe

          No amendment needed. The requester will spin the information to suit their click-based business model regardless.

          The best UGA can do is make the information less relevant from a time perspective.

          It’s good to finally have a few people in-house who acknowledge how uneven the off-the-field rules are for Georgia and are willing to do something about fixing it. We have a long way to go.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      Agree. Let ’em stare at the Coke bottle for 89 days.

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  7. MLB2

    If a politician is moving their lips, they are making it up.

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  8. How many National Championships do we get if we make Saban the Governor? I’ll do it for 4 maybe 3.

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  9. Hogbody Spradlin

    Even if this passes, there’s a ways to go to catch Bama. I believe they don’t even have a state FOIA.

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  10. Mctyre

    Does UGAAA fund recruiting and quality control analysts with taxpayer or student-paid dollars or does it come from donors?

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    • 92 grad

      This is the funny part to me, I believe (I’m guessing) it is all 100% privately funded when the athletic association is cited. Technically none of them are state employees and none of the salaries are funded through tax or student fees. I’m guessing that Kirby and his coordinators along with the medical staff are state employees, but outside of the sideline folks I’d guess that it’s all donor funded. I’m sure someone here knows the facts, I’m just guessing. But to your point, I’m surprised that these donor funded positions are subject to records requests. The legalese would clarify the lines between private and public via the fact that everything serves the state, so there’s that.

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      • Gaskilldawg

        Incorrect. The university if Georgia pays salaries to coaches and other athletic department personnel. You can find the Report of State funds from the department of audits. While a lot of Richt’s and Smart’s money comes from other sources such as Nike and radio rights both are State of Georgia employees.

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  11. I’m just glad nobody is blaming this on Kirby and calling him a cheater,LOL.

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  12. Argondawg

    With all that is going on my outrage gauge is running on fumes at this point.

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  13. anon

    Yaawwn

    Again

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  14. PTC DAWG

    Kirby is on the mother

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  15. Hogbody Spradlin

    Nobody sensible can argue against disclosure and accountability by tax supported institutions.
    However,
    It’s probably the cynic in me, but the glee and moral preening of journalists when they trumpet the information puts me off. They’re profit making businesses; they run off attracting looks.

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