Culture shock: a reader poll

If you’re interested, you might give a listen to this podcast of Seth Emerson with SI.com’s Zac Ellis, where they spend some time discussing the changes at Georgia’s football program in the aftermath of Kirby Smart’s hire  [HINT:  TRANSFER POLICY!], and how the fan base is reacting to that.

The gist is summarized in a question:  “Is Smart being too cutthroat or is that what Georgia needs to get back on top of the SEC?”  Seth is a little more diplomatic in how he phrases that, but in any event, it sure sounds to me like an invitation for a reader poll.

(The third option is for those of you who think there’s more light than heat being generated here.)

Obviously, feel free to elaborate in the comments.

51 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

51 responses to “Culture shock: a reader poll

  1. Heyberto

    I guess my issue isn’t that Kirby has changed the policy. I expected this. It’s that it’s an abrupt change that isn’t given a grace period for players he didn’t sign.

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  2. Normaltown Mike

    WHATEVER DISNEY DAWG!!!

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  3. SCDawg

    So if “I blame Bobo” is a choice on a reader poll, well, there is no choice. Unless Mark Richt has lost control of said poll because it’s being driven around in Mudcat’s Impala, which just emerged from an alley to escape an energy vampire.

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  4. Snoop Dawgy Dawg

    Can I respond that it will help improve the win/loss columns, but that it’s not how I’d prefer my program to be run? While McGarity’s (and Richt’s) Georgia Way has it’s issues, certain things were positive examples of how I thought things should be.

    transfer without restriction was something I liked in the program. the 4 year scholarship offer showed a respect for the athlete that he wasn’t just a cog in the football machine. in some respects, Richt was out in front of where things are moving.

    the Georgia Way aspects that drove us all nuts, we’ll never know if they were AD mandated and if he could have thrived to a greater extent without those handcuffs.

    The King is dead, Long Live the King.

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  5. Russ

    Meh, I figured things were going to change. Kirby bungled the optics of the Turman transfer, but he’s a new coach so that stuff is going to happen. I don’t see us going full Saban, because I never want to go full Saban.

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  6. Silver Britches

    I understand the indignation, I just can’t get that worked up about it. We’re definitely not playing feelingsball anymore.

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  7. pumblechook114

    I chuckled out loud at ‘I blame Bobo’. Well played, Senator.

    The only reason this is a thing is because Kirby and BM are so shockingly bad at PR. All they had to do was set the transfer restrictions for Turman up front, let him go, and have a basic response if asked about it. Instead, Kirby felt a need to very publicly place some draconian restrictions on AJ’s transfer (first mistake), then go in depth about it (second mistake), then McGarity felt a need to elaborate (third mistake).

    Nick Saban surely doesn’t have time for this shit, but I guess Kirby does?

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    • McTyre

      If we had an AD with any gravitas and PR skills, Kirby might have done things differently. If one were to compare GN’s skill set with that of top-tier ADs – admittedly I don’t know them – GM would lack all of them save financial management. Peter Principle embodied.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      Kirby’s a first time HC, so I’ll cut him some slack on this. After all, we’re just changing our policy to match every other team in the sec.

      But McGarity, on the other hand, should’ve been out front on this. Kirby is supposed to be handling spring practice, not overseeing the transfers of players who don’t want to be on the team – that’s an administrative job. As always, McGarity proves he’s not only useless, but shows once again he can take any problem and make it worse. And it’s not just P.R. skills. He has no administrative skills whatsoever.

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  8. Lots of lurkers that didn’t want to comment in the kerfuffle? The vocalist of vocal minorities? The poll results are so lopsided (3.5 to 1, as of this comment), I thought I must have read the question incorrectly the first time.

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  9. The backlash it to be expected, especially during a very quiet time in the CFB cycle. The harder part to get my head around, which you hit on, is how it seems this wasn’t thought out. Especially from an optics standpoint.

    If you are going to restrict a kid to just four schools, then you have to know (or talk to someone that would know) that there will be backlash.

    Overall, the settled on result is in line with most of our peer programs. That is to be expected and is what those clamoring for change wanted, furor be damned. We fans are the ones with the problem if we thought Smart was going to keep the same policies as Coach Richt, despite obvious signs that what was driving some of push to replace him were those policies.

    I agree with Blutarsky. This is a storm in a bottle, mainly due to the time of the year and the parties involved. If Lovie Smith decided to restrict an Illinois transfer to ‘any school in Ohio but Ohio State and Cincinnati,’ it probably would be seen as gracious.

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  10. charlottedawg

    First off i think kids should be able to transfer whereever and whenever they want with no restrictions. Coaches can do it and more importantly regular students can do it. The rules are 100% in place to control the players. Also the objection that coaches have buyouts iisn’t valid since for a high demand coach the new school is almost always happy to pay that.

    What’s concerning to me about this isn’t just that we seem petty it’s that Kirby got caught lying (saying aj did not appeal then it turns out aj appealed not once but twice) which to me shows a lack of foresight (as a new coach you had to know kids were going to want to transfer and you better have a policy in place ) & lack of attention detail. Things that were ultimately Mark Richt’s undoing. Hopefully this is but a minor hiccup as a rookie head coach but it could also be a first red flag.

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  11. DawgPhan

    This has nothing to do with keeping Richt’s policies.

    No one expected that to happen. We have a new coach.

    I expect the coach to do the right thing when it pertains to the student athletes. To have their best interest in mind when making decisions.

    Doing what’s right for the students is what matters.

    It really isnt that difficult of a concept to understand.

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    • Debby Balcer

      Yes!!

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    • The Bruce

      Have you considered that perhaps Kirby felt that this WAS what was right for AJ? That he was transferring for the wrong reasons and would regret it later? Spring practice just started, and a lot has been made about the increased intensity of the practices. Maybe AJ just didn’t want to work hard or was discouraged about Coach Richt leaving, and Kirby was giving him some tough love?

      The fact is, I don’t know, and neither do you. But the above scenario is every bit as plausible as “Kirby’s just being an asshole to the players because that’s what Saban would do.” Unless this becomes an on-going issue, I say it’s a non story and let’s move on.

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      • Have you considered that perhaps Kirby felt that this WAS what was right for AJ? That he was transferring for the wrong reasons and would regret it later?

        BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

        Oh, wait… you were serious about that, hunh. In any event, why is that Kirby’s call to make?

        Besides, I though we decided Kirby wasn’t hired to do what’s in the best interests of players. 😉

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        • The Bruce

          Well, there’s the best interest of players and there’s the best interest of players. I’ll admit that I haven’t followed this saga that closely, because I really don’t care; but it seems to me that there’s a big difference between transferring to be closer to a sick family member (or something along those lines) and transferring because you don’t like the new coaches. In other words, if you’re just pussying out because things got tough, then maybe it IS in your best interest to stick it out, because that’s what builds character. The fact that that happens to also line up with the new coaches’ best interests doesn’t change that fact. I don’t know that this is what is going on with AJ; I’m just saying that nobody on here knows for sure that it’s NOT. When you’re a leader of men, it’s absolutely your responsibility to sometimes do things that they hate you for in the short run, but will thank you for in the long run.

          Also, I’m just playing devil’s advocate because I’M EXCITED ABOUT G-DAY AND I’M NOT GONNA LET ANY NEGATIVITY CRAP ON MY PARADE, GODDAMMIT!!!

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          • I Wanna Red Cup

            Perhaps your boss will decide the best thing for you is to demote your ass, pay you less, or better yet, fire your ass. It must be for your own good. Right?

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  12. DawgPhan

    Also think that Seth did a good job of framing the facts of the situation pretty well.

    Oh and the bit about UGA moving to hire Smart because of USC had me thinking how dangerously close we came to having Tom Herman @ USC and UGA with Smart and Muschamp.

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    • 3rdandGrantham

      Smart was only taking the SCU job as a last resort, and in fact he was most likely heading to VT if we didn’t come calling. Herman never had an interest in SCU and turned them down several times before signing the contract extension with Houston.

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      • DawgPhan

        sure he did

        “Houston coach Tom Herman was long considered to be the frontrunner to replace Steve Spurrier as the Gamecocks head football coach. And, according to USA Today, talks had progressed to the point that USC officials thought they had their man.”

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  13. diving duck

    Like most issues in this country, the media makes us thinks there’s more divisiveness than actually exists.

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  14. CB

    Bullet Points

    Just because you have the right to be a selfish jerk doesn’t mean you should act on it.
    The defense that everyone else is doing it is really weak.
    Lying about it pretty much proves Kirby knew what he did was wrong, and didn’t want people to know.
    None of Richt’s transfer policies ever hurt Georgia, and they never will unless JJ Green tears us up at Tech.
    Blocking a running back that is buried as deep on the depth chart as Turman probably doesn’t help Georgia at all.
    Even if it does help Georgia slightly, it ends up hurting the kid a lot more. Especially if he was stuck with the original transfer agreement.
    Kirby may have won titles at Bama, but he hasn’t won anything at Georgia yet, and this story will probably be used against him on the recruiting trail. Could hurt us without the rings to back it up. #speculation
    I still blame Bobo for the current qb situation. Throw shade at Richt all you want, but Bobo was the one who pegged Ramsey as an SEC starter. He sucked when Bobo was here, he sucked under Schott, and I don’t expect much from him under Chaney.

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  15. Listening to David Paschal on the radio yesterday, he mentioned the Smart is bringing with him all the media-control of Saban, as well. It occurred to me that I really enjoyed getting to know players and having players with the freedom to be themselves. I’m worried that we’ll never have another Chris Conley or Malcolm Mitchell with rich voices, personalities and stories. If that’s the case, then I really don’t think it’s worth a championship to switch out “The Georgia Way” for “The Process.”

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    • Kirby has said consistently he wants the players to be students first. I hope that means if one of his players wants to make a fan film or another to become an advocate for child literacy, he will champion it loudly instead of saying, “That’s a waste of time. Get back in the weight room.”

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  16. Comin' Down The Track

    Well, we already had a pretty good idea of what kind of recruiter/roster manager Kirby was going to be. Now, we are haggling about the price. 😉
    Isn’t that why we fired CMR to begin with? All things being equal with coaching football games and players, we wanted the other stuff, right?
    I, too, blame Bobo.

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  17. RaleighwoodDawg

    While I don’t agree with Kirby’s actions, it’s not a deal breaker for me. I fully expected Kirby to quickly put his stamp on his new regime, but I also expected him to do it in a way that was inline with a deep-thinker’s plan. On the surface, it doesn’t appear to have been thought out in detail. And I don’t think McGarity did him any favors. Kirby, like all of us, will learn some lessons along the way. #CommitToTheG

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  18. dubyadee

    “Is Smart being too cutthroat or is that what Georgia needs to get back on top of the SEC?”

    Yes.

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  19. The Bruce

    People who didn’t want Richt to leave are going to be mad and say that Kirby is being a cutthroat, Saban-esque asshole who doesn’t care about the players.

    People who wanted Richt gone are going to say that Kirby is doing what needs to be done to get Georgia on top.

    I say that I don’t know AJ, I don’t know Kirby, and I don’t know the private conversations they had or what their motivations were, so unless this becomes an on-going thing, to me it’s absolutely just noise.

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    • Say it 1000 more times, so those in media will understand that Kirby has the support of most in the GA nation until his teams goes down the same direction as Richt, as simple as that.

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  20. This media types are just behaving like they never saw this before. Always playing the holier than holy mantra.

    They like to knock out Kirby from the pedestal before he can have both feet firmly on it.

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  21. The Truth

    My position on this issue is simple: Coaches can cut and leave and go where and whenever they want and not sit out a year. Players ought to be able to do the same. Don’t hold a kid to a stricter standard than you hold their “adult leadership” to.

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  22. Whereas I’m wired to be free-market on this, I’m fine with restricting transfers to other SEC schools (if it’s all of them, and not singling-out specific schools); why put ourselves at a potential competitive disadvantage? Using this filter, Georgia Tech should also have been identified. But Miami? That is an unnecessary, Saban-esque, OTT, unfortunate choice for a territorial marking exercise. To be ethically clean, Alabama should have been on the list before Miami. Is still OK to use the word ethical when discussing UGA?

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  23. Turd Ferguson

    I cannot believe people are still talking about this.

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