Mommy, why is that man talking?

There are certain deep philosophical questions I realize I’ll never get the answers to… like why does Greg McGarity continue to speak with the press?

Here’s the entirety of yesterday’s Q & A session about the change to Georgia’s Open Records law.  Keep in mind as you read it, that McGarity’s had a week to prepare his answers.

Kirby (Smart) didn’t want to answer the question last night, but how does the Open Records amendment benefit the football program?

McGarity: “Oh, I’d let Kirby address that, I mean I thought he did that yesterday. My only comment on the FOI is that it gives us a chance administratively – I like it because it gives us a chance to respond in a timely manner. We’ve had close to 100 FOI requests since Dec. 1. And it’s not just you guys in the room that are making these requests, I mean they come from everywhere. And it’s not just, ‘I need this bit of information.’ They’re very lengthy and it takes a lot of time just to estimate the time and effort it takes for those people who are doing their regular job, not necessarily to stop everything to provide this information. And some of that stuff has to be done after hours. Because it’s not like we have staff that are sitting idly by just to deal with this.”

Couldn’t you, with the budget you have and the money coming in, afford to have an Open Records manager to handle that kind of stuff full time?

McGarity: “Sure, there are so many ideas that people have out there. I just know that right now with the way we operate, it’s taxing to a lot of people.”

But there is no other state in the SEC footprint that has it less than 15 days.

McGarity: Oh I don’t know, you would have to do the research.

Why would you all need 90 when no one else needs more than 15?

McGarity: “That’s what is in the legislation, or as I understand it, that’s what’s before in the legislative process right now.

Is that the number (UGA) suggested?

McGarity: “There’s no suggestion on our part.”

It just appears to be a lack of transparency if this is passed.

McGarity: “Kirby -”

Something could be percolating for three months and not see the public light of day.

McGarity: “I have expressed myself to you all on numerous times on how it affects how you have to operate. Even things from facility development to drafts of contracts, I’m very process-orientated person as far as notification, approval. We have to operate in that world now. But as I’ve told y’all several times, if it’s draft of contracts, it has to operate in another stratosphere because otherwise it would have to be another open record for you. It just makes our job difficult just to handle just our normal business. To where we can’t work as effectively as we could dealing with everything from facility development to drafts of contracts. It makes our job that much more difficult. That’s why I think it’s helpful administratively for all the institutions that are involved in this.”

How aware (of the bill) were you and the administration before the fact?

McGarity: “I’ve made my statement on that. That’s all I need to do on that.”

Well it obviously came out of Georgia. That’s what – 

McGarity: “Kirby addressed that yesterday.”

Well he really didn’t when it got down to it.

McGarity: “He addressed it yesterday and his comments will certainly stand on its own.”

Do you worry that today it’s athletic associations, and later on this policy might spread to other areas of government?

McGarity: “I don’t know. I’m just focused on our world right now.”

Oh, brother.  Not a word in there about recruiting.  No acknowledgement that anyone at the school other than Kirby Smart had a hand in lobbying for a bill that benefits Greg McGarity more than any other public employee in the state (other than his peers at other state schools’ athletic departments).  And even his whining about contracts doesn’t make any sense, since that’s the one area exempted from the expansion of the new time frame.

Now let’s get one thing straight here.  McGarity and Smart wanted something and asked for it.  There’s certainly no great crime in that.  You can’t blame them for Georgia’s General Assembly being brain dead.  But, man, if I were a legislator reading that exchange, I’d surely be ticked off that the AD didn’t even care enough to bother to keep everyone’s story straight.

Maybe next year Kirby can go back to them and suggest a bill that would prohibit state public school athletic directors from speaking with the media.  It couldn’t hurt recruiting, could it?

73 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

73 responses to “Mommy, why is that man talking?

  1. HVL Dawg

    Georgia is so desperate to win.

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  2. Walt

    The bullshit starts as soon as he opens his mouth. He likes the legislation because it allows Georgia to “respond in a timely manner” when it actually allows Georgia to NOT respond in a timely manner. How did Richt manage to deal with all these requests with his smaller support staff?

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  3. A question for those smarter/more in the know than I am: if Kirby Smart went to the Gold Dome to meet the senators but really to speak in favor of/ask for this bill, does he have to register as a lobbyist?

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  4. Bulldog Joe

    If his math is correct, they get sent a new FOIA request every business day.

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  5. Jared S.

    Senator, I went to my favorite coffee shop this morning and upon returning to my car with my regular 16oz. (cream, no sugar), I took my first sip. At the same time I opened your blog on my phone to read it for a few minutes before I got onto the road. Upon reading the headline “Mommy, Why is that Man Talking” I simultaneously read ADGM’s name below and it struck me as hilarious in a split instant and I spewed coffee all over my steering wheel and dash. Thanks.

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  6. Bright Idea

    Meanwhile, we’re still mediocre or worse in the sports that get the most attention. Does the AD even know this business is more competition and less politics? Does he have a competitive bone in his body?

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  7. Satowndawg

    In the AJC aticle, When asked who he spoke to at the capital. McWeasal replied that he didn’t remember….He really can’t open his mouth without lying and making a fool of himself

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    • Chi-town Dawg

      It wasn’t until he was driving home from the Tech game that he decided this law was holding us back and must be changed….McGarity is such a fucking tool

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  8. heyberto

    Nice of him to pawn this off on Kirby, to boot. Since the Football Coach is really the one running things, it might as well come from his mouth!

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  9. Red Cup

    ADGM was given big ears by the good Lord, so why doesn’t he use them instead of opening his mouth so much ?

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  10. Go Dawgs!

    This is a CLASSIC example of someone taking advantage of the ignorance of the masses regarding the law. The Georgia FOIA never required that an organization complete a massive, taxing, and far-reaching open records request within three days. You’re required to respond within three days. If it’s a simple request, you’re required to produce the record within that time frame. If it’s a record that you don’t have, can’t release for some reason (and the list of acceptable reasons why is VERY short), or will take a very long time or extra effort o produce and will take longer than the three days, you’re required to let the requester know how long it will take. If it will incur extra expense for you to complete the request, you are allowed to tell the requester that they will be billed and how much that bill will be. Maybe it’s a bit of a pain in the neck to respond to FOIAs, but it is in NO WAY such a tough thing for the University of Georgia’s Athletic Association to respond to FOIAs that they needed to change the law. That’s ridiculous. Georgia wants to operate in the shadows, and they want the media to only be able to report on things like the recruiting budget or player suspensions three months after the fact when they’ve already accomplished what they wanted to get done or after people no longer care. This is a terrible law, I’m ashamed of our legislators, and I’m angry about it. If they can do this with athletics and few people make any noise about it, they’re going to start chiseling away at the FOIA in other and more important ways next year. Bank on it.

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  11. Don in Mar-a-Lago

    No one knows what it’s like to not take credit for being

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  12. PTC DAWG

    It is surely sharp by now. Damn….

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  13. KershDawg

    If you’re ADGM or Kirby, why would you even comment on this at all? It’s the transfer issue all over again; there’s no need to even speak on it.

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  14. Cosmic Dawg

    Half the things they do, it’s not even WHAT they do is so bad, it’s that they’re such weasels about it. He’s nothing but a liar and it appears CKS is the same.

    Good comments above.

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    • MLB2

      McG seems interchangeable with the Jay Jacobs and Mike Hamiltons of the world. Hope we aren’t comparable programs to UT and the Barn or I’ll have me a new boat next year instead of football tickets and a tax deduction.

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  15. Bulldog Joe

    With the Georgia Way moral kool-aid stand shutting down it is a fair question to ask, “Who are y’all going to pull for this season?”

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    • Great strawman argument – you either want to win or do things the right way. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for both.

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      • It’s what you call stonewalling and not lying. You’ll know the truth in 90 days, LOL.

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        • Bulldog Joe

          I will take this as one pulling for Georgia. 😉

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        • @eric: how do I phrase this to make sense, if you are stonewalling for 90 days on multiple requests, then the 90 days just keep rolling along. Here is one, here is the next. The AD is still looking like his head is up his ass—hire a damn few extra secretaries.

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      • In the last 10 years it’s unreasonable to ask for both, and this is quite exemplified by UGA previous HC. What school in the last 10 years had a NC and at the same time really and genuinely doing it right? Bama, LSU, FU, FSU, Aubum, Ohio S, LOL?

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        • That’s true, but my satisfaction in the Georgia football program isn’t tied to having my picture made with a trophy at WalMart. I don’t think yours is either. 🙂

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          • Bulldog Joe

            I will count this as one not pulling for Georgia.

            That kool-aid stand is not reopening at Georgia. Good luck on your quest.

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            • JarvisCrowell

              Agreed Joe, I’m ready to win, I’m sick of us being semi Georgia tech. They lose and brag about their program’s great academics, we lose and brag about our program’s great morals. That being said, I will raise hell if we start breaking NCAA rules or covering up violent crimes by our players. As for working within rules to get the most possible advantages, I’m all for it.

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            • Ah yes – the old “you’re either with us or against us” bullshit. Good luck with that, indeed.

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              • Bulldog Joe

                Given the amount of auditor love for FOIAs, there’s a good chance we already know where you stand.

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                • Audit was a former life, but yeah – if being in favor of government transparency is what you’re alleging; guilty as charged and I’m not going to apologize for having a vested interest in how the state of Georgia spends my tax dollars and how elected officials should be held accountable.

                  This may be too complicated for you since you don’t seem to realize most people don’t live in a binary world, but it is possible to be for team Georgia while disagreeing with certain ways that B-M is handling its business.

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                • Bulldog Joe

                  Fair enough.

                  This is where I’ve been since 2000 when the university justifiably got fed up with the secrecy within the football program, but went over the top with its remedies. Commitment to on-field success, financial, and administrative support of our players and coaches took a back seat to “full transparency”, zero-tolerance, and the moral platitudes of The Georgia Way. Many of our fans (not just those here) drank deep from these platitudes without acknowledging how they were interfering with the success of our coaches and players.

                  Now after 16 years, there is an effort to move the pendulum back to a more reasonable position relative to our competitors and many of our fans find themselves at odds with it. I believe Kirby and Greg when they said they advocated the Georgia FOIA response period be moved from the aggressive 3 day requirement, but I also believe the Georgia house advocates went overboard when they pushed it to 90.

                  This should not be an indictment of what Kirby and Greg are doing. Instead, they should get our fans support for making these long-overdue changes. Disagreement with the 90-day period and 11th hour way in which it was passed should be expressed to our state representative.

                  That said, I support what Kirby and Greg are doing 100%.

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                • Seriously, why would I want to support a change in the law that lets Greg McGarity cover his management tracks more easily?

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                • Bulldog Joe

                  Why would we want to give him less time to respond than his competitors?

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                • You mean, besides that whole “we’re taxpayers and he’s a state employee” thing? Can you even think of one example of how your question has any sort of real world impact?

                  Besides, why do I give a shit what the AD in Missouri has to do, anyway? I don’t live there.

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                • Bulldog Joe

                  Senator,

                  Using a false assumption that all FOIA requests have the taxpayers’ interest in mind, why would we want to force our university to allocate more resources to it than other universities? Georgia’s current 3-day acknowledgement period is an outlier.

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                • Again, why do I care what other states do? I’m a resident of this state only.

                  Your entire assumption here is that it’s an advantage for the others. Explain to me how.

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                • Bulldog Joe

                  If this is truly about the taxpayers’ interest, the additional athletic department resources allocated to address more aggressive state requirements should raise your concern. If this is about an effort to remove the current AD, then this conversation goes in a completely different direction.

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                • If this is truly about the taxpayers’ interest, the additional athletic department resources allocated to address more aggressive state requirements should raise your concern.

                  Honestly, I’m not trying to start a flame war with you here, but there are so many ways to poke holes in your observation.

                  The lowest hanging fruit first: why are you taking McGarity’s word that the bill is a cost-saving measure? No one involved in the passage of the bill has been straight with the public. The lawmakers claimed that Kirby was the main driver for it. Kirby denies that. The lawmakers claim that the bill was passed to help Georgia’s recruiting. McGarity never mentioned recruiting in the Q&A. The biggest beneficiary of the bill, McGarity, can’t even admit that he had any involvement in its creation or passing. And yet we’re supposed to believe him now on this one point?

                  Second, if this really is about preserving valuable governmental resources, why is the bill so narrowly tailored? Couldn’t every state agency, every city and every county use the relief? And if the bill’s purpose is so noble, why is no one willing to step up and own it? For that matter, why was it necessary to pass it the way it did?

                  Third, are you really saying that we should be concerned about spending money to hire a secretary in an athletic department that’s hiring support staff for Smart like it’s part of a contest?

                  I love Georgia football, but I value accountability in government more. Giving Greg McGarity cover doesn’t strike me as a great idea. Your mileage may – and evidently does – vary.

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                • Bulldog Joe

                  Senator,

                  Since I can’t provide those answers, I believe the only way you can get them is to file an FOIA request. 😉

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                • I know you’re kidding, but making an Open Records request to find out the volume of Open Records matters B-M’s had to address isn’t a bad idea.

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            • As a proud double alumnus of the University of Georgia and a Bulldog since the day I was brought home from the hospital, don’t question my fandom or support for my alma mater.

              It’s real easy to type your comment from behind a keyboard.

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  16. ADGM and HCKS are just playing basketball with the media. Even without the legislation passed they’re basically saying, you probably will know in 90 days, haha.

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    • But… we’re a football school?

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      • They’re basically still passing the ball and dribbling it for now in basketball terms. Okay, in football terms they are legally doing a lateral pass, until 90 days are over until a referee calls a time violation, LOL.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      I don’t expect a football player or a tennis player to play flawless political basketball.

      I also don’t expect them to drop everything and go on a fishing expedition every day a competitor or click-baiter outside the university waves a legal document at them.

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  17. Once again, caught stepping in it … just own it and ask to have the bill withdrawn, or defend it reasonably. Does he have any idea how bad he has looked over the last few times when he’s interacted with any media member?

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  18. You know, our president has a J.D.

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  19. DawgPhan

    This 90 days to respond stuff is nonsense.

    But I guess my bigger concern is that Kirby seems to be getting involved in these sticky situations that dont improve his football team.

    The FOIA thing doesnt provide an advantage, level a playing field, or make the team block an tackle better.

    The transfer restriction doesnt make the team better.

    The rounding down on the 10% of games probably does make the team better, so there’s that but spending time on these issues, immediately making enemies with the press all seem like things that will hurt the team.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      Agree this shouldn’t be on CKS’s shoulders at all. The useless and spineless McG should take 100% responsibility or drop the law change, preferably the latter.

      Not sure we’re making enemies at the ajc. They’ve been trashing UGA at every opportunity for a long, long time.

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  20. Herschel Krustofski

    About halfway through reading this, I was convinced this was another made up article by the Senator (like the one he cleverly wrote about us winning the Director’s Cup).

    McGarity is in WAY over his head with this job. This has to be one of the better examples of the Peter principle in management history.

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