Daily Archives: June 7, 2016

Ripped from the pages of an open records request

Chip Towers has done a laudable job comparing the contract Kirby Smart just signed and the last contract prepared for Mark Richt, which he didn’t sign.  A few comparisons are in order, starting with the biggie:

The biggest difference is Smart’s new contract includes the controversial “conduct and ethics clause.” That condition was a major sticking point for Richt and his representation after he agreed to a raise and new contract in January of 2015.

In fact, Richt never did sign that last deal. So technically he was operating under the guidelines of the contract he signed in 2012. Ultimately, though, UGA honored the handshake agreement and paid Richt based on the agreed-upon increased compensation — $4 million – when it fired Richt on Nov. 28.

But while Richt never signed off on that clause, Smart did. It is included on Page 9, Section 3B, of Smart’s the 33-page contract. That contract – executed in late May – was turned over to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week in compliance with an opens record request.

It is essentially a disciplinary clause and it is found in the compensation section of Smart’s new contract. It gives Georgia Athletic Association the right to withhold pay from the head coach in the case of a material violation of “one or more of the duties, obligations or expectations … that do not rise to a level warranting termination.”

Call it the “Jack Bauerle Clause.” The legendary swim coach, who has led the Bulldogs to seven national championships over 36 seasons, was indefinitely suspended and his pay and bonuses frozen in 2014 while his program was under NCAA investigation for providing extra benefits for a star swimmer. After those charges were substantiated, Bauerle was also ordered to repay more than $100,000 in legal fees the athletic association paid to defend the charges.

Financial penalties previously had not been spelled out in any coaches’ contracts. But now they are. Going forward, it is “standard operating procedure” for all of the Bulldogs’ head coaches, according to McGarity.

“I’d just say that events that occur around the country often lead to changes in contracts everywhere,” McGarity said. “Things have to be adjusted all the time, not only here but around the country.”

So Smart’s contract now states that UGA has “the right to withhold or reduce performance bonuses … and other compensation payable to Smart … by a maximum of 25 percent for up to 12 months.” Furthermore, it states that the athletic association can recommend suspension “with or without pay” for up to one year and recommend that the University “take other disciplinary action.”

I’d call that Georgia Way 1, Smart 0.  I wonder if they’re making people in the AD’s office agree to that clause, too.

While that’s big, I find this one more intriguing, just because of some other scuttlebutt I was privy to when word came that Richt hadn’t signed his last contract.

Meanwhile, the narrative has been that Smart is making fewer public appearances. In reality, according to the “public relations obligations” section of Smart’s contract, he actually will be doing more PR. However, his requirements are oriented more toward endorsement and fund-raising opportunities than those of a pep rally nature.

Like Richt, Smart must also make “no fewer 12 unpaid personal appearances” before Bulldog Clubs throughout the Southeast and “a reasonable number of appearances” on the Bulldog Hotline and the coaches many other media platforms. However, Paragraph 1F states also calls for Smart to spend at least two days helping the president fund-raise, make no fewer than 12 annual endorsement appearances at the UGA’s request for the football program and that any payments for such “university-related appearances be negotiated and kept by the association.” In addition, Smart must be available for three personal appearance son behalf of Nike or any future equipment provider and up to three appearances on behalf of IMG or any future rights holder.

Smart agreed to these requirements, but with an added caveat: “The Association and University acknowledge and understand that Smart’s primary obligation shall be to the serve as the head coach of the University’s football team,” and these university-related appearances “shall be subject to his roles of directing the team, including but not limited to its practice, playing and workout schedules and the recruitment of potential student-athletes.”

Smart also included the word “reasonable” to another about complying with the AD’s requests for appearances, “subject to Smart’s schedule in fulfilling his primary role as head football coach.”

It’s not a sticking point, McGarity said. “He wants to get out and fund-raise,” he said. “He’s already done that. Kirby’s wired that way.”

That is so much horseshit.  The football coach’s heavy involvement in raising funds for the school became a huge necessity when Adams was still president because he was toxic to a major chunk of the donor class and Richt’s popularity was something of a remedy for that, but it was – at least from what I was told – never exactly something Richt was overwhelmingly fired up to do.  And let’s not forget McGarity’s famous pronouncement upon taking the job about relieving Richt of certain non-coaching responsibilities that were supposedly interfering with his time allocation.

Let’s put it this way:  you don’t put contractual limitations on something you’re wired for, unless your definition of wired and your employer’s differ.

Finally, at least one dumb, micromanaged vestige of the Georgia Way has been discarded.

Smart had Georgia remove a clause in paragraph that required Richt to keep “the recruitment of junior college athletes to a minimum.” Smart signed one “JUCO” transfer in the 2016 class in wide receiver Javon Wims of Hinds Community College and is actively recruiting more for 2017.

Yeah, remind me again about the full-throated support from B-M for Richt.  Good for Kirby getting that set of handcuffs tossed.

Assuming Georgia takes off under Smart – which I hope – it’s the next contract that’ll be really fun to watch.  Especially after Jimmy Sexton fields a few job offers from other schools.

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27 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

It’s preseason prediction time!

I thought this would make the subject of a fun post for you guys.

Today, we’ll look at the offense as it pertains to 2016.

So here we go – my predictions sure to go wrong.

Greyson Lambert will start at quarterback against the Tar Heels but Jacob Eason will play in the game and take over the starting job by Week 4 at Ole Miss.

Nick Chubb will not start against North Carolina. He’ll play, but only get four or five carries as coaches will remain very cautious with him to start the year.

Sony Michel will surpass the 1,000 yard mark for the second straight year. While he will come close, Chubb won’t quite reach 1,000 yards but will surpass 1,000 yards in total offense.

• After catching just 28 passes between them, Georgia’s tight ends will triple that number with Jeb Blazevich, Isaac Nauta and Charlie Woerner catching at least 20 balls. Bulldog tight ends will also contribute at least 10 touchdowns.

Terry Godwin will lead the Bulldogs in receptions, say 50 or so, but sophomore Jayson Stanley and freshman Riley Ridley will finish second and third, respectively

Tyler Catalina will win the battle to become the team’s left starting left tackle. That will push Isaiah Wynn to left guard, with Brandon Kublanow at center, Dyshon Sims at right guard and Greg Pyke at right tackle. Freshman Ben Cleveland will work at second team left guard but will push for a starting job – probably at right guard – before the year is complete.

• Georgia will finish top three in the SEC in total offense.

• For the second time in his career, Isaiah McKenzie will return a punt and a kickoff for the touchdown in the same game.

• Walk-on kicker Mitchell Wasson will handle field goals and extra points for the Bulldogs, with Rodrigo Blankenship handling the kickoffs.

Weirdly enough, of all those, I feel most confident about his Nick Chubb call.

I’d like to say I feel good about the prediction of increased tight end production, but we heard that last offseason and we saw where that got Georgia’s offense.

Speaking of which, how’s this for a spot-on preseason call?

So, how do you feel about this batch for 2016?

31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Today, in if it’s so damned easy

From the AJ-C:

Seven of the SEC’s 14 coaches have either never collected a 10-win season or have yet to collect multiple 10-win campaigns, splitting the conference into halves: Those who have established themselves as known commodities, and those who are trying to prove they belong in arguably the nation’s toughest league.

If Mark Richt were still coaching at Georgia today, he would rank second on the list of fourteen, behind only Nick Saban.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

Rising in the polls

Georgia is kicking some Fulmer Cup ass, my friends.

Thanks, Colorado.

29 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

You’re having a helluva month, Baylor.

Like there ain’t enough going on in Waco already, two members of Baylor’s 2016 recruiting class have been suspended for a violation of team rules.

I know what you’re thinking.

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Filed under Baylor Is Sensitive To Women's Issues, Crime and Punishment

Chubb Watch: it’s still on

Anthony Dasher:

When Chubb tore up his knee last October at Tennessee, it was one of those injuries – especially after seeing the replay – that just tugged at your heart.

The human body wasn’t supposed to contort the way we saw Chubb’s knee twist before falling to the turf there in Knoxville.

I’ll be honest. After watching it happen in person, part of me wondered if Chubb would ever play again, and if he did, would he resemble the same back folks were touting as a possible Heisman Trophy candidate before the season began.

While the latter is a question that still needs to be answered, there no longer seems any doubt that Chubb will be back on the field – in fact, it would seem sooner rather than later.

It’s been a long time – and this is not hyperbole – where I’ve seen an athlete show as much determination and will to overcome even the steepest of obstacles as Chubb.

He’s a different breed.

Like I said before, all we’re waiting on to complete the recovery hype is Phil Steele naming Chubb a preseason All-SEC pick.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Seems like a “long, long time”

Jay Jacobs sounds like he’s all in on Gus Malzahn.

During last week’s SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Florida, Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said Malzahn would be the Tigers coach for a “long, long time” and said he was the “the right guy for Auburn” moving forward.

“He’s a brilliant offensive mind,” Jacobs said last week. “Took us to two national championships; once as a coordinator, once as a head coach. There’s a bunch of schools in this league that would love to be in our position with a guy like him.

“It’s tough league, this league is tough every day. It doesn’t matter what year it is, year in, year out, how many years you’ve been here, whatever it may be, but there’s no doubt about that he is the right guy for Auburn.”

All that, and all it got Gus was a one-year contract extension.  Which means all of the above turns out to be worth…

Terms of Malzahn’s buyout, both if he were to leave Auburn or if Auburn were to part ways with him, have not changed, with the exception of the additional year of money he would be owed if Auburn were to terminate the deal.

Malzahn would be owed $2,237,500 per year remaining on his contract if Auburn were to part ways with him.

Why, Jay, that seems cheap at twice the price.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands