Daily Archives: March 16, 2017

“Expedited”

If you moan about it, Greg McGarity will come.

In an effort to enhance the game day experience for our fans, we are pleased to report that planning for Phase III of the Sanford Stadium restroom renovations currently under way and scheduled for completion prior to the start of the 2017 season. Previously, restrooms on level 100 of the south and southeast side were renovated in Phase I prior to the 2015 season. Phase II, completed prior to the season, included renovations to restrooms on the 300 level of the south and southeast side. Renovations on all remaining restrooms on the 100, 200 and 300 levels throughout the stadium concourses will be expedited and completed prior to the 2017 season.

These renovations will include the addition of all touchless fixtures, LED lighting, new flooring, new exhaust fans, and new paint matching the recent renovations (as seen below). We look forward to these renovations and the continued improvement on our gameday experience.

Concessions upgrades are also promised for the start of the 2017 season.

Way to go, Mr. McGarity.  In the immortal words of Rod Tidwell, you’re a little slow, but you come around.

No, I’m not taking a victory lap.  (I’m not worthy, but, yeah, I admit to feeling a little of what Jeremy Pruitt must have felt when they broke ground on the IPF.)  Although the effort is certainly appreciated — as such, I’ll refrain from snarkily asking which donors have stepped up on the potty front — it never should have come down to making the case in the media, social and traditional, to prod the athletic director into what have been and are painfully obvious steps.

What I’d really like to be able to celebrate at some point is McGarity being meaningfully proactive about the fans’ game day experience.  Hey, a whiner can dream, can’t he?

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Spring practice: what’s in it for us?

Some of you didn’t agree with my snark the other day about Kirby pimping G-Day for his own purposes, and that’s cool.  Maybe I’m allowing my unhappiness over Butts-Mehre’s apparent apathy regarding the fan’s game day experience to wash too far ashore.

Then, again, how hard would it be to make an effort to reach out to us, to let us know that our enthusiasm and love for the football program is appreciated and reciprocated?

Ben Kercheval has a post up about ways to improve spring practice, and a couple of his suggestions are on point, although one would be a lot easier to implement than the other.

Here’s the easy one.

Open at least half of the practices to fans: I won’t annoy you with a plea for greater media access; in fact, I’ll do the opposite. Schools are allowed up to 15 practices in spring. Let’s push for greater fan access across the board. Yes, this means everyone. NFL teams do this in varying degrees for training camp for a couple of hours. Let’s have college football teams open up practices more for the public. If you’re an Alabama fan, for example, don’t you want to see five-star early enrollee Dylan Moses, who is absolutely crushing offseason workouts, in the flesh? Have autograph sessions (sorry, compliance) and picture time afterwards. Don’t limit those to the spring game (more on that later). Of course, many coaches will inevitably freak out about losing their veil of secrecy, but they’ll still be able to keep some of what they do behind closed doors. We’re talking about college football, not nuclear codes.

Hells, yeah, I say.  In his defense, Smart did allow fans to have a crack at watching a practice last August, so this wouldn’t exactly be groundbreaking.  But allowing fans the freedom to choose from a few spring practices to attend, particularly on a weekend, would be a great gesture, as well as helping to build enthusiasm, as Smart himself recognized.

“I’ve always felt like that’s an opportunity to give back to your fan base,” Smart said. “Not only is it exciting for them, but it’s exciting for the players. I think that’s a good way to give back, to give them an opportunity to come out and watch a practice. I don’t think they know exactly what our players go through in practice.”

Nothing’s changed in that regard, has it?

As for the hard one,

Turn spring games into major scrimmage events: Of all the spring practice suggestions floating around, this is the one that has been featured most often. The concept is simple: Instead of the garden variety spring game, two bigger-name programs will scrimmage against one another. And unlike normal, regular-season scheduling, this doesn’t need to be done years in advance. Michigan traveling to Georgia? You’ll take that, right? Harbaugh will; it’s another opportunity to have a presence in SEC country. Put it on a major media rights carrier for the sport *wink wink* and treat it like a preseason game…

Absolutely.  Unfortunately, this isn’t something Georgia can pursue unilaterally.  But it sure could start publicly lobbying for the opportunity with the SEC and the NCAA.  (If they can try it for a uniform drug testing policy, they can certainly pursue it for this.  Just sayin’.)  Even if they don’t achieve immediate success, at least we’ll know their hearts are in the right place.  What’s the hashtag for that?

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Today, in it’s all about the kids

Just another example of coaches looking out for number one:

Poaching has become so common that mid-major coaches have resorted to tactics like slowing down players’ academic schedules so they can’t graduate early. (Graduation allows them to transfer without sitting). “We better get used to it at our level,” says Maine coach Bob Walsh. “There’s a free-agent culture in college basketball now.”

For players, he means.  Coaches, as we all know, are indentured servants who can never leave one school for another.

Two problems identified…

Coaches recommended two tweaks to help the transfer environment—a crackdown on tampering and changing the rules to force graduate transfers to sit out a year. The tampering has gotten so bad that coaches have white boards in their office of players on other teams they’re targeting to poach.

Which one do you think the NCAA addresses?

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1-2-3-4. I declare QBR war.

Competition is the chicken soup for the college team soul, so I get why Kirby wants to pump up Jake Fromm’s presence.  But I think Seth Emerson does an excellent job of asking the right questions about how Georgia’s quarterback picture likely shapes up for 2017.

  • Analysis: If Eason is the reincarnation of Stafford, then Fromm is the next Aaron Murray. Both are around 6-foot-2, with some athleticism, strong arms and similar personalities: They’re leaders, practice and study hard, putting in the extra hours. That doesn’t automatically mean Eason needs to worry. By all accounts he studied hard last year too, and his teammates liked him too. It just means that if Fromm has the intangibles, he’ll be a tempting alternative if Eason slips up. Eason’s numbers last year were pretty good for a first-year starter: 2,430 yards, 16 touchdowns, only 8 interceptions, a completion percentage of 55.1. So do you roll with Eason all the way and try to find a way to redshirt Fromm? Does Fromm really project as someone who would be around his fifth year? Murray did, but the team may simply not be able to afford to redshirt Fromm. Let’s say Georgia is in contention for the division title, or more. Do you want to risk Eason being hurt late in the season and throw Fromm out there for his first-ever college snaps, with so much on the line?
  • Bottom line: Unless something crazy happens, Eason will be the starter not only Week 1 against Appalachian State but the next week at Notre Dame, where Eason’s father Tony played. After that, Eason’s performance and Ramsey’s status will dictate whether Fromm plays, and how much. There isn’t as much intrigue around quarterback for Georgia as there was last year. But there’s still some.

That’s a particularly good point about hedging your bets towards late in the season if Smart has a team in contention, and it’s a call that Smart will have to weigh by the time the Dawgs hit the meat of the schedule.

Of course, never forget that G-Day could change everything.

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