The difference between apathy and antipathy is more than three letters.

Jeff Schultz sees Mark Fox and tries to get inside the head of Greg McGarity.

It didn’t matter that Richt won the regular season’s final four games. Most stopped paying attention before November — the fans who buy tickets, the boosters who write checks, the athletic director who had grown weary of failed expectations. As good a coach and wonderful a person as Richt was, he had lost too many of the games that mattered most, failed to take advantage of a weak SEC East Division and failed to win the conference championship for the 10th consecutive season after winning two titles in his first five.

So he was gone.

It’s worth bringing up this topic now because some have wondered why Mark Fox, the school’s basketball coach, is not gone.

I don’t know that it’s the majority of Georgia’s fan base. Infernos on social media, message boards and sports talk radio don’t qualify as a scientific sampling. But the question of why Richt was fired and why Fox is staying is a worthy one.

I hoped to get some insight on this subject from athletic director Greg McGarity. He was the man who chose to affirm Fox’s return a week ago in strange way: With a line thrown into a statement that had been put out ostensibly to smother a report that Georgia was doing due diligence on potential replacements. But McGarity, whose relationship with the media has grown prickly over the past year, continued to deny comment on the subject late this week, even after the Dogs’ season officially ended with a first-round NIT loss to Belmont.

Needless to say, when speculation’s all you’ve got, you ain’t got much.

Besides, it’s a mischaracterization to describe the attitude about Richt in the last part of the 2015 as one of folks tuning out.  People were pissed, especially after watching the debacle of the Florida game plan.

Butts-Mehre thrives on the fan base not paying attention to sports other than football, because that leaves McGarity in the position of raking in the most bucks with the least amount of accountability.  Fox keeps his job; Richt lost his.  C’est la vie.  The situation might be reversed if Georgia were Louisville or North Carolina.  But it’s not and that’s why it really doesn’t matter to McGarity if Fox stays or goes.

It’s a helluva way to run a railroad, but you can’t say it isn’t a profitable one.  All McGarity cares about is that if the football program doesn’t rise above the level that Richt set, he can’t be blamed for the lack of progress.  All the rest, Mr. Schultz, is merely commentary.

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56 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

56 responses to “The difference between apathy and antipathy is more than three letters.

  1. Will Trane

    The athletic program at UGA is very substandard. Thanks Mr. Daisy.
    Diamond Dawgs get pounded by LSU in front of 10,000. Do you know what that says in the SEC. Georgia is not worth a damn!! A freaking walk over.
    Add that to the round ball teams. The gym dawgs.
    Take a look at the website.
    Here is my official conclusion about Mr. Daisy and the Buttts Mehre. You dudes are way beyond fucked up.
    Damn time for you people to go.
    Next think we know he will have run the hedges and turf into the ground.
    An I pissed about the programs at UGA. Damn straight and I am not the only one. Hell I hear alums fuss about the freaking bookstore.

    Like

    • anon

      Yep. All this talk of a shitshow basketball program is exactly the diversion AD desires. Takes the spotlight off the total implosion of a once great baseball program. It is a total embarrassment

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So. IL Dawg

    it’s just depressing to see all these schools have success in Football and Men’s Basketball. If the athletic department was serious about winning, Fox would be gone. he’s had his chance to build the program and hasn’t. His teams are not very well coached and he can’t recruit. How can Florida find a very young coach with limited success and he’s going to be a good one?

    Like

    • Mayor

      Like CMR, Fox is not the problem–Fox is a SYMPTOM of the problem. The problem is B-M not supporting the program and always trying to do things on the cheap.

      Like

  3. Greg McGarity, J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics

    The Society of the Miserable yapping once again.

    The fact is that we’re very happy with the way we do things at UGA and you should be too. Most people are. Going along to get along might make you happier people.

    Also, I know we haven’t contacted some of you at all (via mail or email) regarding your football ticket orders. And we probably won’t. However, that doesn’t mean the March 31st deadline doesn’t apply to you. You’ve got about a week and a half to place your orders. I suggest that you get moving if you haven’t done so already. Remember, you’re lucky that we let you give us money and think that you’re a part of our organization. We have many, many 6 figure salaries to pay out and your money helps us do just that.

    Thank you for your support of UGA athletics! All hail the reserve fund!

    P.S. Florida game cutoff scores should be announced in late October prior to the game.

    Like

    • The Georgia Way

      As Mr. McGarity so eloquently stated, keep your March 31 commitment at the top of your calendar.

      Also, for those of you who have requested an improvement in your basketball program, it is time to provide the financial backing to support it. In return for your $1.7 million commitment, we will will commit to re-opening internal discussions on your basketball program.

      Or if you want to show your support to Coach Fox, a $2 million per year endowment will provide the same type of financial annuity and security already committed to your baseball program and your athletic director position.

      So remember, March 31 is your time to #COMMITTOTHEG or be held responsible if your team is not in the hunt in 2017.

      Like

  4. simpl_matter

    Fox != Richt. Fox is showing fairly steady progress; this year sucked because expectations were so high, but coming off a never-been-done-before 3 straight 20-win seasons is quite the feat (not to mention we were so gawldamn close to beating the 3 SEC teams that made it to the Big Dance this year). Fox’s teams have been frustrating to watch at times, but he’s never had a roster full of talent.

    McGarity needs to give Fox more recruiting support, bring in a big class or two of 4 & 5 stars and then Fox can be fairly judged, IMO.

    Like

    • McTyre

      On that roster talent thing, Fox apologists and even Schulz in an otherwise solid AJC piece today continue to push a false narrative. People forget that Fox inherited a roster including Tompkins, T Leslie, Jeremy Price and D Ware – not exactly Schulz’ “nuclear waste” – and went 5-11 in the SEC his first year. That should have been a warning sign.

      Like

    • dawgfan

      I was a Fox supporter until after the last 2 minutes of the Texas A&M game and the following Alabama game in Athens. These were the worst 42 minutes of basketball in Fox’s tenure at UGA and probably cost us a NCAA bid.

      Like

    • He needs more time? He has had 8 years! And the AD isnt the recruiter.

      Like

    • jtp03

      Simpl_matter is wrong. Simpl_as_that.

      We are not an 8-10 year rebuild.

      Fox’s unbelievable stubbornness, his adherence to a complex structured offense, his refusal to unleash freshmen, his unwavering commitment to m2m defense, and his laundry list of excuse making are exhausting.

      20 wins is pretty meaningless when you don’t beat anyone of consequence. And he didn’t. Almost ever. Our record agains ranked and top 50 RPI teams is not even laughable, it’s pathetic.

      What more talent are you looking for? We had TWO all SEC first teamers and were not even on the NCAA bubble.

      Like

  5. The liquor barons don’t even know or care who is the basketball coach. That’s the difference.

    Like

    • Satowndawg

      As i have stated before, unfortunately, they do…fox and his wife are close to leeburn and yoculan..add to that fact that one of our biggest boosters had a grandson on the roster and it all adds up that the tail wags the dog in our athletic department…mcgoof doesnt make a move without his overlord’s permission…rotten to the core

      Like

      • If Calipari was failing at UK, it wouldn’t matter if he were friends with big donors. They would run his @$$ off in a minute. My point is that the basketball program’s success doesn’t matter to the liquor barons and the big donors. I don’t care if Fox stays or goes because I believe there’s a big dinosaur of a building on South Campus that holds the program back. If the Richt firing was the result of no championships and no recent wins in games that matter, then Fox and all our coaches should be held to the same standard.

        Like

        • Mayor

          ee, you are right but the guys to target for accountability are the AB and those 6 figure guys at B-M who are a waste of space. They never get held accountable. Firing Fox without canning those knuckleheads, including McGarity, is a waste of time. They’ll just make the same old mistakes they have always made and hire a mediocre coach they can get on the cheap, then not support the program. Replace the entire AB and clean house at B-M first, fire McGarity, hire a topflight AD and then let that guy run the program including hiring a new BB HC. Hiring a new coach for the basketball program without getting rid of the current AB members and cleaning house at B-M accomplishes nothing. It would be rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

          Like

          • jtp03

            The building is not the dinosaur. The Georgia Way is.

            Like

          • Mayor, I agree with you. The problem is those who run the damn thing like it just as it is. The liquor barons and their friends on the Board get their play toy because they can’t afford a pro sports franchise. The administrators draw the big paychecks funded by the SEC TV package and Mickey Mouse and just have to stay out of the Board’s way. The coaches and student-athletes especially everywhere but football are the ones left holding the bag as we continue to try to keep up on a shoestring budget. It’s hard to watch with the knowledge that the only leverage you have is giving up your season tickets.

            Like

  6. dawgfan

    Based on demographics, population, recruiting base, and quality of the high school programs in the state, it seems like UGA could be a perennial top 20 program in baseball, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball. Heck, we haven’t even finished top 20 in football the last 2 years. It’s too easy to argue UGA athletics are going backwards.

    Why is that Mr. McGarity? Is this acceptable? Is it only about the bottom line?

    Like

    • Bulldog Joe

      Add volleyball, soccer, and now the dismantling of the gymnastics program to the bare-bones budgets necessary to grow the $20M annual transfer of funds out of the athletic department.

      Not only is it acceptable, it is sponsored by the university.

      Greed run amok.

      Like

  7. 'Ol Gill

    It’s really just two different situations. For the record, I was against the Richt firing. That being said (and as much as we like to bitch) we really DON’T have any deep systematic issues to keep us from being a top 5 program, year in and year out.

    Basketball on the other hand, is a different story. I’m fine with keeping Fox because I think we need stability. Do I think he’s a great coach? No. Do I think he’s good? Probably. I know people want to to be in the tourney every year but being on the bubble every year is a step up for us historically. UGA is at the bottom tier of the conference historically. I’m just fine with being in the middle for a while. That’s how you build a program long term, through multiple coaches. Know what you are.

    Like

    • dawgfan

      If UGA gets off to its normal slow start and doesn’t make the NCAA tournament next year, get ready for some instability.

      Like

      • 'Ol Gill

        Probably. And we’ll just keep rolling the dice on cheap coaches hoping on the next Billy Donovan while never building on anything. The Georgia Way appellation applies to fans and much as Butts-Mehre.

        Like

  8. Will Trane

    The clock. The lack of talent. The injuries. The facilities.
    They are called coaches and athletic directors for a reason.
    But not at UGA. They are called recipients of high figure paychecks and other perks. You do not have to have much in accomplishments or a resume. Just punch in your time card and you are good to go. Never mind the results. Losing is acceptable and the Georgia way
    Take a look at the SEC teams playing basketball now.
    Nor far from Gainesville and Tallahassee. One SEC and other ACC. Florida is just solid from top to bottom in all sports.
    Hell Mr. Daisy came from the program at UF. The man is dumb. He can not accomplish anything. He is running the clock like so many at UGA.
    He can fire some volleyball coach. Where did that go. He fired Richt. Big deal. Richt should have gone after 2013.
    Well here is our situation in Athens.
    We are now the Vandy of the conference. Think not. Hell Vandy has better programs than we do.
    Do you think the men and women coaches need an overtime to get it going? Or extra innings for that baseball coach.
    NO! They can not get it done. Just how much time does it take for a reasonable, observant, hands on, thinking AD to make decisions.
    For Mr. Daisy. Forever.

    Like

  9. Jeff Schultz is an ass clown that trolls for hits and hasnt had an original thought in 30 years. There is no reason to read him at all.

    Like

  10. Uga81

    Its embarrassing and I’m ashamed cause we suck in basketball and baseball.

    Like

  11. Bulldog Joe

    McGarity, whose relationship with the media has grown prickly over the past year…

    Uh, where was Jeff the 5 1/2 years before that?

    Like

  12. Uga81

    And btw y’all can kiss my ass everyday of the week and twice on Sunday

    Like

  13. PTC DAWG

    Fire Foxy…enough is enough.

    Like

  14. PTC DAWG

    Meanwhile, GT 71…Belmont 57…

    Like

  15. Tlkdawg

    I lost all interest in the basketball program several years ago. Never missed a game when I was in school, but grew weary over the years of continual mediocrity with no end in sight. From Dean Legge, and I couldn’t agree more,

    “Only one high-major program in the country has retained a coach who has lost more than 12 games each of the last eight years – Georgia.

    Only one high-major program in the country has retained a coach the last eight years who has yet to win an NCAA Tournament game in that time at that particular institution – Georgia.

    That inaction leads to an acknowledgment that UGA as an institution has a failure of imagination of what the basketball program in Athens can achieve. They are OK with being OK, and that’s not fair to fans, and is an indictment of the leadership at UGA. “

    Like

  16. 92 grad

    I was in the basketball band for Tubby and Harricks first years, I’ll never forget heckling Shaquille O’Neal when they came to Athens and during the sec tournament. Those were the days. Men’s ball wasn’t horrible and women’s was a given to be in the NCAA first and second rounds.

    It’s sad now, I’ve completely lost interest, in our team and college round ball all together. I hope something happens next year that brings me back…

    Like

  17. ATL Dawg

    The baseball team got swept by LSU this weekend to open conference play. The aggregate score in 3 games was 34-16. They’re now 8-13 overall.

    And how have we done the last 3 years you wonder?…

    Season Overall Conference Standing

    2014 26–29–1 11–18–1 6th (East)
    2015 26–28 10–19 7th (East)
    2016 27–30 11–19 5th (East)

    Like

  18. ATL Dawg

    The root of the problem is the Athletic Board and the Board of Regents. The Athletic Association and the University get run the way those groups of people want them run.

    The apple is rotten to the core.

    Like

  19. W Cobb Dawg

    UGA leadership replaced CMR, then hit the snooze button for a few more years.

    Like

  20. Bob

    Fox has been John Wooden compared to the disasters in baseball and women’s gymnastcs. The baseball program makes a ride on the Titanic look like the better option. The women’s gymnastics program was once the jugernaut of the nation…now we brag about having our highest score of the year, even in losing. And the jury is still very much out on the hiring of Kirby Smart. Recruiting he can; coaching is still very much up in the air. Athens is a mess.

    Like

  21. Spike

    A little off topic, but Scott Stricklin sucks. That baseball team is embarrassing.

    Like

  22. Russ

    Yeah, we just don’t have the same tradition as South Carolina in basketball. We should be happy with what we have.

    Hugh had winning teams. Tubby came in and won. Harrick came in and won. Fox was a good choice at the time, but his time has run out. Absolutely no excuse for our poor performance in basketball.

    Like

  23. old dawg

    South Carolina now headed to Sweet 16…oh well…it’s a shame this program barely has a pulse…

    Like

  24. Athens Dog

    Basketball season ticket holder for 30+ years. Change needed.

    Like

  25. Senator, one of your final statements of opinion at the end of my post absolutely sums it up perfectly:

    “All McGarity cares about is that if the football program doesn’t rise above the level that Richt set, he can’t be blamed for the lack of progress.”

    That’s why we moved so quickly on the CJPMIPF, now on the west end renovation, and the legion of analysts and hangers-on in the program. The AD knows his neck is in the noose if Kirby doesn’t work out, and he’s more than happy to spend that money to show the liquor barons, the Board, and, most importantly, President Morehead that he gave Kirby everything he asked for. Therefore, the AD can say, “What, Me Worry?”

    Like

  26. Why does anyone think that next season for UGA Basketball wont be the exact same?

    Fox’s recruiting has been sub-par since the day he got here.

    Like

  27. I’ll go with a theme that we’ve seen on this blog for years now. Given McGoofy’s track record of coaching hires why would any reasonable person think that if he(ADGM) hires a new coach that the basketball program would not do what every team that is operating under a McGarity hire would do….namely regress. That is what happens with everyone of of his hires ….I hope the swimming coach never leaves or we’ll have nada.

    Like

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