Daily Archives: March 20, 2017

Zen and the Art of Coachspeak

Grasshoppers, Booch offers some wisdom from which you may partake, if your minds are open to it.

I guess he’s comfortable this spring.

**************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Ah, hell, I can’t resist posting one more pearl.

And you thought Athens had the exclusive patent on preseason happy talk.

Advertisements

7 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

All she wrote.

Watch Lorenzo Carter Maurice Smith fail to hold contain on this play.

Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to bust open a big play, just enough.

24 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Who needs a master plan when you’ve got a reserve fund?

In light of my last post, this is timely work from Seth Emerson (who deserves more credit than some of you give him).

When it comes to the subject of football spending and facilities, Jon Stinchcomb is in a unique position. As a former Georgia player, he knows what the team needs and wants. As a current member of Georgia’s athletic board, he has a vote and a say in how and what money is spent.

Over the past month, Stinchbomb has cast a vote agreeing to a project that will cost the school and donors $63 million. He’s also had numerous conversations with friends and donors about what more needs to be done.

And what the plan is. And if there isn’t one, what it should be.

“Even for your big-money donors, it’s not: We don’t want to spend the money. It’s: Let’s make sure we’re spending it in the right places, and that it’s part of an over-arching, big picture approach that keeps us competitive,” Stinchbomb said. “And included in that is: Help me understand what we’re doing with the reserve (funds), and what’s our approach to that.”

Based on conversations with several donors, most of whom did not want to be named, there is a concern over whether Georgia has an institution is spending enough to keep up in the SEC and national facilities arms race. But the overarching concern is whether there is a master plan, or whether the school simply playing whack-a-mole, moving deliberately from one project to the next.

I can help with that.  There’s nothing proactive about the Georgia Way.  Nada.  If you need further evidence, welp, here’s some.

That’s also why the school is fundraising for the major projects: After donors answered the call for the indoor facility, the school is seeking $53 million from donors for the $63 million Sanford Stadium project.

So how will that go? Stinchcomb said fans want to give and they support the school. They just want a “clarification and understanding as they write these sizable checks” what previous donations have gone to and “how this fits in a much bigger picture.”

“When people ask me, because I’m a board member, the approach is not: We don’t want to give,” Stinchcomb said. “It’s, Help me understand where we are with the reserve, what our plan is with the reserve, and how that coincides with the raising for this project specifically of $53 million.”

That’s pretty sad.  When the people sitting on the athletic board who have to vote on these capital projects don’t have any more of a clue than we unwashed do as to what Butts-Mehre is up to, Athens, you have a problem.  The question is whether the folks running the shop care; the answer is no, up to a point.

The stadium project announcement set off many fans who were concerned about the state of the bathrooms and concourses at the stadium. McGarity attempted to answer that by “expediting” work on those in time for next season, at a cost of $950,000.

Doing nothing until the paying customers scream isn’t my idea of great customer service, but then again, I’m not raking in the bucks like they are.  As I keep saying, it’s a helluva way to run a railroad.  Seth mentions that school officials defend having that big reserve fund, because they need protection in case the seeming deluge of money stops.  Unless they’re gonna use it to buy a whole bunch of smart pills should that day ever come, I don’t see what good that’ll do.

I’ve seen some suggestions that people like Stinchcomb or Frank Ros would make excellent replacements for McGarity.  What I haven’t seen are any suggestions as to why they would want to take the job in the first place.

37 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

They’ve always had the best of intentions.

Over at Lucid Idiocy, Travis surveys the Georgia basketball program and doesn’t like what he sees.  So he turns to the obvious question and ponders what it might take to get better.

How do we improve? It seems obvious that some combination of smart decisions and throwing money at the problem is called for. We’re paying Mark Fox $1.7 million a year. Should he fail to earn that salary next year, why not pay someone else double, see what happens?

Count me within the school of thought that hiring a great head coach is far and away the best thing you can do for a college athletics program, and if it takes a stupid number to do it, so be it.

Count me in his school of thought.  Here’s the thing, though.  When it comes to Georgia athletics, there are competing priorities that can best be summarized through the prism of the athletic director’s primary role.

Specifically,

  • For the fan base, job one is hiring/employing the best coaches available.
  • For the major higher ups, job one is running the athletic department in the most fiscally favorable manner possible.
  • For the athletic director, job one is keeping the job.

That isn’t to say there aren’t other priorities in play.  Nobody on the Board of Regents is going to object to Georgia having winning athletic programs.  Nobody in the fan base wants to see Georgia operate like Rutgers.  That being said, I feel safe in saying our school of thought isn’t theirs.

In the wake of Richt’s dismissal, I once wrote that,

If you manage an SEC football program, there’s a difference between being committed to winning and being financially committed to winning.  Everybody wants to win.  The hard part is figuring out how to allocate resources to make sure that happens.  And, no, that doesn’t mean spending money like a drunken sailor.  (We’re looking at you, Tennessee.)  It simply means that if you think your rightful place is among the Alabamas, Floridas and LSUs of the world, you’d better take a hard look at what they’re doing and make sure you’re giving your coaching staff the opportunity to keep up with them.

I don’t see how anyone who’s observed the way Butts-Mehre has operated over the past quarter century can objectively state that the athletic department has done its job figuring out the hard part there, which is one big reason I’ve always had a reluctance to go overboard on coaching changes.  If Smart succeeds, for example, it’ll be in spite of his bosses, not because of them.

And for all of you who clamor for a change of athletic directors, who’s to say that will make a difference?  After all, the ultimate decision makers and their priorities aren’t going anywhere soon.

I used to think I’d quit blogging when the college football postseason changed so much it would rob me of my passion for following the sport.  I have to admit that of late I’m beginning to think it’ll happen because I can’t tolerate any more mediocrity, both in terms of results and administration, from Georgia athletics.  Hope I’m wrong on both counts, but I wouldn’t put any real money on either.

53 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Stars in their eyes

Kirby Smart explains that Georgia’s recruiting pitch isn’t what it used to be.

The Bulldogs have a strong reputation for putting players in the NFL and it’s something Smart uses when trying to persuade the best prospects in the country to continue their football careers in Athens.

“It’s got a good draft history,” Smart said. “As far as number of NFL active players, I think every team, you always want to know that stat. It changes so much year to year. Georgia’s got great history of putting guys in the NFL, even undrafted guys had a lot of success. Seeing David (Andrews) back here today and the success he’s had, it helps. You try to market that part but so many kids now they want to know about the education and the playing time. They feel like they’ve got a chance at the NFL anywhere they go. I think the better you are as a program of putting them out, it helps.”  [Emphasis added.]

If you think you’re gonna shine regardless, it hardly matters what Georgia did to help three-star recruits make it to the next level.

7 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Plod no more.

You’ll see plenty of pre-spring practice pieces popping up over the next week as the Dawgs prepare to open spring camp.  Most of the questions that’ll be asked are either in the too-soon-to-know category (offensive line being a good example), or just silly, but here’s one that is worth considering.

4. Is there a perimeter playmaker?

Receivers Riley Ridley (57) and Javon Wims (51) and tight end Isaac Nauta (50) each had a gain of 50 or more yards last season, but explosive plays were few and far between.

The top receiver and return specialist from last season, Isaiah McKenzie, is preparing for the NFL draft, having announced after the Liberty Bowl he is skipping his final year of eligibility. Terry Godwin was the MVP of Georgia’s triumph over Penn State in the TaxSlayer Bowl after the 2015 season, but he never reached the end zone as a sophomore.

Godwin, Ridley and Wims have the potential to give the Bulldogs some outside punch later this year, while Nauta could be the top mismatch for opposing defenses.

He’s not kidding when he writes that explosive plays were few and far between.  Last season, Georgia ranked dead last in the conference in plays that gained 20 or more yards.  That’s right — even Florida and Vanderbilt were more prolific.  Given Eason’s arm as well as Chubb’s and Michel’s talents, that’s embarrassing.

How much of that can be blamed on scheme and how much on personnel is the question du jour.  Regardless, they’d better start finding some answers in April, or 2017 is going to be another drudge of a season on that side of the ball.

33 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football