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.