Don’t ask me why, but the opener with Appalachian State has been scheduled for 6:15 PM. Not that I’m complaining. Those noon starts in September can be brutally hot.
Houston Nutt’s attorney is threatening to sue Ole Miss for defamation.
If an acknowledgement and apology isn’t forthcoming, the possibility of a defamation suit against Ole Miss remains in play according to Nutt’s very persistent attorney, Thomas Mars.
“I would hope this wouldn’t become a legal situation,” Mars said. “But if the university doesn’t recognize at some point the damage that’s been done … I would like to think the appropriate action will be taken.
“This was a smear campaign. If it weren’t so deceitful and morally wrong, it would probably go down in college football history as one of the best trick plays ever.”
Gawd, yes, bring it on.
As I often do when the Nuttster’s name is invoked, I can’t help but wonder what Pork Rind Jimmy is up to these days.
Georgia’s athletic director remains enamored of his mad PR skills. Why, I honestly don’t know.
Take, for example, today’s exhortation to the Athletic Board after he acknowledged that overall, Georgia’s athletics performance isn’t where it needs to be.
“Our institution is a very birthplace of higher education in this country. We have a legacy unlike any other. We have a college town unlike any other. So many have committed to the G. And we are now asking everyone who believes in all the good that Georgia does, not only throughout our state, but around the country, to commit to Georgia.
“Let us not be distracted by those who attempt to divide us. We must be united and stronger than ever before to help move our athletic program forward.”
Words fail me. The man needs an intervention. Surely there’s a competent Grady graduate working in some capacity at the school who can step in and provide McGarity with some guidance as to why paranoia in response to criticism isn’t the best look.
Asked later what he meant by “distracted by those who seek to divide us,” McGarity declined to elaborate.
Maybe he’s saving that for his next edition of “The First Word”.
Ladies and gentlemen, our athletic director on the state of the state:
But don’t worry. Mr. Accountability is on the mother.
UPDATE: Marked improvements… starting… now.
Boy, I didn’t expect cord cutting to have an effect that quickly. Look out, ticket prices.
UPDATE: Seth Emerson reports they’ve spent a lot of time at today’s Athletic Board meeting discussing the reserve fund. Here’s the series:
UGA treasurer now addressing the reserve funds, and the amount that is in the UGA Foundation that I’ve discussed earlier: It’s now $34.8 million, and the school says they haven’t been able to spend it. (That $34.8 million, in addition to the other known reserves, brings it to about $75-$80 million.)
They’re proposing to give the A.D. the ability to spend 4 percent of the money in the UGA Foundation. So they can use $1.3 million of it.
But they’re also still setting a limit on how much of it has to stay in there. So around $30 million cannot be spent and must stay in the foundation.
Or, to define the parameters more specifically,
The takeaway right now is they’re explaining the reserve fund and justifying it, but also handcuffing themselves by saying that they can never:
- Have the reserve fund go below $30 million.
- Spend more than 4 percent of the existing money set aside in the UGA Foundation, which is currently $34 million.
And when Seth says “they”, he’s not just talking about McGarity and Morehead.
Ryan Nesbit, the school treasurer, now leading a slide show presentation that emphasizes the benefit of keeping a good operating reserve. Includes “sound financial planning and fiscal management,” and “capacity for other unforeseen needs.”
I know, I know. But, here’s what they try as an explanation.
Another board member complimented UGA’s fiduciary policy, and then Jere Morehead spoke up to make another point.
“We’re depending on our donors to pay for that project, or else our position changes dramatically,” Morehead said. “We need that project to be funded by our donor base so then we can move on to other projects.”
Nesbit said it would be “ill-advised” to go beyond the $10 million set aside for the west end zone project.
Another board member asked what “unforeseen” events would be that would necessitate keeping the funds. Morehead pointed to the SEC revenue, and whether it will be that much 10 years from now.
So, they’re not worried about the players getting paid now as much as they are us not watching ESPN on cable. Ho-kay.
There’s no dissent from the board on the fiduciary policy. Just some questions and points of clarification. But board members are complimenting the athletic department for its policy.
As long as they’re on the same page, then.
Man, Stewart Mandel is still taking a victory lap in Montana.
But one particular question I answered in August 2007 took on a life of its own. A reader asked me to rank the nation’s power-conference schools by “prestige and place in the national scene.” For reasons I can’t recall, I opted to invoke a Medieval feudal system in dividing the 66 BCS programs at the time into Kings, Knights, Barons and Peasants.
Thus, my Program Pecking Order was born.
People took the thing pretty seriously. One Georgia blog actually enlisted a Dawgs fan to go around to sports bars in Montana testing my premise that the “G” helmet is not universally recognizable enough to merit a spot in the top group. (An “A” for effort, though it turned out I was right.)
I suppose I should be flattered.
Here’s a cute little wrinkle. It’s no surprise to most of us that in many states, the highest paid public employee is either the head football coach or men’s basketball coach.
In Maryland last year, though, they took that to the next level: the highest paid state employee was the former head football coach.
No wonder the school needed the revenue bump to jump conferences.