Let’s recap. Kirby Smart is hired in December, 2015, stays with Alabama through the CFP while managing his new job in his spare time, finally gets to Athens to put on a full court press through national signing day, then turns his attention to running a program, preparing for spring practice and somehow in the middle of that mad rush finds the time to help Greg McGarity lobby the state legislature to pass an open records bill.
You’d think the timing suggests that was kind of a high priority, but Georgia’s head coach wants you to know it was no big deal.
Smart was asked if his program has benefited from the law—which doesn’t include salaries of non-clerical staff.
“I don’t think it’s had much of an effect,” Smart said. “You’d have to ask these guys (beat reporters). They send in FOI (Freedom of Information) requests all the time. They might know, but I don’t think there’s been any major benefit for us.”
So if that’s the case, Smart was asked if the law is something should be repealed at some point?
“I’ll be honest with you that’s not a major concern for me and it wasn’t a major concern when it was put in” said Smart, who has downplayed his involvement with what some have referred to as Kirby’s law after he spoke to lawmakers about it. “To me, it allows our staff to get the paperwork together and answer questions and do it in a time-wise manner.”
Lord knows, Butts-Mehre operates on the assumption that it can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, so maybe Smart has a point there. Except if you have even the slightest lick of sense, you know the real reason UGA pushed for the new law.
And in that regard, it’s been quite the success.
One reporter who covers another school who is working on a story sought information via open records from every SEC school. Every public SEC school (not including Vanderbilt, which is private) has provided the records that were sought except for Georgia because the 90 days had not yet been reached.
That may not garner you any conference championships, friends, but don’t think that doesn’t smell like winning to Greg McGarity.