Daily Archives: July 16, 2017

“I think it’s hard to pick a number.”

This article made the rounds yesterday.  Well, mainly, this chart did:

School  Support staff pay
 1 Georgia  $4,481,974
 2 Alabama  $2,949,321
 3 South Carolina  $2,886,986
 4 Tennessee  $2,823,177
 5 Auburn  $2,821,608
 6 Ole Miss  $2,664,181
 7 Florida  $2,640,975
 8 Texas A&M  $2,131,228
 9 LSU  $1,662,278
 10 Mississippi State  $1,478,330
 11 Missouri  $1,254,997
 12 Arkansas  $1,110,559
 13 Kentucky  $1,063,822
*Vanderbilt is a private institution and does not have to adhere to public record law.

In fact, Georgia spent more than $4.4 million on its football support staff in the 2015-16 academic year, according to documents obtained from The Advocate. The Bulldogs easily led the league in support staff pay, about $1.5 million more than the second-highest program: Alabama.

LSU was ninth in the league in support staff pay at $1.6 million, and Kentucky was last at $1.06 million.

What went into defining support staff wasn’t made clear, but even Georgia itself admits to a good bit.

For example, Georgia lists 33 under support staff in one section of its website and listed 51 support staff members in its spring media guide, the Athens-Banner Herald reported in a story earlier this summer.

In any event, I don’t think anyone can argue that the athletic department’s financial support for football coaching with Smart is a night and day situation than it was with Richt.

It’s not like Butts-Mehre can’t afford it.

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Read that carefully and then look at the bigger expenditure picture.

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Conference wide, Georgia is eleventh in head coach compensation, middle of the pack in game payouts, yet third overall in spending.  That money is going somewhere (one place being assistant coaches’ salaries).

Add to that the major capital expenditures we’re seeing and I don’t think Kirby Smart has much to complain about in that department.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“Right now, the experience we provide is not sufficient from a basic customer-service standpoint.”

You know, it’s gonna piss me off something fierce if it turns out that Tennessee gets it better than Georgia does.

And before you brush this off as bullshit theorizing on my part, compare the West End Zone project in Athens with UT’s next big stadium project:

Currie entered the job at Tennessee with the university already slated to begin phase one of Neyland renovations in 2019. That anticipated $106 million project will focus on overhauling the south side of the stadium, including “basic enhancements” to fan experience, like more entry points to the stadium, larger restrooms and more concession stands.

If they can figure out how to modernize Neyland in a fan-friendly way, don’t tell me it’s an impossible task for Sanford Stadium.

The problem isn’t engineering.  It’s attitude.  When have you ever heard Greg McGarity ask a question like this?

“If we think we’re going to expect our fans to just come and sit still, we’re not very smart,” he said. “We need to be creating an experience that allows people to have a good experience here. I’ve walked around stadiums and seen moms sitting on the concrete feeding their kid a hot dog. Why can’t we have a picnic table somewhere for mom or dad to feed their kid a hot dog?”

Yeah, that’s mundane.  But you’ve got to start somewhere.

30 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football

Amateurism is forever.

Chris Spielman is suing Ohio State… er, excuse me, The Ohio State University.

That’s why it was considered such stunning news Friday that Spielman is the plaintiff in a class-action suit filed in federal court in Columbus against Ohio State University on behalf of all former and current Buckeyes football players.

“I feel sick about it,” Spielman told The Dispatch. “But I believe in doing the right thing. I teach my kids to stand up for what’s right. Players have a right. If somebody wanted to endorse you, don’t you think you have a right to say yes or no, or to negotiate? That’s a common-sense thing. We want to be partners. We don’t want to be adversaries.”

… The lawsuit takes issue with 64 banners hung in Ohio Stadium featuring players’ likenesses and a corporate logo for Honda on them, but it also mentions jerseys, photographs, signatures and more.

Spielman also said attaching his name to Honda puts him in a difficult situation given a separate sponsorship deal he has with a local Mazda dealership.

Spielman said he is fine with Ohio State using his name and likeness for non-commercial purposes.

“You can slap your name and logo on banners all you want,” he said. “But as soon as you slap a corporate logo on there, I have rights, in my opinion, to say yes or no, or to negotiate that.”

Sounds reasonable, right?  (Spielman has already pledged to donate any damages he obtains as a result of the suit back to the athletic department.)  Yet, after eight months of negotiations, the school refused to back down.  In a post-O’Bannon environment, that’s plain stubborn.

Spielman said he has gotten the support of numerous players, including two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, as well as former OSU head coach Earle Bruce.

“I’ve gotten a ton of texts from former players,” Spielman said. “Somebody has to say (to Ohio State), ‘Just ask us, and let’s be partners. Let’s work as a team.’ That’s what Ohio State taught me.”

Griffin said he supports the rights of former athletes to receive compensation from corporations and universities that benefit from the use of players’ names and likenesses.

“There is no greater supporter of collegiate athletics than me, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunities provided to me as a former student-athlete,” Griffin said in a statement. “However, the recent landscape of collegiate athletics has changed, and these institutions and corporations have a duty to treat all former athletes fairly.”

Ohio State’s going to spend a bunch of money on lawyers and get a giant PR black eye in the process, and for what here?  Strange hill you find worth dying on, dudes.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, See You In Court, The NCAA

Gettin’ tougher?

Last time we looked at Georgia’s strength of schedule per ESPN’s FPI, it was fourth.

Now?  It’s second.

Breaking it down, if you toss out FCS Samford and Sun Belt Appy State (70th in FPI), the only team left on the schedule outside the top forty is Vanderbilt, and even the Commodores are a respectable 46th.

Yet somehow that feels a little disconnected from my subjective feeling about Georgia’s schedule.  Part of that no doubt stems from my skepticism that the SEC East is as solid as ESPN projects.

I’ll say this, though:  if FPI says Georgia is a 9-3 regular season team playing the second toughest schedule in the country, it makes you wonder what the record might turn out to be if the schedule proves to be less daunting.

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Filed under Georgia Football