Honestly, it’s not like I take any pleasure out of harping on Georgia’s athletic director’s mission in life. It’s just that it seems as if every time he opens his mouth, I can’t help but dive for my keyboard.
Hence, this post.
This is now a fundraising event, pure and simple. And it’s not something about which Georgia is wishy-washy or apologetic.
“I understand the argument (that regular fans are being left out), but we also understand to make things work at the university we have to generate philanthropic gifts,” Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity said beforehand outside on of the Intercontinental’s ballrooms. “We’ve got a huge drive going on for the West End project (at Sanford Stadium) and Kirby will talk about that tonight. That’s definitely part of what we’re trying to accomplish. We need them to help and we need their friends to help.”
McGarity understands the argument, “regular fans”, but that doesn’t mean he has to give a shit about anything other than the money chase. He’s not shy about that, either.
Indeed, this change has been steady in coming. The “Bulldog Club meetings” that were once the popular brainchild of the late Dan Magill had morphed in recent years into what they called “UGA Days,” which were more fund-raising based in nature and always prominently featured the school president. But those gatherings remained opened to media and anyone who cared to attend. And they were usually worth the visit. They always closed with a colorful Q&A between the football coach and the fans, and that’s where you’d usually hear the best stuff.
That was followed by a long receiving line in which the coaches signed autographs and posed for pictures, sometimes for more than an hour.
“We got a lot of goodwill out of that, but we needed to think about a better use of their time,” McGarity said Wednesday. “We’ve tried something new every year. We’re trying to utilize our resources in the most efficient manner.”
“A better use of their time”. Too bad, Joe and Jane Bulldog. You and your goodwill no longer show up on the athletic department’s radar. Just don’t forget to pony up next year’s Hartman Fund contribution, will ‘ya? McGarity’s still counting on you for that much. I only wish he’d keep his mouth shut while he cashes our checks. It’s the least he can do.