It’s money that they love.

I see we were graced with another edition of “McGarity’s Minutes” (is that supposed to be catchier than the late, lamented “The First Word”?) yesterday.  In case you were wondering where the good athletic director’s sense of priorities are these days (I keed, I keed), he’s not coy about telling right out of the gate: “First of all, we would like to thank each and every one of you who contributed to the record-breaking fund raising year we had in Fiscal Year 2017.”

Hey, it beats talking about your assistant tennis coach’s recent drug arrest.

While we’re on the money front, Kirby Smart wants you to know he’s merely a good soldier following orders.

He was in Atlanta speaking at the swank Intercontinental Buckehad Hotel at an invitation-only event before Georgia donors. Athletic director Greg McGarity also was on hand.

It was one of five similar events this offseason—the other four were out of state. All were closed to the media.

It’s a change of pace from a couple of years ago and beyond when Mark Richt spoke throughout the state on the spring speaking tour at places like Augusta, Columbus and Savannah that was open to anyone that wanted to pay a small charge that often included dinner.

“It was not a philosophical change for me,” Smart said. “It was a philosophical change for fundraising and ways to generate revenue. That didn’t necessarily come from me. That came from people that are paid to do that. For me, whatever the event is, I’m fine with it. I want what gives us the best opportunity to raise money. I also want to be around our fan base, which is why we’re having a Fan Day (Aug. 5) and we’re opening that to the general public to come out and watch practice and see our players afterward.”

“That came from people that are paid to do that.”  You get the feeling that the minute Smart’s got contract leverage over the school — let’s hope that day comes sooner rather than later — he’s going to have Jimmy Sexton deliver a “my client doesn’t have time for that shit” message to McGarity about his fund raising methods.  I doubt that will be a topic for a future “McGarity’s Minutes”.

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37 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

37 responses to “It’s money that they love.

  1. SemperFiDawg

    Somehow I have the impression at least someone in BM has a faint tinge of consciousness about the invitation only events, hence the reference to the Aug. 5 event for the peasants, errrr general public.

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  2. Gaskilldawg

    When I was a student in the 1970s Dooley had to meet with the Men’s dorms and fraternities. Basketball, too. I remember Ken Rosemand meeting with my dorm the night before his last game. He was pretty candid, knowing he was a dead man walking

    Dooley was always reserved and close to the vest.

    Joel Eaves knew we kids were the ticket buyers and donors of tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Normaltown Mike

      Dooley was a faculty member in those days. In fact, most (all?) coaches had a faculty appointment in the golden era.

      I’ll add as an aside that VD has ALWAYS been a part of the University & Athens community in a way that Ray, Donnan & CMR were not. We’ll see with Kirby. Being local and all that, he might take a greater interest in that stuff.

      I’m not complaining either, I think it goes with the higher expectations of coaches now-a-days.

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      • Southernlawyer11

        In fairness, Dooley’s tenure cut across different eras. Even more so when you consider he was AD through June, 2004. So you remember him concluding his career (even his coaching career) in a modern light…….but the man came in when football was not that far removed from the Physical Education Department. The stature of his job went from rank and file to celebrity during the course of his career……that’s why he has throwback interpersonal skills. We can fairly lament it, but, as stated above, Kirby ain’t got time for that kinda ________.

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  3. dawgfan

    $40 million in annual TV money and big donors kicking in over $100 million for the practice facility and end zone renovation is a game changer in how supporters are viewed.

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  4. paul

    It may not be a philosophical change for Kirby but you cannot deny that he’s done everything he can to severely limit access to players, coaches and practices since his arrival. Fans, in particular, have far fewer opportunities to meet players and coaches. Funny how we have pay to play everywhere except where it belongs, on the field.

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    • jtpo3

      Curious why you think fans are entitled to access to the players, coaches, and practices.

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      • I can think of two reasons, right off the bat:

        Tradition, if nothing else.

        Good public relations with what is still a major source of support, financial or otherwise.

        Liked by 1 person

        • SemperFIDawg

          I can think of one more: plain old fashioned gratitude to ALL the people who support the program. When’s the last time you actually heard a coach express that sentiment? I honestly can’t recall.

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          • 79DawgatWork

            I dunno, but I have heard Kirby’s idol St. Nick rip the Gumps from time to time about not coming out for/leaving early from cupcake games…

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        • Southernlawyer11

          Even as an alum and a crazy stupid fan, I’ve always felt a little bit like an outsider looking in and that there was never really any type of open invitation to the party. That space always seemed perpetually reserved for the deepest pockets in Atlanta and multi-generational UGA alums. And I get it, you have to thank the people who literally build your facilities. Who am I to question what 60+/- years of modern history suggests is a perfectly good track record of how to build an enviable football program ?

          I suppose my wish would be for the current batch of administrators to not run the program like a bunch of silver-spooned legacies who inherited a third generation family business and summarily forget all the traditional acts of goodwill and propriety that “grandpa” used to build the business.

          Liked by 1 person

        • AusDawg85

          And the players WANT it. Ever go down to the hedges at the end of a game and chat with the kids? See them jump into the stands at JAX or Mark Richt Field in Atlanta? When I was a kiid, you used to be able to go onto the field after the game.

          Since security issues are a real concern today, those options may not be so viable, thus all the more reason to find alternative ways for the fans to interact with the team.

          I swear, I think some of you think these kids should do nothing but be locked in a training room 24/7 for 5 years and “entitle YOU” to championships.

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      • The other Doug

        I’d add that it helps keep fans connected and interested. The better the access is for reporters the better the stories I read, and that keeps me interested. Also, I went to the fan days when I was a little kid, and it’s a big part of why I eventually went to school there. I no longer donate money to the school so I’m dead to McGarrity though.

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        • jtpo3

          You can still go to the fan day. They have it every year. You can meet the players and coaches.

          You have more access to the lives of many players and coaches now more than ever thanks to social media.

          And don’t get confused… McGarity doesn’t want you to donate to the school, he wants you to donate to the Athletic Association.

          Liked by 1 person

          • paul

            Been to many a fan day. It’s now shorter than it’s ever been and opportunities to meet players and coaches are far more restricted. In the past I had many interactions with various players and coaches, including the head coach. Lots of pictures, signatures and such. We were able to meet guest coaches like Hines Ward after the G Day game. These sorts of expediences motivated me to give thousands of dollars to the Hartman Fund every year. I felt invested in the team and I wanted to support them. Today they get exactly zero dollars from me. All the Athletic Department cares about is money from TV and major donors. They’ve done everything they can to make the fan miserable on game day and they expect us not only to enjoy it but to pay more for it. Not me. I got a nice TV, a comfortable couch, a clean restroom and meat cooking on the grill.

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      • JCDAWG83

        How about since the fans are the ones who pay for the facilities, coaches, equipment, travel expense, etc.?

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  5. BulldogJay

    Should just retitle it to “McGarity’s Money Minute”

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  6. Russ

    One clarification about these events – it wasn’t just big donors there. I went to the one in Houston and I think it cost me $35. Drinks were included. And I’m certainly not on any list of big donors since I quit my meager donations when HRH Adams was there. There were a lot of new alumni there as well. Seemed like a typical alumni event, just not one sponsored by the local Bulldog Club.

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    • Russ

      And I’m not sure how “invitation only” the one in Houston was as I got several emails about it and it was on the FB page for all to see. The one in Atlanta may have been different, though.

      And the fundraising talk was about the University, not the AA.

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    • 79DawgatWork

      Last year, invites for the Atlanta event were sent to folks who donated $1,000 to Athletics AND $1,000 to Academics (and there were several hundred people there, you could bring a guest). I imagine the out-of-state ones they were just looking for warm bodies and future wallets to try and pry open…

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      • Russ

        Yeah, I thought about that. Smaller pool to draw from. Next year’s schedule probably depends on how much tribute each city sent to the kingdom.

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  7. This was a UGA Fund/UGA Foundation event, not an Athletics event. I don’t see anything wrong with leveraging UGA athletics to drive donations to the actual University, which is what occurred last night. There were plenty of Athletics staff there, but this was not their event and they made no solicitations during the event. There were plenty of solicitations to fund general scholarships for the student body, though.

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  8. HVL Dawg

    Was there any explanation of the name change from First Word to McGarrity’s Minutes? It gives me the feeling two or three secretaries are running his PR effort.

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  9. reality check here

    When McGarity refers to a record breaking fund raising year he ain’t going anywhere. Until that changes.

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  10. Bright Idea

    My kids were raised as Dawgs on the old picture days in the sweltering August heat. You had about two hours of free access to the all of the players. It seemed more like two days long but man it was great.

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    • Gaskilldawg

      Those picture days on the practice fields were lots of fun for my family. Sorry they did away with it. It went downhill when it got moved to the Coliseum then the civic center then Sanford.

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  11. The Dawg abides

    They’re really wasting an opportunity to rebuild a little goodwill with fan day. My idea would be to nix the open practice and have a four to five hour open event at BM. Have the players and staff available in the IPF, and pictures with Kirby and Uga in the main building for those who want to stand in line. They could set up drills for the kids outside on the practice fields like at NFL fan fest events and bring in former players to interact with fans. How about Hines Ward teaching routes while the kids catch passes from David Greene or D.J. Shockley? And David Pollock running drills with the tackling dummies. The Grad assistants could put the older kids through some of the same drills as the players. This could become a marquis event with a little planning, vision and appreciation for the fanbase. But that statement pretty much sums the whole athletic department.

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  12. 69Dawg

    Just a short word about the now totally diminished role the old Bulldawg Clubs have. I live in Florida and was a member of the Tampa Bay Bulldawg Club in the early 2000’s. We had the Athens HQ’s blessing and help in getting speakers for our big annual golf tourney and football season gathering. That all changed, there are no longer Bulldawg Clubs (as we once knew them) since the University Alumni Association has taken them over. There is an appointed alumni leader and they still meet to view the games and all are invited but it’s run by the Alumni Association not the Bulldawg Club. What that means is smaller area’s such as Southwest Florida don’t have official Clubs anymore. The school does not officially recognize or support them. The Biggest one in SW Fla is the Salty Dawgs in Ft. Myers. This was the surviving club to one that had been set up by UGA people in Cape Coral but had died for lack of interest and location. If you live in Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville or Miami then the Alumni Association has groups, if not your out of luck. I say this to just point out that the end of the football coach visiting the smaller towns clubs in Georgia will eventually end the clubs.

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    • MurphDawg

      69Dawg, I remember Coach Richt visiting Tampa a few years ago for the meet and we really enjoyed it. No visits the past 3 years though and as mentioned here and in other threads, the fans start to feel more and more like an afterthought. IMO, having fans feel disconnected is what caused a lot of the Bucs attendance problems and will ultimately do so for the Dawgs. Contrast that to the Lightning who make every effort to provide a great fan experience at Amalie and away from it. One organization gets it, and has seen season ticket holders steadily increase as they focus on fans. This is the first year in recent history that I can remember there still being season tickets available at UGA and I believe it is due to fans feeling more and more disconnected from the program..

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  13. Dog in Fla

    They don’t love the mountains, they don’t love the sea, they do love working on the books

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