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”.