The fifth estate responds.

There’s “McGarity’s Minutes”, so it seems like it’s only fair to give this portion of Seth Emerson’s mailbag a catchy name:

THE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR UNDER FIRE

It seems there are some people who do not understand the difference between a “hit piece” and publishing a letter from an influential Bulldog letterman, booster, and alumni in order to underscore the dissatisfaction the majority of people in the vast DawgNation are feeling about the facts of Greg McGarity’s lack of forward-thinking vision and underwhelming leadership as AD; where almost every single sport is performing worse now than when he took over as AD, and how he is doing nothing to stem the tide of mediocrity within the Athletic Association (not firing Fox or Stricklin for starters) or creating a master plan to improve facilities, which are now so poor that UGA lost the ability to host the NCAA Tennis Championships, which Dan Magill worked so hard to make a semi-annual event in Athens. It’s as if Greg McGarity’s short-sighted penny-pinching is costing UGA in more ways then one, which is one of the many issues I believe Carroll Minick was trying to highlight in his letter-not-hit-piece.

Could you kindly explain the difference so those people would no longer be able to hide behind their ignorance?
– Matthew Cafaro

Actually, the response to the Minick letter, at least judging by social media and the comments on the story, seemed to be around 90 percent in support. (Though not everyone agreed with everything in the letter. I didn’t either.) And, as I’ve told UGA officials who have complained to me about the thrust of my stories this year, there hasn’t been much, if any, blowback from the fan base. We feel, as Chip put it the other day, that we’re reflecting the dissatisfaction of the fan base. But we’re also informing them, such as the $33 million that was in the UGA foundation but the school didn’t advertise.

The people I speak to on a regular basis, donors and alumni alike, want Georgia to be great. They feel that enough isn’t being done now to be great. They want the best for a school they love, and they wanted light shed on these issues. I have no doubt that Greg McGarity loves Georgia dearly. So do his critics. They evidently just disagree on the best way to get to the mountaintop.

McGarity’s statement in May to the athletic board – “let us not be distracted by those who seek to divide us” – struck many as not seeing the point of the criticism, and the stories that give voice to these critics: They’re not seeking to divide, they’re seeking to make Georgia better.

The job of the media, meanwhile, is to inform the public and hold the powerful’s feet to the fire. I hope that’s what we’ve been doing.

“Emerson’s Eternity”?  “Seth’s Seconds”?  I dunno.  Can’t say I see anything unreasonable in what he wrote, but, then, again, I don’t have an office in Butts-Mehre.  Fortunately.

What I do find interesting is how McGarity has allowed his athletic department to become such a big issue this offseason.  It’s not a typical situation; the closest analogy I can come up with was the unrest that Dave Brandon stirred up at Michigan, and I’m not really sure how good a match that is for what’s going on in Athens.  Brandon was an outsider who turned out to be a fish out of water in managing a university’s athletic department.  McGarity, on the other hand, is basically an athletic department lifer.  (Plus, Brandon got shown the door.  We all know where McGarity is.)

In any event, having an athletic director with a management style that tends to suck goodly amounts of oxygen out of the room is probably not the best look for a school’s athletic department.  No matter what the press thinks.

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47 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

47 responses to “The fifth estate responds.

  1. Castleberry

    Emerson Bigguns?

    Ready to move on to new leadership. I’m curious if there are any stories from around CFB where a stale establishment got a major shakeup that led to significant change. Part of me wonders if the next AD will end up being “new McGarity” and leaving us with more of the same.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      Richt vs. The Swamp: The Swamp won.
      Pruitt vs. The Swamp: Pruitt scored some points, but The Swamp won.
      Kirby vs. The Swamp: More are becoming aware of what’s in The Swamp.

      But more money only made The Swamp larger, so there is enough evidence to believe The Swamp wins this one, too.

      And there is enough evidence to believe the next caretaker already lives in The Swamp.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bright Idea

    Even if the AJC, Emerson and Towers didn’t exist, we are not stupid. It is easy to see that Georgia wins nothing of significance and that the administration cares more about money than winning. I do believe they have an agenda though and it is simple, to get more hits on their stories. Unlike McGarity, those guys are under pressure to produce so I would expect him to be tone deaf toward their motivation for writing negative stuff. I dare say they aren’t getting much blowback from the great unwashed who want to win.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. PTC DAWG

    Are other papers in the State on the “GMac must go” bandwagon? I think the 90 day thing ruffled some feathers at the beloved AJC. That’s my take anyways…he’s not perfect by any means, but they sure write a whole bunch about the AD.

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    • DoubleDawg1318

      Deservedly so. The AD sucks and he deserves the negative coverage. Sure, the press needs eyeballs but it also exists to call attention to the behavior good/bad (especially the bad) of those in leadership. What’s said on this blog doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in BM but when the paper writes about what we’re feeling then that has the potential to grab their attention and get things moving. If Georgia was well run and winning big then nobody would have the space or reason to write so much about the AD.

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  4. ASEF

    McGarity reminds me of a friend and restaurant guy whose theory of restaurant management can best be summarized as “just don’t be the shittiest option on the block.” He’s a spreadsheet guy who takes his management directives from the complaint box. He’s profitable, and he’s a nice guy.

    But I don’t eat at his restaurants.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ugadawgguy

      McGarity, meanwhile, takes his management directives from a couple of liquor barons…and ignores the complaint box entirely.

      At McGarity’s restaurant, complaining customers are smiled at, patted on the back, and chuckled at as they walk out the door, only to return to eat there again because his is the ONLY option on the block.

      Liked by 1 person

      • atlasshrugged55

        There will come a day when no one will visit McGarity’s block based upon how he & his dark overlords run things. I’m close to that point having attended almost every home game since 1969 (I was four at the time) & rapidly losing interest.

        Too bad we don’t have a customer service attitude that the good folks at Augusta National have.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I’ve said it before. I don’t expect a Masters experience at Sanford. You can’t do that with 93,000 people crammed into a small space. I can expect a Disney experience where people know they are going to be inconvenienced during their visit, but the whole experience isn’t going to be an inconvenience. I’m going to be able to use a clean restroom, get expensive but good food timely, and feel welcome as a guest while I’m there.

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  5. Stoopnagle

    “…lack of forward-thinking vision and underwhelming leadership…”

    I’m not sure that’s an Athletic Department problem as much as it is a UGA problem.

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  6. Biggus Rickus

    It’s not hard to figure out. The Richt firing pissed off at least half the fan base, so the mild discontent about the state of Georgia athletics generally was dialed up. Add to that a seeming acceptance of mediocrity in every program but football, along with a Richt replacement who has yet to do anything of note, and you get this offseason of discontent.

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    • Charles

      ^^^^^THIS

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    • Puffdawg

      You forgot to include increasing the cost to get season tickets in your last sentence.

      Like

    • The firing did piss some people off. The hiring process did Kirby no favors. The discontent about the fan experience has always been there, but the on-field performance has only brought that to the forefront. A $63,000,000 west end project that has limited to no benefit to the fans while the AA sits on a huge reserve has absolutely turned the environment toxic.

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  7. “McGarity’s statement in May to the athletic board… struck many as not seeing the point of the criticism, and the stories that give voice to these critics: They’re not seeking to divide, they’re seeking to make Georgia better.

    This. The leader who hears criticism and immediately deflects with a statement that the monsters are out to get him should be shown the door quickly. Just because people think you’re doing a shitty job doesn’t mean they want to see UGA fail.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    “let us not be distracted by those who seek to divide us”

    That phrase to me says it all. As far as ADGM is concerned, anyone who is not for him is against UGA. It’s a disease, and more than any particular on field results indicate why he is bad at his job and will never get better – he does not see what is wrong on his own, and will not listen to criticism to try and figure it out.

    Sure, some of the criticism is stupid – this is the age of the internet, after all – but putting some effort into trying to see what might not be stupid and acting to correct it instead of simply disregarding it would be welcome.

    He needs a big season out of Kirby and the football team now.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Uglydawg

    I may agree with him, but Matthew Cafero comes off as an arrogant ass.

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  10. Vidaliaway

    I equate athletic directors with GM’s in pro sports. Name me a GM that stays in the news as much as McGarity. The ones that do, don’t last very long. The great ones, you never hear about at all.

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    • Dawg1

      The problem is his boss at FU was in the news being stroked constantly as they won 4 NCs in Bball and Fball even while allowing their facilities to become the worst in the league and the FBall program to be run by thugs you wouldn’t allow near your son, let alone your daughter or wife.

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  11. ApalachDawg

    So if coach smart wins the sec east, does this remove Mcdudd off the Kroger hot seat?

    I sure hope not.

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  12. ugadawgguy

    I agree wholeheartedly that McGarity, and those who placed and keep him in office, needs to be shown the door in favor of new leadership with a coherent vision, a plan to achieve that vision, and the autonomy to execute that plan.

    But what can we (“we” being the apparent majority of the fan base, and not a handful of liquor-fortune heirs) do about it?

    I’m asking sincerely. Short of boycotting football games, which is never going to happen en masse, what can be done to foment the change our athletic department so sorely needs?

    I’m asking sincerely.

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    • DoubleDawg1318

      I too am curious what people think. Giving up tickets en masse won’t happen and if I give up tickets I cut off my nose to spite my face. There has to be a way for us to impose a cost on the AD without giving up everything we have.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 69Dawg

      This is a self correcting problem. Barring the AA allowing the inheritance of season ticket cumulative scores (which they now have done for McGill level donors) the funds will slowly dry up. The young alumni make less money and can’t afford the season tickets and the old farts like myself are too old to go to the games and are giving up their tickets and stopping the donations to get them. It’s simple economics and it is not in UGA’s favor. Even The Masters recognized that they had made a mistake when they stop the inheritance of tickets and tried to fix it with the Legacy ticket program.

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  13. South FL Dawg

    First job I had out of college, the bossman pulled everybody into a room and he asked us if we knew what was the difference between reality and perception. He waited for a second and then said – IT DOESN’T MATTER. Because you have to deal with what people think, period. Maybe Morehead just has a different perception than the rest of us. Maybe the people who get to make these decisions all have a different perception. Sorry if that is raining on anybody’s parade but as long as this has gone on, it doesn’t look like the powers that be think the same way that the fans do.

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    • Kinda like government in Washington, DC. They live in their own bubble and really have no idea how the country’s citizens (fans) go about their daily lives or what they really care about. For them, as long as the gravy train keeps rolling up to their bubble and spewing out cash, all is well in their world.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dawg1

        Exactly, that is why they were shocked last November. The shame of it was that we sent the establishment packing by electing a guy like Trump. When he implodes, the establishment will be even more sure they were right all along. It’s the ’94 revolution followed by Newt and Livingston and the molester. Unfortunately, their are more revolutionaries like Hitler, Mao or even Chavez who destroy than Revolutionaries like Washington, Jefferson and Adams who build.

        Like we learned from Fulmer, be careful what you wish for!!

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  14. Captain Obvious

    Sounds like CMR syndrome, all over again.

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  15. Mayor

    I’m at the point where I just want McGarity gone….period. Firing him won’t solve the “culture” problem at B-M. We need to kick the 2 liquor barons off the AB, too. And I’m not so sure that we don’t need to get rid of Ole Jere as well. He is looking more and more like a Mike Adams clone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dog in Fla

      Today’s Personnel Points from the Mayor

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    • reality chck here

      He is a Mike Adams clone. The problem is the only thing they care about is big money donors. Nothing else matters. And people are contributing at a record pace just like they did under Adams.

      Neither McGarity nor Morehead are going to be gone as long as the money keeps coming.

      Want another example how money means everything? If you want to send your child to a school similar to UGA it is much easier for them to get accepted to UT or Alabama or USCe than to Georgia. And kids from those states have an easier time getting into UGA. All the schools have rigged the system so that they get more out of state tuition as a percentage of the student population. All in name of diversity of course. But they are liars. It is all about the money

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  16. Most Georgia people( fans, donors, boosters, etc) sit around parroting “let’s be like Alabama” while Alabama is always pushing the envelope and taking other approaches to stay ahead. Most Georgia people endorsed McGarity by having Richt fired, not even one year after agreeing to give him the support/facilities he lacked for years. Most Georgia people endorsed McGarity’s HC replacement process, a process that didn’t really include vetting any other candidates because, hey, he’s a Georgia boy and he has fire. So when anyone uses “Most Georgia people say….”, I don’t put much stock in that. In fact, most Georgia people are getting what they deserve.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Down island way

    It will be an interesting year in UGA athletics. Football, basketball [mens/womens], gymnastics, volleyball, womens softball, baseball all have the ad’s fingerprints smudged everywhere. Placing 15th in the Directors Cup is an achievement. We had a nice run from 1998-2008 in the top 10 annually in the Directors Cup. To maintain that status, i believe, falls to the athletic department’s ability to lead [or inability]. It will be an interesting year @ my UGA! GO DAWGS!

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  18. AusDawg85

    If the Dawgs make the CFP, I sure as hell hope that no one credits McG nor expects it makes “everything else OK”. Sure the football program is king, but it’s very important he do his job across the board. Every sport, every facility, and every fan.

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  19. Will Trane

    Score boards, standings, reading another Dawg beat down, or hearing one, it is obvious to all how the teams have done since Greg showed up. Same for facilities and fund raising.
    Greg is a zero star AD. Blank. Nothing. Frankly, he is a complete embarrassment to UGA.
    If funds are so tight, why not put the other team coaches at the gates of Sanford, holding a bell, ringing the bell, and asking alums and fans to throw some bucks into a red and black kettle. You can even have some put on those A-frame signs asking to be overly generous.
    Glad to see one of those dudes at DawgNation understands the game with the Gators is. That is why that game needs to go home and home and not some neutral site in Florida. If you play in Florida it is a UF home game, period. To me it would be like playing Tech ever year in metro Atlanta at some alleged neutral field. At some point in time those hedges have to be seen as a place you get you damn ass beat with a long misery filled bus ride back home.
    But take heart those guys at Dawg Nation are like 8 year olds on Christmas eve…just waiting for a red suited dude to show up with some hardware for the trophy case…unfortunately for us it turns out like Halloween.
    I am optimistic. When I see, hear, and know that Greg is funding and building a new trophy case, I might begin a change of heart. However there is another upside. He could go.
    No quicker way than to ask super donors to pony up, your programs continue to retreat on your investment, and those donors realize they have been fleeced.

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  20. Greg McGarity

    Pay no attention to those who attempt to divide us! The Society of the Miserable will never be happy!

    Thank you to everyone who has given money in the last 48 hours. Keep committing to the G!

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  21. The Georgia Way

    Write what you want about The Georgia Way during football, basketball, and baseball seasons, but interfere with fund-raising season and rest assured, you will pay the price.

    #MOSTIMPORTANTSEASONOFTHEMALL #COMMITTOTHEG

    Like

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