You know, I was going to take this post in another direction until I saw the comments section was graced with this particularly astute observation:
The same guy who claims he’s a free market libertarian thinks organizations should be more fair with their supply when demand calls for a price increase.
Eeeh! Sorry Hans, wrong guess. Would you like to go for Double Jeopardy where the scores can really change?
For the record, I don’t have a problem in the world with what the market will bear. McGarity and Morehead are free to stick it to the fan base to whatever extent they feel is suitable and we fans are free to take it or leave it as offered.
What I do have a problem with — and shockingly, it’s nothing new here at the blog — is how terrible at PR Georgia’s athletic administration is. How clumsily has this increase been handled? Well, let me count the ways:
- They chased Hartman Fund contributions hard (remember the bait and switch to have a shot at Rose Bowl tickets, or the beat the end of the tax deduction pitch?) without a hint that an increase in ticket prices was on the way.
- Rather than being forthright about a decision that even Stevie Wonder saw coming, McGarity felt the need to dribble out the euphemisms directly (“adjustments”) or indirectly (“modest”) before dropping the hammer with a 33% increase.
- Blaming the increase on the effect of success as it relates to coaching salaries — “We plan to make substantial adjustments to the compensation of our coaching staff” — conveniently ignores the increases to ticket prices that kicked in previous to this season. I guess we should feel grateful that McGarity didn’t blame one of those on the need to pay for Richt’s buyout.
- McGarity and Morehead trotted out a new excuse yesterday: “Football’s really our only source of revenue, significant revenue,” McGarity told the media afterward. “In order to maintain your other 20 sports at the level [now]; it’s not my intent to go to the other programs and have cuts. It’s not fair. It’s not the Georgia model. Because we treat all sports equitably. So, this was the way to fully fund those other sports at the same level we have.” The “Georgia model” apparently is to leverage McGarity’s inability to locate and retain competent coaching hires who can raise other programs to a level of sufficient profitability with the football program’s success. That certainly makes his job easier, even if, no, that really isn’t treating all sports equally.
At least they’re consistent.
To top it off, these guys are so arrogant and/or incompetent that can’t even manage a coherent job of presenting the decision internally.
Jesus, if you can’t even be troubled to present the obvious stuff to a willing audience in an open discussion, what the hell are you doing with the tough calls?
These days, Butts-Mehre only knows one speed: strike while the iron is hot. Luckily for our fearless leaders, they’ve had plenty of heat since Kirby’s come on board. Maybe the magic will last forever, or at least long enough for them to reach retirement. What happens when the worm turns, though? Judging from the comments I’ve seen here and elsewhere, this hasn’t been sitting too well with those who have skin in the game, something I assume Greg’s cheerleaders, like our good friend whom I referenced at the beginning of this post, don’t share.
Maybe winning is enough. I don’t know. But when you pass along that kind of bump without offering any new, real amenities, it’s certainly a good way to test that premise. My guess is the allure begins to wear off with enough price raising. There’s only so much winning a team can do, after all. And that’s when you’ll see Georgia athletics take the real plunge into corporate marketing, à la the NFL model. I expect I’ll be gone by then, but for those of you who are cool with the current state of management, enjoy the show.
By the way, this particular gripe isn’t limited to Georgia. Look at the craptacular consequences from the SEC’s foray into broadcast television, again the result of chasing the almighty dollar to its fullest extent, something I don’t have a problem with. What does concern me is how poorly thought out those consequences were: ridiculously unbalanced scheduling for both basketball and football being the most prominent example. (Do you realize that Georgia likely won’t have a single player on its roster who will make the trip to College Station until the 2019 signing class is in the books?) Until this past season’s success, the number of noon starts in Athens for the benefit of television has been a joke.
Then, there’s the overall attempt to change the focus of college football from that of regional passion to national interest, because it suits the needs of ESPN and Fox. The conferences are willing participants in that because it suits their financial needs (and because the commissioners believe themselves to be marketing geniuses, which they most assuredly aren’t.)
It’s all of one piece and it’s one reason I find the fretting from some of you over player compensation being the death of college football missing badly. They could hold the line on amateurism for another decade while the rest of this crap continues merrily along and kill the golden goose just as assuredly. It’s time for some of you to stop and smell what Sankey, Morehead and McGarity are shoveling.
It may be better in the short run to be lucky than good, but nobody’s that lucky in the long run.