Why we can’t have nice things, Georgia Way edition

Quite the parting shot from Mark Fox:

He says that when J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity informed him of his firing the he asked Fox for any comments or suggestions that might help the program going forward. His answer was for McGarity to begin a partnership with the next coach — for those two to work arm-in-arm to help enhance the basketball tradition of a school traditionally seen as a football school.

A reporter pressed Fox on that answer, asking if he was suggesting that wasn’t the case with he and McGarity. Fox sidestepped the question about, saying that he and McGarity would probably “agree to disagree” when it come to whether or not they had worked cohesively in that way.

Benign neglect, for the win.  At least McGarity runs the program cheaply enough to turn a profit.  That should be reassuring for coaches interviewing for the open position, don’t you think?

The only reasons football is clicking now are that the boosters pushed Smart on McGarity and Smart doesn’t need anything more from his athletic director than a hand to sign contracts and checks.

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71 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

71 responses to “Why we can’t have nice things, Georgia Way edition

  1. Derek

    I don’t want to get to far ahead of myself, but I’m beginning to think you’re not a fan of the AD.

    Like

  2. Otto

    Who would be a fan of the AD?

    Like

  3. Hunkering Hank

    Can somebody tell me why our fired coach is announcing that UGA’s players voted not to play in the NIT (if invited)? Why the hell is he in the conversation at all? Somebody in Athens needs to get ahold of this shit show right now.

    Like

    • How about it’s their business and not yours?

      “Mark Fox is done coaching the Georgia men’s basketball team and the Bulldogs are done this season.

      A day after being dismissed after nine seasons, Fox said Sunday he asked the team if they wanted to play in the NIT.

      “The players have elected that they will not do that,” Fox said. “I told them if they wanted me to coach, I would coach. If they didn’t want me to coach, I wouldn’t coach.”

      Georgia was projected to make the 32-team field, which will be announced at 8:30 p.m. Sunday on ESPNU.

      “Yante (Maten) asked me to leave the room and they had had a meeting and they’ve elected to participate in that,” Fox said. “That’s obviously their decision.”

      Now, the careers of seniors Maten, Juwan Parker and Pape Diatta are over.

      Georgia assistant coaches, who are under contract, will continue to work for the program until a new coach is hired, a team spokesman said.”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Raleigh St. Clairw

    What a complete lod of horseshit. I think McDoodle sucks as much as any UGA fan. But the only person responsible for the garbage ass product Fox put on the floor year after year is Fox.

    Any suggestion otherwise is people who already have their minds made up fitting the facts to their narrative.

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    • 'Ol Gill

      “garbage ass product”. You must have just started watching Georgia basketball. I thought it was time for Fox to go but I’ve SEEN garbage basketball from UGA for most of my life. The last nine years wasn’t it. Mediocre basketball, maybe. Garbage, nah.

      And I think there’s more than enough blame to go around rather than just heaping it all on one person. The fact that as a program, we’ve never had more than fleeting success for micro seconds at a time and that our fanbase gives fewer shits about basketball than probably any other SEC fanbase should tell you that it’s not all on his shoulders.

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      • ChiliDawg

        Felton was better than Fox. Harrick was WAY better than Fox. Tubby Smith was better.

        The reason our fan base doesn’t give a shit about basketball is we wait nine years to make move when it isn’t going anywhere.

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        • DoubleDawg1318

          Felton was not better by any objective measure.

          Liked by 1 person

        • 'Ol Gill

          “Felton was better than Fox”

          Based on one miraculous tourney run? Because other than that I’m not really sure what you’re gonna back up that statement with.

          Harrick was way better. I was in school during the Harrick era and those were fun times. Didn’t exactly leave the program in the best of shape. I’m sure there are a lot of guys out there that will get us to the tourney twice and leave some scorched Earth behind. We should have gotten Bruce Pearl.

          Tubby is out there if you want him. Maybe he’ll stick around longer than two years this time. Tubby might have been able to get a little something going if he’d stuck around. But he didn’t and nothing we would have done could have kept an ambitious coach and Kentucky’s check book apart. Hell, it would be like us trying to poach a football coach from Kentucky and have them try and stop us.

          Like it or not, Fox improved the program. He advanced it forward a step. Sure, he couldn’t take it two steps and that’s why he’s gone. But if you think that was garbage basketball, you’ve got a long painful life as a Georgia basketball fan in front of you. What would have made you happy, some elite eights and final fours? Great, sign me up. I’m down with that. But the truth is that if he’d just made a couple of more tourneys, even if we bounced early, he’d be getting an extension right now. That’s where the program is. Sure we could hit the lottery and get a great coach that loves Athens and won’t look elsewhere. It’s possible, not likely but possible. I think the better bet is to go from consistently bad to consistently mediocre to consistently decent (probably where we are right now) to consistently good. So if the next guy gets me to consistently good, I’ll ride him for 5-10 years. Then maybe we’ll be making some hay.

          Liked by 3 people

          • ChiliDawg

            “Fox improved the program.”

            By what measure? Not by any real metric.

            “What would make you happy? Some Elite eights and final fours?”

            Lol, how many times did we make the tourney, guy? This is the same bullshit I heard with Richtophiles who acted like wanting to win the SEC more than once a decade was akin to asking to win a Natty every year.

            And I’ll bet you were one of those people.

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            • Charles

              We’re all totally persuaded by your super thoughtful and well-reasoned response.

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              • ChiliDawg

                I’m still waiting to hear one objective standard by which Fox improved the program.

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                • SSB Charley

                  Recruiting, wins, graduation rates, lack of NCAA violations. Listen, I was ready for a change too, but after the Felton years, the Jirsa years, the Harrick NCAA mess, and Tubby bolting after two years, I think it’s hard to say that we’re not in a better place.

                  Fox simply wasn’t getting it done on the court. But he improved the talent, especially these last few years, and ran a class program. I wish he could have won more, but he didn’t, and that’s why I’m ready for a change. But it’s not as if these nine years were for nothing. Still better than what Georgia hoops has been for most of my life. That Thad Matta and Tom Crean are giving us consideration shows that this program has made some pretty big steps in the last decade. A lot of that is thanks to Mark Fox.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • ChiliDawg

                    “improved the talent and ran a first class program” are both subjective measures without any real measurable. Felton didn’t have any NCAA violations, either, and he had the harder road to hoe at the time, being the man who had to clean up the Harrick mess and four years of probation. He left with an 84-91 record and a decent roster behind for Fox to work with. Fox was 163-133, but you don’t get to give him credit for the work Felton put in. Felton was the one who had to work with a half a deck. Fox didn’t.

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                    • ChiliDawg

                      I will say that my saying “Felton was better” is a stretch. I just don’t think Fox was demonstrably better than him.

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        • Otto

          We did that with football and the base cares about football

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      • OurADisAGlorifiedBoatAnchor

        We averaged 8000 per game for SEC play this year. Despite no reason for fans to believe they showed up in credible #s in terms of tickets purchased.

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        • 'Ol Gill

          Good for the people that showed up, honestly. I’m not gonna sit here and lecture people for not going to games because I live nine hours away and maybe get to one game every year. So who the hell am I to lecture people. Georgia fans have a right not to show up with all that’s happened over the years. (Here’s a 12 year old article from the Georgia Sports Blog that sums it up http://georgiasports.blogspot.com/2006/02/uga-hoops-if-i-only-knew-how-to-quit.html?m=1)

          But if it was averaging 8,000 that really isn’t that great. Maybe it’s great for us, but still not great. Again, I’m not slamming people for not going, just pointing out that it’s the way it is and that’s never gonna help things.

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          • OurADisAGlorifiedBoatAnchor

            Look at SEC numbers. It’s not bad And it’s exceptional for a 7 win league record.

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    • PTC DAWG

      Agree, that said, Fox was given too long of a leash..IMHO.

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    • Jeff Sanchez

      Agree. Man was paid multiple millions for mediocrity. He’s lucky he had an AD that allowed him to overstay.

      Now, I will take a scalding shower for somewhat defending ADGMG

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  5. Brandon

    McGarity is a real life example of the accuracy of Blackfish Tully’s quip from GOT that “the gods love to reward a fool”. Nobody ever got luckier with a hire than McGarity did with Smart. Smart has done well in spite of him.

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    • Ben

      The guy at Alabama who hired Saban would like a word with you because, as you know, they almost hired Rich Rod. And if memory serves, it’s the same guy who hired Price and Shula.

      So, maybe that AD is luckier than McGarity.

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      • The guy at Alabama who hired Saban would like a word with you because, as you know, they almost hired Rich Rod.

        Mal Moore DID hire RichRod. He got bailed out because RichRod changed his mind after agreeing to be coach.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mayor

      I agree. McIdiot is maybe the worst AD in the SEC and the worst AD Georgia has had in my long lifetime including Red Panties. Hiring and firing coaches is only part of his job. Giving the various programs what they need to succeed is the biggest part of the AD’s job and he fails miserably at that–then blames the coach and fires him. McGarity needs to go.

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  6. Bright Idea

    I’m not sure McGarity “partnering” with any of our coaches is a great idea. Give them what they need and keep his noncompetitive tail out of the way. Nothing needs to squelch the fire in their bellies.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      Georgia’s athletic department is near the bottom of the conference in its financial commitment to men’s and women’s basketball.

      https://ope.ed.gov/athletics/#/

      I believe this is what Fox meant by ‘partnership’.

      I hope the next coaching candidate does his homework and negotiates a competitive financial commitment to the program, as Smart and his agent did.

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      • OurADisAGlorifiedBoatAnchor

        That’s wildly misleading info. When Fox got his last pay raise he was pulling Top 25 money. At any point, do you believe that he has delivered a Top 25 product?

        UGA has spent over $45 million on hoops facilities over the past 15 years. That probably 3rd in the league over that time line.

        Is that what you mean by not committed?

        It’s a bullshit argument by a loser who is walking out the door having fleeced us for $16 million dollars in exchange for being ranked in the Top 25 for one week.

        The commitment has far outpaced the results.

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        • Bulldog Joe

          They spiffed up the gym, but the operating budget for basketball still lags behind the rest of the league. Look it up in the link above.

          They kept Fox around longer than he deserved, primarily because he walked and talked The Georgia Way, kept his nose clean, and didn’t demand a budget competitive with the rest of the league. Sound familiar?

          Can you confidently say the Coliseum renovation would have happened if a key benefactor had not taken a ‘special’ interest in the Gymnastics program? I can’t.

          I just hope the University learned a lesson from the football program and doesn’t select another beta mid-major guy willing to live with a non-competitive operating / recruiting budget.

          One can dream.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. ChiliDawg

    Oh come on, you have to account for some sour grapes here. Plus, Fox has to start shaping the narrative he takes into his next interview. “I didn’t have the support of the AD” is a perfect excise to answer in nine years he didn’t do anything significant at Georgia. Sounds a lot better than “I didn’t recruit good enough players or evolve my system.”

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    • OurADisAGlorifiedBoatAnchor

      That’s not going to play with a competent AD. Blaming your old boss for your failing never works in an interview.

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  8. mg4life0331

    Haven’t seen much on who replaces him here, but if I had to guess I would say most of yall oppose Pitino coming?

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  9. willypmd

    Not to go all counter-narrative on you guys but McG has now had a string of fairly successful hires.

    Women’s track and field just won their first indoor NCAA championship, Gym Dogs appear to be on the rebound, women’s basketball looks to be in great shape and then of course Kirby.

    I’m still not sold that McG is elite, but things certainly look better than his first round of hires (only place to go was up, but still it’s up).

    Hopefully Stricklen is gone next year and we get two good hires with Basket and baseball and I’d be a happy man.

    I’d be excited with Matta, Crean, and even Pitino if you believe the FBI/NCAA investigation is BS.

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    • DoubleDawg1318

      Pitino has a lot of problems even before you get to the most recent stuff. There’s absolutely no way he’s getting hired here and I’m okay with that.

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      • Will

        I agree as well, I was just saying he’s immediately the best coach we’ve ever had if hired. I don’t expect him to be hired, and I’m not exactly routing for it, but all 3 of those names are more accomplished than just about anyone I can remember coaching at UGA…

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        • lakedawg

          Have you looked at Crean’s overall record, about like Fox, and was he not fired for not winning enough games? We gott do better than that.

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          • OurADisAGlorifiedBoatAnchor

            That’s not true on Crean. Fox was at Nevada for 5 years and had 2 NCAA bids and I think one career tourney Win. He never was a main coach on a big program.

            Crean was an assistant at MSU and a main recruiter for the 2000 National title team.

            At Marquette he had 5 NCAA tourney appearances and a Final Four. The first 2 years were a rebuild so that’s pretty solid.

            At IU he inherited a dumpster fire on probation. He won the Big 10 regular season title twice and made 3 Sweet 16s and 5 or 6 tourney bids overall. It took 3 years to dig out from Under Sampson’s sanctions and mess.

            Their resumes are about as similar as Joe Montana and Joe Tershinski’s resumes.

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      • The Truth

        Yeah. Anybody got thoughts on the best restaurants in Athens where you can find a nice, quiet corner booth to hump a waitress while your wife waits at home?

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    • PTC DAWG

      No no no, nothing positive can be said about our AD here, it is all his fault..just ask around..

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  10. 3rdandGrantham

    While I agree with the other poster that Fox himself is mostly to blame, indeed he was surrounded by incompetent leadership. And FWIW, for those of you who gave ADGM credit for hiring Smart, remember that he wanted Mullen but was immediately put in his place and told to hire Smart instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. OurADisAGlorifiedBoatAnchor

    Mark was also trying to position his failure as Greg’s fault. That’s a signature Mark Fox move.

    I don’t protect McGarity ever. But on this I will.

    Paul Westerdawg

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    • David Chadwick

      I get that, but I don’t know what McGarity has done to bolster a defense of him for anything. He has an almost supernatural ability to fuck up anything he touches. I get the posturing by Fox, but he’s probably correct about McGarity.

      Like

    • There’s no reason to think that (1) Fox was a mediocre coach and (2) McGarity didn’t provide the support the bball program required are exclusive.

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  12. Russ

    Can we keep Fox as AD?

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  13. UGA '97

    This is simple, either find a coach that gets the resources and full support to recruit hard in the southeast AAU programs via “1 and done” culture in bball today, or spend the reserve fund on a lights out floor coach. Good luck with that Greg…that exactly what Fox said.

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  14. Heyberto

    Man, that was sweet. Good on ya, Coach Fox!! Hate it didn’t work out for him here. Fox may not have been the guy to take us any further than he did, but that doesn’t change the fact that he, like Coach Richt, was fighting an uphill battle from the administration that probably paved the way for the next guy to get the tools he needs to take the next step. But since it’s Basketball, I’m doubtful even that will be enough.

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  15. Bigshot

    I’m no McGarity fan but I’m giving him a pass on this one.
    Instead of taking shots Fox should have been happy he kept his job
    3 years longer than he should. Even he recognized that.

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  16. If we don’t fire McGarity soon he will destroy everything he touches. And if you think it was his decision to hire Smart you’re kidding yourself. McGarity should have been fired after the 2014 football season. As for Fox I would have solidly stood behind him through the next year to see how he could do with a more level recruiting opportunity. If couildn’t do it then I would have caned him next year. I am convinced that he did not support Fox just as I know he did not support Richt. McGarity is a Prima Donna and is terrible for UGA.

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  17. Sweet Jesus, if McGarity hires Tubby Smith I might puke. Tubby Smith is like the epitome of The Georgia Way.

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  18. W Cobb Dawg

    I blame Greg Mediocrity for waiting so long to make a change. I disagree with those who say Fox hasn’t had talent. His problem was he just couldn’t coach. If he’d cut Fox loose about 5 weeks ago we might’ve made a move to secure a tourney bid.

    So I guess I agree with Fox in that respect. If McG cared about winning, he would’ve dumped Fox before the season was shot.

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  19. Will Trane

    Think we will all know where our AD re “partnership” or commitment to a basketball program, the alums, the fans, Georgia state high school basketball players, and supporters by who he hires, based on the recommendation of a search committee based in Gainesville, Florida.
    Most are not impressed with such a low energy substandard AD.
    But like the baseball coach he has a title. UGA is good at giving out titles, sorta like bank personnel.
    Maybe Greg should go visit Phil for awhile.

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  20. Will Trane

    SEC sends 9 teams to the NCAA, and Fox’s team played some of them very tough. Most round ball followers do not think any will get to the final four, or maybe one in final 8.
    But I would not count out that UK bunch. That is a coach with a staff and players that is beginning to make a push at the right moment.
    At least Fox went 2-1 in SEC tourney.
    Partnership. I think he means UGA wants a NCAA bracket team, but the athletic culture from the AD and B-M are not yet there or committed to UGA being a basketball program.
    This hire will define the AD. Screw this up old boy and after all these years your arse should be gone too! No buy just a swift kick off the campus.

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    • Otto

      I don’t see this hire meaning much to the AD. UGA does not have much of a basketball culture. If the hire does not attract NCAA investigation attention the AD will be fine. The AD lucked into being pushed into a good hire for the one hire that can get you fired from B-M.

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  21. AusDawg85

    I’m sorry I was late to this conversation. What exactly is “basketball”?

    Snark aside, that’s all the confirmation you need that this is all on McG. For those who think Fox was the worst coach in history, who kept him employed? For those who claim McG is doing a “helluvajob”, again, who kept Fox around these past few seasons? When do we finally say McG has been on the job too long with nothing but “mediocre” results and it’s time for change?

    Poor Greg…stuck with inheriting class acts like Richt and Fox and couldn’t pull the trigger on firing them until they failed to move the program forward among accelerating competition while he gave them far fewer resources to do so.

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  22. Clearly I am not a McG fan. I am the OG McG hater in fact. I also really like Fox as a person and his integrity. However,

    McG had nothing to do with our failures to be able inbound, handling a press, and develop a ball handler this year (losing JJ hurt). Along with 2x over basically losing the locker room in the last 3 years.

    Mc G needs to go but he wants a ring on it first.

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  23. McTyre

    Breaking news: McGarrity is a weasely underqualified boob. Fox’s comment actually says much more about him than McGolem. If Fox aspires to get another quality hoops gig, “my AD gave me no support” and “everybody else is cheating” aren’t likely to be well-received by other ADs.

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