Changing of the (old) guard

Well, now.  This is interesting.

Gov. Brian Kemp will soon have a chance to appoint supporters to dozens of additional posts – including a trio of coveted Board of Regents spots – after Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan challenged his predecessor’s lame-duck board appointments.

Duncan asserted last week that 64 board appointments made by Gov. Nathan Deal between Nov. 17 and his final day in office on Jan. 14 were not properly submitted. The fallout crystallized on Thursday when Kemp put forth a new list of names that exclude many of Deal’s appointments.

Among those not on the list were three Board of Regents members that Deal reappointed a week before he left office: Dean Alford, Don Leebern Jr. and Richard Tucker. A spot on the 19-member board is one of the plum appointments in state government…

But the highest-profile among the three is Leebern, who was first appointed to the board in 1991 and played a central part in legendary feuds between University of Georgia administrators and athletics officials in the early 2000s.

Vince Dooley’s smile just got a little brighter.  Also, don’t forget that politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum.

60 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

60 responses to “Changing of the (old) guard

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Shades of Marbury vs. Madison and the Tenure in Office Act they used to impeach Andrew Johnson.

    Like

  2. Thatguy

    I’m 41, and I figured Leebern would have to croak to get him off the BOR. This is massive.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Granthams replacement

    I hope Adams is pissed his money buddy isn’t on the board.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ben

    Can someone help me understand what this means, from a non-snarky or dismissive way?

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    • Russ

      Read “Behind the Hedges”. Goes into all the sordid details of Adams, Leeburn and how they treated UGA as their private fiefdom. Leeburn is a pox on the university.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Leebern’s position on the BOR has enabled him to exercise enormous influence over B-M. Although he’s also a major financial contributor, with his ouster, his power is diminished. The big questions are how much and who is ready to take advantage of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The answer to your big questions are likely:

        Enough.

        and

        Kirby and whomever replaces McGarity, because God knows he’s not ready to take advantage of ANY of the advantages put in front of UGA ever at anytime, anywhere.

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      • Jack Klompus

        Does Leebern walk with his money?

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        • If he does, he was never a Dawg to begin with. If he truly loves UGA, then no, he doesn’t.

          Ball’s in his court.

          One thing UGA does such a poor job of doing that other schools do a great job of doing is leveraging famous alums / fans for donations and fundraising.

          In entertainment we have Kyle Chandler, Ryan Seacrest, members of R.E.M., Alton Brown, Danger Mouse, Bill Goldberg, Josh Holloway, Ernie Johnson, Jr., Wayne Knight, and of course, all of our sports stars of yesteryear.

          How are we not leveraging them in commercials, in fundraising, going to them and asking them to help fund the UGA AA? Why aren’t any of them on the sideline like Texas uses Matthew McConaughey?

          Yet another area where Greg McGarity fails completely as UGA AD.

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          • Jack Klompus

            SImilar to Burt Reynolds at FSU. We need Kirby to walk up to Wayne Knight…”Hello Newman…”

            The country music guys that didn’t go to UGA do a good job of reppin the G.

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            • 81Dog

              Seacrest and Amy Robach of ABC frequently acknowledge their UGA roots on tv, as does Debbie Norville.

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            • To me, the biggest one is Kyle Chandler. Emmy award winning actor who played the greatest (or luckiest considering all the last second hail mary wins) fictional football coach ever.

              UGA should have famous entertainment industry alums on the sideline for every dang game. Just put them in a rotation.

              And then they should all be leveraged in fundraising; send a personalized video to the Hartman / Magill Donors thanking them. Something like that.

              Seriously, McGarity is asleep at the dang wheel in so many ways. I hope Leebern’s ouster means McGarity’s days are also numbered.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Got Cowdog

                I don’t know about that. Matthew McConaughey being on the UT sidelines at the Sugar Bowl didn’t make me want to send them money. In fact, I believe an adroit poster here on the blog referred to him as “a prancing tart” which made me expel good bourbon through my nose.
                I wouldn’t want some Anti-Georgia blog (Looking at you Volnation) saying things like that about good ol’ Goldberg, Would you?

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                • Ben

                  As for McConaughey, my wife really enjoyed having him to look at on the sideline at the Sugar Bowl because, frankly, there wasn’t much else to look at for most of the game.

                  If Leebern getting gone means things come into a more modern era, that’ll be a good thing to see.

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              • FlyingPeakDawg

                Samuel L MFing Jackson, Evander Holyfield and Herschel roam our sidelines…don’t think we’re really missing on this as much as maybe not getting them even more involved with promotions which goes back to McG which explains a lot.

                Liked by 1 person

                • ilini84

                  I guess you missed the REM Promo?

                  Liked by 1 person

                • stoopnagle

                  DYK: UGA had almost nothing to do with this. It was done by some alums in the trade and given to UGA because they were embarrassed by the clip-art ads we were using up until this rather excellent ad.

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                • The other Doug

                  I know there are some ownership issues, but I can’t understand how this isn’t used as our in game ad regularly. I have friends with zero connection to UGA but they talk about how this is an awesome video.

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                • JCDawg83

                  That video is the best video ever made for the University of Georgia and has to be one of the best of any school.

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                • Corch Irvin Meyers New WR Corch

                  And the UGA AA had nothing to do with it. Like someone else above said, the embarrassing commercials McGarity was signing-off on led to creative alums from UGA to get together and make this on their own dime.

                  Because Greg McGarity sucks.

                  Liked by 1 person

          • stoopnagle

            I mean, I feel like we’re taking advantage of having Pollack and Maria Taylor center-stage with ESPN’s football coverage. When you coach looks at the sideline reporter after winning a playoff semifinal and tells her: “This is for you too!” You’re sort of winning without having to prance and preen too much.

            Liked by 1 person

      • 81Dog

        I guess there is no way McJughead got or kept his job without Mr. Leebern’s patronage. I wonder what this means for said AD’s continued tenure, and which direction UGA would go in the future. Are we going to seek out the best possible person for our continued athletic success? Are we going to try to mollify the intellectuals who don’t like sports and feel it lessens the overall university? Do we seek to make some kind of social statement with the hire?

        Or do we just let Kirby tell us who he wants to work with? I’m probably ok with that.

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      • I like it but wonder what’s the blowback?

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  5. Russ

    Any chance to get rid of the liquor baron and his minions is good for UGA.

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  6. Bright Idea

    Does Leebern actually possess a UGA diploma with his name on it? The article calls him an alumnus. Clarify anyone???

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    • jtp03

      attended. not a graduate.

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      • ilini84

        As a college student, Don studied Business Administration and played varsity football in 1957, 1958 and 1959 under legendary Coach Wally Butts. Nearing graduation, he left the University upon his father’s death and returned to Columbus to support his family. Don accepted the challenge of leading the family business, now known as Georgia Crown Distributing Company, as they expanded wholesale operations into three southern states, building an empire in the beverage distribution business.

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        • mwo

          He had some shady shit going on with Suzanne Yoculan for years too. They were living together but Leebern’s wife wouldn’t give him a divorce.

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  7. 81Dog

    If you judge the quality of a person based in part on his enemies, the new Governor might have gained respect from a few folks on here. I cant imagine Mr. Leeburn taking that news happily.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Got Cowdog

      Kind of makes you wonder doesn’t it? It certainly does smell personal.

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      • Chi-town Dawg

        I believe Gov. Kemp grew up in Athens and didn’t Leeburn have a big brouhaha years ago with a former Mayor of Athens? Maybe there were some family ties in Athens going back a ways.

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        • AdaWg

          Kemp didn’t get elected without Leebern’s money. That angle might be overplayed. He’s an old man, it might just be time for him to retire and hang out with his wife.

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  8. Mayor

    The gov and lt gov had better watch out. Don will beat their asses!

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  9. Hunkering Hank

    Dooley’s son is friends with Kemp. I understand they grew up together in Athens. Thus, the personal angle referenced above.

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  10. Salty Dawg

    Bye, Felicia! Take McGreedy with ya!

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  11. Gurkha Dawg

    I nominate Senator Bluto for BOR!

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    • GruvenDawg

      Hell…I recommend him as the next AD.

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      • As fun as that would be, in order to get our shit in order as quickly as possible from a facilities standpoint, there is literally only one man who should be nominated as AD, and it’s the guy who built the 1996 Olympics out of nothing: Billy Payne.

        Billy Payne should’ve been the choice after the Evans Debacle, and he’s the only choice now. Have him come in with a pre-determined 5-year window to conceptualize and implement a Masterplan for Facilities and then give way to a successor who can work directly with Kirby in the same way Mal Moored worked with Saban.

        It’s really not that difficult. It’s amazing we can’t seem to get it done.

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        • Payne isn’t interested.

          Hell, they might as well name Kirby the next AD. He’s pretty much running the joint, anyway.

          Liked by 1 person

          • You mean to tell me, if the BoR or BoD or whomever, goes to Payne, hat in hand and says, “Help us, Billy Payne. You’re our only hope,” he wouldn’t say yes?

            I know he isn’t interested in a long-term position at his age, but I have to imagine that if he looks at what Bama is doing with their $600M Masterplan and what Clemson did with their $400M Masterplan, he knows that he is the best person to put together a similar plan at UGA that truly transforms our Athletic Department and Association to being the class of all college athletics. He’s the guy who can do it. Can you think of any others who can pull off that kind of thing, put all the pieces in place to carry out a plan like that?

            Plead for him to give 5 years to get everything planned and started, and then let him ride off into the sunset as one DGD’iest of DGDs.

            Your idea to let Kirby do it really breaks down when you think of how much of his time then would be split between the two jobs. That only works under one condition I can think of: Bobo leaves CSU or is fired or whatever, and comes back to Athens as Associate Head Coach and runs the parts of the football team Kirby can’t while he does AD stuff.

            I’m sure Bama thought of Saban as their next AD, but the reason why the man wins titles better than anyone (most of the time) is because of his singular focus.

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          • AJ

            Stinchcomb next AD

            Liked by 1 person

  12. ASEF

    Fields got his green light,

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  13. Mike Cooley

    Was there ever any doubt as it relates to Fields? Bbbbb but, muh racism accusations terrify me! Eeegads! The NCAA is a joke.

    Like

  14. Stumpy Pepys

    Here’s a thought for AD: Will Jones, executive director of The Masters and UGA football alumnus! Learned the biz under Billy Payne. Really bright guy who has done a great job at Augusta bringing the tournament into the 21st century!

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  15. Illini84

    Leebern has also been a major contributor to Republican leaders. Campaign records show Leebern, his family and businesses donated about $100,000 to Deal’s two gubernatorial campaigns. The Leebern network hedged its bets in last year’s governor’s race, giving Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle $56,000 in contributions and Kemp $63,000.

    In the interview, Leebern said he was at ease with Kemp’s decision.

    “I don’t really have an issue with that,” Leebern said. “Whatever he wishes to do, I will understand.”

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  16. dawg10mc

    Good Riddance Leeburn!

    Like