Treading in AirForceDawg’s footsteps again, here’s an interesting data trend line for those of you who think Richt’s and Smart’s financial backing from Butts-Mehre have been similar. It’s a spreadsheet of Georgia football expenses for the last four fiscal years (2014/5-2017/8) as tallied by the Equity in Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool.
Football Men’s Team Expenses 26154335 38884925 36387975 44909546
From $26 million to almost $45 million… quite the increase there. All of which reminds me of something I read at a blog once.
I mention this story not in a fit of jealousy, nor to condemn another program’s wasteful spending. Rather, it’s a perfect example of what the Georgia Way is up against. Regardless of where you think Richt falls on the performance spectrum, you cannot deny that for the bulk of his time in Athens, he was not allowed the resources to duke it out with Georgia’s main rivals.
Forget about the IPF. Georgia was one of the last schools to give out multi-year contracts to assistant coaches. (Ironically, the administration got away with that because of staff loyalty to Richt.) Saban bulks up support staff; Richt is forced to come out of his own pocket to pay bonuses to his assistants. Georgia’s recruiting budget was far short of what other conference schools were allocating until this year.
If you manage an SEC football program, there’s a difference between being committed to winning and being financially committed to winning. Everybody wants to win. The hard part is figuring out how to allocate resources to make sure that happens. And, no, that doesn’t mean spending money like a drunken sailor. (We’re looking at you, Tennessee.) It simply means that if you think your rightful place is among the Alabamas, Floridas and LSUs of the world, you’d better take a hard look at what they’re doing and make sure you’re giving your coaching staff the opportunity to keep up with them.
Is Smart a better head coach than Richt? Yeah, he is that. Has he received better support — far better support — to succeed than Richt got? Numbers don’t lie, peeps. It’s actually possible to accept both points without feeling like you’ve compromised yourself. Especially when it works.
What you should be pissed about as a Georgia fan is what might have been accomplished if the athletic administration had been in all along as it’s been for the past two or three years.