Depending on your point of view, Matt Borman was Greg McGarity’s most substantial hire. He’s leaving for a similar job at LSU, and leaves quite the legacy behind in Athens.
Since arriving at UGA in February of 2017 to oversee athletic fundraising, Borman and his staff have seen the Magill Society for high-end Bulldog donors grow from 475 members to nearly 1,400 and signed pledges from $36 million to more than $160 million.
Borman’s “proud of the culture we’ve created in the Bulldog Club” and while I can’t say I share the sentiment, there’s little question that he’s had a significant impact in that regard. With he and McGarity leaving, it will be interesting to see who is tasked with the important role of vacuuming the fan base’s collective wallet efficiently as possible. Like it or not, those will be some big shoes to fill.
As I mentioned in the podcast referenced in my previous post, this state’s NIL bill has passed the Legislature and awaits the governor’s signature. But I think I need to amend/clarify part of what I said. The bill, which is scheduled to go into effect on July 1st, went through a number of amendments, one of which provided that NIL compensation could not be paid directly to a player immediately, but, instead, would be placed in escrow until that player had been away from the school for a minimum of a year. I believe I mentioned that in a previous post, and raised a concern that it might be weaponized against Kirby on the recruiting trail by coaches at programs that did not have similar restrictions on receipt of payment.
Somebody must have had the proverbial light bulb go off, because that’s no longer how the bill reads. Here’s the pertinent part:
(B) Team contracts may provide for a pooling arrangement whereby student athletes who receive compensation for the use of their name, image, or likeness pursuant to this article agree to contribute a portion of the compensation they receive pursuant to such contract to a fund for the benefit of individuals previously enrolled as student athletes in the same postsecondary educational institution as such student athlete, provided that such pooling arrangement meets the following conditions:
(i) Student athletes shall not be required to contribute an amount equal to more than 75 percent of the compensation received for the use of their name, image, or likeness pursuant to this article;
(ii) Each postsecondary educational institution shall establish only for the purposes of this paragraph an escrow account in any bank or lending institution subject to regulation by this state only;
(iii) All contributions from student athletes who receive compensation for the use of their name, image, or likeness pursuant to this article shall be deposited in such escrow account by the athletic director of the postsecondary educational institution,or his or her designee;
(iv) Upon graduation or withdrawal for at least 12 months from the postsecondary educational institution, individuals who were student athletes prior to such graduation or withdrawal, shall be eligible to receive a pro rata share of the pooled contributions based on the number of months the individual was a student athlete; and
(v) The postsecondary educational institution shall provide for the implementation of the provisions of this paragraph in a manner that does not discriminate against or treat differently individuals based upon race, gender, or other personal status protected by federal or state law.
The arrangement is now voluntary, at the choice of the school. In other words, it’s up to a school to determine if it wants to impose such a restriction, rather than it being automatically imposed by statute. Before you dismiss that, remember this is the Georgia Way we’re talking about. (If Richt were still head coach, I suspect they would have stuck him with that in the blink of an eye; presumably Kirbs ain’t playing that game.)
Note, also, the arrangement that the school can elect to impose on a student-athlete doesn’t just postpone payment. It redistributes up to three-quarters of the money received for an individual’s NIL into a general fund to benefit that student-athlete’s contemporaries. That thousand dollars a kid gets to meet and greet at a car dealership could get whittled down considerably. You may think that’s noble — presumably the General Assembly does — but, again, I doubt that sits well on the recruiting trail.
The other interesting feature of that is contained in the very last subsection. By a school inserting itself into the payment arrangement as the legislation contemplates, there seems to be a concern that things like Title IX might come into play. If that’s the case, it’s an effective way to make a compromised situation worse.
G-Day bloviation from yours truly and a stellar Dawgosphere cast of Graham, Josh and Jeremy (aka macondawg):
Just a handy reminder from Seth Emerson ($$) that G-Day is not the occasion for breakout performances that mean much in the big picture:
We all remember A.J. Turman’s star performance (126 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries) in Georgia’s spring game in 2015. A year later he was transferring to Florida Atlantic.
Two years ago the leading receiver at G-Day was Trey Blount (5 catches for 69 yards), and yet when the season rolled around and Georgia struggled at receiver Blount had all of one catch.
Seth thinks the value tomorrow comes from getting an early read on how the depth charts shape up, although he goes on to note it’s a long time from April to September.
I think the other issue to consider about the two deeps on both sides of the ball is that I’m certain Smart isn’t done fishing around in the transfer portal. Tykee Smith is already on board for August and it will a shock if he’s not starting against Clemson. As I mentioned in an earlier post today, what may be valuable tomorrow is a final consideration as spring practice concludes about whether further shoring up is needed at wide receiver and cornerback. (That’s another reason to expect a lot of passing tomorrow.)
To reiterate, I think the biggest thing to watch at G-Day is whether players at certain positions improve their mechanics. The next biggest thing is to see what kind of physical improvements have been worked by the S&C coaches. Third is to see what the early enrollees bring to the table. How many of them look like they can be contributors in 2021?
The DI Council approved all Division I sports to return to their regular recruiting calendars beginning on June 1, the NCAA announced on Thursday.
The Council acknowledged schools in different areas of the country could be limited based on regulations set by campus, city and state requirements, but the schools are no longer restricted by the created dead period that had been enacted since March 13, 2020.
“We are delighted to announce that as of June 1, all sports will return to their normal recruiting calendars,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “We want to thank all prospective student-athletes, their families, coaches and current student-athletes for their patience as we determined the best way to move forward safely with recruiting in Division I.”
Translation: we’ve let the cheap asses save money on their recruiting budgets as long as we could. You’re on your own again, fellas.
Football recruiting will have separate waivers and allowances as the Council is permitting on-campus evaluations during unofficial visits during the days football camps, and clinics are allowed in June and July 2021.
For FBS programs, there will be a quiet period allowing camps and on-campus visits from June 1 through June 27, a dead period from June 28 through July 24 and a return to a quiet period July 25 through July 31.
That waiver will allow coaches to work players out individually while on unofficial visits to help make up for time lost with missed evaluation periods over the last year.
Why do I have the feeling Kirby Smart wakes up today with a ginormous, shit eating grin on his face?
As if we needed much confirmation on the subject, Allen Kenney reminds us that these preseason computer rankings that are cropping up now are constrained by the data they’re being fed.
Analytics and college football fandom have a tempestuous relationship. If a system spits out a favorable projection for your favorite squad, it’s gospel. When the computers foretell doom, the nerds must be tinkering with their numbers to screw your team specifically.
The stats geeks will leave fans falling in and out of love all over again this year. The coronavirus-inflicted chaos of 2020 yielded screwier data than usual. Meanwhile, programs are navigating the new terrain of the transfer portal and changing guidelines on transfer participation. Oh, and the NCAA ruled that no one used a year of eligibility in ‘20, meaning that rosters might look pretty funky in the fall.
Other than that, these projections are perfect.
Lots of good stuff here about how tomorrow lines up, but the injury list is a little sobering:
RB Kenny McIntosh – Out (Elbow)
WR Dominick Blaylock – Out (Knee)
WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint – Out (Ankle)
WR George Pickens – Out (Knee)
TE Ryland Goede – Out (Shoulder)
OL Micah Morris – Out (Shoulder)
DT Julian Rochester – Out (Knee)
LB Trezmen Marshall – Out (Shoulder)
LB Nakobe Dean – Out (Shoulder)
LB MJ Sherman – Out (Shoulder)
WR Jermaine Burton – Doubtful (Knee)
WR Justin Robinson – Questionable (Achilles/ankle)
TE Darnell Washington – Questionable (Undisclosed)
LB Xavian Sorey – Questionable (Foot/Ankle)
WR Arian Smith – Probable (Wrist)
CB Kelee Ringo – Probable (Shoulder)
OL Jamaree Salyer – Probable (Undisclosed)
Barrett Sallee suggests the thing to watch tomorrow is the receiving corps.
Georgia: Who steps up in Pickens’ absence?
Georgia is going to be a chic pick to win the national title this summer, but the ACL injury suffered by wide receiver George Pickens earlier this spring has put the spotlight on a wide receiving corps that doesn’t have a deep threat capable of taking the top off of a defense. To compound the issue, Georgia only has three receivers who have seen meaningful snaps available on Saturday — Demetris Robertson, Kearis Jackson and Arian Smith. I wrote in our staff picks last week that Robertson is one of the most intriguing players in the country, but Jackson actually led the Bulldogs in receiving last year by one yard over Pickens. Somebody has to be “that dude,” and we will get an idea of who Smart has in mind on Saturday. Bottom line, Georgia’s running backs and offensive line should be fine. A wide receiving corps that can pose enough of a threat deep to keep defenses honest could be what makes the Bulldogs a contender instead of a pretender.
I think the suggestion that we’ll get an idea of who Smart has in mind at G-Day is stretching things a bit. I don’t know that I can recall a receiver who’s won a starting job at G-Day. That being said, I do think the passing game will get a workout tomorrow, for more than one reason. The receiver I’m most curious about is true freshman Adonai Mitchell, who’s been getting a fair amount of preseason buzz. Is that hype, or is there something to it?
On the flip side, is there at least one cornerback who looks like he might be ready to step up and fill some big shoes left by the departure of the three starters from 2020? Marc Weiszer lists some of the contestants:
Perhaps nowhere is the competition the fiercest as it is at cornerback.
Senior Ameer Speed and redshirt freshman Jalen Kimber are vying for starting jobs along with redshirt freshman Kelee Ringo and true freshmen Nyland Green and Lovasea Carroll.
If not, those rumors that Smart is ready to dip back into the portal for another DB are bound to intensify.
This is the sound of a man who’s had several staff members gaming out the new transfer rules for a while now.
In other words, roster management on steroids.
Remember that Bum Phillips quote about the Bear — “Bryant can take his’n and beat your’n, and then he can turn around and take your’n and beat his’n.”? Saban’s just updated that to say he’ll take his’n and take your’n.
Go ahead and shut the Internet down. Nobody’s ever gonna top this take about the new transfer rule:
“People say it’s like NFL free agency. You hear that all the time. No, it’s not,” one Power Five football assistant said. “The NFL has a cap and they can pay money. You can outbid somebody. [In college,] you just gotta out-bullshit somebody.”