Category Archives: Jimmy Sexton is the Nick Saban of agents and is Nick Saban’s agent

You got played.

As the old cliché goes, Jimmy Sexton plays eleven-dimensional chess while Greg McGarity plays checkers.

In fact, there’s always been the thought in some circles that Georgia accelerated its search to hire Smart before the Gamecocks could make an offer. Smart was announced as the Bulldogs new coach on Dec. 6, 2015. Muschamp was introduced as South Carolina’s coach on the same day.

This week at the SEC’s annual spring meeting, Gamecocks athletics director Ray Tanner addressed the idea that Georgia “stole” Smart from South Carolina.

“I don’t think that’s exactly how it played out,” he said. “I think we had zeroed in on all the best coaches we could at that time. He was a guy that everybody thought highly of, but he was one of many who was on our list at the time.”

Yeah, it all worked out, once again proving the adage about it’s better being lucky than good, but let’s not kid ourselves.  Letting Sexton drive the hiring train wasn’t the way a well-run program with the top job offering in college football should have gone about its business.

Jimmy’s probably good with McGarity getting a contract extension now, though.  So there’s that.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Jimmy Sexton is the Nick Saban of agents and is Nick Saban's agent

This is what Greg In Charge looks like.

If you’re wondering who wears the pants in Butts-Mehre these days, look no further than the buyout provisions in Kirby’s new contract.

The buyout for Smart if he were to resign or terminate the agreement is as follows depending on the calendar year:

2018: $6 million

2019: $6 million

2020: $4 million

2021: $3 million

2022: $2 million

2023: $1 million

2024: no buyout.

If Georgia were to fire Smart without cause, he would be paid 65 percent of any remaining compensation owed to him.  [Emphasis added.]

That would be at the start of:

2019: $27.56 million

2020: $23.20 million

2021: $18.79 million

2022: $14.24 million

2023: $9.55 million

2024: $4.81 million

Jimmy Sexton has been given a license to manipulate Butts-Mehre financially for the lifetime of Kirby’s gig in Athens.  That’ll show him who’s boss.

I hope Jimmy’s at least gracious enough to send McGarity a Christmas card every year.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Jimmy Sexton is the Nick Saban of agents and is Nick Saban's agent

Jimmy Sexton’s Kryptonite

Apparently, there are some bridges that even Sexton can’t cross.

According to a report from Gridiron Now’s Mark Nagi, who recently spoke to Kiffin for an upcoming book on Tennessee football, former Vols athletic director John Currie told super agent Jimmy Sexton that his client would “never be the head coach” at Tennessee as long as he was in charge.

“What normally happens in those things is when jobs come open, there is usually communication with the agent and the athletic director,” Kiffin said in a phone interview earlier this week. “The agent says something like, ‘Hey, I got these eight to 10 guys; what do you think about this guy here or there?’ … Then the AD says, ‘I want to interview those two guys; those sound good.’

“In that conversation with [agent] Jimmy Sexton — who has a million guys obviously, so it’s not just about me, it’s about all the guys — … [then-Tennessee athletic director] John Currie says, ‘Lane will never be the head coach as long as I’m the athletics director here.’ So once he said that, I didn’t think about it. So that kind of answered that.”

Of course, if I had to pick a bridge, it would be Junior.  Sexton had to know the job was dangerous when he took it.

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“Coaches are focused on recruiting, so probably after recruiting’s over, we’ll get into that.”

Shorter Greg McGarity:  I’m waiting for Jimmy Sexton to tell me what number I have to plug into Kirby’s contract extension.

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The SEC’s most powerful man is…

I’m really enjoying the continuing saga of Hugh Freeze and Alabama.  There are more than a few behind the scenes twists and turns and I can’t wait to see how they sort out.

To start with, it sounds unlikely that Freeze will be named the new offensive coordinator.  Most of the Internet chatter points to a promotion from within the staff for Mike Locksley, who has OC experience and is also an excellent recruiter.

That being said, Freeze isn’t out of the picture.  It’s complicated.  Here’s what TideSports is reporting:

Earlier this week, I reported that former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze had been in Tuscaloosa and at UA to meet with Saban. Saban respects Freeze’s offensive mind, and given the fact Ole Miss gave Alabama fits during Freeze’s tenure it’s easy to see why. So what would Freeze’s role be if Saban hired him? It’s a great question and one that, as of Tuesday morning, hadn’t been settled upon yet. Saban is really pushing for Freeze to be an on-the-field coach, The Tuscaloosa News has learned. Others in the program don’t want that happening. How much autonomy Saban has in this particular situation is unknown given Freeze’s recent history with the NCAA. Another aspect to this is that should Alabama decided to hire Freeze as an on-the-field coach, it would likely need the blessing of SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. Sankey isn’t keen on that happening, The Tuscaloosa News has learned.

Sankey denying Freeze?  Perhaps, if you take this info at face value.

The problem I have with the word “blocked” there is that I don’t believe Sankey has the power to make a unilateral call like that.  Nor am I certain it would be legal, even if he did.  Tom Fornelli says much the same thing:

However, sources tell CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd differently, saying the SEC does not have the ability to stand in the way of Saban hiring Freeze. While an SEC bylaw states a school is supposed to consult commissioner Greg Sankey when it wishes to hire an individual with major NCAA violations, the hiring decision is ultimately made by the school, not the conference.

Freeze was hit with a two-game suspension by the NCAA, but only as a head coach. He could serve as Alabama’s offensive coordinator without missing any time, but he still has that NCAA baggage.

Does anybody really believe that Nick Saban is in the least bit concerned about NCAA baggage?  All that likely means is that Alabama’s AD is caught between the crossfire of Saban’s wishes and Sankey’s preference.

But the story wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the presence of one other influential individual.  Per FootballScoop,

Mike Locksley is expected to take over as offensive coordinator sources tell FootballScoop. Hugh Freeze has now met with Nick Saban. We hear Jimmy Sexton believes this is the right way to get Hugh back into things. Although this is not a done deal, most coaches we speak with believe Hugh will wind up at Alabama in some capacity.  [Emphasis added.]

Nick’s just tryin’ to help a brotha’ out, y’all.  If you’re the ‘Bama AD, do you really want to get on the bad side of Nick and Jimmy?  I bet he’s been reassuring himself over the last day or so that Sankey will get over it.

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Another good day for Jimmy Sexton

If Boom is worth north of $4 million a year, escalating beyond $5 million, what’s Kirby Smart worth now?

Look out reserve fund… or Hartman Fund contributions.

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Maybe it was meant to be.

I have to preface this by saying I don’t think even Nick Saban is this devious, but, damn, do I wish this was evidence of some serious eleventh-dimensional chess being played.

Talk to people behind the scenes on the Plains, and Auburn 26, Alabama 14 changed everything for Gus Malzahn and the Tigers. Without that victory, insiders say, it’s all but certain Malzahn wouldn’t have that new seven-year, $49-million guaranteed contract.

It’s quite possible he would be the new coach at Arkansas instead.

Go back to the next-to-last week of November. Thanksgiving week. Iron Bowl week. There was a curious vibe at Auburn.

It didn’t matter that the Tigers had beaten Georgia for the first time in four years, dominating the No. 1 Bulldogs as they hadn’t in decades in a 40-17 statement. Or that, despite having two losses on their resume, they had set up an Iron Bowl that would decide the SEC West title and maybe more.

Malzahn was concerned about the Alabama game for a different reason, people close to him say. He was convinced a fourth straight loss to the Crimson Tide would cost him his job. He may not have been wrong.

… Malzahn himself was fully aware of the possibility that the Iron Bowl could be an all-or-nothing proposition. His most insistent demand in the negotiations was that the entire amount of the contract be guaranteed to make it financially prohibitive to fire him in the future.

As concerned as he was, Malzahn had leverage in the Arkansas opening. While the Razorbacks weren’t offering the same kind of money Malzahn eventually got from Auburn, insiders said, that job was Malzahn’s if he wanted it.

Then came Auburn 26, Alabama 14.

Given what they perceived as the choice between losing a coach who’d beaten Georgia and Alabama to a lesser rival in the SEC West or making Malzahn one of the highest-paid coaches in college football, Auburn’s leaders put their faith in Malzahn. They put together a massive new deal that was essentially in place before the loss to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.

Or, as Malzahn skeptics in the Auburn family put it, Auburn got played by Arkansas and Malzahn’s agent Jimmy Sexton, and Auburn caved.

Those skeptics fear that Auburn has given Malzahn too much power based on too little production, that it will be financially disastrous and thus impossible to fire him if he goes 8-5, 7-6 and 8-5 the next three years, that he’ll have no real boss going forward because there will be a new athletics director learning the territory soon.

If you think there’s a downside to Gus being at Auburn for the long haul, then the way things have turned out is a win-win-win for Malzahn, Saban and Sexton.  And all it cost was a loss that didn’t affect Alabama’s chances of making the CFP.

It couldn’t have turned out any better if the three of them had planned it.

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