Category Archives: Political Wankery

Laremy Tunsil in an election year: you knew somebody would have to go there.

And that somebody is Chris Christie, pandering away.

Christie saw the video of offensive tackle prospect Laremy Tunsil apparently smoking marijuana sometime in the past through a gas mask bong, which apparently got him really, really high.

“It’s unbelievable,” Christie said. “Because the bong hits aren’t enough. Give me the gas mask too. It’s incredible. I can’t take my eyes off it. It’s unbelievable.”

For Christie the former U.S. attorney and a devout guardian of both Rutgers football and American ideals of justice, Tunsil’s actions are a grave problem.

And the governor has a strong take on what to do about it, via BuzzFeed’s Christopher Massie:

“When I was a prosecutor, I would’ve gone in and cuffed this guy,” Christie said. “I would’ve been all over it.”

That would have been fun to watch.  When’s the last time Christie cuffed somebody bigger than him?


Filed under Political Wankery

It’s more fun to spend when nobody’s watching.

You want to know why a school might want to change a state’s pesky Open Records law?  Read through this story about what the University of Illinois spent on its search for a new athletic director – the search only, mind you – and you’ll get an idea.

All told, the cost to keep those interviews far from prying eyes in Illinois exceeded $11,000 — from the limousine service that shuttled candidates back and forth, to the Indianapolis Airport ($1,096.52) to the breakfast and lunch buffets at the hotel ($3,854), to dinner for 12 at restaurants like Prime 47 steak house ($987.31, including the $160 tip).

That doesn’t include more than $11,000 spent on the flights, hotel rooms and other travel expenses for candidates themselves.

Maybe that’s the kind of recruiting the Georgia legislature had in mind when it passed SB 323.



Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

Race to the bottom

Nathan Deal is all in on Senate Bill 323.

Our AJC colleague Dan Chapman asked him Wednesday why he signed Senate Bill 323, which allows the athletic departments at UGA, Georgia Tech and other state colleges to wait 90 days before responding to Open Records Act requests. Athletic associations, like all state agencies, previously had three days to acknowledge the requests.

“The members of the General Assembly felt that that was necessary and I’m sure Greg and you have already tried to figure out how long it takes for the University of Alabama to respond to similar inquiries already being made of the University of Georgia as well,” he told Chapman. “We’ll see how long it takes you to get a response from them.”

I never thought I’d see the day when the overriding goal of my state government would be for this state to become more like Alabama.  Or that most people would think that was swell.  Maybe we ought to scour their books for a few more ideas.


Filed under Political Wankery, Whoa, oh, Alabama

It’s not Kirby’s Law: today’s lesson in civics

If you want to get a taste of what’s really behind Georgia’s new Open Records law (hint:  it ain’t recrootin’), start by taking a look at this Jon Solomon piece about the money spent by schools on search firms when they replace head coaches.

At Georgia, after Mark Richt was fired, there was little doubt who the Bulldogs had pegged at No. 1: Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart. Georgia paid $42,175 to CarrSports Consulting for Bill Carr’s help in the search.

Carr didn’t act as an intermediary for Georgia and didn’t contact anyone connected with Smart, Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said. Instead, McGarity said Carr helped by talking with him on the phone and meeting in Atlanta for multiple days to discuss every facet of the search.

“You talk about strengths and weaknesses of a number of candidates,” McGarity said. “You look at things as simple as YouTube videos. How does an individual handle a tough situation? Are they able to be an effective communicator? Some candidates have a lot more available online than others. With the ability to search and take the time necessary to do that, you have so many more tools at your disposal that can help elevate candidates or dismiss candidates.”

McGarity said Carr helped in case Georgia had “blind spots” when discussing candidates. He also helped prepare the Bulldogs for the transition of a new staff.

“In some ways, we had been operating for 15 years in one way,” McGarity said. “So having someone assist in that transition period on what we should expect and how we should approach certain things administratively was extremely beneficial to us as a staff.”

“Ah,” you say.  “Bluto, it’s been more than ninety days since Kirby Smart was hired.  Wouldn’t this information be available now, even under the new law?”

It would.  But look what you’re getting at this point –  a fairly dry assessment of McGarity’s management decision that’s placed in the general context of how every school handles this.  What’s lost now is the context of judging McGarity’s comment at the time of Richt’s presser that he intended to retain a search firm going forward.

As we know, that was a complete load of crap.  McGarity spoke to Carr in mid-October.  The reality was that Kirby Smart was the man he wanted from the beginning; any preference to conduct a patient search to hire Smart went out the window when word leaked that South Carolina was talking with him about that head coaching job.

Now none of this is exactly a serious threat to the American way of life, certainly, but it is an indication of how Georgia’s athletic department goes about its business. Except that ninety days out, our impression of the contradictions in McGarity’s statement loses the impact of immediacy.  Which is what he wants, and, with the benefit of the new law, gets.

Maybe that doesn’t matter to you.  Maybe it goes out in the wash when Georgia wins the SEC this season.  But if you’re somebody like me who’s shaken his head over the years about the way Butts-Mehre operates and how that’s had an impact on the performance of Georgia athletics, it’s not exactly a cause for celebration.  If it would help to see this in a more graphic way, try to imagine how Michael Adams would have operated had this new law been in place two decades ago.  Yeah, me, too.


Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

Nick Saban never had a law named after him.

Raise your hand if you thought an early distraction in Kirby Smart’s career would be him spending time denying his role in the passage of a state law on records disclosure.


Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

Don’t cross the streams.

The most inevitable thing you’ll see today about Georgia football…

… has nothing to do with, you know, football.


UPDATE:  Okay, the second-most inevitable thing you’ll see today about Georgia football. Here’s your new champ.

I’m sure somebody can explain how this helps recruiting.



Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

Today, in great moments in journalism

Okay, it may not be Woodward and Bernstein, but, honestly, you’ve gotta give Marc Weiszer a major tip of the cap for using an open records request to get the details on Kirby Smart’s day lobbying the state legislature to change the open records law.  I love it.


Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery