Maybe it’s just me, but when you hear Greg McGarity wax rhapsodic (“I think would not only excite our team but our fans in traveling”) over the possibility of future home-and-homes against big name opponents, don’t you get the feeling that what excites him the most is the opportunity to leverage more contributions from Magill Society donors?
Tag Archives: Greg McGarity
As Georgia puts the finishing touches on its west end zone project in Sanford Stadium, it is laying the groundwork for more changes on the horizon to its football facilities.
“We are working on plans to enhance the football spaces that are currently in the Butts-Mehre building in the future,” athletic director Greg McGarity said. “We are looking at all type of options. It’s more or less a feasibility and massing exercise now where things could potentially go and how they fit. …All football spaces will be under review.”
Expect a larger weight room (currently 12,000 square feet) and other upgrades that could include additional office space to accommodate an expanded support staff and to the locker room the team uses on practice days.
“The misconception is everybody thinks it’s just the weight room,” McGarity said. “We’re talking about all football spaces, but we’re in the feasibility process right now.”
Georgia added 53,000 square feet to the Butts-Mehre building and renovated another 23,000 square feet in a project completed in 2011 at a cost of about $40 million. The domed structure opened 31 years ago.
“Staffs have expanded, services are now necessary to provide on-campus recruiting experiences,” McGarity said. “It’s a different way of thinking. What happens is you run out of room. Those are things we’re looking at right now, really every space inside the Butts-Mehre building is under evaluation.”
You know, the kind of thing a competent athletic director who stayed focused on something more than just making sure reserve fund deposits kept coming in might have done at least five years ago.
At this point, the best I can hope for Butts-Mehre is that they luck out and make a Kirby Smart-type hire when McGarity’s gone.
If you were wondering what some of the references were in yesterday’s comment threads about “The First Word”, it seems that Georgia’s master of PR has decided it would be to his advantage to speak directly with the fan base rather than let the pesky media dictate the narrative.
“You will begin to see more frequent news coming your way via emails under the tag line “The First Word”. Our intent is to bring the major news to you first, instead of reading about it via the media outlets. There are times when we can’t predict what issues are brought to light in the various forms of media, and out commitment is to respond accordingly when clarification is necessary…” [Emphasis added.]
In other words, it takes less effort to spin than to figure out a course of action to address what actually might be troubling the fan base — excepting the big donors, of course.
Given McGarity’s track record, I have no doubt this will be as an unqualified a success as his hiring record has proven to be. Surely, if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that “remain calm, all is well” never fails to satisfy.
If this isn’t the most distilled essence of the core value of every fiber of Greg McGarity’s being, I don’t know what is.
Last year, Georgia and every other SEC school received $32.7 million as part of its annual payout. It was $31.2 million the prior year. Back in 2009, it was only $11 million per school. This year’s payout won’t be announced until next month, but it’s again expected to be a record amount.
So what’s the need to continue to charge the student fee at all?
“If I’ve got a $3 million hole there, I’ve either got to cut $3 million out of my budget (or do something else). So it’s a huge part of our revenue source,” McGarity said.
But UGA also projects that – even after increasing spending on football and the indoor athletic facility – it will have more than $63 million in its reserve fund at the end of this fiscal year. Couldn’t the student fee be waived and the $3 million be made up for by dipping into the reserve fund?
“That’d be like you or me going into our 401k,” McGarity said. “We don’t want to do that.”[Emphasis added.]
All these years, and it turns out the Georgia Way is just like funding somebody’s retirement. I keed, I keed (I hope), but it’s worth pointing this out as a retort:
The student fees result in the second-largest known subsidy of any SEC school, according to USA Today. Auburn, which receives a $4.3 million subsidy, is the only one with more. (Vanderbilt’s numbers, as a private school, are not known.) Six SEC schools don’t receive a subsidy at all.
Allow Mr. Rainy Day to respond.
Student attendance has actually been a frustration for many at Georgia. They often don’t sell out their 16,000 allotment. When Scates was on the board he helped organize a Young Alumni program, allowing recently graduated students to buy up some of those unsold student tickets.
So what about finding $3 million somewhere else and letting in students for free for football games?
“That’s 16,000 seats right there,” McGarity said. “You can’t be all things to all people. Our financial model has to work.”
That’s right. You don’t mess with the reserve fund, peeps. Besides, you’ve got to train these kids early to recognize their true utility to Georgia athletics. Teach a student to pay a mandatory athletic fee, and you make a wallet for life. Or something.
I know I’m repeating myself here, but who in the world at Georgia thinks it’s a good idea for McGarity to explain himself in public?
It stands to reason then that Foley might recommend turning the reins over to a guy who already knows his way around the place. Could Greg Mcgarity leave his post in Athens to become the athletic director at the University of Florida?
Much to the chagrin of a truly committed group of Bulldog fans, I think the answer is no.
Eh, for the record, I don’t disagree, mainly because I don’t see that McGarity’s done enough since he’s left Gainesville to make him that enticing a replacement for Foley. (The sneering condom references likely to be contained in a McGarity-to-Florida story alone make it unlikely.)
But MaconDawg’s raised one amusing possibility that I can’t resist touching upon.
And as much as Florida fans might disagree, it is essentially a lateral move. Florida does not offer significantly more in the way of resources, and in fact may offer less in terms of revenue to work with. Admittedly, Georgia’s revenue hasn’t been spent on its athletic director. McGarity makes roughly $600,000 per year, which certainly ain’t that bad. But Foley earns about twice that ($1,230,000) at Florida. McGarity’s current contract runs through 2019 after being extended this time last year, but if necessary I suspect the board could find a few extra dollars to keep him.
Actually, he’s wrong about Florida’s revenues, at least according to the numbers published in USA Today. The Gators took in about $30 million more last year than did Georgia; they also spent about $30 million more. But I digress. What would really be funny is if McGarity were to use the opening in Gainesville as a means to leverage the athletic board into giving him a salary bump. If only he were represented by Jimmy Sexton…
“We just didn’t pay enough attention to the details, and that’s my job regardless of who signs it.”
Well, yeah, that is your job. So are they gonna make you run stadium steps until you puke, or what?
You may have missed this news in the heat of the debate over the political stuff affecting Georgia athletics, but it may be another sign that Kirby Smart vs. The Georgia Way is a battle that the new head coach is winning in more ways than one.
Kirby Smart will have a scaled back UGA speaking tour from what Mark Richt did in recent spring stops.
Smart is expected to appear at just three fan events…
Richt appeared at seven UGA Day events last year and at 10 of 12 in 2014.
I guess Kirby doesn’t have time for that shit. Nor is McGarity, as he did with Richt, making Smart find time for it.
If you’ll recall, for all the highfalutin’ talk about how when McGarity took the AD job his intent was to allow Richt to focus on his core job responsibilities, the language in Richt’s contract was quite different.
It’s Richt’s job to maximize that revenue. His contract specifies that he “take any and all reasonable actions … to generate substantial net revenue for the Association and University,” an unusual clause for coaching contracts.
“It’s just stating the obvious,” McGarity says.
Richt’s contractual duties also include soliciting sponsors for marketing opportunities and helping to find donors for scholarship endowments…
… Richt’s contract is unusually specific about his media and other public relations duties, including no fewer than 12 appearances at Bulldog Club meetings throughout the Southeast and no fewer than two full days each year assisting the school’s president in fundraising activities. Parameters for his radio and TV appearances are spelled out in detail in his nearly 40-page contract and in greater detail in a 191-page multimedia and marketing rights licensing agreement that the contract specifies be provided to him.
Richt would never criticize that as bullshit, but it’s telling that at his new gig even he’s utilizing his time in other ways than was the case under McGarity.
Richt himself is doing extra work this spring thanks to his decision to wear multiple hats in the new job. Thomas Brown, a former Georgia running back under Richt, technically holds the offensive coordinator title, but Richt fully plans to call the offense. His son is technically the quarterback coach, but Kaaya hears plenty from the head man himself throughout practices.
He’s cut back on speaking engagements and returning written correspondence
“It’s just like, a lot of times you’ll see presidents of the university, when they retire from being president, they go back and teach. They go back to their first love, so to speak,” he said. “That’s what I’m doing.”
So if Kirby’s put his foot down here, good for him. You know this one had to hurt the keeper of the reserve fund a bit. Good thing there’s all that extra SEC Network money rolling in.