Greg McGarity is big on catch phrases. You’ll find them posted all over his office and occasionally on his personal things. Like the coffee mug that sits on his desk in his office on the fourth floor at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall.
“Life Is All About How You Handle Plan B,” it says in colorful hand-painted script.
A close friend gave it to the Georgia athletic director recently. It really hit home, considering the year McGarity and Georgia athletics just had.
It seemed the Bulldogs were constantly having to turn to Plan B in 2014. Like how to conduct a swim season without legendary coach Jack Bauerle, who was suspended and under NCAA investigation; like having run a $100 million operation without your CFO, Frank Crumley, who was forced to resign for having an inappropriate relationship with a married subordinate; like having to play a football season without Todd Gurley, the Heisman Trophy candidate tailback who had sold autographed merchandise on the side.
And to top it all off, McGarity had to deal with rumors about a sour relationship with football coach Mark Richt.
Well, I declare, Miz Scarlett! How in the world did such scurrilous talk evah begin? Po’ ole Greg has absolutely no idea. He’s quite perplexed, the dear man.
But it’s football that drives the passion — and revenue — at Georgia. And late last season rumors of a growing rift between McGarity and Richt grew to palpable proportions. Fan chat rooms and even the social media accounts of some otherwise reputable outlets were ablaze with gossip and speculation that McGarity was going to make a coaching change if the Bulldogs lost to Louisville in the Belk Bowl.
Georgia won handily, 37-14. But McGarity scoffs at the notion that game was in any way a referendum for Richt or his staff.
“I’m not really sure where that stuff comes from,” McGarity said. “There are only two people involved, Mark and myself, and I have no idea where that came from. … Mark and I, we’re fine.”
I can’t say for sure if he’s referring to Richt or Bradley there (I say, that’s a joke, son), but if he really can’t figure out where all the smoke at the Belk Bowl presser came from, the latter might be the place to find a clue. I guess this is like the time McGarity claimed he couldn’t understand the criticism made about how there was “a PR nightmare” surrounding the way the school handled the Gurley suspension.
Maybe somebody can explain to me why Andy Staples’ “sharp athletic director” keeps wondering out loud how all these things just unexpectedly happen to him. Sure is strange.