Tag Archives: Greg McGarity

The Auburn decision: McGarity’s call

The least surprising quote from yesterday came from Georgia’s athletic director, whose PR skills never cease to impress.

“Every school advocates for their own desires,” McGarity said. “You get in a room and if there are certain things you want to discuss about moving or changing, there are 14 athletic directors that do that. Everybody advocates for their own. The one thing we don’t do is talk about those conversations. We follow SEC protocol, which is to talk about it in the room when you’re developing schedules.

“There are things we advocate for that nobody ever really knows about. That’s the purpose of going through that exercise. You don’t talk about in public what we talk to the Commissioner (Greg Sankey) and Mark Womack about regarding scheduling. There have been several times they’ve helped us with things that are important to our football coaches.”

This, of course, is fucking laughable.  Schools advocate publicly for scheduling changes all the time.  That’s what Auburn did in this precise case.  LSU’s Joe Alleva has bitched and moaned for years about his school’s cross-division rivalry with Florida, culminating in an ugly public spat when a hurricane disrupted the timing of their game one season.

McGarity is trying to sell the nobility of his silence as a means of avoiding having to explain to us why he accommodated Auburn’s wishes without apparently receiving anything in return.  As far as the fan base’s unhappiness with being kept in the dark about making a change to a long-standing tradition goes, well, that’s on us.  All Greg has for us is the back of his hand.

McGarity took umbrage with the notion that he had not advocated on behalf of UGA and that this move was orchestrated by Auburn with only its concerns in mind.

We’ve got some nerve.

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Filed under Georgia Football

TFW your damage control needs damage control

Every time Greg McGarity moves his lips…

“I think his comments were misinterpreted,” said McGarity. “From the very onset, if you look at the press conference in its entirety, he led off by taking full responsibility for everything. I think Tom cares deeply about these players and the perception that he was not caring or trying to shift blame to them was certainly not taken that way.

″…If you look at the whole press conference in its entirety, instead of maybe pulling a couple of graphs out and singling out those, it didn’t portray the whole story.”

an angel gets his wings ($$).

In any case, Crean said that once he read his comments, he realized he had made a mistake and that it was “heavy on his mind.” He said he considered putting out a statement over the weekend but decided to wait until Monday’s regularly scheduled media availability.

He also apologized even though his boss, athletic director Greg McGarity, defended Crean’s comments in an interview with the Athens Banner-Herald, saying they were “misinterpreted” because only a couple of paragraphs were singled out. McGarity, interestingly, did not say that Crean shouldn’t have said what he did, including the part about cutting players. But Crean did say he was wrong.

“That was definitely my mistake,” he said. “And I didn’t realize it at the time, or I’d have corrected it. I didn’t realize it until I read my words. That’s not what I meant. And it certainly wasn’t my intent. But I said it, and that’s why I’m apologizing now.” He went on to add, “It’s not about taking somebody’s scholarship. You don’t have the right to do that. But it’s about believing in guys. Right? And I want them to believe in themselves.”

Is there a more thankless job in college athletics than being a “Georgia athletic department spokesman” having to clean up after McGarity soils himself?  What’s the over/under on the number of times Claude Felton’s said “oy, not again” under his breath?

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant

“It’s really a win-win for everyone…”

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?

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Filed under Georgia Football

“McGarity didn’t want to get into details…”

Not that that’s anything new, but in light of this morning’s post about the facilities arms race, Marc Weiszer has an interesting story out now.

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.

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Filed under Georgia Football

McGarity’s “The First Word”

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.

Thus was born “The First Word”.

“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.

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Filed under Blowing Smoke, Georgia Football

His Precious

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?

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Filed under Georgia Football

Everybody likes to make a little bank.

MaconDawg, you spoilsport.

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…

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

Greg McGarity is sorry.

“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?

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Filed under Georgia Football

Take this part of the job and shove it.

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.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Mommy, why is that man talking?

There are certain deep philosophical questions I realize I’ll never get the answers to… like why does Greg McGarity continue to speak with the press?

Here’s the entirety of yesterday’s Q & A session about the change to Georgia’s Open Records law.  Keep in mind as you read it, that McGarity’s had a week to prepare his answers.

Kirby (Smart) didn’t want to answer the question last night, but how does the Open Records amendment benefit the football program?

McGarity: “Oh, I’d let Kirby address that, I mean I thought he did that yesterday. My only comment on the FOI is that it gives us a chance administratively – I like it because it gives us a chance to respond in a timely manner. We’ve had close to 100 FOI requests since Dec. 1. And it’s not just you guys in the room that are making these requests, I mean they come from everywhere. And it’s not just, ‘I need this bit of information.’ They’re very lengthy and it takes a lot of time just to estimate the time and effort it takes for those people who are doing their regular job, not necessarily to stop everything to provide this information. And some of that stuff has to be done after hours. Because it’s not like we have staff that are sitting idly by just to deal with this.”

Couldn’t you, with the budget you have and the money coming in, afford to have an Open Records manager to handle that kind of stuff full time?

McGarity: “Sure, there are so many ideas that people have out there. I just know that right now with the way we operate, it’s taxing to a lot of people.”

But there is no other state in the SEC footprint that has it less than 15 days.

McGarity: Oh I don’t know, you would have to do the research.

Why would you all need 90 when no one else needs more than 15?

McGarity: “That’s what is in the legislation, or as I understand it, that’s what’s before in the legislative process right now.

Is that the number (UGA) suggested?

McGarity: “There’s no suggestion on our part.”

It just appears to be a lack of transparency if this is passed.

McGarity: “Kirby -”

Something could be percolating for three months and not see the public light of day.

McGarity: “I have expressed myself to you all on numerous times on how it affects how you have to operate. Even things from facility development to drafts of contracts, I’m very process-orientated person as far as notification, approval. We have to operate in that world now. But as I’ve told y’all several times, if it’s draft of contracts, it has to operate in another stratosphere because otherwise it would have to be another open record for you. It just makes our job difficult just to handle just our normal business. To where we can’t work as effectively as we could dealing with everything from facility development to drafts of contracts. It makes our job that much more difficult. That’s why I think it’s helpful administratively for all the institutions that are involved in this.”

How aware (of the bill) were you and the administration before the fact?

McGarity: “I’ve made my statement on that. That’s all I need to do on that.”

Well it obviously came out of Georgia. That’s what – 

McGarity: “Kirby addressed that yesterday.”

Well he really didn’t when it got down to it.

McGarity: “He addressed it yesterday and his comments will certainly stand on its own.”

Do you worry that today it’s athletic associations, and later on this policy might spread to other areas of government?

McGarity: “I don’t know. I’m just focused on our world right now.”

Oh, brother.  Not a word in there about recruiting.  No acknowledgement that anyone at the school other than Kirby Smart had a hand in lobbying for a bill that benefits Greg McGarity more than any other public employee in the state (other than his peers at other state schools’ athletic departments).  And even his whining about contracts doesn’t make any sense, since that’s the one area exempted from the expansion of the new time frame.

Now let’s get one thing straight here.  McGarity and Smart wanted something and asked for it.  There’s certainly no great crime in that.  You can’t blame them for Georgia’s General Assembly being brain dead.  But, man, if I were a legislator reading that exchange, I’d surely be ticked off that the AD didn’t even care enough to bother to keep everyone’s story straight.

Maybe next year Kirby can go back to them and suggest a bill that would prohibit state public school athletic directors from speaking with the media.  It couldn’t hurt recruiting, could it?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery