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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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