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Monday, August 30, 2010

McGarity starts early

Greg McGarity didn't wait until his official start date of Wednesday to get going. The new athletics director at Georgia was in his office Monday, and has begun staff meetings.

We spent a few minutes with the new man in his office on Monday afternoon. A few highlights:

- McGarity agreed that the spate of offseason arrests for Georgia athletes was "too much." Eight have been arrested this calendar year, most recently Washaun Ealey on Friday.

"I think it is a problem. And it's something we want to do a 180 on across the board," McGarity said.

The new A.D. said he wanted to study the reason behind the arrests, and see what preventive measures could be taken.

"I want to learn exactly why is this happening?" McGarity said. "I want to find out an accountability, how we deal with students being accountable. How we deal with students who elect not to do what the coaches tell them to do. That's what I need to learn, before I can really make an assessment. I think it's all an education. I do think there should be consequences for people who elect not to do what's in the best interests of the team. I think just making sure that kids know that when they do make mistakes, they're certainly embarrassing, they're usually selfish mistakes. They're not thinking about their team, they're not thinking about their parents, they're not thinking about the institution. I think that those are things that I need to find out about before I really make a decision."

Five of the arrests, he said, were related to driver's licenses not being renewed. (Five football players have been arrested since last October for having suspended or invalid licenses. Ealey was arrested early Friday morning on three charges, one of them hit-and-run, the other two for suspended license and failure to appear in court over a speeding charge.)

McGarity indicated he was happy with measures that have been taken to take care of the license issue.

"Knowing what I know now, I think we have that under control now," McGarity said. "So that should not be an issue in the future. If you eliminate those, that's probably five arrests that have probably gone away."

- McGarity didn't have much information on the NCAA inquiry, which reportedly involves an interview it held with A.J. Green in July. But McGarity did say he wasn't aware of any players behind held out of Saturday's opener, other than Washaun Ealey. (Tavarres King is also suspended for the game.)

"I'm aware of (the inquiry)," McGarity said. "Am I concerned? I think you're always concerned about an inquiry until a verdict is rendered. ... I’m not really sure what the status is on that. I’m sure I’ll be brought up to date here in the next day or two.”

- As for nonconference football scheduling, McGarity said he has "some ideas." But he wants to sit down to talk with head coach Mark Richt before saying anything.

“I’ve got some ideas in mind. Some different models. But I haven’t really talked to Mark. He’s got enough on his plate," McGarity said. "Maybe when the season slows down, or if ther’es time. You know we play 11 straight games, there’s no open weekend. But that’s something I would talk to him (about). But I’ve got some ideas that I’d like to present to him, and we can talk about it.”

McGarity also had a chance to discuss the men's basketball nonconference scheduling with head coach Mark Fox. The pair ran into each other at Sunday's women's soccer game against Kansas.

"It's been made extremely clear to the athletic directors and basketball coaches on what it takes to have a good portfolio of high RPI games, and eliminating the games that are (against) the teams with 250-320 range in RPI," McGarity said.

- Overall, McGarity said he didn't plan on making any immediate big decisions. He also has no immediate plans to bring any new staff aboard. His priority for the first "30-60-90 days" is to listen and learn.

He also told the staff not to see anything he told them as micro-managing.

“What you don’t want to do is come in and say, Well this is the way we did it at the University of Florida and this is the way we’re doing it here,” McGarity said. “That would be a huge mistake. Because there’s a lot of talented people on this staff. And there are probably ways that may be just as good or maybe better than the University of Florida. So it’s gonna be important for me to learn what everybody’s doing and then at some point in time talk about changes and how we may do things, and approach things.”

Finally, the Athens native and UGA graduate marveled at his new situation in life. He pointed out that while working in the same building for the 1980s, and until he left for Florida in 1992, he worked out of an old storage closet.

Now he's in an office, where you have to walk through a glass door that says "Greg McGarity."

"When you see your name on the door, you still have to pinch yourself that this is really happening," McGarity said.


Anonymous said...

Meh. Lots of talk, let's see some action.

Dawgfan17 said...

He did show action, he started work early which means he is highly motivated and ready to get things rolling. Hopefully this will play out to be a good thing in the long run to have gotten him even if the situation for how the job became open were less than ideal.