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Thursday, October 7, 2010

McGarity says football focus 'is on this year'

Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity said Thursday he has not had a discussion with Mark Richt’s about the head coach’s job status.

“We talk every day, every other day. But our focus has been on this year,” McGarity said after a meeting of the UGA athletic association board. “What we do is focus on: Mark, what can we do to help. Is there anything there we can do to help. We basically have those conversations. But really we don’t deal with the future. … We’ll deal with all that stuff at the appropriate time.”

McGarity does have some optimism for the Tennessee game, citing the Bulldogs’ practices this week. Richt held a full-pads practice on Monday, a rarity for him, and has said the following two days were “spirited.”

Through his own observations, including some conversations with players in the elevator, McGarity got a sense that there was a "lot of juice” in the program this week.

“If Monday and Tuesday are any indication as to how we’ve responded to a 1-4 start, all of our fans and supporters would feel very good about things heading forward to this weekend,” McGarity said.

McGarity is still hearing from a lot of those fans and supporters. Coming off the loss at Colorado, he said it’s been a “rather interesting week,” but not as active as it was after the loss to Mississippi State.

“I think you see it’s really almost 50-50,” McGarity said. “You see a lot of individuals that absolutely want change. And you see others that want change in certain ways. And very few that say ‘Mark Richt must go.’ It’s all over the map.”

One thing that was clear from the board meeting: Georgia has plenty of money. A treasury report to the board pointed to a large reserve of revenue, and the construction of Butts-Mehre came in about $5 million under budget.

Football, obviously, is a huge part of that revenue generator. Specifically ticket sales and athletic giving.

Asked about that, McGarity said the focus for the rest of this season would be on gameday atmosphere. He pointed to problems in the NFL, where there have been an increasing number of blackouts. Some attribute it to the recession, while others point to the TV experience.

“If we’re struggling a little bit, an individual is says Well do I go to a game or do I stay at home and watch it on TV,” McGarity said. “We’ve got to be creative in there and just be prepared to deal with every decision that may arise.”


Anonymous said...

There haven't exactly been any *positive* changes to the gameday atmosphere. I agree that something has to give on this point, which may be a good reason to re-open north campus for those of us who still want to head up for the games

Anonymous said...

In the words of Dr. Evil, "throw me a fricken bone here"

CSA said...


Thanks for getting more information from McGarity. His perspective is obviously more important than anyone else's, as he is Mark Richt's boss. Who else (if anyone) has a say in whether or not Richt keeps his job?

Also, a full interview/feature on McGarity, if it happened I must have missed it, would be great! Hearing about his experiences in Florida and his plans for UGA would be very valuable.

BullyMack said...

You gotta like what you hear from McGarity to this point. Honest, involved, bleeds red and black and is no-nonsense. He's not sugar-coating what he is hearing from the fans, leaving no stone unturned and is looking the players in the eye to get a read on this program. Keep it up Greg! I think he will be a Godsend for our Athletic Dept. moving forward. Thank you Damon. Where should I send your Christmas card?

Doug said...

As a season ticket holder who hasn't been to a game in years, I think he is smart to focus on the game day experience.

I go to UGA games to tail gate on N. Campus, catch up with my friends, and watch our kids run around. I'm not interested in a parking lot 3 miles from stadium.

btw, I don't hate my Dawgs. I just got out of the habit of going, and I sell the tickets to another family.

my word is ansicide

Anonymous said...

ALL we get is BAD PRESS 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

# 22 in wins 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

# 2 in Fulmer Cup 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

And, yeah, I TOLD YOU SO.

Where is Katherine ?

BulldogBen said...

Seth, to echo some other comments in this thread, it would be great if someone would ask McGarity to directly address the rampant frustrations of the season ticket holders with:

A) the unending erosion of the gameday atmosphere on campus. This may be more of an Adams question but starting all the way back to 2000 when all campus parking became off limits to gameday patrons (at least people who weren't high dollar donors) up to making N. Campus off limits last year. This is FAR from people being "oh it was better back in my day". It's as if Adams wants people simply to pay to park in a deck, go to the game, and leave.

B) The noon kickoffs affecting fans attendance and the effect on the local Athens economy combined with the dismal record. People have canceled rooms by the hundreds over there for Ark, UT, and Vandy.

C) How he justifies adding another DII opponent, which let's be honest, will be a Noon kickoff. Thus charging season ticket holders for another game they don't want, at a time they don't want, and in an eroding gameday atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Bulldog Ben. I sent a full 2 page letter to McGarity this week regarding game times, game day experience and my concerns about those. The times are devaluing tickets and they are not ALL related to our record. Certainly LaLa, Arkansas and Idaho St. had nothing to do with our record. By the way Vandy is playing Eastern Michigan on TV at night............Challenge Greg to visit those concerns.

Prince_Lightfoot said...

“If we’re struggling a little bit, an individual is says Well do I go to a game or do I stay at home and watch it on TV,”

This may solve itself: how many losses before there's no TV coverage, except crappy local PPV?

Seth Emerson said...

BulldogBen, and others,

I've just posted a new blog item that addresses a few of those issues.

As for the noon game-times, those are pretty much all dictated by TV, so there's not much UGA can do about that.

Regarding the schedule, McGarity has said often that the goal is to have as many home games as possible. In order to do that, they canceled the Oregon series and you'll see more teams like La.-Lafayette, rather than Louisville or Oregon, because BCS-conference teams require a home-and-home.

But there will only be one Div. I-AA or Div. II team per year. That was the plan under the previous regime, and will remain so now.