The AJC is reporting that UGA basketball coach Dennis Felton will receive a two year contract extension and a $50,000 pay raise when the Athletic Association's executive board meets today. Felton's current deal has two years remaining and pays "only" $700K a year.
This seems like a solidly proportional move by Damon Evans and crew. The roughly 7% raise isn't god-awful ridiculous, but solid enough to signal a commitment to Coach Felton. I haven't hit the internets to see where that leaves Felton relative to other SEC coaches. Frankly though, I don't think even Coach Felton could argue with a straight face that he's yet entitled to Billy Donovan level money.
In other related news, AJC writer Terence Moore took a new job as a bass-ackwards career coach this morning, arguing (with help from some uncomfortable quotes from former Associate AD Dick Bestwick) that Tubby Smith should have stayed at Georgia.
Given Moore's reputation as a journalistic s**t-stirrer, I wasn't wholly surprised to see the quote from Bestwick essentially saying that he wishes Tubby were in Athens right now. I'm betting that wasn't how Bestwick meant it. But that's Terence Moore's schtick, and we're all used to it by now.
What's noteworthy is exactly how wrong this proposition is. Now, I have to admit that I wish Tubby had stayed at Georgia. And while I'm no Nostradamus, I feel pretty comfortable projecting that Tubby's continued tenure in the Stege would have saved us the ignobility and outright shame of the Jirsa/Harrick years.
However, as Moore notes, we were going to eventually pay Smith what Kentucky was willing to offer. I bet you Terence Moore doesn't pick his jobs based on what he's promised he'll make a few years down the road. I also think that Tubby had no way of knowing that our mammoth facilities improvement effort would come to fruition as promised and on schedule.
And this is of course before we note the fact that, oh yeah, he's got a big, honking National Championship ring to show for his trouble. Look, I like to think that Smith would have ultimately led us to the basketball promised land long before now. However, I also understand that in 1997 Athens was to college basketball as Nassau is to public sanitation: better than Mexico City, but still a long way from the Platonic ideal.
Ultimately, I'm happy with who we have and what we have right now. It's a damn sight better than our situation two years ago, and I'm comfortable that two years from now we'll again have seen improvement. I don't fault Tubby for making the decision he did, and I think on balance it worked out for him, despite the sour ending. What do ya'll think?