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An Exhortation to Bulldog Nation

For those of you who might not have seen it, Damon Evans recently had some things to say about the state of University of Georgia athletics (with emphasis added):

"First of all, I'm proud that we have good football here at the University of Georgia. It's outstanding," Evans said. "But I don't want people to look at us as just a football program. I want them to see that we're the total package, that we're a total athletics program. When you get to this time of year and you look at our spring sports and look at our coaches, it's phenomenal. These sports are the ones that help us place high in the director's cup each year and give us a shot at winning the [SEC's] all-sports trophy. A lot of people might not notice but I hope they understand that Georgia is good at almost everything we do and we're striving to be the best at everything we do."

That said, Evans makes it clear that his philosophy applies to every sport Georgia competes in, football and basketball included. He's VERY plugged in to what the men's basketball team is doing and was going over with me how he thinks Dennis Felton's team ought to be very competitive next year and move up in the league and the recruits they've got coming in, etc. Coach Mark Richt has had the football team in three SEC championship games the last five years -- winning two titles -- and Evans expects the Bulldogs to continue to have a say in the race year in and year out.

In a related item, Evans also made a wise decision regarding an indoor practice facility.

A year ago, it appeared clear that Texas, which boasted a basketball team that went deep into the tournament and was home to the defending national champions in baseball and football, was the premiere program in intercollegiate athletics. While the Longhorns didn't slip far in any of those sports, no one now considers Texas to be head and shoulders above the rest of college sports.

We should keep that in mind whenever we feel tempted to fear Florida's present dominance. Trends end. Winds shift. In games of inches, consistency, and a fair amount of favorable bounces of the ball, the difference between being great and being merely very good is slight.

The Gators are on top of the heap right now, but, five years hence, Jeremy Foley, Urban Meyer, and Billy Donovan almost certainly will not all still be employed in Gainesville and the odds of all three of them having moved on ain't bad.

Damon Evans, meanwhile, will be in Athens, on the job, in his early forties, and managing the finest collegiate athletic program in the nation as he continues to demand excellence from everyone around him.

Go 'Dawgs!