We've been bouncing around this topic for months, and I thought I would finally open up the can of worms on this one. This quote, and the unused $70 MILLION dollars held in reserve for an "emergency fund" is simply asinine. Let's break it down a little:
- It's not the coaches job to tell the AD about facilities for the most part. That would be complaining to your boss. It's the AD's job to seek out information from the coaches. To look at other schools and stay competitive.
- The basketball team went 15-17 and had record low attendance. That is a huge indicator of a problem. And we are basically putting Coach Mark Fox in a position to be fired next year with an absolutely foreseeable bad basketball year and more record low attendance. And for our AD to say "well, KCP left early" is ridiculous. One or two years out of top players is the norm, don't blame our SEC player of the year for our failing basketball program. Although renovated, Stegeman Coliseum is 51 years old, was built for rodeos, and the renovations done merely "kicked the can" to get by another 5-10 years. Recruiting is king in basketball, and recruits don't want to go to an old arena with horrible attendance in a losing program. In other words, the future of UGA basketball looks bleak, and the AD is doing absolutely nothing to change that, other than a mere increase in season ticket prices, which just filled the coffers more, with money that isn't used.
- The baseball team was 21-32. with 7-20 in the SEC. Also combined with record low attendance. David Perno was kept on this past year knowing we would not retain him, basically saying we would accept a bad year. Mission accomplished. We saved a buyout with Perno in trade for an abysmal year on the field and in the stands. Foley Field is ranked likely between 12-14 in the conference for a baseball park, putting a losing record with another dilapidated facility. Which kills recruiting, which kills numbers. And with $70 Million in the bank, they are forcing a fund raiser of $10M to merely make Foley Field serviceable, not even a top facility. By the way, we are about $9M short of that $10M, only that far because the Foley's cut a $1M check. I feel bad for them.
If the fact that these facilities and these programs are in the basement of the conference doesn't tell Greg McGarity there is a problem, I'm not sure what will. It is stated that the $70M is an "emergency" fund. I have no idea what emergency that would it take to spend it. If a twister took Foley Field off the map (with no loss of life) forcing us to build a new state of the art facility, then I actually support it. Earthquake, whatever. What exactly is that money for? We have one of the largest, if not the largest, bank accounts in all of college, but we can't use it? In the meantime, all the athletic department staff have been provided with the best offices and a brand new Butts-Mehre building. That renovation occurred, as we learned years later, while the football team was being bused to workout facilities, which most of us now see the Strength and Conditioning program as a major factor hurting UGA football in 2009-2011. What we do know, is the staff and coaches are all paid very well and have really nice offices, while two of our major programs aren't supported in any meaningful way. There hasn't even been an effort to put up a nice, giant LED board around central campus to announce game information. To quote our readers "they hand out flyers at an unlabeled desk." Totally unacceptable. Oh, and let's keep rolling with an almost boring home field football schedule - but the guys in the sky boxes will be comfortable, right?
Sorry Greg, this is all unacceptable. Your job is to ensure UGA Athletics are putting forth competitive teams which requires top facilities and programs from the top down to compete with almost every other SEC school that has already invested. We are behind, well behind, and this is a problem to address and fix now, because it will keep rearing it's ugly head every year until we do. Your quotes on saving money and doing fundraisers come across as politics and keeping the old white guys in the money. If you want more money, I propose that winning teams in good facilities will sell more tickets and more swag, and THEN GENERATE INCOME. We here at Dawg Sports predicted your decisions in baseball and basketball would be critical tell-tales of your administration, and this alum and writer gives you a failing grade.