The Bulldog Club Tour rolled into Macon (okay, Jones County) tonight, and in amongst the standard platitudes, there was some actual news. As first reported by the Athens Banner Herald's Marc Weiszer, UGA basketball coach Mark Fox announced that he's signed a contract extension.
Fox did not provide any details regarding the extension; we don't know how long it is or what the pay might be. But it's pretty safe to say there's a raise involved. After longtime assistant Phillip Pearson was promoted last month and every Bulldog assistant received a raise it should come as no surprise that the guy who brought him to Athens is re-upping. In light of the upward trajectory of the Red and Black over the past couple of seasons (back-to-back 20 win seasons, solid improvements in recruiting), Mark Fox's pay had actually gotten to be a little embarrassing. This was especially so for a school which must remain vigilant against claims that non-football operations get the financial crumbs.
How bad was it? All four of the coaches hired in the SEC this offseason were slated to outlearn the top Bulldog, and he was set to earn the 11th highest salary overall. For a guy who has finished in the top four in the conference each of the past two seasons that's entirely too low. While Fox has been saying all the right things about Georgia being a "destination" job and a place he doesn't plan to leave, he's still one Sweet Sixteen short of where Tubby Smith was when he was poached by Kentucky. There'll likely be no keeping Fox if a true basketball royalty position (think Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA) fell into his lap. But that's no reason to put him in a position to consider overtures from programs Georgia should be able to best just because we haven't shown the proper level of commitment. Good show, Greg McGarity.
Fox's new deal will likely be taken up (and approved) when the Athletic Association board meets over the next three days at the King & Prince resort on St. Simon's Island. Until later . . .