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Friday, November 26, 2010

Leftovers: McGarity speaks on Richt, the offseason and more

So who else has a big turkey in their fridge and will be eating turkey sandwiches for the next week? The good news is I only started two grease fires while cooking it.

In case you missed it, here was my story in Thursday’s papers on Mark Richt, and how he’s weathered his worst season as Georgia’s head coach. I wasn’t able to include all the quotes and nuggets from athletics director Greg McGarity, so here are all the pertinent details:

- In case there was still any doubt, McGarity reiterated that Richt will return in 2011, barring anything unforeseen. (“Yes,” was McGarity’s one-word answer to that question.)

- That said, McGarity said he hasn’t yet thought about extending Richt’s contract, which currently runs through the 2013 season. Often, coaches want at least four years for recruiting purposes, but McGarity wasn’t buying into that premise.

“I think sometimes that gets overblown,” he said. “You see some coaches that have contracts through 2020. I mean c’mon. As long as the relationship is on firm ground with the athletic director and the head coach, I think contracts are sometimes overblown.”

- Since McGarity was hired in August, Richt has several times mentioned that his new boss had some “good ideas” about the program. McGarity, who meets with Richt every Friday, understandably didn’t want to get too specific.

“We just talked about different ideas, different ways of doing things,” he said. “It’s just sort of things, nothing in writing, but just conversations and thoughts that we’d address after the regular season’s over with, and we have time to breathe a bit.”

- So could that be staff changes? I asked McGarity if, considering how this season has gone, it would be necessary to do something to show the public anything?

“We live in a society that people want to know how you’re gonna fix things,” McGarity said. “There’s certain things you can talk about, there’s certain things you don’t need to air out in the public. I think that reaches just a level of trust, that people probably don’t have in me right now, because I’ve just been on the job a short amount of time. I have no track record. I’ve not had to make a hire.”

Then McGarity pointed out that he does have a volleyball coaching search on. For all of you anxiously awaiting news on that, he said he anticipate something in the next 60-90 days.

- McGarity is trying to build the kind of relationship with Richt and Mark Fox that his former boss, Jeremy Foley at Florida, had with Urban Meyer and Billy Donovan. The hope is to show Richt that he can trust and confide in McGarity.

“That’s something you really have to earn, and we’re not anywhere close to where we need to be,” McGarity said. “But I think after the first two and a half months, I sure sense that we trust each other, we’re not afraid of telling each other what we need to hear. And we’re not afraid of hurting each other’s feelings.”

- If anybody out there thinks Richt’s large buyout – about $5 million with an additional longevity bonus – would be a factor, that doesn’t seem the case. McGarity wasn’t speaking specifically about that, but when I asked about the state of his department’s finances, he was upbeat.

“I think every team in the Southeastern Conference is in good shape financially with the tremendous package that’s been put together by the SEC, with all our television partners, for the next 14 years,” McGarity.

He also credited by name his predecessors, Damon Evans and Vince Dooley, and associate A.D. Frank Crumley, for helping put Georgia in good financial standing.

Meanwhile, a couple other things for your Friday:

- Down in Orlando, the Georgia men’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the season, in double overtime to Notre Dame. This despite the return of Trey Thompkins, albeit in a limited form. But poor free throw (10-for-20) and 3-point shooting (9-for-34) felled them against the Irish.

Thompkins wasn’t healthy enough to start, but he ended up playing 33 minutes, including both overtimes, and had a double-double (13 points and 10 rebounds.)

No. 20 Temple is the next opponent, after it was upset by California. The Owls will probably end up looking good on Georgia’s postseason resume’, win or lose. Then on Sunday Georgia will face either Texas A&M or Manhattan.

- Back to football. Assuming for the sake of this note that Georgia wins on Saturday, the Iron Bowl and Saturday’s LSU-Arkansas game will be key in figuring out the Bulldogs’ bowl destination.

It will likely come down to whether the SEC gets one or two teams in the BCS. If it’s one, then Georgia could slide down to the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham on Jan. 8. If it’s two, then it’s probably the Liberty or Music City Bowls.

So if you’re rooting for the latter, pull for wins by Auburn and LSU. But especially LSU, which will be done after Saturday and thus wouldn’t have a chance to fall in the standings.


Anonymous said...

Likely matchups for us in the 2 bowls? If it means we play 12-0 TCU, I'd prefer the Liberty. Even a loss to these guys is worth it given the opportunity to intensify bowl practice and play a top opponent.

Anonymous said...

I think the Dawgs are heading to Birmingham on Saturday, January 8 to take on Louisville in the BBVA Compass Bowl...we shall see on Sunday!