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Thursday, January 6, 2011

UGA A.D. Greg McGarity: 'I understand the frustration'

Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity on Thursday declined to list a threshold that Mark Richt needed to reach in 2011 to continue as head football coach.

“I’m not here to put a figure in the number of wins or anything,” McGarity said. “We just want to see improvement, we want to see a program that’s headed in the right direction.”

That improvement, McGarity said, includes not only victories, but “discipline” and “leadership.”

After the Liberty Bowl, when Georgia lost to Central Florida to finish with a 6-7 record, McGarity acknowledged that the feedback he’s received on the state of the football program has been about “50-50.”

“I understand the frustration. I think everybody here is frustrated,” McGarity said. “But everybody here on this staff is working hard to turn this around. I wish I could turn on a light switch ... But people are going to have to make decisions on whether they want to hang with us, or whether they want to choose to do otherwise.”

McGarity was speaking a day after Richt’s postseason news conference, when Richt reiterated there would be no staff changes. McGarity said any decision on assistant coaches would be the call of the head coach, as it is in every sport.

But the athletics director said he had encouraged Richt to “show his passion,” and began to see some of that on Wednesday.

“I thought he covered a lot of things that were on his mind,” said McGarity, who was in the room during Richt’s press conference. “Obviously he was very disappointed in the season overall. I think he started to show the passion that he has for the job. Mark’s not the type who’s going to kind of get out of his skin in how he handles himself. But I know in our talks he (does).”

McGarity also shed a bit more light on the administrative details that were being taken off Richt’s plate. McGarity, who was hired last August, said he felt Richt was trying to be the “point person” for too many things, such as academics and character development.

“Mark had his hands in so many things that it was almost impossible to focus on the Xs and Os of the game,” McGarity said.

Georgia has hired former player Brian Gantt to speak to players about the issue of arrests. (There were 11 players arrested last year, and another, linebacker Marcus Dowtin, had an assault charge resolved without going to court.) McGarity said the athletics department has a “wonderful relationship” with law enforcement in Clarke County.

He also pointed to the presence of other support staff personnel who would help with player development.

“I think that’s another layer of accountability that was missing before,” McGarity said.


Anonymous said...

The question in my mind is if all the tweaks and changes don't work in terms of results on the football field is McGarity going to hold Richt accountable?

Anonymous said...

50 /50 ? Where is McGarity getting those skewed numbers? it more like 65/ 35 in canning the cclowns. Maybe he is thinking uga has a 50/ 50 chance of being "in da hunt" .