Why Greg McGarity should be Georgia’s next AD

First of all, it’s good to be back. So did I miss anything?

Quite a bit, as it turns out.

SEC Media Days are just nine days away and by my count it will take us at least that long to catch up on everything that happened while I was away.  So I’ve decided to start with the very hottest topic and then we’ll work through the rest as the week goes on.

After coming back from vacation to cover conference expansion, it was tempting to come back again when the Damon Evans incident happened. But I had promised Mrs. College Football I would get away from the craziness for a little while before jumping back into the fray. And a promise is a promise.

So now vacation is over. It’s time to jump back into the pool and there is no better place to start than with the Damon Evans story.  This is strictly one man’s opinion. Feel free to agree or disagree.

1. Damon Evans was a rising star: The personal tragedy of  Damon Evans’ demise as Georgia’s athletics director–how this impacts his family–is none of our business. We can only wish him the best in that regard.

But the public and professional tragedy of this whole episode is to see such talent and potential go to waste. Everybody in our business knew that Evans was a rising star. I saw him as the commissioner of a BCS conference some day–perhaps even the SEC. He was an outstanding athletics director for Georgia. I hope the people quoted in Tim Tucker’s Sunday story are right and that Damon will get a chance to rebuild his career.

2. Michael Adams showed extraordinary leadership: I have certainly had my differences with Dr. Michael Adams, the President of the University of Georgia.  But in this case Dr. Adams took exactly the right tone–compassionate but stern–in obtaining the resignation of Damon Evans. Evans was Adams’ hand-picked successor to replace Vince Dooley in 2004. That was certainly a controversial move and Evans knew he owed his career to the Georgia president. The action by Evans had to make Adams feel angry and betrayed.

But give credit where credit is due. Adams understood the gravity of the situation and acted swiftly. It had to be done and Adams answered the bell to protect the best interests of the University–which is his No. 1 job.

3. Had the incident been limited to the DUI, it would have been possible to salvage Evans’ job. Friends disagree with me on this but if the charges had not gone beyond the DUI, as bad as that is, I believe Evans could have gone through alcohol counseling, community service and found a way to rehabilitate his image. Yes, there would have been a lot of critics, given Evans’ video presentation against drinking and driving that appeared before home games in Athens. It would have been very difficult, but it could have been done.

But once the police report was made public, the damning details struck at the heart of Evans’ judgement and made it impossible for him to survive professionally. The details about the woman in the car and her clothing were certaintly titillating to the public. But I believe Evans sealed his fate when he began a sentence to a Georgia State Trooper with: “I’m not trying to bribe you but…..”

You just can’t do that.

 

4. This will not impact Mark Richt. Nor should it: Unless Georgia hires Darth Vader as its new athletics director, this episode does not affect the head football coach at the University of Georgia.

First of all, and I guess we’ll have to say this once a week until certain people get it, Richt is not on any kind of hot seat and will not be on any kind of hot seat (we’ll talk about alcohol-related arrests and suspension of the two Georgia players on Tuesday). The man has won 90 games and two SEC championships in nine seasons. And none of that changes because somebody new is going to occupy the corner office on the fourth floor of the Butts-Mehre building.

In fact, the new athletic director at Georgia is going to thank his lucky stars that he inherits a football coach like Mark Richt. He wins 10 games a year. He keeps you competitive in the toughest conference in America. He doesn’t bring the NCAA watchdogs sniffing around. And he will never, EVER, embarrass you.

Now, was Georgia a good football team last season? Nope.

Does Mark Richt’s team need to show some improvement this season so that the next offseason is more fun and less stressful? Yep.

But there are quality of life seasons and career survival seasons. The 2010 is a quality of life season for Richt at Georgia regardless of who sits in the athletics directors’ chair.

 5. I have two words about the new Georgia athletics director: Greg McGarity. When Dr. Adams was describing the kind of person he wanted as the new athletics director at Georgia, he might as well have been reading off McGarity’s resume.

First of all, let’s start with competence. McGarity has been at Florida since 1992 as the No. 2 guy behind Jeremy Foley, one of the very best in the business. Florida has been one of the top overall athletic departments in the country for a long time and McGarity has played a big part of that. For 17 consecutive years Florida has finished seventh or better in the Director’s Cup, which goes to the nation’s best athletic department. This season Florida finished No. 2 behind Stanford.

McGarity is an Athens native who played tennis for Coach Dan Magill at Georgia. He worked in the UGA athletic department in several capacities under Vince Dooley before leaving for Florida. He is as rock solid as they come.

Two things should not factor into the decision on whether or not McGarity is the right person to lead Georgia’s athletic department: The fact that he’s worked at Florida for 19 years and the fact that he once worked for Dooley at Georgia.

Some don’t want to hire Florida’s No. 2 guy under any circumstances.  Others believe that Adams will not hire someone with ties to Dooley given the past conflict between the two men.

Both points of view represent small thinking. This is about competence and finding somebody who will also unify the Georgia people after a difficult time in its history. Greg McGarity is ready. It’s time to bring him home.

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126 comments Add your comment

DR

July 12th, 2010
8:05 am

Welcome back! Can’t wait till kickoff.

george

July 12th, 2010
8:11 am

welcome back and thanks for all you do! look forward to the next 6 months

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

July 12th, 2010
8:16 am

let’s make it happen. the new AD needs to be of quality- take the time and find the right person.

stephen

July 12th, 2010
8:18 am

bo

July 12th, 2010
8:22 am

somehow, I get a little skeptical when everyone (media and fans) seems to narrow down a search like this to one ‘must hire’, especially when the list of candidates we are fed extend no further than one state away. the approach that weighs regional and UGA ties heavily is probably more appropriate for a coaching hire than an admin hire. maybe there are reasons this guy has been a career assistant. I suspect there are others out there tht may be better candidates.

Vic Doley

July 12th, 2010
8:22 am

Tony –

The real question is would McGarity come? What say you?

TommyJack

July 12th, 2010
8:24 am

Glad you’re back TB. Would agree with you on McGarity, but I think I heard Schlabach say HE was for McGarity. Thus my vote would be no.

sogadog

July 12th, 2010
8:26 am

Evans should have been fired for the DUI regardless of what he said during the arrest and the girl in the car. There is an epidemic of alcohol abuse and alcohol related crimes going on in Athens and around the country among college athletes. Evans cannot and must not be a leader of these young athletes. Good leaders set good examples and Evans failed completely on this point. How can coaches discipline players for bad behavior when the Athletic Director is commiting the same crimes they are? How do you discipline Dontavious Jackson for a DUI and drinking when the AD gets caught doing the same thing?

TuckDAWG

July 12th, 2010
8:27 am

Great article! He should be the man he may work at Fla but he is a DAWG at heart!!

P-Man

July 12th, 2010
8:28 am

So nice to have you back, Tony! Hope your vacation was restful.

As bad as all this was, maybe it’s time to get some new blood in and some fresh ideas.

Dink

July 12th, 2010
8:28 am

Welcome back Tony!

(and go Dawgs!)

UGA Faithful

July 12th, 2010
8:30 am

Hey Darth Vader as the AD might not be so bad. He can forsee the future and see great football prospects and use the dark side to make meyer and saban to go insane.

The Riffleman

July 12th, 2010
8:30 am

Tony, you are wrong in one aspect about Richt. He HASN’T kept Georgia competitive in the toughest conference in America. Sure, he does OK but he hasn’t won the conference since Jim Donnan’s players graduated. In the past two years, they have been DESTROYED by the top teams in the SEC. Heck, Lane Kiffin outcoached Mark Richt last year!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joe M

July 12th, 2010
8:31 am

No Gator should EVER be welcomed here. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER! If that makes me a small thinker then I wear that title proudly!

NO GATOR-EVER!

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

July 12th, 2010
8:33 am

Where does he stand on a$$ painting a little dog?

rocksteadyfreddie

July 12th, 2010
8:35 am

As a Gator fan, I hope UGA keeps Richt as long as possible.

bill_in_atl

July 12th, 2010
8:35 am

Did I read that Adams has 2 serious candidates (Crumley and Williams) on the search committee to find the new AD? How stupid is that? Gee…I wonder which candidates they’ll focus on?

The BOR should put an end that this charade immediately if they have any power to do so.

UGA Faithful

July 12th, 2010
8:36 am

@ Joe M

It is a bit of a strecth to say he is a Gator. He worked at UGA first and is from the area. Can you blame a man for taking a prestigous job (prob with a good salary) when he and his AD were treated like crap by Adams? I don’t. Look at the situation as what is best for UGA.

[...] we do small thinking so well. Jump to Comments If this were written by someone other than Tony Barnhart, I’d tip my cap for the snark. … Two [...]

bill_in_atl

July 12th, 2010
8:43 am

Don’t forget, George Bush put Harriet Miers in charge of the search committee to find a replacement for Justice O’Conner. Guess who the committee selected? That’s right. Harriet Miers.

The uproar from the right sent her nomination packing, but that doesn’t change the point. The committee selected the person in charge of looking for the nominee. This committee will do exactly the same. The only question is whether it will be Williams or Crumley. My money would be on Williams in that case and the cries for the UGA faithful will not be SO loud and any complaints will fall on deaf ears.

With those two heading up the search I can’t imagine a guy like McGarity will get an honest shot at the job, which is sad.

bo

July 12th, 2010
8:44 am

ummm, UGA Faithful,

McGarity left UGA in 1992. had nothing to do with Adams, I’m afraid

Philly

July 12th, 2010
8:46 am

I think the new hire needs to be from OUTSIDE of the Georgia staff, we need a new perspective. I’d look to Standford first, they’re just simly the golden standard. Second, I’d look to whoever was responsible for hiring Meyer & Donovan or some of the Championship winnign coaches at Standford, from an HR standpoint. It’s really all about picking the right talent, that’s a skill that few people have. Not about a numbers cruncher or a visionary like Evans, who has demonstrated they can hire multiple coaches who win National Championships, strong academicially, and run an ethical program. That’s a small list.

leland

July 12th, 2010
8:49 am

Another thing you missed was Mark Bradley’s advice to gloaters viz., play like somebody falls down-down, and you laugh at him. Then if you fall down-down, he laugh at you. Not nice.

See what he mean? He mess up, you laugh at him, you mess up, he laugh at you. Everybody get laugh at, nobody don’t get laugh at.

Remember, now. Don’t forget.

Lou

July 12th, 2010
8:49 am

To the Riffleman who wrote Richt “does OK but he hasn’t won the conference since Jim Donnan’s players graduated.” The 2005 SEC Championship Dawgs were all Richt’s players…Donnan’s last season was 2000..so even including red-shirts, the 2005 champs had no tie to Donnan at all. They were all Richt’s players. The last four years (2006-09)have been disappointing because we haven’t even won the East, but some of that was due to coaching on the defensive side of the ball. That has now been corrected. You may think Richt is “ok”, but dont give Donnan credit for 2005. It is also possible to look at it in reverse. Donnan never won the conference with Ray Goff’s players, or his own players (even when he said he had “waited 55 years to coach a team this talented”. He may have been a great recruiter, but you still have to “coach them up” on Saturdays.

Mike

July 12th, 2010
8:50 am

Tony-

Thanks for your “tone” around discussing the Evans situations. Easy to throw stones, or over-react, you’re right though, he was close to being given another shot if he wouldn’t have compounded it. He’ll get another shot. I figure if some of the greatest leaders in the Bible like David blew up, and recovered, there’s hope for anyone else. What’s important, is that he learns from it, and reforms. Everybody should be pulling for Evans.

#2 BAMA FAN

July 12th, 2010
8:50 am

So what if the dawgs hire a Florida guy for AD!! Alabama has hired Auburn people for coaches in football and track and field. Just because someone worked for or went to your rival school does
not make sense in trying to hire the best person for the AD job!! RTR

Alphare

July 12th, 2010
8:51 am

Connection to Dooley is a plus in hiring McGarity? First of all, Dooley is not a good AD. UGA football didn’t even win an SEC during his 20 year reign, so UGA is mediocre at best when he was the AD. He would be long gone if he was AD of other flagship schools.

The reason he was the AD is because he won one NC for UGA. Wait, winning a NC and then you are the AD? that sounds like status-quo to me. I am not sure a good coach can be an automatic AD, but obviously whoever hired Dooley thought so back then. But it turns out he was wrong, because Dooley was proven he is a mediocre AD.

If you have so much talent in your state and you cannot even win a conference champ for 20 years? your leadership must be questionable, the AD cannot be outstanding.

JB

July 12th, 2010
8:57 am

I couldn’t agree more on every point made. Well done, per usual.

HBTD!!!

Bulldog59

July 12th, 2010
9:00 am

These 2 situations require opposites in timing. Evans needed to go quickly. The new AD search needs to take time. Adams will take heat if he names someone (McGarity) too quickly.

ga gator

July 12th, 2010
9:02 am

Joe M; if the rest of UGA thinks like you then it’s no wonder that you are 3-17 against UF. If my memory serves me correctly, Dooley was an Auburn man. You sir are a ignorant jealous fool. I don’t care for Foley personally but he is consistently one of the best. His only bad hire was Ron Zook and even the Zooker was 2-1 against UGA, so if Garrity is the man, it appears that he learned from 2 of the best; Dooley and Foley.

Mikey in SAV

July 12th, 2010
9:05 am

Welcome back T !
Just another fun filled summer with UGA and UT players drinking, fighting, etc…
I do have to pose the question: why do we not hear anything like this out of Tuscaloosa, Columbia or God forbid…Gainesville?

Gator Mike

July 12th, 2010
9:07 am

As a Gator, I have the utmost respect for Mr. McGarity, and it makes no difference to me that he is and UGA grad. He is a quality guy with immense talent. If he goes back to UGA I thank him and wish him well. However, for a selfish point of view, I hope he is designated to relieve Jeremy Foley in a couple of years to be the Gator AD.
Regardless of what happens, the very unfortunate aand sad case concerning Damon Evans has put the spotlight on Mr. McGarity and universities other that UF and UGA will now be looking at his superb resume.
Go Gators and good luck Mr. McGarity.

Don

July 12th, 2010
9:09 am

I agree this won’t effect Richt. Impeccable ethics. Wins. Richt’s finished in the top 10 something like 19 out of 24 years in coaching, Bowden never got top 5 finishes before or after Richt, but while Richt was there from 85-00, FSU finished in the top 5 13 out of 15 times, 12 in a row.

Richt Hotseat talk is from competitors who want Richt gone, or from writers of the “sensationalism/Howard Stern shock jock” bent.

The Real SugarHillDawg

July 12th, 2010
9:11 am

Hey rocksteadyfreddie, I hope you and your ilk stay the way you are so when the worm turns, you’ll be frustrated, crying, obnoxious, carpetbagging Gator fans. Florduh Sux! You have a coach that when he gets on the football field, he forgets how to speak without cussing.Classy dude!!

Atlanta Gator

July 12th, 2010
9:13 am

Tony, of course the fact that Greg McGarity has worked for Florida’s University Athletic Association for the last 18 years should figure into UGA’s hiring equation for the new UGAA athletic director. It should be an amazing net plus. Foley’s UAA has built the Gators into easily one of the five best Division I sports programs in the country in terms of its academic standards, quality coaches, on-the-field victories, and financial stability and success.

I’m sure that’s what you meant to say, right?

ga gator

July 12th, 2010
9:13 am

sugarhilldog you are an idiot just like Ron M. The worm isn’t turning because Spurrier changed the mindset. Foley doesn’t accept mediocrity that’s why they continue to be successful.

JB

July 12th, 2010
9:17 am

What if McGarity learned from Foley to Demand nothing but excellence from the Football team. Say what you will about Meyer, He’s gotten it done…….I’m Crazy about Mark, but there is work to be done in Athens. Firing Willie and Company was a great start, But for the last two years, Georgia had not shown up most up the time for war. I really think this defensive staff will change the tone on game days, but Having the correct players in place to make it all work, we’ll just have to see. I’m encouraged.

Miles

July 12th, 2010
9:17 am

Bring back Dooley…

Geez, Mikey in Sav...

July 12th, 2010
9:18 am

…surely you jest, or live under a rock! Let’s see, the whole AL program was on probation for what seemed like an eternity; the whole program had “textbook-gate” – At SC, the starting QB has been suspended, what, twice for alcohol and vandalism, but is still there. And at UF, you only have players getting suspended just hours BEFORE the SEC championship game, plus player stealing computers and beating up non-player students.

Yes, you never hear anything from those schools…

Mikey in SAV

July 12th, 2010
9:21 am

it was tongue in cheek…

Spike

July 12th, 2010
9:44 am

Tony, welcome back. It is indeed good to hear from you. Not to sound like I am kissing up to you, but I agree with what you said re: Evans personal life and McGarrity. First, it’s none of our business and Adams did handle it properly. Gag, I can’t believe I just said that. If McGarrity is the best person for the job, let’s get him even though he worked at UF. Small thinking indeed.

Otto

July 12th, 2010
9:46 am

It amazes me the compliment Adams is getting. Adams handled this well, like any experienced Politician would, it is no surprise that it was handled looking very well to the media. I’ll reserve compliments on how this is handled until a new hire is made.

im4bama

July 12th, 2010
9:48 am

yea, your back. Sup everyone. 52 more days till FOOTBALL

Worm

July 12th, 2010
9:48 am

Well, the season is officially HERE!

Beast from the East

July 12th, 2010
9:54 am

Being selfish, I hope UGA has the same simple-minded point of view that Joe M has displayed. We’d love to keep McGarity is Gainesville. That being said, if the man is given the opportunity, I’m sure he would excel as the AD at UGA. He’s learned under the best in the business…..not just one of the best!

Jim

July 12th, 2010
9:56 am

Mikey-
40 players arrested in last 3 years…you guys own this category but your players will be better people playing under coach richt…yeah right!

GTPHISH

July 12th, 2010
10:06 am

Tony: That Damon Evans sure can “win” those press conferences, right?

17 of 20

July 12th, 2010
10:06 am

I hope coach rich stays for at least 10 more years.

Pago Pago DAWG

July 12th, 2010
10:24 am

Word on the street, the ex-ad will end up at FL A&M as their new ad.

schmeckdawg

July 12th, 2010
10:34 am

TB, I do not know what Adams is waiting on. Go ahead and hire McGarity and be done with it.