Athletic success at UGA really comes down to football and dollars

There's nothing wrong with the perception of UGA athletics that a great year for Mark Richt can't fix. (Associated Press)

There's nothing wrong with the perception of UGA athletics that a great year for Mark Richt can't fix. (Associated Press)

Let’s put Damon Evans’ Thursday comments on the state of Bulldogs athletics into some perspective:

It wasn’t a particularly satisfying year in terms of performance for many of UGA’s higher profile teams. Anyone who follows football, basketball, baseball and gymnastics already knew that.

But when it comes to the factor that basically drives big-time college athletics these days — the financial bottom line — it was another great year for the Dogs. So much so that the athletic association could afford to give the financially beleaguered university another $2 million gift on top of the $6 million pledged last year.

Although UGA finished second in the race for the SEC’s All-Sports Trophy, Evans wasn’t pleased overall. “We are not where we want to be nationally. I think our program should be much higher than it is,” he told the UGA Athletics Association’s Board of Directors.

What apparently was driving Evans’ public breast-beating was the fact that UGA currently sits 25th in the national standings for the Director’s Cup. And he already wasn’t thrilled with last year’s final showing of 18th, which was the lowest UGA had finished since it was 28th in 1997. He wants Georgia in the Top 10 of the Director’s Cup, where it finished regularly earlier in the decade.

But as I noted here last year, where UGA finishes in the Director’s Cup standings matters a lot more to Evans than it does to most fans in the Bulldog Nation. After all, the cup routinely is won by Stanford on the basis of its many championships and nationally ranked finishes in nonrevenue sports such as rowing, volleyball, water polo and so on.

I’d wager that if most UGA fans were given the choice between a year in which the Dogs made the Director’s Cup Top 10 and one in which the football team won the SEC championship, the latter would be the top choice by a wide margin.

More to the point, while many of us in the Bulldog Nation are immensely pleased and proud about national championships in women’s gymnastics and such, an awful lot of the folks who contribute financially to UGA athletics, whether through donations or ticket or merchandise purchases, are really only concerned with one sport: the one coached by Mark Richt.

Football and those packed houses at Sanford Stadium on fall Saturdays drive the success that resulted in $84.8 million in athletics revenue for the 2010 fiscal year and allowed Evans to make that donation to the university and still bank about $5 million, making for a tidy reserve fund of $65 million.

UGA might rank 25th nationally in how its total sports programs are doing so far this year, but from October through December it was No. 5 nationally in licensed merchandise sales, behind only Texas, Florida, Alabama and LSU. And there’s no secret which sport is the engine behind that success.

Yes, it matters how all the other sports at UGA do, particularly the revenue sports. But if Richt can get his program back where it was five years ago, I don’t think anyone’s going to be complaining very loudly about the state of UGA athletics.

And while we’re on the subject of all-sports finishes, I got a kick out of MrSEC.com’s observation about Evans’ comments: “When an SEC AD is so vocal about his school’s lack of success … and that school finished second best in the conference … it leaves 10 other athletic directors to wonder what the heck they need to be saying about their shoddy programs.”

See, perspective is everything.

55 comments Add your comment

chiefdawg

May 28th, 2010
11:58 am

The most importtant thing is fotball. Until UGA beats UF there will be no hope. Not only must they beat them, they must do it consistently. As much as I like Mark Richt, he has not shown that he can get UGA to the level of UF.

Dylan

May 28th, 2010
12:00 pm

I know I’d rather have a SEC Title in football than a top 10 finish in the Directors Cup. I love all UGA sports, and will be glued to the TV watching the UGA Softball team today and tomorrow and hopefully in the WCWS, but there’s something about football that just gets to me. Georgia is considered a “football school.” I guess that’s what football means so much to all of us Dawgs.

99 days!!

GO DAWGS!!

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Dawg 39

May 28th, 2010
12:29 pm

I am a life long “Gator Hater” who was at all of Dooley’s Ga./Fla games. GT has to beat UGA to have a sucessful season? The Dawgs have to beat the Gators to have a sucessful season? I disagree with that thinking.

mikie g.

May 28th, 2010
12:33 pm

thank you for taking that silly picture of florida’s ex-qb off the University of Georgia’s page.

Glory Glory

May 28th, 2010
12:37 pm

After repetitive Tweets, I was able to get the FINE people at AJC to replace the pic of Tim Tearbow on the UGA homepage with one of Aaron Murray!!! ***

your welcome Dawg Nation.

Matthew 6:1

May 28th, 2010
12:53 pm

Thank you AJC for dumping Tebow. Now let’s whoop some Gator a$$ this year. GO DAWGS!

jimmy

May 28th, 2010
12:54 pm

damon is an adams puppet

David Mitchell

May 28th, 2010
12:55 pm

Wrote a column about this on Bleacher Report and about how fans should be optimistic about the state of UGA athletics in sports other than football: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/397819-georgia-bulldogs-should-see-reason-for-optimisim-in-different-sports

BIG JIM

May 28th, 2010
1:16 pm

Since football is all that matters, it’s no wonder your average Jawja
player doesn’t sound like a student.

Unforgiving

May 28th, 2010
1:23 pm

BIG JIM

May 28th, 2010
1:16 pm
You sound like an Oh St. fan. Ga has to play to get ranked. Oh St. just announces it has a football team.

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SSIgator

May 28th, 2010
1:35 pm

Bill King -

“But if Richt can get his program back where it was five years ago, I don’t think anyone’s going to be complaining very loudly about the state of UGA athletics.”

Translated means if UGA prays hard enough that the Gators lose more SEC games than UGA then UGA does not have to beat Florida to win the SEC East.

RedPantsDawg

May 28th, 2010
1:37 pm

Perhaps Damon Evans should look in the mirror and think about if he has given the programs, coaches, and players the resources and positioned them for optimal success.

LOL

May 28th, 2010
2:26 pm

Bill King -

“But if Richt can get his program back where it was five years ago, I don’t think anyone’s going to be complaining very loudly about the state of UGA athletics.”

Translated means if UGA prays hard enough that the Gators lose more SEC games than UGA then UGA does not have to beat Florida to win the SEC East.

Translation, I am another dumb Gator fan who is obsessed with UGA.

RxDawg

May 28th, 2010
2:28 pm

There are only a couple of sports at UGA that command the attention of non-students and alumni. They are definitely football, some baseketball, and a little bit of baseball. Everything else is (for the most part) only noticed by the students, faculty, and the local community. Is that wrong? No, not really. It’s scholastic sports filled with amatures.

RxDawg

May 28th, 2010
2:36 pm

That sounded meaner than I meant it. As a UGA alum, I of course pull for all UGA sports. I just don’t keep up with them like I did when I actually went to school there. I’d imagine it’s like that for most fans too.

Vick=Dog killing thug

May 28th, 2010
2:39 pm

I’m thinking about smoking a couple of racks of ribs this weekend. Maybe watch the rerun of the butt whooping the dawgs put on GT last fall.. 30-24

We eat ribs in this state

Full Deck

May 28th, 2010
3:07 pm

Unfortunately, depsite the optimism Richt has for his program at booster clubs, the future doesn’t look good.

Meyer is winning more than Bear Bryant, and Saban’s ready for anyone that makes it to the SEC Championship and is everyone’s pre-season #1 favorite. Georgia will be lucky to win 9 games a year for the next few years, unless Meyer and Saban both leave the conference.

Many have noticed Richt’s lack of mental toughness, the Dogs usually come off soft, and rarely dominate a game, even against a much weaker team. They’d rather finesse & throw the ball than smashmouth running attack and hard nosed defense.

Others question Richt’s work ethic, he’s so busy with non-football stuff, that he’s getting outworked by his competition with their work ethic.

Sure, the program will make money, so does Notre Dame, but sad that that’s good enough for Georgia.

Jeff

May 28th, 2010
3:11 pm

Richt’s another Donnan unfortunately. Decent coach, good man, but just can’t compete with the rest of the SEC.

Sanders

May 28th, 2010
3:19 pm

Evans can’t right the ship, and the decline for Gorgia’s sports programs continue to slide downward.

turkeycaller

May 28th, 2010
5:20 pm

For fifty years I have enjoyed or at least watched, listened to or kept up with UGA football. It is becoming harder to do so the past several years and that has nothing to do with the won/lost record. I feel it is a shame that kids are awarded scholarships that can barely speak coherently and apparently think they are able to do whatever they please. I feel there are alot of deserving kids who are better schooled and disciplined than the STARS UGA caters to and makes such a fuss over. Most kids who are white dont have a chance.

beatdowns galore

May 28th, 2010
5:49 pm

Turkeycaller…. I agree wholeheartedly. Where are the recruits who want to come to UGA without all of the lime lite grabbing . All of these supposedly top recruiting classes and getting pummeled by Fla and Tenn. the last two years. Lets not even mention struggling with the likes of Vandy and South Carolina on a regular basis. I amazed to see all of these fans thinking that UGA has a chance of a 10 win season. They dont even realize that we have a QB who hasnt played a down of college football. A team that will have a total new defense with not too much experience which will be a problem as well. Dont forget Boo Boos inept play calling too. Keep drinking the Kool Aid fellow dawg fans…..

Roy D. Mercer

May 28th, 2010
5:53 pm

I don’t think Football is all that matters. Coach Dooley along with the help of the late Joel Eaves has built one of the greatest all sports programs that you want. How about that softball team. It is sad that your want to be coaches judge the athletic program by the football season. The true fan doesn’t. UGA has always given alot of attention to the other sports and I am very proud of that. Most of your drunks and high society that has know clue as to what football is really about shouldn’t be a measure of athletic success. By the way Bill how big a boy are you?

F. Sinkwich

May 28th, 2010
6:05 pm

Bad post, turkeycaller, pretty ugly. Methinks you’re a GTer or other miscreant trying to make UGA fans look like racists. beatdowns is just as stupid.

No one knows how this season will work itself out. As usual I’m optimistic but not overly so. I think it’s reasonable to believe that we have a better than even chance to win the East. Beating Alabama in the SEC CG would be difficult, but always possible.

I’m looking forward to this season. It wasn’t long ago that eight wins was an expectation (Donnan). I like it much better now that ten is that number.

Alphare

May 28th, 2010
6:46 pm

Didn’t one alum give Tech $10million a couple of years ago?

Coach Small Johnson

May 28th, 2010
7:35 pm

Beat FL and you will win the About Time Cup

Rich

May 28th, 2010
7:40 pm

Michael Adams has to go! That will solve alot of problems!!

FRED

May 28th, 2010
8:50 pm

I have said this here for years and i continue to say it. UGA will remain a second rate program until they are hurt at the box office.

Roy D. Mercer

May 28th, 2010
9:01 pm

How do you rate UGA a second rate program? You don’t measure first rate programs by National Championships. If you feel like you have a chance to win every year, have nice facilities, alum support, alumni in the pros, alumni that are successful in life, then you have a first rate program and UGA has all. If UGA is second rate, then they have alot of company.

PDawg

May 28th, 2010
9:55 pm

One things for sure from all the comments and the ratings…we ain’t what we used to be and it don’t look like we’re gonna get back there anytime soon. UA and UF are way ahead of us with UT and Auburn knocking on the door. Hell even GT is scaring most of us.

Delusional Dawg

May 28th, 2010
10:11 pm

Why is UGA always behind Florida??

Eisendawg

May 28th, 2010
10:29 pm

Cause Florida is more feminine with those jorts, and you know what they say,”ladies first”

Look Alive

May 28th, 2010
10:35 pm

delusional dawg why is florida always bending over?

Can you dig it?

May 28th, 2010
10:50 pm

Full Deck….you are a delusional Idiot…..Can You Dig It!

BuLLdawg

May 28th, 2010
11:08 pm

Timmy Tebow

Urban Meyer stepson.

Greek tebowiós, meaning the “Anointed One”

Hebrew-derived “Messiah”.

Jorts – a pair of jeans cut off at the knee to imitate shorts – are a staple of modern collegiate football for Florida Crocodiles’ fans.

The Georgia Bulldogs beat the Florida Crocodiles MORE in football WITH Timmy Tebow than we did before him in the Coach Richt Era.

1-4 UGA over Florida without Timmy Tebow Coach Richt Era

1-3 UGA over Florida with Timmy Tebow Coach Richt Era.

Florida # 2 All-Time Standings Fulmer Cup

Alabama # 4 All-Time Standings Fulmer Cup

Georgia # 5 All-Time Standings Fulmer Cup

Tennessee is only # 13 All-Time Standings Fulmer Cup

Hey, we are Top 5 in the Nation in football at something May 28, 2010.

Fulmer Cup Started 2006.

We actually are better this year; we are # 6 Fulmer Cup Standings 2010 Season.

(to-date)

Stay tuned.

Nearest SEC competitor to # 1 SEC UGA is drum roll now Florida Crocodiles in 16th place 2010 Season to-date tied with the infamous Tennessee vols.

9th place finish for Georgia 2006 (regular season did not count)

9th place finish for Georgia 2007 (regular season did not count)

7th place finish for Georgia 2008 (regular season did not count)

Top 10 not only 3 years in a row, but # 4 All-Time Fulmer Cup.

Way to go Coach Richt.

We are actually slightly ahead of our usual standards in the Coach Richt Era getting Arrested / Suspended this being May 28, 2010 with UGA already # 6 for this 2010 Season (to-date.)

And, of course, we lead The SEC.

While we are # 9 in The SEC in Graduation Rates football 2010 NCAA study.

I do appreciate you asking for URL Links, available upon request.

Especially I like when you say I made it up and cite exactly specifically what you state it is that I did make up.

Since The Good Lord knows, I cannot make up NOTHING. (I would say something else.) I have no imagination.

40 Arrests / Suspensions since February 2007, last 3 years

I loved that one with 2 of you saying I made that up.

Have fun with that URL Link ?

And, then there was RED DOG 77 who stated this morning at 2 am May 28, 2010 that Coach Richt’s 9-Year Era here at UGA is the MOST SUCCESSFUL EVER IN THE HISTORY OF UGA FOOTBALL

When BOTH Wally Butts and Vince Dooley had BETTER 9-Year Stretches themselves.

They NEITHER were # 9 in the SEC in NCAA Graduation Rates either.

Nor, # 4 All-Time in Fulmer Cup.

And, you said I could not provide you PROOF that UGA Football is one of the worst in the nation at Arrests / Suspensions.

I have provided with Fulmer Cup now, twice URL Links proving that since the 1st proof was the article in the Orlando newspapers with UGA the dead last worst listed, which included such schools notorious in this blog for Arrests / Suspensions such as Florida Crocodiles, Tennessee vols, and Florida State Creminoles. By the way, UGA was WORSE than ALL of them.

WE ARE FLYING SO HIGH

Delusional Dawg

May 29th, 2010
12:21 am

OK, now I get what you all are saying that bulldogs are basically buttsniffers. Thanks for the clarification.

Amsterdam Sam

May 29th, 2010
7:31 am

BuLLdawg – take the dog off your moniker used here and your true essence is revealed, for you are full of it. And you, like the Dawg two comments after yours, are Delusional. Are you sure you two aren’t the same individual with dual personalities. Go find something constructive to do with your time and your anger might abate. It is worth a try.

Amsterdam Sam

May 29th, 2010
7:36 am

Or better yet, change your blog name used here to BuLL(S#!T)dawg. Then we might (probably not) give ear to any words you drop on this blog.

BuLLdawg

May 29th, 2010
8:21 am

RED DOG 77

May 28th, 2010 1:54 am

“! anyone can take statistics and spin them to look as good or bad as they want to…………..Bottom line is this, UGA has consistantly done better with Coach Mark Richt over a nine year period than with any other coach in the history of University of Georgia football.”

76 % Winning Percentage Coach Richt 2001-2009 nine years

77 % Winning Percentage Coach Wally Butts 1940-1948 nine years

78 % Winning Percentage Coach Vince Dooley 1980-1988 nine years

.

.

“Bottom line is this, UGA has consistantly done better with Coach Mark Richt over a nine year period than with any other coach in the history of University of Georgia football.”

.

THAT is a LIE

RED DOG 77

Both Wally Butts College Football Hall of Fame who WON NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 1940 & 1946, whom we named the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall for did BETTER than Coach Richt for 9 years, so that is LIE RED DOG 77.

And, Vince Dooley College Football Hall of Fame who WON NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS in 1968 and 1980, did BETTER than Coach Richt for 9 years, so that is LIE too RED DOG 77.

Humper

May 29th, 2010
8:47 am

this trend began the year Evans took the Athletic Department over…he has been only interested in soaking the fans for more money, playing more night games for the $$$ creating hardships on gameday fans who actually attend the games. Evans is the problem and he needs to fess up as to what is more important in his mind-making a bunch of $$$ or fielding better teams in the main sports…no indoor practice facility is one sore spot with the football team…

hop

May 29th, 2010
9:02 am

there is not doubt that uga has been slipping since adams put his pubbit damon evans on the job!
yes, we do miss the leadership,class that coach vince dooley brought to uga.
his only sin was he did not get along with adams which most people at uga are having the same problems!

hop

May 29th, 2010
9:05 am

any candidate running for governor, who will commit to getting rid of the prideful michael adams will get my vote and scores of many other dawg fans

Second Rate Damon!

May 29th, 2010
9:09 am

Damon Evens should be held accountable- he should be threatened to be fired if he cant get the dogs football on top. I am TIRED of being equal with FL AL LSU everywhere but the football field-you agree? Richt better get going

BuLLdawg

May 29th, 2010
9:10 am

10-win season ?

What ?

10-3 ?

9-4 ?

There is NOT 1 poster to this blog who has said that we will be better than that.

I say

10-3 or 9-4

In 14-game seasons, 10-3 or 9-4 is a sorry record for a Football Program at UGA.

# 19 in the nation

That is what we are.

38-14 over the last 4 years is # 19 Won / Lost Record # 19.

That is what 10-3 or 9-4 is.

We have not beat Florida or the vols last 4 years

and the vols have had their worst 4 years the last 4 years

1-3 vs Florida

1-3 vs vols

Worse YET, we have LOST 10 SEC East Games last 4 years

10

10-10

Lose to South Carolina in Game 2 and we are 10-11

10-11 vs SEC East then the last 4 years

Do not bring this crap in here that we are GREAT

Or, that winning 10 games is the goal in 14-game seasons nowadays

There was a time when 10-win seasons meant something

10-1

Nowadays, with 14-game seasons, not 11-game seasons 10 wins

10 wins is NOT our goal

If 10 wins is your goal then the sorry coaching staff Coach Richt has put together all 9 years

on

Offense

Defense

Special Teams

is JUST what YOU want

Not I.

2-7 vs Florida in Coach Richt Era and you are what ?

Happy with that ?

8 losses to Top 10 Final AP Poll teams, only 3 wins, Coach Richt Era

Happy with that ?

8 more losses to not Top 25 Final AP Poll teams

Happy with that ?

THAT is what 10-win seasons in 14-game seasons nowadays, IS.

Humper

May 29th, 2010
9:15 am

buLLdawg hits the nail on the head as far as a lot of fans are concerned…oh was it mentioned that the football team has a redshirt freshman as a starting QB with a true freshman as the probable #2…

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

May 29th, 2010
9:23 am

I sense some tension in the Dawg family. Does losing to UF every year really hurt that bad? Hell, I grew up watching UF lose to UGA almost EVERY year and I can’t remember us dwelling on it this much. Don’t get me wrong….it was sweet when we would actually win one, but it did not define who we were. Some of you sound like that is the only thing that matters. If your players are thinking the same thing, then that would explain the domination. They’re too uptight to go out and play to win. They’re just playing not to lose.

beatdowns galore

May 29th, 2010
9:52 am

Where does Vandy stand in monies recieved? They seem to be giving the dawgs a tough time in all three big sports. WHY?

One more overlooked GT fact

May 29th, 2010
9:59 am

The Applebee’s restaurant empire was run by a GT grad, named Dupree. Some few years back he endowed GT with some major $$$ COMMITTMENTS but has since welched on all of them, as he is/was bankrupted.

GT ………….. so ga. techer, go get me two over medium w/ bacon ( i love WH bacon ) and hashbrowns. Good stuff !!

Nobody can cook eggs like Tech men can. AAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA

Go Dogs.

BuLLdawg

May 29th, 2010
10:04 am

Arrests / Suspensions since 2006

Fulmer Cup All-Time Standings – Started 2006

# 5 UGA Bulldogs

# 4 Alabama

# 2 Florida Crocodiles

We are the Number 5 WORST in the nation All-Time in Fulmer Cup Standings

David Hale listed 39 UGA Football Player Arrests / Suspensions on his blog this morning May 29, 2010 since February 2007.

The Orlando newspaper did an evaluation of Florida Crocodiles, Florida State Criminoles, Tennessee (whom the Fulmer Cup was named for) and The Georgia Bulldogs. UGA is DEAD LAST WORST at Arrests / Suspensions.

We are # 9 in The SEC in Football Graduation Rates.

Since February 2007, there have been 160 UGA Football Players and we have 39 Arrests / Suspensions and VIOLENT CRIMES we are on our football team over this period 10 times WORSE than the Athens Clarke County total population.