Is cutting off contributions the right way for disgruntled UGA fans to protest?

Greg McGarity noted that contributions don't just support the football program at UGA. (University of Georgia)

Greg McGarity noted that contributions don't just support the football program at UGA. (University of Georgia)

After last week’s bowl game disaster, I mentioned to my wife that for those young Dogs fans who haven’t been able to afford the “buy-in” level of contribution to get season tickets, this might be the year to make the move. It seemed likely there would be more nonrenewals of season tickets than usual and the cut-off point probably will continue dropping, as it has the past couple of seasons.

You’ll recall that when everyone was all excited about Georgia being a preseason No. 1, the annual cut-off level of cumulative Hartman Fund/Bulldog Club donations necessary to become a first-time UGA football season ticket holder soared from $1,991 in 2007 to a ridiculous $10,651 for 2008. The next year, however, it dropped off to $4,205, and last year to $1,550.

It’s a good bet that figure will drop even more this year, especially considering the way athletic director Greg McGarity was talking Thursday.

In reporting that fan feedback after the poor showing in the bowl has been about 50/50, McGarity noted that “You’ve got a certain faction of fans out there that are disappointed and if they don’t have change, then they’re going to drop out of the program.”

McGarity made the pitch for such folks to reconsider. “People are going to have to make decisions on do they want to hang in there with us or do they choose to do otherwise? But the way I look at it is that individuals and people that support our program, it’s really supporting our program. I know they’re frustrated with football right now but what is so important is the contributions go into funding every sport that we sponsor. So, in essence if you have some that are pulling out of the program … then they’re basically pulling out of making a contribution that helps us in every facet of our operation.”

McGarity added, “I understand it. I do understand the frustration, and the only thing we can do is to say we’re working as hard as we can to turn this ship around and after we get it going, then I think you’ll see a lot different reaction.”

Now, I’m about certainly not happy with Mark Richt and the Georgia football program right now, but I wouldn’t even consider dropping my season tickets in protest. I’ll admit I blanched a few years ago when my minimum required contribution to keep the seats I’ve had since 1975 doubled, but I never seriously considered giving them up.

At the time a friend in the same situation pondered dropping out of the Bulldog Club and simply buying tickets from scalpers on game day, figuring he could still save money even paying a big mark-up over face value. In the end, though, he renewed his season tickets as well.

And here’s the key difference: If he had dropped out and gone the scalper route, he still would have seen the games, but he wouldn’t have been supporting the athletic program with scholarship money. Which would hurt the basketball and baseball and gymnastics and other athletic programs at UGA, as McGarity pointed out.

So here’s my question to my fellow UGA football season ticket holders: Are you considering dropping your tickets for the coming season. If so, why? And you younger fans who’ve been wanting to get season tickets: Will you be put off by the declining fortunes of Richt’s Dogs, or do you see this as a golden opportunity?

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302 comments Add your comment

daslicksta

January 7th, 2011
11:02 am

FIRST!!!! It is 1 way to get the message across as the way of blogging obviously isn’t noticed.

DawginLex

January 7th, 2011
11:07 am

You either support UGA or you don’t.

You are not claiming allegiance to a coach, you are supporting the school.

Anyone who stops contributing NOW hoping that a coaching change would be made before next season is a clueless idiot when it comes to college football.

Fire Richt now and hire who?

Talk about a disaster.

G'Vegas Dawg

January 7th, 2011
11:11 am

Absolutly NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

G'Vegas Dawg

January 7th, 2011
11:13 am

I guess I should finish and clarify what I am saying. I am absolutly not giving up my season tix. I am 32 years old. I know nothing other than UGA football. There is no other program in the nation that I could or would pull for. Good or bad, I’m with the dawgs til the end of time.

Dan

January 7th, 2011
11:14 am

Contribute to the basketball team instead

What??

January 7th, 2011
11:14 am

As an alumni, it’s hard to feel like you have many other avenues for having your opinion heard. Under Adams, money is all that talks at UGA.

Dbalcer

January 7th, 2011
11:16 am

Those who do are bandwagon fans. If they do there a others who will step in and buy the tickets. Hopefully then we won’t see opposing team fans in those seats. When the ticket price rose to over $10,000 a corporation bought the seats next to us and we had opposing fans sitting next to us every game. Once the price went down we had UGA fans again next to us. We sit in the club level.

Daniel's Dawgs

January 7th, 2011
11:16 am

I Love my Dawgs win or lose and I am not giving up my season tickets!!!!

bottom line

January 7th, 2011
11:17 am

Richt has another year. That debate is over. McGarity talks like he means business and if he does, then the program is moving in the right direction. So, the jury is out pending next year’s results and McGarity’s actions. If the football team disappoints McGarity will have to fire Richt or people will vote the program is not making progress. VOTE = MONEY. When it is said and done, its nice UGA has a great women’s gymnastic team, but….

GatorMike

January 7th, 2011
11:18 am

Boo the players. That’s what I do.

Broke Dawg

January 7th, 2011
11:18 am

It is hard to support a program headed in the wrong direction during these hard times! The bowl game may have cost UGA MONEY and RECRUITS. Running the ball up the middle on third and 20 must work great on BOBO’s X-box?????

FlaDawg

January 7th, 2011
11:19 am

daslicksta, hippies blowing up hummer dealerships as a way of protesting gas-guzzling vehicles is another way to get a point across but that doesn’t make it an intelligent move. dawginlex, you are exactly right. you’re either with us or against.

Gangster of love

January 7th, 2011
11:19 am

Bulldawg born, Bulldawg bred, when I die, I’ll be Bulldawg dead – Lewis Grizzard

pcidoc

January 7th, 2011
11:19 am

I will support my Dawgs. This will probably be a good year to upgrade seats. It looks like CMR and AD GM are taking steps to get this turned around. We just need to fill some big holes with this recruiting class and CMR will have us in the hunt again. Go Dawgs!!!

NCDawg

January 7th, 2011
11:24 am

Yes. Stop contributing now! I want season tickets, but I cannot afford to contribute large amounts. If y’all stop contributing, I can get season tickets with a small contribution.

Thank you for your support.

DAWG24

January 7th, 2011
11:25 am

Totally wrong to stop contributing. Either you are a real dawg or not!
I went to the bowl game in Memphis. I was embarrassed by their play, however, I am a die hard dawg. GO DAWGS!

sogadog

January 7th, 2011
11:25 am

Golden opportunity. However, I understand alumni dropping tickets when the Dawgs are losing. The Athletic Association is basically saying “Please stay with us” while the football team is losing. However, back in 2008 and they were saying “We are winning so pony up ten thousand dollars.” Alumni should remain loyal to the program when the Dawgs are losing. But we must remember that by charging ten grand for the privilege of buying season tickets when the Dawgs were winning, the Athletic Assoc. was not very loyal to alumni.

AP

January 7th, 2011
11:26 am

Bill- I can handle the poor season every now and again. Unfortunately three years running now. What I want to know is who wrote Mark Richt’s or gave consent to that embarrassing cluelessness of a press conference. I was embarrassed! What I needed to hear— ” I will give the University of Georgia, its student-athletes and fans 110%, 365 days a year and if next year does not produce the desired effect, I fully expect the University of Georgia to be in the market for a new head football coach. If that happens it will not be for a lack of effort on my or my staff’s part. You have our pledge to give you maximum effort, integrity in all aspects of this football program, and we expect of ourselves and our players and our fans nothing less than Championships! Thank you.” Now get up and leave the room.

Top Recruit

January 7th, 2011
11:26 am

Not something you like to do. But you have to get someones attention. And nothing talks like money. Everbody likes a rate of return on their investment. We alums would like a little hire rate at UGA even when it is hard in the financial end.

Dawg_Mike

January 7th, 2011
11:29 am

Stop contributing to the program = a very slippery slope.

movin on up.....

January 7th, 2011
11:30 am

I ain’t happy with CMR…haven’t been since he sold the farm betting on the imposter in the Rodney Hampton Jersey (#7.)

But, I give my money every year….because one of these days, I’m going to be able to get all the home and away tickets mailed to my house from UGA. The worse things get the farther up I go on the list.

Yall just keep protestin….i wont stop you.

I’m a movin on up…..to the east side….to a deeelux apartment inthe sky…..

Evans Dawg

January 7th, 2011
11:30 am

My money is important to me and my family. As a UGA alum, of course I support the school and want to see it succeed in all endeavors. The product I have seen on the football field the last couple of years has disappointed me. Will I renew my season tickets? Yes, but we halved the number of tickets we purchase with my in-laws (due more to having two small children making attending a game a little more difficult than any other reason). Taking fans that have supported the program to task for lower donations due in part to performance but also economic realities seems a little off to me. Produce a winner again and ticket sales will go up. Richt is paid handsomely to do this. Maybe his salary should be tied financial performance. On the field success and financial success go hand in hand in the SEC.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
11:31 am

To fool yourself that you are somehow “helping” the school to withhold your contributions in order to effect.?????? I’m really not sure what exactly????? or that somehow it’s your way of registering your complaint that the football coach didn’t win enough games lately..as if that even needs to be pointed out… is a pretty stupid idea.

If it’s a matter of contributing to the entire program, as McGarity points out, those folks are not going to wilt.

If it’s a mechanism of purchasing tickets to a specific sporting event, then its simply a consumer decision as to if you want to stay in line now or go to the back later. It’s a product. Buy it or don’t. But don’t try to hide behind some banner other than pure personal gratification. And there is not a thing wrong with that.

The coaching situation is going to take care of itself with or without you.

RedandBlackDawg

January 7th, 2011
11:32 am

Amen …. I get so tired of fairweather, front-running, “We have to win every game or it’s the end of the world,” fans that I could scream. Either support the University or don’t. I love it when the Dawgs win, I’m disappointed when they lose, but I don’t for a moment consider pulling my support. Mark Richt will either turn things around, or he won’t. It sickens me to see the death sprial that some people seem to see for the program right now. Every piece of bad news is magnified, every lost recruit is the end of the world, every new assistant or coach at another school is a sign of how far the program has fallen.

Stop it. If you want to cancel your season tickets, if you want to boo head coaches and players, take a trip down to Turner Field or the Georgia Dome.

UGAgirlFAN

January 7th, 2011
11:32 am

No way! If they are true Fans they would support their team thru thick and thin!!!!!! I bleed red and black always no matter what their season and bandwagon “so called Fans” make me sick!!!! GOOOOO DAWGS!!!! ♥

Dawgs2011

January 7th, 2011
11:34 am

Coach Richt is a tool and he has set the program back to 1995. Save your money.

G'Vegas Dawg

January 7th, 2011
11:34 am

It’s your God given right to feel whatever way you want to about the UGA program. But, the fact is if you only support the team when things are good, you are no fan at all. Do you quit your job when you get mad at a co-worker? Do you leave your kids on the side of the road when they disappoint you? Hard times are a part of life. I guess that mentality is what is wrong with our kids and our society. If life is tough, just quit.

78DAWG

January 7th, 2011
11:34 am

For those who want to complain and not support UGA, pleae do not contribute (if you did to start with), don’t buy tickets and please don’t show up in Athens on Saturday’s in the the fall. Then the rest of us can upgrade our seats. And by the way don’t come back next year or the following year when we’re back.

bjohndawg

January 7th, 2011
11:35 am

DAWG till the day I die.
No matter how sorry the coaching gets.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
11:38 am

Recruit…..whose attention do you think need to be gained. Do you really think for a second that Greg Mcgarity doesn’t know exactly what is going on and 1000 times more qualified to deal with it, than a guy that gets and envelop in the mail with the schools logo and tosses it in the trashcan?

get somebodies attention……..sure. And say what? Football team lost too many games, and you don’t like that sort of thing…well golly gee, who know! Certainly not a man whose entire job is to know that.

Rick

January 7th, 2011
11:38 am

I went ahead and sent in my contribution. In fact I increase it some. I am not happy with the program and believe that CMR should be fired, but maybe I can get better seats and a better parking space.

gomdawg

January 7th, 2011
11:40 am

2010 IS HISTORY, I SAY LIKE PULL TOGETHER I FOR ONE DON’T WANT CMR TO FELL I THINK HE IS THE BEST COACH FOR UGA .

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
11:43 am

It also occurs to be that the “job” of a fan is pretty well defined. A Fan “job” is not to feel good about wins. You should, and hate the losses BUT That’s not the “job”. Might be time to fire some folks who aren’t doing thier job either.

Ron Roberts

January 7th, 2011
11:43 am

You’re either a Dawg or you aren’t. Me personally, I’d want a published list of NAMES of the “dropouts.” Better yet, when things turn around, I’d tell them there’s a special ‘renewal fee” for re-establishing their ties with the athletic department.

I want REAL fans in the stands, and frankly, the wine and cheese set don’t make enough noise anyhow. I’ll take 92,000 rowdy “real Georgians” over 80,000 hob-knobbers and 10-12,000 students ANY day.

We have the same problem at Stegman, honestly. Dawg fans at basketball games don’t know how involve themselves In the game to participate in WINNING the game.

UGA Insider

January 7th, 2011
11:46 am

Tomorrow AJ, Houston and Boykin will anounce they are leaving UGA. I don’t know about Glenn and Sturdivant yet.

RedandBlackDawg

January 7th, 2011
11:47 am

As for the coaching situation … please spare me the idiots who think changing coaches cures all ills. Pitt fired Dave Wanstedt and hired a wife-beater. Michigan took two days to fire Rich Rodriguez and still doesn’t have the coach it wanted.
You can change coaches, and yes, you might be better off, but you could also very easily wind up in worse shape. If you want to call for Richt’s dismissal, the price of admission is coming up with his successor. Think Kirby Smart will take the job after witnessing the treatment another former Bulldog, Mike Bobo has received ? If CMR were Ray Goff, or Jim Donnan, who never managed to win consistently this would be a different arguement. Give the man the opportunity to be successful, give the program, and the University your support, and most of all …. take a *%#(*&)# deep breath and calm down.

Broke Dawg

January 7th, 2011
11:47 am

Had season tickets through the Ray Goff and Donnan years but lost my tickets when contributions went up for Richt. If contributions go down I may be able to get tickets back. I just want the DAWGS to WIN no matter if I can attend! I just think Richt has taken us as far as he can. Its been a great run but we haven’t been the same since the Bama loss. I too am EMBRASSED by the bowl game, but I still say GO DAWGS!

Thundering Flea

January 7th, 2011
11:49 am

Reading the interview of the AD reminds me of that saying that everybody likes to quote these days………”A fool is someone who keeps on doing the same thing over and over that has never worked and expecting different results next time”.

Einsteindawg

January 7th, 2011
11:49 am

It’s a catch 22…if you stop contributing to the GEEF/Hartmann fund, then you lose your opportunity to order season tickets. And, if you decide to reup in a couple of years or so when the program is back, then you have to start all over again. I guess the best way to handle this and vote with your money is to only contribute the minimum. As many season ticket holders only contribute the minimum anyway, that’s why it’s a catch 22.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
11:49 am

The renewal fee is that they are at the back of the bus. Or wagon as it were.

Has anybody else read any more comfirmation of Thomas Brown joining the S&C staff. I think that is an excellent move.

Macclenny_dawg

January 7th, 2011
11:51 am

@AP
If only he would have stepped up and said that!!! I would have some hope he could turn this team around. I still support my Dawgs anyway!!! The difference between Florida,Auburn, Tennessee, and Georgia!!! As soon as Florida started losing to teams like Mississippi state, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt they got rid of there coach as did Auburn. Guess we are following the mold of Tennessee!!! Why?? At least Tennessee and Auburn had a coach at the time that won a National championship!!! SEC championship or bye bye Richt!!!

Will

January 7th, 2011
11:51 am

CMR will be in trouble when and only when Mike Adams realizes contributions are down. Money is the ONLY thing that sorry SOB cares about. I hope Deal kicks his arse back to wherever he came from. All UGA fans should read “Between the Hedges” in the offseason.

moops

January 7th, 2011
11:51 am

UGA Insider – Wow, thanks for the scoop. You should change your handle to “Captain Obvious”. Or, “I’m posting today what was leaked out last night”. I think either one is good…

keen observer

January 7th, 2011
11:54 am

Sogadog, awesome post. It’s not a two way street. Just like one poster said when the contribution went to 10,000 they had a corporation buy the seat next to them which ended up being used by OPPOSING fans. Was the University concerned about the alumni in that situation? Heck no. They’re only concerned about the almighty dollar. Raise the price as high as they can when times are good and screw the fans and let corporatins or whomever buy the tickets. Loyalty doesn’t cut both ways with them.

Mark

January 7th, 2011
11:56 am

I plan on giving my 10K for tickets and parking. Please I suffered through the Ray Goff years. Oh by the way the great Vince Dooley should have been fired 3 or 4 times based on his record. Take away the Walker years and he was nothing more than average. 1969 5-5-1, 70 5-5, 71 11-1, 72 7-4, 73 7-4-1, and 74 back to 6-6. Please now a days he would have been fired. So get off your high horses and support the Dawgs.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
11:57 am

How is that a Catch 22? You didn’t present any catch there. If you drop out you have to start over, but if you don’t drop out you ……………what? Don’t have to start all over?

Lindsey

January 7th, 2011
11:59 am

Winning season or losing season we will keep our season tickets (as long as we have jobs!!) GO DAWGS, best of luck in 2011!!

LawDawg

January 7th, 2011
11:59 am

Bill, I am willing to bet that more than 98% of the commenters on your site do not contribute in any way. In fact, it appears that most of them are either under 22, so it is unlikely that you are going to get any useful response to your question.

Me, I would never consider dropping my season tickets, in protest or otherwise, and I will continue to make at least my minimum contribution.

dawgfacedboy

January 7th, 2011
12:00 pm

You aren’t going to make the point you think you are by ending your contributions. There are thousands of fans who would love to take your seat and you will be replaced quicker than you will ever know. I will continue to contribute because I know as soon as I stop they will win the NC, that’s my luck. However, if they were to do something like hire Bobo as the HC or name him the “coach-in-waiting” I can assure you that I and everyone else I know will be ending their contributions.

LawDawg

January 7th, 2011
12:00 pm

whoops, delete “either”