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

1eyedJack

January 7th, 2011
12:00 pm

Sometimes a little revolution is a good thing. Hopefully, some of those who say they won’t contribute are the fogeys who listlessly sit on their hands during the game or those who boo their own team. Give their tickets to the students and let’s get more enthusiasm in the stands.

Einsteindawg

January 7th, 2011
12:02 pm

The catch 22 is that if you want the tickets, you have to contribute and you have to live with the product on the field…good, bad, or average. Wouldn’t it be nice if the University gave the loyal season ticket holders a break with a discount in times like this. Won’t happen because it’s all about the money. Maybe Richt would like to forfeit some of his salary for a mediocre coaching job?

dawgfacedboy

January 7th, 2011
12:02 pm

I wonder how a 6-6 season next year will affect contributions.

FRED

January 7th, 2011
12:03 pm

THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE THE LEADERSHIP MOVE IS TO HIT THEM IN THE POCKETBOOK. THAT IS TRUE IN ANY BUSINESS.

Wayne

January 7th, 2011
12:05 pm

I have been a season ticket holder for 33 Years so I have been through this before. I will always as long as I am physically able to go will continue to go. We live in Sarasota Florida and attend every game, home and away. If people want to jump off let them, we will continue to roll. GO DAWGS

Aladawg

January 7th, 2011
12:05 pm

I have to say that I will contribute again this year as I have for every year since 1982. Over the years I have moved from end zone to better seats and have increased my number of seats to the maximum to help my kids get tickets as well. I have missed less than 10 % of ALL games.

With that said, I will also say that writing letters, sending e-mails and phone calls do very little to alter the decision making process. Trust me, I have done all of those when I felt the need. It is a fact that donations have gone down the last 3 years. It is also a fact, now, that those falling contributions have gotten Greg McGarity’s attention. That is why he has responded so vociferously on the direction and his plans. It is obvious to me that in no uncertain terms he has told Coach Richt the same thing Dooley told Goff before his last year. That was “We need significant improvement”. Defining that gets a little fuzzy, but I’m sure that has been done. So, I continue to support my team, my school and Coach Richt. Anything short of that “significant improvement” will take care of itself. I won’t, however, criticize those who choose to drop donations, tickets or support because without that happening, attention is not directed where it needs to be.
You can always make direct donations to the school, the other sports (Outside of GEEF) or to specific programs if you don’t want to “support” football directly. My 2 cents……..
Aladawg

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
12:06 pm

Good, because we all were puzzled by K.Johnson’s tweet. Now we know. BTW that was from yesterday….so “tomorrow” would be today. Might want to ask AJ about that at lunch.

NWGADawg

January 7th, 2011
12:10 pm

Yes, all you fair weather D-bag should quit buying and contributing so I can move under the 2nd level seats in the 1st level corner and won’t have to bring a poncho anymore.
All the fire MR fans should buy tickets at Grant field, they never sell out and need help plus thier coach is a fantastic a-hole that tells 18 yr old kids they can’t play for Tech if they visit another school during recruiting. They are kids for Christ sake, many of whom have never left thier hometowns and want to see other places, since football is thier only ticket out of there its sad to use it against them. And before you Tech fans say something clever like thats what an intense coach should do, just think back to when you were in Seoul or Punjab and loned to leave your villages, college in the states provided that.

Old Dawg Fan

January 7th, 2011
12:11 pm

If UGA Football continues (If McGarrity allows it to continue) down the current road even “die hard UGA boosters” will stop coming to the game-sooner or later give up their “season tickets”. Kinda like buying any product-if the product quality decreases and continues to decrease over time you stop buying that product. Same here-UGA Football (lets be clear) is the main driving force of all UGA sports-ifthis CMR “product” continues to decrease in quality-Fan’s/Boosters/Alumni stop spending money.
From what I see and hear from CMR-he is really going to do nothing!!

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
12:14 pm

I’m guessing that a 6-6 record next season would affect contributions only if folks don’t like the newly hired head coach.

tom

January 7th, 2011
12:14 pm

You are either a fan or not a fan of UGA sports, and if you think that giving has that much to do with
you might want to lookk at other big schools who have a down period and came back. The AD looks at that but if all you loudmouths don’t want give the money STOP GIVING and shut up but when they go 10-2 be able to pay for what missed out on because it will rise again because your loud mouth will not get rid of CMR his record will. Bu the way list how long you have had season tickets and how much you give and let us see if you are wirth it.

1eyedJack

January 7th, 2011
12:16 pm

Econ 101, supply and demand. Even now demand outstips supply.

JACKSON DAWG

January 7th, 2011
12:17 pm

I think you loose your points when you discontinue your support….If so, go ahead idiots—-see you in section 600

Whiskeydawg

January 7th, 2011
12:17 pm

Cutting off contributions to Georgia is a great idea – if you’re a Tech fan.

GeorgiaGirl

January 7th, 2011
12:18 pm

There is nothing on this good, green Earth that would make my husband and I give up our tickets. We have 4 and this will be our 10th season as season ticket holders. If you are a true Dawg, through and through, you will support our Athletic Program in both the good and the bad. The program will be on the rise again soon (whether or not it’s the same head coach is still to be decided).

If you want to stop contributing and give up your seats, go ahead. We will simply take advantage and better our seats and move up in the away ticket pecking order.

Once a Dawg, Always a Dawg!

Loran, Whatayagot?

January 7th, 2011
12:19 pm

It’s tempting to drop out of the Bulldog Club, but don’t do it. McGarity has been involved in a super succesful program and he won’t accept the current state of affairs. That includes women’s basketball, women’s gymnastics, and baseball, all of which need major improvement. However, some will drop out and create opportunities for young grads to buy in. If he has to fire Coach Richt next year (and I hope that’s not necessary), then he’ll find a great coach. Love those Dawgs, win or lose.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
12:20 pm

Old Dawg fan, never going to be all that. There is no “road”. Either Richt’s team improves markedly next year and he will be around or it doesn’t and UGA will make a move. Is this somehow not perfectly clear to everybody? At times, it seems like we’re not all talking about the same reality here.

Einsteindawg

January 7th, 2011
12:20 pm

Keeping things in perspective, I’m sure some of you my age (64) or older remember when UGA sold many homegame tickets the day of the game at the stadium ticket office. And, it was nearly impossible to get Tech season tickets (while Dodd was there). Now, at Tech it’s 4 tickets, 4 cokes, 4 hotdogs, and what time can you be there. Things can and do change.

Central Georgia Dawg

January 7th, 2011
12:22 pm

The dawg fans who are remaining positve and supportive are the real fans. Anyone can cheer for a winner! When the chips get down, who are your real fans. I love the the fact that people are actually supporting UGA and the student athletes. Every Georgia fan is disappointed, but putting out all this negative vibes does nothing to help recruiting, coaching, etc. Georgia fans, TRUE GEORGIA FANS, CIRCLE THE WAGONS, THE NAY SAYERS ARE GOING TO TRY TO SEND UGA TO LOWER PLACES THAN THEY ARE NOW. WHAT HAPPENS IN A YEAR OR TWO WHEN THINGS DO TURN AROUNG. ARE THE ATTACKERS GOING TO COME BACK AND COZY UP TO UGA. THEY ARE NOT TRUE FANS. I AM SICK OF ALL THIS NEGATIVITY! IF YOU CAN’T SUPPORT UGA FOR THE TEAM, NO MATTER WHO COACHES, WHAT DECISIONS THE COACHES MAKE, THEN PLEASE GO TO ANOTHER FAN BASE AND INFECT THEM WITH YOUR NEGATIVITY!

bubber

January 7th, 2011
12:32 pm

too much trouble to get t athens ,park,eat and return same day. ticket prices gouge. contri bution and payment dates too early.coaches pay toohigh how minimum wage and bonuses for performance.

Jenna Jameson's OBGYN

January 7th, 2011
12:35 pm

I think everyone should take their money, and pay for Mark Richt to have a year’s supply of spray tan.

Mark (another one)

January 7th, 2011
12:40 pm

Six tickets and renewing. I am confident that the University will not allow the current slide to continue, and we will be in the stands for all games that health allows. This is just an opportunity to improve our seats.

As for those that are thinking of quiting, goodbye. There will be plenty more to replace you, and hopefully they will be true fans.

Class of '98

January 7th, 2011
12:42 pm

I always buy from scalpers. I like having a different viewpoint every game.

Nashdawg

January 7th, 2011
12:46 pm

No because there are ebbs and flows in life and this too shall pass. The problem with society today is we all want instant pudding. In other words we want everything now. Well that is not how life works.

McDawg

January 7th, 2011
12:46 pm

Boykin is delusional and J. Houston could be a 1st rounder if he stays

keen observer

January 7th, 2011
12:48 pm

I would be willing to bet that some of these so called die hard fans would be dropping like flies if Georgia had a couple more losing seasons.

roughrider

January 7th, 2011
12:51 pm

As an alumni, the best way to express displeasure with the program is to cut out contributions.We all know that money talks and b.s. walks. When contributions went to $10,000 in 2007, I started watching the dawgs on t.v.

keen observer

January 7th, 2011
12:53 pm

NashDawg, it’s been 30 years. If Auburn wins monday night it will be the 9th national championship in football for the SEC since Georgia claimed the title. Just sayin.

7576DAWG

January 7th, 2011
12:55 pm

I would never pull my support because of a few losses . I went to school at UGA in the mid 70’s when we were happy with a five hundred season and were hoping for any bowl game of any kind.
But, having said that I also understand some fans frustration about things like :
1- Taking three years too long to fire Martinez
2- Giving Bobo a coordinators jobs when he only had coached a few year and had no history to justify such an important job promotion.
3-Not building an indoor practice facility that will match other top SEC program’s,still waiting

You get my drift there are a lot more. The fans that are pulling their support because a lot of people have seen our down turn coming for years and were making suggestions to prevent it and nobody in authority at UGA were listening. This fan base doesn’t have unlimited financial resources like some do and it’s their last resort by pulling their financial support, nothing else worked. So, some of you are real hard on this group of fans but for me especially for alumni I feel your pain and hope to see you in the near future.

Mustangdawg

January 7th, 2011
12:55 pm

To all the people screaming for Mark Richt to be fired. “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE CRAZY.” Before you got richt you were not relevant in any means. When before richt were you top ten? Also who are you going to hire? You would be Like Georgia Southern A few years back fired a guy who was making FCS(1AA) playoffs every year and advancing. To hire the young hot shot coach (VANGORDER) Have a losing SEASON!! VANDUMMY quits? No problem Hire another young hot shot coach (Chris Hatcher) still mediocrity and no playoffs. 1 bad season 6-7 and one mediocre season does not a career make. Get a Life be A “REAL” Georgia Fan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark Richt

January 7th, 2011
12:56 pm

Dear UGA season ticket holders: I would like to ask you to use your money in another way. I’d like to build a swimming pool for my boys right beside the Butts-Mehre building. This way our team can go take for a swim anytime they want without having to use the UGA swim team’s pool. I’d like to reward my boys with this pool after having a 6-7 record. All is well in Bulldog land. God Bless.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
12:59 pm

roughrider, let me get this right. Stop paying the money because it expresses displeasure with the program, which is exactly what you did in 2007. So top team in the country…….that’s bad?

Wake up

January 7th, 2011
12:59 pm

People want to get what they pay for. If withholding money is what it takes to get a coach whos set in his ways and not trying to fix the dying program, so be it. No one wants to pay to see your team lose because of coaching errors. We need a coach that is passionate about winning. Money is the only leverage we alums have, and we should use it.

Coachdawg 2000

January 7th, 2011
12:59 pm

Some of you are too stupid to live. Shut and pay for your tickets or go elsewhere. Maybe this will thin out the geezers in the south stands.

DWGfan

January 7th, 2011
1:00 pm

Never been the type to plunk down that much cash on football. Geez, I’d rather have a new boat or a Stratocaster or something. Yeah, so you get to see them on down years, but as soon as they’re good again it’ll just shoot back up to 10,000. Way I see it, I make thousands of dollars by staying home and watching it on TV w/ friends and family. Boy sure do miss those student tickets, and the sleepovers at Stegman to get tix were fun, too. People would bring beds, couches, TVs…

Wake up

January 7th, 2011
1:02 pm

Oops I meant get rid of*

Snoop Dawg

January 7th, 2011
1:05 pm

The sad story here is not whether or not to stop contributions, but why the UGA President and Athletic Director do not step up to the plate and fire Mark Richt and his staff for their obvious incompetence. They seem to be using the same obfuscation tactics that Richt successfully used for year by deflecting their own problems on othes. Richt has blamed everyone and everything but his mama for his steady downward spiral. Now, it seems that McGarrity and Adams are doing the same thing by trying to lay a guilt trip on those alumni who care but are feel helpless when they see such low standards and character issues throughout the program.
McGarrity needs to be honest with the fan base and talk with a little candor. If the Richt buyout is too expensive to make immediate changes, I believe that the fan base might understand. But the alumni are college graduates, after all, so they are too smart to bite on the lame “we’re working to get better” schtick.
Another think that really toasts my Wheaties is the impossible situation that Richt has put the UGA and its loyal fan base in. He was very effective in creating this “religious man of integrity” aura, but his actions do not match his words. He has to know in his heart that he is incapable of richting (I mean righting) the ship, but instead of taking the honorable route of resigning a la Urban Meyer, he has chosen to selfishly cling to the liferaft to maximize his money. I will grant you that the UGA in retrospect was downright stupid for offering Richt such a contract, but they assumed that he would perform in such a way that it would be a fair deal for both parties. Richt has not held up his end of the bargain, but refuses to resign which would allow the UGA to afford to get a quality replacement. So when all these Zombies drivel about how much they respect Richt, what a religious and honorable man he is, then I reply that Richt’s actions do not match the aura that he skillfully developed for himself and that many, many Bulldogs eagerly bit down on hook line and sinker.
If I were king, I would dismiss Richt and his entire staff, hire the best coach that I could get to agree with no regard to cost, and start over. Even though it might be expensive, if the program turned around and we won some championships, it would be a great investment and would have a great return financially.
Until then, however, OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
1:12 pm

My Bulldawg buddies and I have a saying:
“Shut up and pay the man”

(the “or don’t go” is inferred)

Bulldawg1444

January 7th, 2011
1:14 pm

Never in a million years will I quit supporting my beloved Dawgs.I too want to win on the football field,but cutting off support hurts other worthy programs.I have faith in McGarrity and Coach Mark Richt that the ship will be righted.So all you band wagoners quit contributing.I guarantee there will be others to take your place.

Snake Doc

January 7th, 2011
1:19 pm

Stay the course – Is that the only answer those of you who support the CEO have?

What if those of us who want the CEO gone, are right? What will you be saying then? What will your answer be next year? One more year? More excuses? Excuses are for losers, didn’t you ever learn that?

If you are right I will say I was wrong, however, the evidence points out that me, and those like me who want the CEO gone may be right.

Coachdawg 2000

January 7th, 2011
1:20 pm

Snoop-
Have you ever coached,worked with young,people,raised children? If you have you would understand that it is a very process and requires constant reflection and action. So this mythical idea that Richt doesn’t “have what it takes” is ludicrous. News flash don’t laways do what they are told,taught,know that is right. Sometimes they just plain do stupid things. The fact is our coaches were beating the bushes for players and not sweating UCF. Was that necessarily prudent? No. But for all you who would cry why didn’t he/the team do a better job representing the “G” then I would ask did you as individuals go to the Liberty Bowl if the answer is “no” then shut up! 2010 was a absolute trainwreck but at least we are trying to get players to make 2011 meaningful. Would 7-6 make all things right in the BulldogNation? No! Who cares about a crummy bowl loss if the extra recruting time yields excellence in 2011.

Snake Doc

January 7th, 2011
1:21 pm

Snoop – AMEN!

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
1:21 pm

GAWDALMIGHTY! How old do you have to be to understand Mcgarity is not firing Richt this offseason, but if the team is not better next year, he will? To continue to make comments that are oblivious to that reality at this point is just boring and lazy.

Snake Doc

January 7th, 2011
1:21 pm

And what do you coach, Coach?

More excuses!

Captain Kangaroo

January 7th, 2011
1:26 pm

Sounds a bit childish to me. Like a child who doesn’t get his way, ” I’m just not gonna play, I’ll just take my bat, and go home”. Face it, we are spoiled. We have no patience. This reminds me of the Falcons a very short time ago after the Vick and Petrino fiasco. These blogs were so loaded with contempt and hatred; everyone was gonna cancel their season tickets, blah, blah, blah. Then the Falcons got the right GM, he hired the right coach, etc. Well, I think UGA has the general manager in place now, and he will do a good job, if we show just a small amount of patience. And based on Richt’s overall success, it is proper to give him a chance. The easiest thing in the world is just condemn everything, and blow up the whole works, but I doubt that’s the smart play. Personally, I am, and will always be a Dawg, and that means sticking with my team through the good and the bad that all teams experience at some point.

keen observer

January 7th, 2011
1:26 pm

Mcgarity was interviewed by the athens banner herald today and was asked about the assistant football coaches. He said that he will never get involved in evaluating assistant coaches in any sport. It would be up to the head coach to make the call on hiring and firing assistants. But he did reinterate that he expects all sports teams to compete for championships. It’s starting to look like Richt is going to go down with the ship by hanging onto these inept assistants. McGarity wants results but he’s not going to force Richt to make changes. I do believe we will have a new football coach next year.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
1:27 pm

Yea Doc, that exactly what folks are saying, stay the course, don’t improve, don’t analyze and correct, in short, don’t win more football games. Good call. Brilliant.

Coachdawg 2000

January 7th, 2011
1:27 pm

Snake Doc-
I coach football. I have done for 11 years and i can tell you that young guys’ heads aren’t always where they should be. Some of have to remember that football is only one part of their young lives. Sometimes a girl dumping them occupies more of their attention than it should. sometimes their instincts contradicts what they’ve been coached to do. The coaches are expected to be professional but the players aren’t. If you want coaches fired or you’ll withold your contributions then I say off with you! Go ride the Falcons bandwagon until wheels fall off.

Lagdawg

January 7th, 2011
1:28 pm

I’m a big time UGA fan and I am upset with the way that the football program has been handled over the past 3 years, but bottom line is, Richt is here for at least another year and unfortunately so is Booboo. It is really sad that it has come to this, but what do you expect when Auburn and Alabama hire new coaches and win NC within 2-3 years of the coaches taking over the programs. The problem is that Richt takes to long to recognize a problem and to do anything about it. Bobo should have been fired or demoted, but we chose to keep him. Richt could have easily taken over as the OC until he found a replacement. Too many excuses and too many losses. We will see what changes next season and if he has to go, it needs to be quick and a hire needs to be made quickly. Just cause you played for UGA doesn’t entitle you to a coaching job if you are not getting the job done. I again see that we are late offering some of the top recruits for next year from the state but, Auburn, Tenn, SC, and UA have already offered. That’s why we continue to miss out on a lot of the top players and end up begging certain players to come to the program. That’s what makes these kids think that they are superstars before they even prove anything on or off the field. Being a dictator as a coach is sometimes how you have to do it to get the right results and when it comes to recruiting we have to be just as ruthless as the other schools in the SEC.

needums

January 7th, 2011
1:29 pm

What do you expect, I mean really if the football program funds the rest of the sports at UGA then I think the thing to do is make sure that certain program stays successfull and it is not. If you have a mediocre football team everything else is going to suffer……..”it is what it is” CMR