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?

Find me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

302 comments Add your comment

Snake Doc

January 7th, 2011
1:30 pm

what level of football?

And excuses are for losers!

There ain’t no excuses in life!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by georgiagirl502. georgiagirl502 said: RT @ajcjunkyard: Is cutting off contributions the right way for disgruntled UGA fans to protest? http://bit.ly/gvlcue [...]

Coachdawg 2000

January 7th, 2011
1:32 pm

Snake Doc-
What do you do for a living?

edumacated

January 7th, 2011
1:34 pm

Nothing personal Bill, but I think it would help the program if a few more old folks dropped their season tickets and let some young blood in. Remember the conversation earlier this year about how the band plays the same songs year in and year out, and how Sanford is not that loud of a stadium for opposing teams to play in. There you have it.

Snake Doc

January 7th, 2011
1:35 pm

Network Engineer LAN/WAN – for 20 + years and that includes Internet connectivity and Security!

Coachdawg 2000

January 7th, 2011
1:39 pm

Snake-
So if one of your subordinates does someting incredibly stupid becuase their spouse left them and crashes the system. This cost the company money and your boss says it’s your fault and we will withhold your paycheck to make up the difference.F.Y.I.- facts aren’t excuses. You and the ohter “fire everybody” morons hurt our program more than you know and you probably go find someother hobby.

mountainman

January 7th, 2011
1:41 pm

Hey Fellow Dawgs, no emotions, Please!!! After all, remember “It is what it is” HaHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SSIgator

January 7th, 2011
1:43 pm

Wow. I go out of the country for three months, come back here to visit and it is just like the movie Groundhog Day. Bill King writing the same type of “I love CMR” letters, the people who want change and don’t get it and then the apologists who I guess must be like the wait staff in the dining hall of the Titanic – oblivious to the end. Study football more for cutting edge plays? What the heck has he been paid almost three million dollars a year to do? What a sad state of affairs for a once proud and respected football program. That preacher man is a real snake charmer.

Dawg Fud

January 7th, 2011
1:43 pm

Bill,

It’s not a matter of protest. It’s a matter of investing in something you believe to have value. Some contributors do not see potential value on Richt’s future.

Alumni should always write a check to the institution (as opposed to the GEEF), regardless of their satisfaction with the football team.

Mark Richt

January 7th, 2011
1:46 pm

It is what it is.

Athens= God's Country

January 7th, 2011
1:47 pm

I hope all of these FAIRWEATHER FANS drop out. I would love the chance to buy their tickets to support my team. Go away please!

Athens= God's Country

January 7th, 2011
1:50 pm

BILL,

Do you feel worse cutting the check now or when Goff and Donnan were running the show?

Mean Machine

January 7th, 2011
1:52 pm

I don’t have season tickets because I can’t afford them. But I do manage to go to 5 or 6 home games and 1 road game every year. As furious as I am with the ineptitude of Coach Richt and his staff, and the continuous downward spiral this program is headed, I don’t believe I would have the heart to give up season tickets.

edumacated

January 7th, 2011
1:53 pm

SSIgator,

I agree. Apparently this guy has been getting millions of dollars to babysit a bunch of kids. What a dumb thing for him to say that now he will have time to “study the game.” Anybody else in any other profession says that and they are a laughing stock. Richt says it and folks on here are like “O.K…..great!” Talk about drinking the kool-aid.

7576DAWG

January 7th, 2011
1:53 pm

keen observer
That’s what I’ve been saying all along . By not changing out McClendon, Garner, Bobo and Searels CMR’s statement is if you go down so will I. That may seem noble but assistant coaches are given a one year contract for a reason and that is they have to get the job done most every year. That’s what set CMR apart from the great coaches like Saban . CMR is more concerned with being liked and being a friend than getting the job done. But that policy never works out because what happens when your friend can’t get the job done? I will tell you. You keep Martinez and an unqualified offensive coordinator years longer than they deserve and your entire program suffers.
Hiring McGarity was the best move ever at UGA. He understands this and will not tolerate CMR putting everything ahead of the most important thing which is TOO WIN.

Athens= God's Country

January 7th, 2011
1:56 pm

It is starting to sound like Damon Evans didn’t do squat for CMR.

JTDawg

January 7th, 2011
1:56 pm

Right, SSIgator.

I keep hearinig that, “Richt’s earned the right to fix this.”

I say Richt and Co got paid over $10 Million dollars the past 2 seasons for a 14-12 record. And that’s playing in the SEC East, which is now the punching bag for the SEC West.

He has gotten paid very well for everything he has done here. He just better be glad he is the CEO of UGA’s football program, instead of a major corporation.

12 losses in 2 seasons, and NOW he’s gonna study football?

edumacated

January 7th, 2011
1:57 pm

I sure hope my doctor is taking time away from running his practice to “study medicine” and stay on the “cutting edge.” Sheesh

There is not a person on here who would go to a doctor if they heard that the guy was not staying up on modern medicine and reading his journals. So why would you rely on a coach who admits that he has not stayed up on the modern game.

Beamdawg

January 7th, 2011
1:59 pm

I am sure some people will not contribute for season tickets because of the Dawgs strugles but what about the ones that are sick and tired of the damn blue suit wearing Michael Adams and his constantly changing rules that make it harder and harder to enjoy your day tailgating?

layinlow

January 7th, 2011
2:02 pm

SnoopDawg, I totally agree with you on Richt and this man of honor thing that he has created for himself. I’m a christian as well but to me I don’t see where his principals matches his actions. To me a good christian would instill more discipline in the young men he leads. Tough love is the best kind of love when dealing with young people. Joe Gibbs was a great christian coach who demanded excellence and didn’t put up with anything else. Thats why I have a lot of disdain for all the posters who make condescending remarks about the christian faith because they are displeased with Mark Richt. Richt’s coaching ability has nothing to do with his faith and vice versa.

KeepDreaming

January 7th, 2011
2:03 pm

Any fool that would pull their contribution money just b/c the football team had a bad season probably NEEDS the money anyway. Bunch of fair weathered homers out there!!

NewnanDawg

January 7th, 2011
2:08 pm

VanGorder is long gone….now we’ve missed out on Muschamp. Save your money. Next year will be brutal.

the check's in the mail....NOT!

January 7th, 2011
2:12 pm

Dropped all contributions and season tickets in ‘09. No intention of renewing, particularly after 2010. That’s how real fans should vote- with their wallet. Sorry, just sayin’. Being a kool-aid drinking fan does not make one loyal.

Do the Math

January 7th, 2011
2:16 pm

I have had Georgia season tickets since 1985, and know that the minimum contribution per year per seat is $400 (in the best sections), so if you buy 4 season tickets in the best sections in Sanford Stadium, your minimum contribution is $1600. Some give more than that to get better seats to the Florida game and other away games. So, if I withold my $1600, do you think there is any impact to an operation whose budget is tens of millions per year? I don’t think so! I give because I love and support UGA, not because I think it entitles me to have a say in how things are run.

Redcoat alum

January 7th, 2011
2:18 pm

Dear edumacated-
FYI, it is common knowlegde among many fans and we in the Band are well aware that we DO NOT pick what we can & can’t play. That is set by the University. We could play 1,000 songs in our reperotiore, but alas, UGA won’t let us. Don’t blame the Redcoats- we don’t like it any more than you do!

keen observer

January 7th, 2011
2:22 pm

7576DAWG, I am feeling better about the McGarity hire by the day. Everytime he speaks I feel more comfotrable that he will take action when the time is right. We can’t lose sight that the man has been on the job for only six months and had to do his due diligence concerning the program. He has sat down and looked richt in the face and told him I will do whatever it takes mark, just let me know what you need. I see that as a sign that McGarity is laying down the gauntlet and there will be no excuses after the 2011 season. If Richt doesn’t get the job done next year then he can never say that McGarity didn’t give him a fair shake. I truly believe that this is McGarity’s position and I have to respect that because Richt did win two SEC titles.

Don "Vito" Leeburn

January 7th, 2011
2:27 pm

I dare you – any of you – to cancel your support for MY athletic association.

Uga VIII

January 7th, 2011
2:30 pm

Goodbye, cold cruel 6-7 world.

Ben

January 7th, 2011
2:31 pm

Supporting athletics and scholarships is nice but the cold hard fact is everything is built around seeing the football team in big time games. That’s what drives everything. It’s hard to argue with my friends who come down for, let’s be honest, 2-3 “big” games a year on the home schedule, and pay (for example) $100 a pop per game. They’re still coming out ahead on my donation and season ticket costs. Also this year $100 would get you TWO big games this year. I love the basketball team but that hasn’t been a good enough reason in the past decade (although it’s getting better under Fox who I really like). Also, I live in Atlanta and it’s simply not easy to get over for hoops games but once or twice a season.

I’ve said for years that it was a blessing in disguise that I suffered my time in Athens during the Donnan years because it allowed me to get grandfatherd in at a very low donation level.

I’ll never give up my tickets because they’ve “got me” and I won’t go back to zero points. So, I say to you youngsters…..get in while the gettin is good.

LakeDawg

January 7th, 2011
2:33 pm

Great point sogadog.

7576DAWG

January 7th, 2011
2:33 pm

layinlow
What CMR doesn’t understand is he is treating all young kids like he treated his own kids. CMR instilled discipline, ethics, morals, integrity and other values into his kids from birth just like I did and neither one of us have ever had one bit of trouble from our kids. But everybody can’t be a role model for their kids and the kid has to learn by themselves which is going to be the hard way. CMR doesn’t realize some of these kids have been on their own since they were about 10 years old and they are use to doing what they want anytime. You just can’t tell these kids anything and he doesn’t realize that the best way to get their respect is to put the fear of god into them and let them know that you are in charge and this is a dictatorship and if they don’t jump when you talk they want be here long. This is not the same way you have to treat a kid that was raised with value like respecting their elders . Most all adults already have the kids respect. Saban understands this and most consistent successful great coaches of the past do to.

Old Flatulent Dawg

January 7th, 2011
2:35 pm

BK, I agree with you, I’m not giving up my seat. However; since I have little use for Dr. Adams, I think I’ll reduce my contribution to the University Foundation. But no, I won’t stop my gifts to the Hartman Fund.

PMC

January 7th, 2011
2:36 pm

No, absolutely not. That kills recruiting. What Georgia needs really is Phil Knight or T Boone Pickens.

Still kind of embarassing they don’t have an indoor practice facility.

7576DAWG

January 7th, 2011
2:38 pm

keen observer
I totally agree. Sometimes you have to take two steps back in order to go forward. McGarity will get things turned around at UGA , we just have to give him the time to get it right.

maddawg

January 7th, 2011
2:39 pm

Not if you are basing your decision on what you see on TV. If that is as close as you get to the football program then you should trust those in the know.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
2:40 pm

edumacated, if your Doctor told you that the new hospital director had recently taken a lot of the administration BS off of hims, so he had to deal with insurance and compliance less and could spend time with his own medical staff and looking at how other doctors were innovating more, THIS would be bad news to you……and why?

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 7th, 2011
2:40 pm

If they continuee to lower it I may find myself in Athens every Saturday. We had season tickets till ‘97, let them go. Should have continued on wit them. Now I would have to pull myself away from a 65in DLP flat screen, but if the price is right, I will have my but back in Athens.

The point is if you want to be foolish, stop donating money! Only hurts the university as a whole and YOU will only look back and regret the moment you made that choice. This program is down for what is only going to be a blip on the radar.

The choice is yours, but be careful as for every one fool out there contemplating it 10 individuals are ready to jump in your place.

GOOOOO DAWGS!

Sandman053

January 7th, 2011
2:42 pm

PMC we don/t have one because Leeburn hasn’t decided to give us one lol

SWGADAWG

January 7th, 2011
2:43 pm

Yes…please do. I want better seats.

Mike

January 7th, 2011
2:45 pm

As a younger fan, I see this as a great opportunity for me. I hate to get em this way, but I’ll take what I can get when I can get it.

timthebrave

January 7th, 2011
2:46 pm

Thanks for your tickets bandwagon jumpers.

Dig Bick

January 7th, 2011
2:49 pm

Fran Tarkenton should did blister CMR this morning on 680 the fan. He has been right about UGA’s program all season long. Its time for CMR to go.

JTDawg

January 7th, 2011
2:53 pm

Bet Fran would be a great coach.

disgruntled dawg

January 7th, 2011
2:53 pm

blah blah blah. No Big Deal ! Didnt renew last year and I just watch my Dawgs on TV. Sanford Home games are nothing more than a hip hop concert anyway.

This says it all...

January 7th, 2011
2:53 pm

This pretty much sums up the UGA graduate…
“I am 32 years old. I know nothing other than UGA football.”

It is bad enough when a former football player says that, but for a regular fan or alumnus, it doesn’t sound very good. Great for the football program, but doesn’t say much for the school overall.

Really didn’t mean to pick on you G’Vegas Dawg, I understand the rest of your post, but this quote was too good to pass up.

Dig Bick

January 7th, 2011
2:57 pm

Fran doesnt sugar coat it homers. Tells it like it is and so far he has been correct. CENTRAL FRICKIN FLORIDA and 6 points. PATHETIC !!!!

DawginLex

January 7th, 2011
2:58 pm

This says it all,

You are so FOS it is not even funny.

You classify all UGA grads as working in the Waffle House or sweeping streets.

Believe what you want to and continue to live in your own little delusional world.

UGA is turning out a lot of fine graduates who work and earn great livings.

Murphy

January 7th, 2011
2:58 pm

27 year contributor and season ticket holder. No more after this past year.Im done. Im going to spend my hard earned money on other things.

DawginLex

January 7th, 2011
2:59 pm

Sturdivant returning for senior season.

http://www.dogbytesonline.com

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
3:04 pm

Hee Haw, Hee Haw