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

This says it all...

January 7th, 2011
3:04 pm

@DawginLex ,
I wasn’t the one who said he knows nothing but UGA football…

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
3:04 pm

I guess you fixed it huh Bill?

JTDawg

January 7th, 2011
3:05 pm

“CENTRAL FRICKIN FLORIDA and 6 points. PATHETIC !!!!”
***********************************
Then Richt tells us Bobo and Searles did a great job, not good job, but great job this season.

I think Richt himself is what the Techies call “delusional.”

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
3:05 pm

Heya Murph!

As you have surmised, the Liberty Bowl was a bust.

I too will refrain from any future ticket purchases

DawginLex

January 7th, 2011
3:08 pm

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

*****************************

the above statement is what you said.

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
3:09 pm

Sorry McGarity, for many of us “regular fans” our only protest is to cut out the UGA expenditures

Murphy

January 7th, 2011
3:09 pm

ARdawg,

I will always pull for the Dawgs but I wont continue to give them money. I feel like im paying for a Porsche and getting a KIA.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
3:12 pm

Let me guess, Fran thought 6 points against CFU was not good.

Christie

January 7th, 2011
3:15 pm

I love my dawgs, win or lose! Of course, I REALLY love it when they win. My parents have been getting tickets since the 60’s. I am a graduate of UGA and have been getting tickets since the 80’s. I get season tickets for the football games, but I have also attended the gymnastics meets, basketball games, and baseball games. The contribution goes to all the sports team. There is no other team in the USA that I would spend my hard-earned money on. There are a lot of us people out there that are “honest-to-goodness” die-hard Georgia fans, but I do think that the amount is slowly dwindling.

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
3:15 pm

Murph

All my life I was a huge MLB fan until the second strike with the season lockout. I vowed no more. I was a huge NFL fan until the season lockout. I vowed no more. I to date have kept those vows. College athletics is the only organized sports I spend my money on. The NCAA’s recent flip flopping on the rules and UGA’s lack of progress in advancing the football program has put this in jepordizing that. Suppose I’ll stick with golf and yardwork. Maybe take up being a history buff like George Costanza

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
3:16 pm

You’re not giving them money. You are paying for your own enjoyment of attending a football game. Nobody blames you if you don’t want to do that, but don’t act you were Paying THEM, or giving THEM anything. They were allowing you to purchase a ticket which you are free to pass on.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
3:21 pm

Golf is okay, but I’d be duck hunting out there, if I were you.

just a fan

January 7th, 2011
3:21 pm

I have been a season ticket holder since Donnan’s last year and I would never give up my tickets I support the whole university, am I happy with where we are at as far as football is concerned no but do I think McGarity will make the tough choices after the season if we don’t improve yes I do.

esatcobbdawg

January 7th, 2011
3:21 pm

have already sent in my renewal $’s for today’s next year.

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
3:23 pm

Altamaha, if that was directed at me, I beg to differ. There are numerous programs and at different levels one can choose to spend one’s money. Counting various tickets to numerous trips to numerous games, logo’ed regalia yearly, general support and just being a fan is in my book, “spending money on the program”. If you take the position one has to be a season ticket holder (which I have been in much leaner times) then, that’s both your opinion and right. I do not see it that way.

Murphy

January 7th, 2011
3:25 pm

ARdawg,

I did a little research last week end and tried to come up with an approx figure of the money I have spent on donations and going to UGA games for the past 30 years.I could retire 6 years earlier on the figure I came up with.

Altamaha Dawg

You are correct-I did pay for the enjoyment of being able to attend UGA games.And the contribution is giving to the University. I dont enjoy watching UGA football anymore and that is the reason Im bowing out.

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
3:26 pm

Altamaha

And the ducks are plentiful this year. Just ain’t my bag. Don’t fault others for it. I quit hunting years ago. I have been on some recent hunts but, I wasn’t shooting

wyedawg

January 7th, 2011
3:27 pm

I will continue to renew my tickets…that gives me the right to complain! Fieldgoal Jesus (CMR) will be gone as soon as his contract expires. UGA is just saving the buy-out $.

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
3:29 pm

wyedawg

Indeed it does! Hell, I’m getting tired of complaining and really haven’t been complaining that long.

JTDawg

January 7th, 2011
3:30 pm

ARdawg,

Don’t mind AltamahaDawg. He just likes to lie in wait, then belittle posters he disagrees with, rather than actually post an opinion on the article.

Oh, and he’s very smart. Just ask him . . .

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
3:33 pm

JTDawg

I have a lot of respect for Altamaha. He calls them like he see’s them. If you don’t get nothing else out of what he posts I can assure you it is from his heart. He’s been on these boards much like me I suppose, since their inception. I don’t always agree with him but, I know he does generally know of what he speaks

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
3:34 pm

NO Ar, I wasnt directing that at you. I was making the point that its really a lot more simple than some make it out to be. As if the university Owes them something. The entire premise of this being a matter of a “protest” I do find silly though. Truth be told, its exactly what you say. You either choose to spend money on your own personal emjoyment or you don’t.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
3:39 pm

Ah JT, as opposed to your post that was a topic related? I have posted plenty of opinions on this topic today. I take it you would like to dispute some of them? Or were you just trying to belittle me?

And AR and I have each other emails, Unlike most folks on here we only say thing that we aren’t afraid to personally own up to. I don’t think he needs to hear from you who to ignore.

Athens= God's Country

January 7th, 2011
3:40 pm

Please go away FAIRWEATHER FANS!!! Richt is the reason we have such high standards. Our program sucked before he arrived. Support your damn team!

Matt

January 7th, 2011
3:46 pm

You are not “supporting the University” whether you buy tickets or not. Money given to this fund supports only the athletic program. The athletic association, sometimes, at its own whim, announces it will give some spare change to the Arch Foundation or Georgia Fund, which is the University Proper. The athletic association then may or may not decide to follow through with this pledge. I hope all you folks who say you either support the University or you don’t support the Georgia general fund and then double give to your school or college. As a double dawg, it is clear to me that the academic programs at Georgia are in far more need of financial aid than the football, basketball, gymnastic, or equestrian program.

Grizzard

January 7th, 2011
3:48 pm

Gangster of love

January 7th, 2011
11:19 am
Bulldawg born, Bulldawg bred, when I die, I’ll be Bulldawg dead – Lewis Grizzard

At least Lewis is one bulldawg that ‘finished the drill’.

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
3:49 pm

Altamaha

I don’t do the “protest” per se’. To me that’s just an idle threat. When my interest is gone, it’s likely gone for the duration. Certainly I’m not paying through the nose attending games now but, I did pay for one kids degree from UGA. My money won’t be missed I’m sure and it’s not a protest or a threat. When I lose interest and move on, I’ll be gone for good. I am tiring very quickly. Maybe it’s age or maybe I just don’t really give a fat rats azz anymore. yanno?

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
3:52 pm

Matt

You seem to forget UGA is a state funded public university. Every taxpayer in the state supports that institution

Jay In VA

January 7th, 2011
3:52 pm

Buy low, sell high! Tried and true marketplace economics. Now’s the time to get in. Georgia football will rise again. I admit it’s a bit difficult to see it now, but you know it will.

SCAM Newton

January 7th, 2011
3:56 pm

Some of you people need to get a life.

samfan2

January 7th, 2011
3:57 pm

Quit procrastinating. Go get Kirby Smart and get it over with. We all know that he is destined to be the next UGA football coach. What are you waiting for AD? Just do it.

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
3:57 pm

Jay in VA

Sure it will. I state that with all sincerity. I have no doubt it will.

Will

January 7th, 2011
3:57 pm

I have been a season ticket holder since 1966. I am one of those “old’ alumni that the young guys detest. One of those sitting in the North stands, lower level, between the 30s that actually sit down most the game and rarely a red, distorted angry face is to be found here. Don’t hear too many boos and profanity directed at either team in my sitting area.

I contribute two dollars to UGA for every one dollar I contribute to GSEF and my cumulative contribution to GSEF puts me in the top 15% of contributors.

I attend games because of the experience of game day, my love of my university and finally, because I expect UGA to win. I expect the football team to represent the University in the most positive of lights and expect UGA to recruit players who can read and write and are committed to graduating. I am more upset with off the field misbehavior, recruiting questionable students with questionable character and puzzling gaps in graduation rates than I am with wins and losses.

I also understand I am in the distinct minority among those who post on sites like this one.

The disconnect between the character and morals of Mark Richt and the players he recruits is both sad and puzzling. I wish UGA would recruit good high school football players and teach them to be better rather than depend on recruiting great high school players regardless of their academic ability or character.

If UGA continues to recruit those of questionable character and football players continue to misbehave at the alarming and embarassing rate seen over the last two years, I most likely will end my 44 years of significant contributions to the athletic department. I will never end my significant contributions to the University of Georgia.

Dawg In SC

January 7th, 2011
3:59 pm

Been a season ticket holder for 15 years. It’s not just about support, it’s about value too. Have you looked at the home schedule for the upcoming years? It is horrible. Why pay for seats and a contribution when 3 home games are against nothing teams (and that will only get worse as the new AD takes the Florida approach to easy non-conference games). Sure it doesn’t help that the boys aren’t good right now. $95 per seat per game with contribution (plus all the other game day expenses) is just too much to go watch the likes of Buffalo, New Mexico, Coastal Carolina…all in the same season. Football pays the way for many sports – but not for long if the dogs don’t get it going. The stadium may be “sold out” but the tickets aren’t being used. No product. No value. No Contribution.

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
4:01 pm

Yeah! What Will said!!

UGA Insider

January 7th, 2011
4:05 pm

Butts-Meyer is abuzz today with rumors CTD is leaving to become the new DC in Dallas. Stay tuned.

Uga VIII

January 7th, 2011
4:08 pm

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.

PaleRider

January 7th, 2011
4:10 pm

Coaches always want provisions in their contracts for bonuses when they win a conference championship. How about a provision for a pay CUT when you have a losing season?

here are some options

January 7th, 2011
4:10 pm

UGA Insider, Who is CTD??

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
4:11 pm

Nah! your not gone, and your certainly gone for good. You wait and wait in anticipation of the football season then it turned out that way, obviously you aren’t going to be driving over 4 states empty out the wallet. I think you make a very good point about the NCAA. They certainly make it much more difficult to be any kind of a fan now, in good times or bad. Same for the media driven state of the game. “Support” is just a different creature that it used to be. It’s more a matter of consuming than supporting now.

agdawg

January 7th, 2011
4:12 pm

I will give my donation and purchase my season tickets just as I have every year since 1979. No I am not happy with the outcome this year but it certainly has been worse. I have 2 degrees from UGA and am not a fair weather fan. There is no other team that I root for in ANY sport! My participation in purchasing tickets and making my annual donation is just as special as voting in any election. I can complain or discuss BECAUSE I truly am a fan AND SUPPORTER! I really do not believe that many of you actually make a donation or purchase tickets.

Did ya’ll really think that we could be that good with a freshman quarter back and a new defensive coach? The year I graduated from UGA, 1979, was awful and look what happened in 1980! Look at Florida and Texas this year. Things will improve and it will get better. Still rather be a DAWG any day……..

jaxdawgfan

January 7th, 2011
4:13 pm

I am highly displeased with the current decline of Georgia football. Anyone who agrees should not be labeled a fair weather fan. I’ve been a solid fan for 35 years. That is NOT fair weather or bandwagon support but enough is enough.

From where I sit, those who call themselves fans yet continue to financially support a program that is so obviously under-performing and getting worse are simply too self-indulgent to sacrifice going to the games instead of helping to encourage meaningful change.

That said, I have a better question than the one asked by our AD: In the face of verified multiyear decline, is there any reason for another year of status quo? Fans, REAL fans, have a right to disagree and to demonstrate it by withholding funds… because we DO care.

Without revolution, we’d have remained British colonies. Without fans using money to make their voice heard now, we’ll remain mediocre. The choice is yours.

McGarity is close to CUM

January 7th, 2011
4:13 pm

AD McGarity is close to Urban Meyer. What if in one more year, McGarity were to offer CUM the UGA HC job? Meyer could re charge his batteries in the year away.

I say why not? Meyer wins. period. Richt? Nothing lately.

I am in my 60s …………… need to see one more two or three year fabulous run like between 80 84. Meyer can do it at UGA and his ego would be boosted beyond imagination, because he would have rebuilt another down SEC program.
UGA class of 71 & 73

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
4:14 pm

…..you’re certainly not gone for good…………would have been the actualy point. even corrected the sp.

JB

January 7th, 2011
4:16 pm

I have 3 seats and may actually move up to 4 as I expect a bunch of band wagon jumpers to jump off. Thus, improving my lot. As an alum, I’m in through thick AND thin.

HBTD!!!

layinlow

January 7th, 2011
4:17 pm

Will, well said and I have complete respect for your position. I too want to see more scholarships offered to kids who are academically suited and with good character attend the University and who actually want to be Dawgs. I want to see more Kris Durham’s and less caleb king’s.

bitter franki sinkwich

January 7th, 2011
4:18 pm

only the chosing one’s AKA (walker/me) CAN RISE TO THE TOP of collage football, CROWELL cant hold our jock, he is soft the A/A game proved that 6 carries for 23 yards —–nice—-, lets support caleb king and his fantastic running ability, uh—ealy —-try’s —- go dawgs and its back to the drawing boaed with our new 3 star recruits—-cool—

PS coach-em up f-150 man, with a nice tan (fake)–great sunglasses, hahahahahahahahahahahahahah

UGA Insider

January 7th, 2011
4:19 pm

Coach Todd Grantham

Skitty Fritty

January 7th, 2011
4:22 pm

I have season tickets on the uga side approximately 25 yard line and I am considering not renewing my 6 tickets. The reason is not out of protest against UGA’s season or Richt but the state of college football in general. We have had great stories this year such as Cam Newton, Chris Rainey, Terrel Pryor, etc. You should read the article yesterday in the AJC by M. Downey about the Auburn football players who received degrees and the Auburn professors never saw them in class. Why doe we support a minor league progam for the NFL? I don’t support UGA because the players or the coaches but because it is UGA.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
4:26 pm

jaxdawg, would you not think the coaching situation is going to work itself out next year? And the message that you send with withholding money will be heard way too late to make a coaching change this year? (Which was basically last month.)