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

7576DAWG

January 7th, 2011
4:26 pm

UGA Insider
I hope you are wrong about Grantham because he is about the only coach that not only showed some emotion this year but did his job. If he will stay everybody will see a huge difference next year.

Skitty Fritty

January 7th, 2011
4:27 pm

Here is the article from yesterday’s AJC. This sounds worse than UGA’s Jam Kemp affair in the 80’s. Have you seen this anywhere else other than the AJC? Where is the outcry to this article. If I had a Sociology degree from Auburn, I would be furious because it is worthless.

http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2011/01/06/auburn-tumbles-from-4th-to-85th-in-football-academics/?cxntfid=blogs_get_schooled_blog

Gatormeat

January 7th, 2011
4:29 pm

I think the alumni and contribitors should cut off the funds. If I was giving money to a school that was getting more players arrested than they were winning games and having all kind of crazy stuff like panty incidents going on, I would cut them off to. georgia has become a disgrace to the SEC, if it were up to me I would kick them out and replace them with a more honorable school like Miami or Florida State. The dogs are just plain disgusting

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
4:30 pm

Altamaha

You’re right. I will be anxiously awaiting the start of next season even with the yearly renewed enthusiasm. I will be planning what games I will attend and be spreading my cash where appropriate. In my 40 years of being a fan I have been through valleys much lower than this one. I’m full of displeasure at the rotten season and I can understand the negativity but, it ain’t going to change who I am and I am a Bulldog fan till the end

Skitty Fritty

January 7th, 2011
4:31 pm

Gatormeat:
Didn’t UF have Cam Newton for 2 years and how do you explain Chris Rainey? Nice try, but UF is all about winning at any cost and didn’t do a very good job this year with 5 losses.

Carlos Feltsein

January 7th, 2011
4:31 pm

FIRE MARK RICHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
4:31 pm

If Grantham were to bolt after one year and the free ride he received, he wouldn’t be worth having in the first place.

Beast from the East

January 7th, 2011
4:32 pm

Hang in there, Dawgs! All programs, no matter how great, go through rough patches. Look at Michigan, Notre Dame, etc. Richt may or may not be the one to turn it around, but rest assured that someone will within the next couple of years.

Sandman053

January 7th, 2011
4:33 pm

I too want CTG to stay…he has fire and determination and I think next year the defense will shine. Of course with Bobo the Dodo calling plays it will have to shine.

Sandman053

January 7th, 2011
4:34 pm

Beast from the East…I agree! Of course I too am really looking forward to getting better seats next year.

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
4:37 pm

Grantham has already ridden that pony, I really can’t imagine he’d jump back into it at this juncture.

ARdawg

January 7th, 2011
4:38 pm

Enter your comments here

Sandman053

January 7th, 2011
4:39 pm

Yeah I personally think he could make a bigger impact fixing the disaster that has been UGA defense for the past several years rather than going back to Jerry-ville. That ship still isn’t ready to fully sail I don’t think.

SickandTired

January 7th, 2011
4:39 pm

Heck yes. I’ve been saying for years Mark Richt should be gone. Now all we do is hire a nutritionist? No more money til that deadbeat is gone. Like it or not, that’s how I feel and he can hit the road before I give another dime to Adams.

jaxdawgfan

January 7th, 2011
4:46 pm

AltamahaDawg

I hear you. By the end of the year, the coaching situation had certainly better be worked out.

My point is that it should ALREADY have been worked out. This situation has been tolerated far too long. It has been repeatedly pointed out that other schools, now with successful programs, didn’t wait nearly as long as we have to make changes when they went into decline.

The final straw was that, instead of making changes, our program has chosen to make noise by repeating the “we’re working hard to right the ship” mantra and pretending to be “excited” about the coming year. You’d have to be on some mood-enhancing substance, legal or otherwise, to be excited about Georgia football this coming year.

Withholding funds won’t get us a shiny new coaching staff this year. I know that. But it will help make sure that this insanity (i.e. doing the same thing expecting different results) won’t stretch out ANOTHER year.

46-40

January 7th, 2011
4:47 pm

Bill, Of coarse dropping the $$$ support for the program hurts more than just football. That’s the point –to get the university’s attention. And it will work. When the U.S. puts santions on other countries you hit them in the pocketbook –and it hurts the citizens. That’s life. Fix the problems & no one gets hurt.

Dawg Tired

January 7th, 2011
4:49 pm

All I know is that Coach Richt said at his last press conference that “Bobo and Searles are both doing a great job.” Maybe we need to contribute more money to pay for a brain transplant.

Einsteindawg

January 7th, 2011
4:50 pm

I may be in the minority, but I think the jury is still out on McGarity’s hire. Foley is special and just needed someone to do the paperwork and fill out the correct forms, and my last business with McGarity was in the mid 80’s and he assigned my parking permit for the football games. A real AD could see through all this BS…and would be proactive. Just my opinion.

here are some options

January 7th, 2011
4:54 pm

Several posts have been directed at the lack of discipline and the type of athletes recruited (rightfully so)……I wonder what kind of athletes Harbaugh at Stanford recruits????? His team dominated VT……….

Einsteindawg

January 7th, 2011
4:55 pm

@here are some options…and they could read at college level, too.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
5:01 pm

jaxdawg, the problem with your plan is:

McGarity wasnt here last year, he can’t be held to any standard but what he can do NOW. So why would you screw yourself out of your place in the ticket line to correct a problem that you have absolutely no indication exist. (McGarity not doing what he should). Nothing he has said should give you the slightest inclination that he will not.

What you are talking about is punitive at this point, not proactive.

Einsteindawg

January 7th, 2011
5:07 pm

I agree AltamahaDawg…just contribute the minimum, send a letter (not an e-mail) to our AD, and copy our Board of Regents. A half empty stadium speaks volumes to the University and to the TV network covering the game.

72 Grad

January 7th, 2011
5:08 pm

Wow! Are they crying about not getting enough money now. I stuck through the years of Goff, Donnan and the last couple of years. My reward—I now miss the cutoff for GA-FL tickets (and matbe Boise State) after contributing for over 35 years. Perhaps Mr. McGarity has enough sense to realize that ALL season ticket holders (BUYERS) want to see the GA-FL game at least every other year. With ex-football players and ex-football coaches being AD for all these years they only saw through the football teams perspective—or was it just the MONEY!!!! Wake-UP. UGA only cares about the big dollar donors.

Sandman053

January 7th, 2011
5:14 pm

Yeah I got Ga- Fl tickets this year and it was a total surprise. But I would like to eventually get a point total high enough to get both…maybe this so-called discontent if they follow through with it will make my percentage go up.

icedawg

January 7th, 2011
5:26 pm

Football is just a sport. For some it may be more than that in an unhealthy way. All sport programs go through peaks and valleys. Right now the football program is in a valley. So what. If changes are necessary then they will be forthcoming, maybe not to satisfy everyone’s timing, but satisfying everyone is impossible anyway. If someone is supporting the UGA sports program then unless there something unethical in the program I would not see why they would pull their support simply because of one team’s sub par performance.

7576DAWG

January 7th, 2011
5:30 pm

If we played the GA-FLA. game in Athens every other year there wouldn’t be a problem

Steve

January 7th, 2011
5:51 pm

DawgInLex said it best.

All you couch potatoes who think you know so frickin’ much about football annoy me. Calling for peoples jobs and such. Just IMAGINE me being a complete outsider coming to your company and telling them they should fire you!

We hired Richt for a reason. We wanted to be relevant in college football again. For every year he has been here except the past two WE HAVE BEEN RELEVANT. I think Richt is a victim of his own success.

Fifteen years ago, a winning record every season and a bowl was an improvement.
When Richt started, a winning record every season and a bowl was an improvement.

For every single season but one, Richt has been a major improvement over what we have had for the last 20 years people. We have now had one losing season with Richt. In his first 10 seasons Vince Dooley finished the regular season with .500 records twice. In his next 10 he did it once, and also had a losing regualr season once. In other words, Richt is outperforming the most revered figure in UGA athletic history.

Let it go people. He deserves a chance to recover from this. He is coaching in the most dominant conference in football during a run in which the conference is stronger than it has EVER been, yet he still has the best winning percentage in UGA history. He still has a top 5 winning percentage of all active BCS conference coaches in this decade.

I know everyone is upset over how the last two years played out. I can guarantee you this right now .. Mark Richt is more upset than any single one of us.

Voicing your concerns is fine, but a real fan does not sit here and act like a GaTech troll on these boards and then wonder why we can’t get recruits. Try looking at the positive side a little bit.

Ceasar

January 7th, 2011
5:56 pm

Require CMR to observe Mark Fox!!!!!!!!! Now there’s a guy that knows how to run a program!!!!!!!!!!

The Truth Hurts

January 7th, 2011
5:57 pm

OK Steve. Give me the positive.

The Truth Hurts

January 7th, 2011
5:57 pm

Also, this decade is two years old. He’s .500 in it.

The Truth Hurts

January 7th, 2011
5:58 pm

Make that under .500.

Ceasar

January 7th, 2011
5:58 pm

Enter your comments here

Gatormeat

January 7th, 2011
5:59 pm

The reason you dogs don’t get recruits is they want to actually play for a team that has a chance to win championships, like the Mighty Gators. All they will get at georgia is Independence bowls and an arrest record. There is a reason you have lost 18 of 21 to us and have not won two in a row since 1988-1989, it is because you are a bunch of criminal scrubs compared to us. Muschamp and Weis are going to lay an epic whooping on you dogs this coming year, it will be the game that seals richt’s fate. Then you can hire some other loser coach and the Gators will beat him down also. To us you are Vanderbilt. You are Kentucky. Accept it

Gatormeat

January 7th, 2011
6:05 pm

No money coming in for the dogs, can’t get no one to commit, arrests, panties, coaches threatening to choke opposing players, cheap shots and starting fights at the Auburn game, and a lame duck coach. These are just a few of the reasons no recruits should consider georgia, it really would be a terrible waste of their youth. Come down here to Florida where you will win games and learn character, all you will learn at georgia is how to get arrested

ColumbiaDawg

January 7th, 2011
6:31 pm

Look at your contribution as an investment in the future. The more you contribute, the higher in the pecking you go as far as home game seat assignments and getting any kind of away tickets. Even if it doesn’t pay off this year, it might be the difference in those kind of seats in the future.

bitter ga fan

January 7th, 2011
6:35 pm

GAYtormeat, nice cheap shots, especially when you just fired a crazy as– turban cryer– he may have quit but in reality he was run off!! your closet is full of skelletons weak as— gator fan

at georgia we have a great tradition in football and we no we may have made a mistake drawing on a coach south of our boarder. ask why birds fly up-side down over fla.?????theres nothing worth sh—- on, jokes on you gator meat every time you look in the mirrow, spoon chest punk

UGA Alumni Times 2

January 7th, 2011
6:39 pm

The answer of whether or not to stop contributing largely depends on your personal financial situation and motivations. If you your the average Alumni, you should probably keep your tickets with a long-term outlook in mind. If you’re doing poorly financially, this is a good time to save some cash. Feeling guilty about spending money you don’t have and getting no satisfaction from your purchase is a double negative. If money is no object to you, and you could buy back in at any time off e-bay, your contributions probably hurt UGA a lot more than they hurt you. If impacts all sports, yeah, it means a lot to UGA. And it might bring about a call for action. So it all depends…

bitter ga fan

January 7th, 2011
7:01 pm

spend yo money and buy the best playas just like auburn did, a mere 200,000 and there at a national championship game, JUST SAYING PO-DUNK

J Clay

January 7th, 2011
7:02 pm

Nope, expecting I will be able to get all 4 of my seats together now though…and considering adding 2 more seats…

Bob

January 7th, 2011
7:04 pm

RNB

January 7th, 2011
7:11 pm

I have had season tickets since 1982. My answer to your question is yes I will give mine up. It is a total waste of hard earned money to watch this program continue to me below average. There is no excuse for Georgia to not be in the mix for championships every year with the faciliites and money this program has. Hell with all of them. Mississippi State has more excitement. What does that tell you.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

January 7th, 2011
7:36 pm

Cut the donation crap and go back to purchasing the seats at face value

In this economy fans shouldnt be required to donate unless the want to not have to

Uga and the rest of the sporting events better hope the ecomony gets better because they will be begging people to pay if it doesnt

Jay

January 7th, 2011
7:46 pm

20 year season ticket holder here. I don’t think it will be a organized boycott of attendance. It will be more organic in people will not want to spend the ever decreasing entertainment budget dollars on a program that doesn’t even appear to be trying to win championships. UF, Bama, LSU, Auburn all seem to aggressively trying be elite program. Heck even Miss. St appears to have surpassed us.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
7:49 pm

Seems to me, contributions and attendance at the stadium would be a much more likely way to send a message to the AD as to what clout and expectations the fans have.

AltamahaDawg

January 7th, 2011
7:54 pm

That they do and will (give and attend), not they they won’t, I mean.

Plus what is this “us against them” attitude? As if anybody at the admin does NOT the same thing as the fans?

Tampa Dawg

January 7th, 2011
7:58 pm

Since CMR is more of a preacher than a football coach, it should be like church. Pass around the collection plate and donate whatever you can afford to give.

atlanta dawg

January 7th, 2011
7:59 pm

Of COURSE NOT!!! Win or lose i bleed red and black.. Go Dawgs

pulaski dawg

January 7th, 2011
8:20 pm

It’s not the couple of down seasons that has me considering dropping out. After 26 years, I’m getting tired of parking issues due to poor planning. I’m getting tired of concessions that now charge $5.00 for a cup of ice and require you to buy a bottle of water for $2.00 to go in it rather than just filling it with water as they would soda. If you dare go for a drink, you miss a quarter of football. Not too much seems to be done with fans in mind. I long for the eighties and nineties when it seemed the fans were appreciated for something other than money.

Richtard Simmons

January 7th, 2011
8:52 pm

sogadog, very well stated.
we are not getting 2.8 million worth out of richt. Cut his pay until he raises his performance.I would like to know what changes re being made, beside making the video director the strength coach. What richt said the other day was almost the exact thing he said last year and the year before, its getting old, certainly not worth 2.8 million.

Richtard Simmons

January 7th, 2011
9:04 pm

stevie, we cant get recruits because we have lost 12 games the last two years. these kids want go go to a winner. they all dream of playing on a national championship team. no one in his wildest dream sees uga as that now. even 17 and 18 year old kids can see that for 3 years we have been headed down. im glad i dont have stock in a company you are ceo of if you would keep way underperforming empolyees as richt on the payroll at 2.8 million.