Are latest departures from UGA a good thing?

Marcus Dowtin was known for not being a happy camper in Athens. (AJC file)

Marcus Dowtin was known for not being a happy camper in Athens. (AJC file)

A housecleaning of sorts appears to be under way in Athens.

A week after we learned that new athletic director Greg McGarity was taking some of the head coach’s administrative duties off Mark Richt’s plate so he can concentrate fully on football, another couple of departures have been announced.

First, inside linebacker Marcus Dowtin was granted an unconditional release from his scholarship to transfer elsewhere. And now associate athletic director Arthur Johnson is leaving UGA to return to the University of Texas.

Dowtin’s departure will hurt the already depleted linebacking corps, but it’s not really a surprise. He had the reputation of having an attitude problem, which apparently resulted in a clash with a coach that led to him not playing in the Liberty Bowl despite making the trip to Memphis. And then there was the second-degree assault charge back home in Maryland last May that he managed to get resolved but didn’t bother to tell Richt about, with the head coach only getting clued in last week.

There’s been no word on whether Dowtin decided to leave on his own, it was a mutual decision or he was shoved out the door. But you get the feeling nobody was begging him to stay. If this is a sign of a new zero-tolerance policy for players who aren’t fully committed to what’s best for the program, then it should be viewed as a good thing.

Arthur Johnson is going back to his old job in Texas. (Georgiadogs.com)

Arthur Johnson is going back to his old job in Texas. (Georgiadogs.com)

As for Johnson, who was responsible for scheduling and oversight of facilities and event management among other things, what’s most notable about him leaving is that he’s returning to the exact same job he had at UT before joing UGA in 2005. So it’s not a move for career advancement.

While everyone is making nice and portraying his departure as amicable, the fact that he was former AD Damon Evans’ roommate at UGA and closely identified with the Evans regime and its now-abandoned let’s-go-way-out-west scheduling philosophy naturally raises suspicions that McGarity is beginning to move to assemble his own team at Butts-Mehre.

So what do you think of these departures? The Dogs were already thin at linebacker, so the loss of Dowtin won’t make things any easier for Todd Grantham, though they might help off the field. And you’ll recall that when Evans took over as AD at UGA, he cleaned house in a much more drastic fashion than McGarity has done so far.

Is all of this a sign of things getting back on course in Athens or just folks bailing out of a declining program?

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212 comments Add your comment

Mobile Dawg

January 12th, 2011
5:22 pm

I guess my question to “you people that don’t get it” is, if CMR and “staff” haven’t been able to coach what was rated as, and qualified to be rated as, top 10 classes, what leads you to believe that he can turn things around. I just keep reading from the “supporters” how great things are going to be, that Richt is going to turn it around. Just what are they basing that assumption on? There’s no foundation for the notion that things will improve. I’m quite upset as a UGA fan and supporter that Richt is being given a pass by so many.

Grammar Police

January 12th, 2011
5:31 pm

swampjacket

Auburn isn’t Iowa State, dork.

Sucks to be you.

Grammar Police

January 12th, 2011
5:32 pm

swampjacket

Speaking of dirt, how many more Tech grads will end up in Al Queada terrorist training camps?

K-Baby

January 12th, 2011
5:34 pm

Bill, I think these changes are still near the beginning of the transformation process McGarity is putting into place. It seems to me that he is using a very methodical process in evaluating each and every aspect of the athletic program and making changes or keeping people in place as a result on completed evaluations. These are not finished and we may see more in the future. He is performing as the CEO of the program as he should be.

Speaking of CEOs, didn’t CMR declare in about 2006 that he was looking at changing his role as a head coach to more of a CEO of the football program rather than actively coaching himself? He really thought he had strong enough assistant coaches and other personnel in place to have the program at an elite level for years to come. Wasn’t that when he promoted Bobo to OC? I honestly think that he was trying to improve the program by learning and growing as a leader of an organization (in this case the football program). This may be the case of delegating too much responsibility to others and it backfired. This turned out to be a wrong decision on his part, but maybe did not know how to reverse it once this organizational program was in place. I am encouraged because it appears McGarity came in and sat down with CMR and basically told him that he needs to be a coach and not the CEO – - that was the athletic director’s job. CMR tried to express his releif about that by saying he was excited to study football again, but it came off a little wrong. He loves coaching, made a decision to get away from the nuts and bolts of coaching for the good of the program, saw it was a wrong decision, and now McGarity is giving him the opportunity to correct that mistake. If this is the case, then this thing could be turned around.

Finally, it appears that CMR has difficulty making the tough decisions for the program – - hiring and firing assistant coaches, following through with disciplinary decisions, etc. He must grow in this to gain better control of the program. I feel that McGarity can help him with this and we will see progress.

I am a long time Dawg fan and a graduate of UGA during the Hershel Walker years. I have been as upset and frustrated as everyone else about that decline and current state of the program. But, I think we have reasons to be encouraged.

Alma mater de jour

January 12th, 2011
5:43 pm

Most of the UGA haters here are kids that will never go to any school as fabulous and well respected as UGA. They likely are junior college wannabes too. See the Princeton Review’s opinion on 3 state of GA universities…………….GT/UGA and GC&SU. All ranked highly in the upper 25 % of public schools.

They hate UGA because they get a rise out of the so called UGA fans, or they think that they do. Kids. Teens, staying at home on Mom’s PC sipping big Uranged drinks and slamming bags of chips ar the UGA haters.

Usually, they pull for GT BASKETBALL but that has gotten rather foolish, so they pull for Florida but that too is full of pifalls. So …………. NOW they are AU fans and they just love Auburn and Scam Newton, when in fact, a year ago beyond one or two AU fans on this site, NOTHING was ever uttered one way or other about AU.

GO Dogs. Woof, woof, woof.

Continue to hate UGA kids ……………………..UGA could care less.

UGA man, class of 71 & 73

Knox Culpepper

January 12th, 2011
5:48 pm

Good riddance to Dowtin. Please take Caleb King and Washaun Ealey with you. UGA needs to get rid of the cancer that is hurting this program. It starts with the coaches but the players are equally to blame. Central Florida players were quoted as saying that the team they played in the Liberty Bowl simply didn’t want to be there. This is an indictment on both coaches and players. The coaches need to step up but there also needs to be leadership from the players as well. Like it or not UGA fans, Richt is here for another year. He needs to get the attention of these players who feel they are bigger than the program. Getting rid of Dowtin is the first step. Finding an offensive line would be a good second one.

ReddDawg

January 12th, 2011
5:59 pm

Markie & Boo Boo are the only two I want to read about leaving. Til then, who cares?

RHall

January 12th, 2011
6:03 pm

Too much bashing!!! Too much complaining!!! The SEC is the toughest conference in the nation; with the best players in the nation (check the draft / check the Pro Bowl). Understand CMR and Staff will be given this year to turn it around; all these recruits will be given a chance to play (I fault CMR and his Staff for not getting on the JC circuit sooner / these players are ready to make a difference; i.e. Alabama with Cody and Auburn with Newton and Fairley; the SEC will be loaded with JC players next year; UGA will probably have (2) ); trying to catch up for the last (4) years of incompetence will be decided this year; let’s shoot for the best: a better strength and conditioning program and an excellent recruitng year; if the Coaching does not get better, then a change will happen; let’s see what happens next year and move on!!! Writing snide remarks or bashing other Teams will not expediate any changes!!!! The SEC is the best!!!!

the Owl of Prophecy

January 12th, 2011
6:10 pm

The best departure would be Richt, Bobo, Garner, et al. But, I fear that it is too late to get the proper replacement. Just wait until the end of this season when CMR pads his loss column. Should have been fired after 2008.

Grammar Police

January 12th, 2011
6:13 pm

Alma mater de jour

From reading your rant, it’s you that is in serious need of re-re-re-taking remedial English.

Grammar Police

January 12th, 2011
6:14 pm

“All ranked highly in the upper 25 % of public schools. ”

According to ALL schools, public and private, UGA ranks 56. GT is higher. G State is not ranked.

the Owl of Prophecy

January 12th, 2011
6:17 pm

Hey Grammar Police…do you know Grammar Rock? Conjunction Junction?

swampjacket

January 12th, 2011
6:27 pm

Grammar Police- Touchy..Looks like I hit a nerve..now don’t you go shooting at members of Congress! Uh..and Grammer Whatever you mis-spelled Al-Qaeda. And no it doesn’t suck being me, but it does suck to lose to Reggie Ball twice. And I guess you admit I’m right since you have no comment other than name-calling..

Ed (The Original)

January 12th, 2011
6:28 pm

“Are latest departures from UGA a good thing?”

Not unless the entire coaching staff went with them. So no, not really. It will be the same old same old as long as Richt is in charge.

BufordKing

January 12th, 2011
6:47 pm

1. Dowtin needed to go – not being forthcoming to the coach about the arrest was wrong. Wish him the best.
– This is a good thing – and will open up another scholarship.
– Jones and Richard Samual will be ready in 2011.

2. McGarity needs to get his folks in place on his terms. When Damon Evans took over – he overhauled the “Staff” pretty drastically.

3. UGA needs a big year in 2011 – period.
I can understand “cycles” and rebuild years – but to Colorado – and then losing to UCF really poured salt in the wounds.
It’s hard to admit that UGA sucks as a football team and a program – but that is the truth for 2010.

4. If we lose back to back to Boise and South Carolina – Richt is indeed toast.

7576DAWG

January 12th, 2011
6:48 pm

That’s exactly what I thought .CMR blames everybody except himself and his coaching staff. He may talk a big game in the papers but the only people leaving is the S&C team and the players. NO COACHES speaks volumes as to who is getting the blame from CMR and the AD.
But I do think McGarity told CMR that UGA owed him that much if he is saying that the coaches are not the problem, but you and the entire coaching staff will be gone if there isn’t big improvements next year. We will know CMR and his coaches fate after the SouthCarolina game.

Mobile Dawg

January 12th, 2011
6:51 pm

K-Baby, well thought out and well written. I’ve thought outside the box on numerous occasions about Richt’s relationship with Evans, how they work together, etc., looking for deeper reasons than just the inability to coach and run the program. Your “theory” is plausable, however, I have to disagree that Richt just isn’t up to the task. I hope I’m wrong but I believe in my heart McGarity will have to fire him next year.

wins-by-a-link

January 12th, 2011
6:57 pm

McGarity is making changes to the entire athletic department at UGA, McGarity’s job is dependant on the success of the entire department this encludes the success of the football program which has been in decline for the past 3 yrs, In order for Coach Richt to continue as coach he must reverse this trend, He has 2 yrs remaining on present contract, He will not be offered an extension and unless he turns things around (at least 8 wins in 2011) he will not be the coach at UGA, I’m sure McGarity would like to see Richt turn things around but I also think he would like to have his own man in that position.

Old Dawg

January 12th, 2011
7:01 pm

I don’t have a problem with Marcus Dowtin or Arthur Johnson leaving. A manager needs to have his own staff in place and most of the folks on your blog agree that bad attitudes and legal problems need to pack their bags and leave Athens. It’s obvious folks will second guess dismissing a QB who’s now at LSU, but when the incident happened in Milledgeville the majority of UGA fans wanted him gone.

A player with a bad attitude is a cancer in the locker room (Terrell Owens etc, etc), even if his position is thin on talent. I would hope the coaching staff will alter it’s recruiting a little and try and find a JUCO replacement. At the same time, the redshirt players can step up along with underclassmen.

All in all, from my standpoint these are great moves!

LakeDawg

January 12th, 2011
7:03 pm

The lack of discipline in this program is a far bigger problem than talent. Doesn’t matter how much talent is there if the current culture remains. Dowtin leaving will leave us thin at ILB, but it is a positive for the program. I hope coach Tereshenski runs off a few more. I don’t care who they are.

GATA

January 12th, 2011
7:36 pm

I’d like to think UGA could recruit and win with players that don’t have bad attitudes and discipline problems. But the reality of life in the SEC is that every team has to manage this problem. Maybe the key is that players who are leaders on both sides of the ball aren’t those guys, and can help keep the trouble-makers in line, probably better than the coaches can. If you run off every player who is a ‘thug’, that’s all well and good, but just be prepared to live with 7-6, 8-5, etc. You think Auburn would have been playing on Monday night without Fairley?

aarh

January 12th, 2011
7:44 pm

JayD- the only yr. UGA hasn’t had a top 10 recruiting class under richt was last yr., & they don’t seem to be top 10 again this yr. avvording to Rivals to Scout.com, but I beleive on ESPN they are. However, UGA has received 3 verbal commitments over a 4 day period recently. They could still finish in the top 10 this yr. w/ a strong finish.

Grammar Police

January 12th, 2011
7:57 pm

“now don’t you go shooting at members of Congress! ”

That’s pretty low coming from a Tech fan. I’d expect it from a Bammer but not a Techie. Shame on you.

“Whatever you mis-spelled Al-Qaeda. ”

Misspelled is one word. Also, who cares if I misspelled that garbage group from the Middle East.

“but it does suck to lose to Reggie Ball twice.”

Yeah, but winning a national title is much sweeter.

“And I guess you admit I’m right since you have no comment other than name-calling..”

Pot meet kettle.

Ducks ahoy

January 12th, 2011
8:31 pm

The rats are leaving the sinking ship.

Rad Penties

January 12th, 2011
8:39 pm

When they leave, do they get to take their red panties with them?

did you see what I saw

January 12th, 2011
8:54 pm

Coaches, what ever happened to fun on the field and let the players play? Certainly the talent was on the sidelines. Self centered control and anger management issues are not what you are paid millions to have or cover up in any athletic program. Coaches are paid to win games. Players are there to play. I wonder if you felt the team silently rebelling by not getting a win at the liberty bowl. It was obvious UCF was not evenly matched to UGA. Excuses from Coaches when clearly we have the talent on the sidelines is unacceptable. Hmmm…. Based on UCF responses that UGA did not come to play/win and your own eye witness, there may be a lot of truth to their statements. Private thoughts saying, “we do not agree with your game plan”, without putting their scholarships at risk can speak louder than a dawgs bark. Private thoughts can and will cost a Coach millions at UGA expense. The irony is they will be replaced/gone before an enitre team of players. Now think about that while chewing on your dawg bone fans.

JRW7

January 12th, 2011
9:40 pm

C KING should be the next DAWG kicked off the team!!!!!!!!!!!

JRW7

January 12th, 2011
9:48 pm

GM told CMR to get his program in order, OR you will be gone in 2012!!!!!!!!
And it will take at least 10 wins in 2011, or CMR is GONE!!!!!!

UGA fans are a bunch of babies

January 12th, 2011
10:09 pm

I am not taking anymore crap from you Georgia fans!
I’m going back in the living room with my Mommy.

RYDER

January 12th, 2011
10:18 pm

Drugs destroy abilities to grow and progress in all areas of life. With a few exceptions, the DAWGS look the same from game to game and from year to year. It seems the lights are on but no one is at home. Maybe it is the coaching or maybe it is both. Look at the arrest and dismissals from the team. Our downward spiral is not the problem, only a sympton of the problem

K-Baby

January 12th, 2011
10:56 pm

Thanks, Mobile Dawg. I am actually closer to your thinking than the tone with which I wrote. I want to stay as positive about this as I can. However, past behavior is the best predictor or future actions. It remains to be seen if whether the CMR of 2011 is more like the CMR or 2002-2005, or the most recent one. I am concerned that the recent past will be a better predictor of CMR version 2011. I hope I am wrong.

K-Baby

January 12th, 2011
10:57 pm

Sorry – - best predictor OF future actions…….

AltamahaDawg

January 12th, 2011
11:13 pm

Mobile, I can’t answer what folks are saying about thing being “so great” next year. I really haven’t seen that said by anybody that I’d consider level headed. What I see is folks saying is that things are Not great now, figuring out what would make a difference, and encouraged that some of the obvious things can be addressed, as they have been in the past. We’ll see if they can be. If not, McGarity will have to make another assessment.

I come in contact with a Bunch of Dawg fans in real life from a pretty wide range of passion, and every single one of them says the same thing one way or the others. I have not met a one person, who is saying in person that he just wants Richt fired, and has no desire to see what happens next year first. Not one.

swampratdawg

January 12th, 2011
11:15 pm

Hey GA fans. Just please stop responding to “uga fans are a bunch o

f babies” so he can go and play with his mommy. If you don’t respond to his nonsense and he is the only making stupid comments, he’ll just quit. All you are doing for him is adding fuel to the fire. And if the author of this article is stupid enough to let him continue and won’t cut him off, then they deserve each other.

Goodnight and sleep well all dawg fans.

Sandman053

January 12th, 2011
11:42 pm

AltamahaDawg…I agree. Everyone I’ve talked to is willing to wait and see what happens. Of course they would almost all be happy with Boo Boo gone, but that isn’t going to happen it doesn’t appear.

BoWeevil

January 13th, 2011
5:00 am

3 on the entire sorry Defense had more tackles 2010 than Marcus Dowtin, and he was not allowed to take very many snaps at all.

Mark Richt recruited him from Fort Union Military Academy in Maryland, so Mark Richt knew full well of his bad attitude and his poor grades.

There is a positive spin to this ?

DISNEYdawgs.com

Wonderful. Now, we can win the NC 2011.

BoWeevil

January 13th, 2011
5:04 am

Did you know Buck Belue said this today ?

“2011 is a critical year for Coach Richt. Got to get it done. Criticism is raining down from all directions. No time to speak to the Albany TD Club…the total focus has got to be on getting the program back on the road and relevant.”

7576DAWG

January 13th, 2011
5:12 am

When Bobo wasn’t replaced the rest of the SEC celebrated. What amazes me the most is that CMR didn’t learn anything from him not being able to evaluate coaching talent because of his friendship with Willie Martinez. A good head coach has got to be able to separate friendship from a fair evaluation of his coaches and I don’t care who you are if the coach isn’t do a very good job you replace him
That’s where we are with Bobo. Bobo has been a coach for 10 years and the offensive coordinator for three. If he was well respected as a coordinator wouldn’t other teams be wanting to interview him for head coaching positions. All of the other top tier teams in the SEC have lost their coordinators to the NFL or to under achieving teams who are trying to get better.
What has happened to our coordinators? One was finally fired, thank GOD, and the other has continued to bring down the entire team. Nobody being interested in Bobo speak’s for itself . If CMR could see pass his friendship for him he would see how unqualified Bobo is as an offensive coordinator in the SEC.
The reason it is so upsetting is because most of us don’t want to see CMR fired , only his under performing coaches but Mark is so hard headed he would rather go down with everybody than do the right thing. THAT’S NOT LOYALTY IN MY BOOK THAT STUPIDITY , CONCEIT , AND TOO PROUD TOO ADMIT WHEN YOU ARE WRONG.

BoWeevil

January 13th, 2011
5:39 am

Mike Bobo really ran up the stats winning 6 games against 6 teams all with a LOSING RECORD.

# 72 in the nation in 1st Downs

# 55 in the nation in Total Offense

# 62 in the nation in having your quarterback, sacked

# 56 in the nation in converting 3rd Downs

Not signing any of the top-recruits on offense last year and none 2011 either

2009 recruiting class is gone – off the roster

No FB, no TB, no wide-outs, no OL, no good play calls (if he did call good ones, he quit so his offense would be balanced)

As for not having a running game, was 7 carries a game for 1 point 9 yards a carry (less than 2) by Aaron Murray throwing gasoline on that fire ?

ugab

January 13th, 2011
8:05 am

Everyone wanted discipline in the program. Right!

ugab

January 13th, 2011
8:07 am

Why haven’t the dawgs recruited a fullback? Looks like the running game is going to suck. MR is in trouble.

CHRIS

January 13th, 2011
8:48 am

Jarvis Jones is what I think. Care less about Arthur.

BG

January 13th, 2011
8:53 am

McGarity is cleaning house.

legionaire

January 13th, 2011
9:12 am

It appears that Richt is taking the tough approach and that is a good thing. Players will know what is expected of them and what is tolerated. Johnson knew when the red panties were shown in Evans car that his time at UGA was short. Who knows what other stuff Johnson may have kept Evans out of.

huffsleeper

January 13th, 2011
9:15 am

A lot of these rats need to jump ship but UGA is still a ship without a rudder. Its going down.

Ralph

January 13th, 2011
9:34 am

What? You mean somebody who administers the thUGA football program might actually have a problem with a thug?

Michigan Dawg

January 13th, 2011
9:38 am

I believe the decline of the Georgia football team coincided with the arrival of Damon Evans as Athletic Director. Perhaps, he put too much non-football responsibility on Coach Richt. As an executive myself I can understand being made responsible for things outside the realm of my primary focus will become a distraction and cause me to loose focus on what is truly important.
Coach Richt did a fantastic job before Daman Evans got there and during Evans administration Richt declined. That tells me Evans demanded things of Coach that detracted him from football.
I believe Mark Richt knows football. I believe Mark Richt can coach football. I now believe Coach Richt will now be able to focus on Georgia Football. Go Dawgs!

StatesBurr

January 13th, 2011
9:44 am

Note: Anybody that Damon Evans brought in does not have any “legits” He was an embarassment to UGA and I assume Arthur Johnson, Evans old UGA roomate, was the best qualified to be associate AD… yea right!!!

It is what it is

January 13th, 2011
10:07 am

Good riddance!!!!

marinedawg

January 13th, 2011
10:32 am

GOOD-LETS PUT SOME PRIDE BACK INTO THE DAWGS,GLAD TO SEE THE JACKWAGONS ARE HEADED OUTA TOWN.yOU DONT HAVE TO BE A CRIMINAL TO PLAY FOOTBALL.