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

Stephen Dawg

January 13th, 2011
11:11 am

It is always darkest before the light of a new day. McGarity knows what he is doing and we are on the right track. Go Dawgs!!

luckieG

January 13th, 2011
11:17 am

Georgia fans sound like some of the polarized Americans

Dawg Tired

January 13th, 2011
11:20 am

Do we have 4 guys who can play linebacker? That’s ought to do it. Get these guys in shape so they can play the whole game for crying out loud. I’ve never seen such a buch of wimps. Back in the day the starters played the whole game unless injured. Now you need three guys for every position or they get tired, hold their hand up, and TROT, not sprint, to the side line. Don’t remember Hershel asking to come out.

Phil

January 13th, 2011
11:21 am

The only depature that is really going to help this program is when that clown Richt leaves.

AltamahaDawg

January 13th, 2011
11:27 am

No doubt, sandman. I am sure if I polled those exact same folks about Coach Bobo, he doesn’t fair well.

But I wonder if the question was posed in the context of reality and not hypothetical:

If you were Richt and knew you had to win x games this year or lose your job, would you be willing to risk installing a new offensive philosophy just a year after installing a new defensive philosophy (and probably going to still be feeling the effect of that for at least another partial season, if not longer depending on recruiting)??

Now he takes on a whole nuther learning curve. That’s a given. Has been everywhere else where major changes in staff and style happened. That’s some guaranteed losses. He’s not going to be granted any time for that, even assuming a new OC would eventually turn out to be great, which isn’t a given.

And I don’t think getting rid of Bobo would changed the minds of the fans that are down on him, and given it would certainly cost him his job, I don’t blame him for just taking his chances.

I’m sure he and McGarity discussed all that. And concluded that what he really needed to do to keep his job THIS year was just win the games that he lost by a TD or a FG, which logically seems a lot easier to do with what he has. Defense going into its second full year alone could be enough to make that amount of difference, doing nothing to the offensive side. (which there are some very identifyable areas there to improve as well) And If the defense doesnt improve, wouldn’t have mattered anyway to fire Bobo, they are all gone.

Bazooka Joe

January 13th, 2011
12:21 pm

UGA fans are a bunch of babies – Are you REALLY that stupid ? Oh wait, you are an AU fan or alum (bout the same since the AU Masters programs are at 1st grade level). Chizik hasnt done squat – he rode the backs of others as an assistant and was a losing coach at a backwater scool before AU called.
Your program is an embarrasment to college football and the SEC, personally I think AU should be kicked out of the SEC – dirtiest program in the country. You did notice that nobody in the SEC except AU fans were pulling for AU to win that game right ? And we are glad you did not give the SEC chant at the end of the game as we really do not want to be associated with you.
Now, go cash your paycheck from Walmart and give half of it to AU so they can pay for this upcoming class of recruits.

Bazooka Joe

January 13th, 2011
12:22 pm

Oops, school – might help if I could type !

AltamahaDawg

January 13th, 2011
1:08 pm

ugab, because they have a couple of FB already on the roster, and another RB that could. BTW did anybody else notice Figgins in at FB? the couple of plays I saw him, he took out his man exactly as he was supposed to. He’s darn sure noticeable (size) back there.

And actually I would expect the Running game to be no worse, which isn’t saying much, but its more likely to be better than worse. At the very least we’ll have a real back up that’s not 5′7″, and some saying he’s had a impressive RS year.

dawgs10

January 13th, 2011
1:09 pm

anyone that thinks Scam Newton was not the reason for the National Title should just stop watching college football. if you guys want to make UGA the best team money can buy be my guest. i would rather have a coach that i can respect as a man and a coach.

LawDawg

January 14th, 2011
9:18 am

Good riddance to Dowtin. He was average at best and between assaults and fighting with coaches, he will probably end up doing something else embarrassing. I am also fine with cleaning house from the Evans era, particularly the scheduling guy.

Spanky

January 14th, 2011
12:44 pm

It’s going to be amusing when Newton and Auburn have to return their hardware because the NCAA comes upon some “new” evidence that proves Cam knew about his fether being a crook.

dawgrific

January 14th, 2011
3:02 pm

What I love is that these same auburn fans who HATED the cheesick hire are now IN LOVE with him. He is a one hit wonder clown who is/was the perfect coach to oversee “pay-for-play” because he is/was SO DESPERATE to prove that he belonged, especially when he was so rudely greeted by auburn folks, and even charles barkley. The auburn limo has been quite active, and I am convinced that the cost of that will be a dear one, and will begin to be felt very soon. My thoughts on Richt are no different than any other passionate but logical Dawg fan, and that is that he has brought quite a lot to Athens, but that the recent slide is quite troubling. I really hope that we take a major step forward this year, but if not, my patience will probably have run out. Lastly, did anyone else watching that game on Monday night just get the feeling that if au won, that it would all not matter soon? Weird that #2 was playing, and definite feeling that we were kind of watching a hoax.