‘Be True to Your School’ cuts both ways with Dooley, Tarkenton

Is Vince Dooley a Dawg, a Tiger ... or both? (Associated Press)

Is Vince Dooley a Dawg, a Tiger ... or both? (Associated Press)

I heard from a couple of fans who were bothered by the way Vince Dooley concluded a phone interview this week on Tim Brando’s nationally syndicated Sporting News Radio show. The former UGA head football coach and athletic director signed off with a low-key “War Eagle.”

On top of Dooley pulling for his son Derek when the Vols played the Dogs (albeit quietly at home, away from prying TV cameras), this latest departure from the true Red and Black path might seem like blasphemy to some. But I have no problem with Vince celebrating his alma mater’s first national championship since 1957 (back when he was on the Tigers’ coaching staff). Besides having coached there before coming to UGA, Dooley played football at Auburn and is a graduate of the former Alabama Polytechnic Institute.

OK, granted, Dooley spent more years as a Dawg than in orange and blue and it’s UGA that put up a statue of him.

But I’m more than willing to concede Dooley an occasional “War Eagle” because when it really mattered, in 1980 when Auburn tried to lure him back, he chose to remain at Georgia.

Woof!

Meanwhile, Dawgs 247 had an interesting report that current UGA athletic director Greg McGarity had reached out to former Bulldogs quarterback and NFL great Fran Tarkenton, who lambasted Mark Richt and the Georgia football program on Atlanta’s 680 The Fan.

Greg McGarity was diplomatic in responding to outspoken Fran Tarkenton (University of Georgia)

Greg McGarity was diplomatic in responding to outspoken Fran Tarkenton (University of Georgia)

In addition to ripping the conditioning of Georgia’s players, Tarkenton seemed to be incensed by Richt’s recent comments about McGarity freeing him up from administrative duties so he could spend more time studying football. Said the legendary No. 10: “What has he been doing for nine years? I have never heard any college, high school, professional coach [ever say] that I was not able to spend enough time on football. I had other issues. … It sounds like ‘I am not taking responsibility.’”

Tarkenton added: “I think Greg McGarity has got to look at this awfully hard, I think the signs are that we have a program that is in big trouble.”

McGarity told 790 The Zone that he had a “nice conversation” with Tarkenton after he heard about the comments and seemed to be trying to gently bring the famed scrambler back into the fold.

Said McGarity: “I basically apologized to him for not reaching out earlier, which I probably should have done to a number of individuals but just did not do it. I think he got to know me a little bit better. I got to know him better, and I was able to talk to him.”

And what did the AD think of Tarkenton’s remarks? “Everybody is entitled to their own opinion,” McGarity said. “It’s disappointing that it would come from one of your own. And basically, that’s about all I care to say about that.”

Which is a heck of a lot more diplomatic way of responding to criticism from a former player than the way Urban Meyer handled it at McGarity’s former employer when critical comments from former QB Shane Matthews prompted him to issue his infamous statement: “I’m also going to talk about loyalty with our former athletes. Some are welcome, some aren’t. …We want former Gators to come back, but loyalty’s a two-way street. If you want to be critical of a player on our team or a coach on our team you can buy a ticket for seat 37F, you’re not welcome back in the football office.”

SPEAKING OF BUYING TICKETS …

Despite the declining fortunes of Richt’s Dogs on the field the past couple of seasons, UGA was one of only 18 FBS schools to sell out all their home football games this season. What do you think are the chances that string will continue in 2011 if Richt doesn’t turn it around quickly?

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355 comments Add your comment

Class of '98

January 15th, 2011
12:10 pm

I have no problem with Dooley rooting for his son. He can stick the War Eagle up his ancient bum.

Jim Beam

January 15th, 2011
12:13 pm

After being screwed by Adams he can cheer for who he wants.

Class of '98

January 15th, 2011
12:15 pm

One more thing… Tarkenton was right…. if Richt was so bogged down by administative duties the last few years, why didn’t he make the necessary changes? He does realize he’s about to lose his job, right?

I’m not so sure he does realize it. I love you Coach, but 7-6 and 6-7 don’t cut it, my man.

Class of '98

January 15th, 2011
12:18 pm

Oh, and Bill…. THANK YOU for stating in a recent blog how STUPID it is for fans to chant “OVERRATED” when they beat someone who is favored over them. You are only insulting your own team and diminishing their victory.

FaithfulDawg86

January 15th, 2011
12:22 pm

As a college professor and director fo a program, I can tell you that administrative duties take up WAY more time than anyone realizes, and that they often creep up on you, especially if you’re a perfectionist. Sure I can do that, yeah, I can that too… and next thing you know, you’re buried in paperwork. Richt and McGarity are making the right adjustments. Freeing him up from paperwork and other indirect duties will allow him to assess the big picture and resume more of the day-to-day management of the team. He’ll get us back to where we need to be. Go Dawgs! Oh, and Fran Tarkenton can take a flying leap, I don’t care who he USED to be. USED TO the operative words… football has changed ALOT since then, Fran, so go back to your armchair.

DawginOH

January 15th, 2011
12:25 pm

Dooley’s entitled to be happy for Auburn. That’s where he played his college ball and that’s the diploma that’s hanging on his wall. However, his legend will forever be associated with Georgia and that’s what we should be thankful for and proud of.

It’s interesting that McGarity contacted Tarkenton. I wonder if he wants to bring him in as a “fire ‘em up” motivational speaker? Sounds like the dude has great passion for the state of his alma mater’s football program and, his thoughts about Richt aside, it would be good to get SOMEONE to light a fire under this team.

How many days till kickoff, y’all? Go Dawgs!

NCDawg

January 15th, 2011
12:25 pm

I have been a faithful follower of UGA for over 30 years, and I have never known Tarkenton to be a public supporter of the Dawgs. He should not come out now and kick the program when it is down. If Buck Belue or Rex Robinson or Eddie Weaver or any number of former Bulldogs who have been public supporters over the years want to voice concern, I am all ears.

I have a lot of respect for Mr. Tarkenton as an NFL player, and even more as a business man. But don’t come out once every 30 years to kick your alma mater when it’s down.

Asheville Dawg

January 15th, 2011
12:29 pm

Tarkenton only voiced an opinion that many of us feel is the truth. I feel we are wasting another year of falling further behind our SEC opponents by giving Richt another year.

Dooley rooting for his son is a natural. After being stabbed in the back by Adams, I’d something good about my alma mater, too.

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Truth in Augusta

January 15th, 2011
12:38 pm

Tarkenton’s comments were right on the money. If Richt spent half as much time trying to improve his recruiting and coaching as he does making the same lame excuses, the dawgs would be a much better team. All Richt has done is drive the program into the ground and into irrelevancy.

Chris

January 15th, 2011
12:40 pm

I’m not saying that Tarkenton is right or wrong, what I’m concerned about is the timing. Were right in the middle of recruiting season and if people dont think a recruit is going to take notice of what a former Hall of Famer has to say then your completely ignorant. He should’nt have done it now and this paper should’nt have printed it now. YOU BOTH HAVE SCREWED THE GA PROGRAM.

Rad Penties

January 15th, 2011
12:40 pm

A few salient comments:

1. Four different SEC teams have won the last five BCS championships.

2. UGA was not one of those teams.

3. During that period, UGA did not win the SEC championship.

4. During that period, UGA did not even win its SEC division.

5. Red panties.

In other words, UGA has sunk into total irrelevancy both regionally and nationally.

So why is UGA paying Mark Richt millions of dollars a year?

VSU_Dawg

January 15th, 2011
12:45 pm

Down here at Valdosta State, Dooley was down here signing some books and me and my roommate went and got some things signed. Unfortunately, my roommate is a damn Auburn fan, but Vince greeted him with a war eagle and signed his flag war eagle…I do not think it is that big of a deal, the man has ties to both schools, as long as he doesn’t get carried away with it, not a problem.

Chris

January 15th, 2011
12:45 pm

You idiots that get on here and blast Coach Richt and UGA are only hurting the program. Right or wrong don’t screw us by allowing negative stuff you feel be known to recruits.

jrmdvm1

January 15th, 2011
12:45 pm

I have been a Tarkenton fan for many years. Like others, I don’t recall vociferous support for the program from him in the past, and I don’t know how much “quiet” support ( financial or otherwise ) he may have provided. However, as a former player, he has earned the right to voice his opinion. What I question is his timing. He should have saved those negative comments until after national signing day. I think his comments have more potential for hurting recruiting than they do for helping recruiting. It is bad enough when supposed fans make negative comments on these blogs, but for them to come from someone who is a Hall-of-Fame player is even worse. I think his opinion results from his truly caring about the program, but his timing did stink!

jrmdvm1

January 15th, 2011
12:47 pm

TROJAN

January 15th, 2011
12:50 pm

Can anyone discuss on this blog without the agendas and motives to either blindly buildup a team or rip on another team? Dooley can pull for Auburn if he wants. He can also ignore Scam Cam if he wants. Tarkenton is entitled to his opinion even though he is not exactly a model alumni. You can have an opinion even if you are stupid.

Fairness

January 15th, 2011
12:50 pm

One thing I haven’t seen discussed much is how wrong Tarkenton was with his comments. He said that UGA players had performed poorly at the combine but that is not true. UGA has had many combine studs up near or at the top in a lot of it’s events. I think especially in the bench press. I don’t believe they do any kind of distant run so I don’t know what kind of endurance test he could have been talking about. The program might deserve some criticisms and needs to improve but all alumni or fans should at least be sure their criticism is factual based. I also wish Tarkenton would have waited until after signing day to say such things. I’m sure other coaches are showing all the recruits these comments. True fans and supporters know that right now is not the time for this kind of stuff.

NYCDAWGFAN

January 15th, 2011
12:51 pm

FaithfulDawg86: You got it bro on more than one level. Number 1: I wanna say to Fran, either wear the red and black or don’t. It’s like NCDAWG said, you haven’t been there in either way (good or bad) in quite some time. We need all the help we can in these final days of recruiting. Number 2: Leave Coach Dooley alone. The man’s a DAWG and he always will be. (If Adams wasn’t in the picture he may still be the AD.) You don’t hear Tarheel fans getting upset about Coach Smith, Coach Brown, or Coach Williams showing support for the Jayhawks… So let it be. Number 3: It seems as though Mr. Evans, while being a brilliant businessman as an AD, left a lot of poo for Richt to clean up over the years. This is D I Football my friends, it is an ugly business at times, and without total cooperation from top to bottom from the AD etc. the head coach can get caught in a firestorm. I like coach Richt, hell, I love coach Richt. I pay hundreds of dollars every year to send my little brother to his camp every summer, so I know that he is a great coach (also know of his abilities through 2 high school alums that play (ed) at UGA at different points in his career). So, in D I where the dollar rules (Hi Cecil:O)) I can definitely understand where coaching can be put aside while trying to do your boss’ paper work. Support the Dawgs my friends. We are gonna be back next year. I can feel it. Change is inevitable. We have too much talent to stay down too long and we also have the right pieces in place. We have done a solid job of recruiting this year. I do feel that we will get Rome, I feel that we are 90% there with Crowell, and I think, if we let him keep his hand in the dirt :O), we are 80% for Drew. Without Crowell or Drew this class is gonna be a great one. I say this because I am not looking at the stars beside these guys names, I am looking at their film and interviews to see ethic and character. We have some young men coming in that are gonna make an impact from day one. I think Seay is a steal and I believe Ramik Wilson will be a first round pick and will one day win the Lombardi while wearing the Red and Black (anyone that has seen his game tapes will agree). This kid hits and attacks like very few that I have ever seen. He has a raw meanness to his game that reminds me of Ray Lewis. Scream it loud, I’M RED AND BLACK AND PROUD….. Try it some time Francis

Fairness

January 15th, 2011
12:53 pm

Wow jrmdvm1, we were typing almost the same thing about the same time. I wrote mine before seeing your post. Well said!

Mike Oxbig

January 15th, 2011
12:53 pm

Bill, you might want to check your sources. Fran’s comments about Richt were on 680 the Fan, not 790. That said, he’s pretty much right unfortunately.

Who Cares

January 15th, 2011
12:54 pm

Tarkenton is a true DAWG!! Dooley is a has been, that had to get out of coaching because he couldn’t beat another former dawg named Dye!! Dooley and his wife can stop pretending to be UGA supporters and get out of Athens. Dooley likes the pathetic program called war eagles, tigers, or plainsmen, or whatever the hell they are, and his biggggg mouth wife likes Tenn. How can any UGA fan care what this worn out couple thinks or says. Tarkenton on the other hand is a true DAWG and he speaks the truth. Richt is a loser, cry baby, and a big sissy. He should have never been given the job as head coach at UGA. Donnan and his recruits made this sissy ass clown, and he has been nothing but a big joke since Donnan’s recruits left, and Van Gorder left. Van Gorder had balls, and passion, but this lucky ass clown has neither. He has brought the UGA program to an all time low as far as public perception, and he will never get UGA back to it’s proper place in the national media. How in GOD’s name does this clown deserve to lead a major program in the SEC for another year? I would rather have Tarkenton leading UGA’s program than this sissy. At least Tarkenton would hold coaches accountable as well as player’s, and he would never settle for the pathetic performance that Richt’s teams have shown the past 5 years. Dooley is a joke, Richt is a joke, and they have done nothing for UGA’s program the past 5 years, just as Tarkenton said. At least Tarkenton is a true DAWG, and he speaks from the heart. To HELL with Richt and the traitor Dooley

Uncle Tom

January 15th, 2011
12:56 pm

So Faithful Dog 86, you’re a COLLEGE professor? There’s no such word as “alot.” It’s supposed to two separate words=a lot. I’m a high school history teacher and even I know that.

JB

January 15th, 2011
12:58 pm

Richt is paid a ton of money ( one years pay is more than a HS teacher/coach will make in their 30 year Career), so not producing will come with heavy criticism .Also, you can’t sit and watch you neighbors have beautiful lawns every year, while yours is full of rocks and weeds.
If this years results were not coming off the back of two previous years being awful, the feelings would not be as strong. 08& 09 were disappointing, and this past year was a train wreck. The SEC winning the last 5 National titles and still being owned by Florida is killing this program.

Chris

January 15th, 2011
12:59 pm

I dont know how someone that suppose to care for the program could hurt it. My father once said and I quote ” I’d rather be a fool and keep my mouth shut then to open it and proof that fact to erveryone”.

SoCal Dawg

January 15th, 2011
12:59 pm

Dooley is getting on up there in years. It has been my experience that when a man gets some years on him he becomes a little more sentimental looking back on life. I’m sure VD looks back at that time in his life with some very fond memories. And after the way Adams has treated him I wouldn’t be surprised if he did the gator chop and yelled roll tide on occasion. All this fire Richt stuff should be turned into FIRE ADAMS!

NYCDAWGFAN

January 15th, 2011
1:01 pm

Chris: I like it!!!

Tallcarl

January 15th, 2011
1:01 pm

I agree with NCDAWG and a couple of others. I loved Fran and Hershel both and I do not know how much behind the senses support they lend to the Ga. program but they have done little of the public kind. Fran’s timing is terrible maybe both should call the school and ask about some recruiting help and not be a deterrent to Coach Richt. Just saying.

Chris

January 15th, 2011
1:03 pm

I dont believe any of these guys that are coming on here and blasting away with negativety are true UGA FANS.

NYCDAWGFAN

January 15th, 2011
1:05 pm

Some are, they are just misguided. It’s easy to walk down a paved road…. It’s harder to climb a mountain

NYCDAWGFAN

January 15th, 2011
1:06 pm

In the end who is stronger and has a better appreciation of life

JB

January 15th, 2011
1:07 pm

Chris…………….I’m a season ticket holder, Hartman Fund giver( required) and have spent 60,000 on these in Richts tenure. The lack of results I’m seeing in a management problem( coaching) and it’s not a lack of resources or a state loaded with HS talent. There is no other place to put the blame. Sorry, it’s the truth.

Chris

January 15th, 2011
1:08 pm

And the view is alot better on the mountain. Some times you got to come down to appreciate the view.

NYCDAWGFAN

January 15th, 2011
1:10 pm

You got it. The boys want another peek… Next year they will get a panorama

Chris

January 15th, 2011
1:11 pm

JB: I dont disagree my friend but why add insult to injury. I spend a lot of money too, but I know when to shut my mouth.

Brucerugby79

January 15th, 2011
1:12 pm

NYC dawg fan you are right on-Who Cares you are an idiot and I would bet actually a fan of one of our rivals
peace and love my brothers-brucie

NYCDAWGFAN

January 15th, 2011
1:15 pm

Brucerugby79: Much appreciated from the cold land of the Yankees :O)

Donnie Darko

January 15th, 2011
1:16 pm

Being true to your school isn’t something most uga fans have to worry about since they didn’t go to school there.

NYCDAWGFAN

January 15th, 2011
1:20 pm

Donnie Darko: Really? You choose that name to come and criticize the faithful on their home turf?…. Makes sense, seems like you enjoy men getting fired up… Guess you are also happy that Gyllenhall is single again. Make your next post as JarHead loser. RED AND BLACK TIL DEATH!!!

Carlton

January 15th, 2011
1:21 pm

UGA will always be able to sell out the games-it’s just a matter of how many seats will be filled..

Donnie Darko

January 15th, 2011
1:21 pm

How it that criticism? It is a statement of fact.

WeeWilly

January 15th, 2011
1:25 pm

I saw Bo Jackson on the AU sidelines pumping up players from his alma mater this past season. He was there every time I saw them on TV high fiving players after a good play. I have never seen Hershel or Fran doing that (or Pollack or a host of other Georgia football iIcons). Since lack of fire was one of UGA’s problems this year, maybe one of them should show up on the sidelines and show the troups what UGA is all about. Otherwise, opinions are like belly buttons, we all have one.

KBP

January 15th, 2011
1:27 pm

I wonder if Tarkenton would say those things to Richt in person?

Anyway, our recruiting on the O-line and D-line has been bad for several years. I don’t think our backs are as average as they have shown. 2001-2006 we had several NFL caliber linemen and we won a lot of games. 2007-2010 we do not have several NFL caliber linemen and we have lost a lot of games. Recruit better and we do better. No one questioned Richt’s coaching ability and lack of passion from 2001-2008. (won 10 games in 2008) Anyone think this past seasons team wins more than 8 games if Saban or Meyer or Miles or Mullen or Petrino is coaching? I don’t. Talent just not there.

Finally, just who were we as a National Program before the Herschel years? Just who were we before the Richt era? When have we consistently competed for National Championships? Ok, yeah we got money, facilities, etc. So does most everyone else in the SEC. Dawg family, let’s not delude ourselves into thinking we have fallen from a perch we have never consistently rested on.

NYCDAWGFAN

January 15th, 2011
1:27 pm

Donnie Darko: Speaking from a hands on approach I can tell you this. As a professional actor I have done a national college tour. I have been to no less than 80 of the total 120 DI A schools. That type of support (fans that didn’t attend said university) is a universal thing. If you go to Philly you will meet Penn State Fans that have never even been to that side of PA. You are just throwing mud from your rabbit hole. You can’t tell me otherwise because I am quite sure that you have not been in as many college towns or atmospheres as I. So be quite and listen while Grown ups are talking. Feel the bite of BIG BAD BRUCE!!!

Carlton

January 15th, 2011
1:27 pm

@ Donnie:

Well, it’s half criticism. Just because one didn’t attend the school doesn’t mean that one’s past doesn’t play an important part. I am a college student who does not attend UGA yet I have been a UGA fan for life-my grandmother/grandfather on my Dad’s side attended the school, as well as my aunt (on my Mom’s side-actually was the captain of the GymDawgs when she attended UGA) and my family has been implanted in Georgia for generations..as well, my great grandmother had a house on Rutherford street and attended UGA..so, it’s only inherent I would be raised a UGA fan-doesn’t mean I have to attend the university to be a fan.

DIT

January 15th, 2011
1:27 pm

Can’t blame Dooley. I totally get. I get the frustration with Fran as well. Personally I think he should have stated most of it to our new AD and boosters. This does not look good for the recruiting front.
Year and years ago I had the privilege to meet FT back in the 80’s to be exact. I was around him several times a week for about a year. He was one of the most arrogant, self-centered people around so it does not surprise me that he went on-air to voice his opinion. Again, I don’t disagree with any of his comments. They just should have been directed to the right people and airing the dirty laundry out out for all.
But, after all, it is about Mr. Fran.

Chris

January 15th, 2011
1:30 pm

Fran loves some Fran.

Donnie Darko

January 15th, 2011
1:33 pm

How does anything you said change the truthfulness of my comment? Of course any school has fans that didn’t go to school there. However, your example, Pennsylvania is flawed. The college system in Pennyslvania funnels most state students to Penn State for their last two year, so almost all college students in Penn. have some connection to Penn State. Not so in Georgia.

Like most small minds you seem more interested in attacking me personally than rationally discussing the point I made.

Bride of Chucky Knapp

January 15th, 2011
1:34 pm

Yeah, where’s Fran been in the last few decades. He’s not exactly a huge booster. So nice of him to offer his helpful direction while UGA is trying to secure commitments from potential players.

And I worked at UGA, in addition to going to school there, and you can’t begin to comprehend the amount of administrative crap one must deal with in any govt job, much less a high profile position like HC. It’s a wonder he has time to coach football.

SKB

January 15th, 2011
1:35 pm

45-42
45-42
45-42

hahaha pups, NEVER forget 45-42, Always remember.