Some thoughts coming out of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors spring meeting at SSI …
You want early evidence that Georgia made a wise choice in calling Athens native Greg McGarity home from Florida as athletic director? Just look at the fact that following a losing 6-7 season and an absolutely dismal and dispiriting bowl showing by Mark Richt’s football team, Bulldog Club/Hartman Fund contributions actually increased $300,000 to $23 million this year.
A major factor in that apparently was McGarity’s decision to schedule the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game opener with Boise State. Anyone contributing at least $100 to the Hartman Fund was eligible to buy tickets to the Georgia Dome game and UGA fans snapped up all 53,000 that were available.
McGarity is a smart man.
DOING IT THE ‘FLORIDA WAY’
Speaking of which, McGarity announced that David Perno will be returning as UGA’s baseball coach, which is as it should be. Despite the tragic injury to Johnathan Taylor, the Diamond Dogs improved their SEC record to 16-14 this season. If it hadn’t been for losing too many of those midweek nonconference games, they’d be a lock for an NCAA tourney spot.
And that’s where McGarity will make a difference again. He rightly diagnosed Perno’s problem this season as over-scheduling, noting that SEC teams on average played three to five nonconference games against teams with a Top 25 RPI while Georgia played 17 such games this year. As he told our Chip Towers, “I hate to deal with could-haves and would-haves, but it speaks to what I call ‘the art of scheduling,’”
McGarity said “next year we need to have a schedule that is totally different,” with 37 or 38 home games instead of 28 like this year. As for those tough nonconference opponents, “We’ve got Tech; we’ve got Clemson; we’ve got UCLA. That’s enough.”
McGarity knows what he’s talking about. The University of Florida has perfected the art of devising a national championship schedule.
Among the expenditures approved by the athletic board was $675,000 for a new sound system at Stegeman Coliseum. Talk about money well spent! The echo in the Steg is awful, especially at lesser-attended basketball games and graduation ceremonies. It’s long past time that problem was corrected.
Sonny Seiler was on hand for the St. Simons gathering and provided an update on the search for a new Uga mascot, saying he hasn’t yet found a pup who will “fit the bill” and anticipates stand-in Russ continuing to wear the red sweater for as much as two-thirds of the coming season before a new dog is introduced. Russ, as Seiler noted, is very popular with fans (despite the team’s less than stellar won-loss record during his tenure). Actually, I don’t see why Seiler doesn’t just let Russ serve the whole year and then unveil a new Uga at the beginning of the 2012 season.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg