UGA’s McGarity answers fans on football scheduling, canned stadium music, improved silver britches and more!

Greg McGarity touched on a wide range of subjects in his latest online chat. (University of Georgia)

Greg McGarity touched on a wide range of subjects in his latest online chat. (University of Georgia)

UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity held another one of his periodic live chats Wednesday afternoon at Georgiadogs.com, and while much of it was your usual generic administrator-talk, there were some interesting tidbits scattered throughout the half-hour session.

On the subject of scheduling, McGarity said UGA is “anxiously awaiting” the release of the 2015 conference schedule, which “should be announced before the May spring meetings in Destin.”

Asked if he thought the new four-team College Football Playoff would mean an even bigger push for a nine-game conference schedule in the SEC, and whether this would help the SEC get more teams in the playoff, McGarity said, “Not in my opinion, because eight SEC games allows each school to determine their own strength of schedule. One size doesn’t fit all.”

A fan noted that “this year’s [Georgia home] schedule has the right mix” but next year’s home nonconference schedule “is weak” and that “three of seven home games against weak opponents isn’t appealing when it comes time to write that big check for tickets. … we can do better than Charleston Southern, can’t we?” To which McGarity replied: “I am confident that we will play a big-time nonconference opponent periodically, in addition to our annual rivalry game with Tech. We are working hard on this as we speak.”

And to another fan who said, “May I suggest, Notre Dame?” the Georgia AD said: “We’d love to have that opportunity!”

On a subject covered recently here in the Blawg, a fan who was worried about the increased use of “piped in” music at games said he thinks the Redcoat Band “should play a major role in getting the crowd fired up.” McGarity replied: “We are working hard on the right blend of live and canned music for football games. No, we won’t be able to please everyone, but we have an opportunity to do certain things that will get our crowd excited in a proactive manner, rather than in a reactive manner.”

He also confirmed that “we are planning to make improvements to our sound system,” and when a fan asked whether there are any plans to update the wi-fi capability inside Sanford Stadium, McGarity said: “Absolutely! Our partners at AT&T and Verizon are full-speed ahead for the 2014 season!”

What with officials at SEC schools trying desperately to upgrade the game day experience to boost attendance, a couple of fans took the opportunity to lobby for specific upgrades. One asked about replacing “the 1980 Zenith TVs that you can’t even see” in the stadium with LCD screens, adding, “I mean, if we have to wait in line for 30 minutes to simply get a Coke, I would like to be able to see the game.” McGarity replied: “That is on our list of things to do this year or next year, depending on annual funds available.”

And to a fan who asked, “What is the chance the men’s restroom on the north side, bridge end (around section 103), could be renovated to include entry and exit doors?” McGarity promised, “We will get on that right away! Thank you for bringing it to our attention! I just made a note of this.”

Naturally, a couple of folks brought up the subject of an indoor practice facility (an obsession with some fans), but they didn’t get much satisfaction. McGarity said an indoor facility is “on our wish list” but “we have other essential projects at various facilities that have a higher priority at this time.”

Asked about the new SEC Network signing a deal with Dish Network, McGarity noted that was good for distribution but added: “we need to get DirecTV on board since that’s my cable provider at home!” (Mine, too.)

He also said, “We are working with our partners at Nike to create a more ‘silver’ silver for the Dawgs’ silver britches” but pooh-poohed the idea of mixing up the road uniform with black or red britches, noting: “We have the best uniforms in college football, and our one experiment in Atlanta wasn’t very popular” (a reference to the infamous Power Rangers uniforms against Boise State).

And in a view that wouldn’t be popular in Tuscaloosa, McGarity said he “is confident” the NCAA will impose limits on the size of football staffs “sooner rather than later.”

Also, in a bit of a surprise, when asked what is his favorite all-time UGA victory, the head Bulldog said: “The 2013 women’s NCAA Swimming & Diving Championship would rank right up there with the best moments of all! There are really too many to single out, but that one was special.”

SPRING FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Quayvon Hicks will practice at tight end this spring. (University of Georgia)

Quayvon Hicks will practice at tight end this spring. (University of Georgia)

Mark Richt and his staff previewed the upcoming spring practices and announced a few position changes Wednesday. Here’s a quick summary of the major personnel moves (with my parenthetical comments):

J.J. Green is moving from the now-crowded tailback corps to cornerback (a good move that makes sense since he originally was recruited as a cornerback or receiver); Quayvon Hicks is moving from fullback to the decimated tight end position for spring, with the idea of becoming more of an H-back come fall (another good move since Hicks showed he can catch and seemed to have lost some momentum at FB after starting out strong in the first couple of games last year); and rising junior John Theus is moving from right tackle, where he’s played the past two seasons, to the left tackle spot (let’s hope the former 5-star prospect gets more consistent and lives up to his potential there while being the key protector of QB Hutson Mason).

Also, here’s hoping that Richt is being overly cautious in his estimation that Todd Gurley will be very limited during spring practice. It’s interesting that, in contrast, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said he plans to “push” Gurley in the spring because “that’s the only way you can get better.”

You have to wonder if the Dogs’ star tailback is getting a bit of the good cop/bad cop treatment from the coaches.

NEW REDCOAT UNIFORMS

If you’ve seen one of those pictures of a new Redcoat Band uniform circulating on social media sites, the official word is: They’re for real.

Assistant Director of Bands Brett Bawcum told me this week the new uniform will be introduced this fall, the first complete overhaul of the band’s outfits since 1995, “though there have been a couple of supplementary purchases of the 1995 uniform over the years.”

New uniform design for the Redcoat Band. (University of Georgia)

New uniform design for the Redcoat Band. (University of Georgia)

The UGA Athletic Association recently approved a special allocation for the purchase of new band uniforms, estimated to cost $243,000.

The new design returns the trademark “Super G” to the uniform and also includes the traditional Redcoat Band logo, which has been a mark of the Redcoat Alumni Band. It also pays homage to the Redcoat Band uniform design worn from the 1950s to early ’90s with three diagonal white West Point-style stripes on the right. The left side includes the UGA Arch on a black sleeve and partial front separated from the red by a diagonal, which is a nod to the 1995 version. The design is the result of a collaboration between staff, professional uniform designers and current students, Bawcum said.

From a fan’s viewpoint, the most notable differences will be the one black sleeve, the “wings” over the shoulders, and the red bands on the hat being much narrower. An all-black version of the uniform will be worn by the drum majors.

The new Redcoat uniform, produced by Demoulin Brothers and Co. of Greenville, Ill., will first appear at the Georgia-Clemson game on Aug. 30.

SPEAKING OF CLEMSON …

Usually it’s the Dawgs that enter season-opening Georgia-Clemson games hampered by missing suspended players, but the shoe was on the other foot this week with Dabo Swinney’s announcement that four Tigers will miss this year’s game after being suspended for violating team rules.

The suspended players: defensive end Corey Crawford and offensive lineman David Beasley, both returning starters, along with offensive lineman Shaq Anthony and cornerback Gary Peters, both backups last season but expected to compete for starting spots this year.

Of course, Georgia isn’t going to enter that game unscathed. Wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley is expected to serve a one-game suspension on a marijuana-related violation from last fall. (Josh Harvey-Clemons originally was to miss the Clemson game on suspension before getting kicked off the team.)

Plus, of course, we still have spring break and the summer to get through — and if past history is any indicator, JS-W might not be the only UGA player who misses the rematch with the Tigers.

JUNKYARD MAIL CALL

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

106 comments Add your comment

Dawgmeat

March 6th, 2014
10:23 am

Think McGarity is right on with the 9 game SEC schedule, it would help to eliminate the possibility of 2 teams making the playoffs. No way you get through 9 games plus the SEC championship game with less than 2 losses which eliminates you from playoff.

oakisland

March 6th, 2014
10:30 am

Just get thru spring with no injuries.

old dog

March 6th, 2014
10:34 am

Our first game is eventually going to be our YMCA volunteers against whomever if we do not keep getting so many opening game suspensions. Maybe we oughta open up with a cupcake to get the cobwebs out (something we did for a long time) as well as not to hit the field in a game that could deide the future with too many starters gone……….

dawgfan

March 6th, 2014
11:09 am

Please let me know when McGarity is going to answer our questions on when we will be recieving championship level coaching.

Thanks.

NoAxeToGrind

March 6th, 2014
11:13 am

How informatve. Give McGarity a substantial raise and an extension. Come to think of it, give Richt one too.

NoAxeToGrind

March 6th, 2014
11:17 am

Don’t hold your breath, dawgfan. Brain asphyxia occurs around four minutes.

dawgfandanno

March 6th, 2014
11:30 am

I am excited about the “more silver silver britches”. The only uniform wrinkle I’ve been in favor of lately was wearing the black jerseys with no other change in uniform (only red helmets please!). I would really like to see the Dawgs don the black once a year (last home game, senior day maybe?). I have memories of the Dawgs wearing red pants on the road. I think that would be badass to do that maybe once a year also. I too believe UGA has the best looking uniforms in football!! But at the same time, why not throw in an occasional wrinkle? A nod to our history (red britches on the road once every couple seasons), and also the future (black jerseys at home once every season or even every other one?). Just please, oh please, no more red on red or black pants or helmets!! Go Dawgs!!!

dawgfandanno

March 6th, 2014
11:44 am

Also, jersey color wasn’t the reason we lost to Bama in ‘08. Lack of “want to” and depth coupled with a completely undisciplined effort lost us that game. I have very bad memories of that game like many of you do. But in no way do I think they shouldn’t wear black because of their performance in that game!

Columbus Dawg

March 6th, 2014
11:53 am

I wonder what Gurley means about his legs. He said it is not the ankle anymore, but his legs? I think Gurley wants to go full out, but is just a little tenuous right now. Once things get rolling he will be out there. I have never seen him slacking off. We all saw him become winded after big runs when he returned from his injuries, but not slacking. He will be ready to go in August because two STUD RUNNING BACKS will be in Athens trying to take his job!

dawgfan

March 6th, 2014
11:58 am

I think we need a seperate blog for the Disney Dawgs to discuss music and fashion. Those of us that are in it for the football want to talk football.

Thanks.

[...] Greg McGarity, on piped-in music at Sanford Stadium:  “…we have an opportunity to do certain things that will get our crowd excited in a proactive manner, rather than in a reactive manner.”  I have no idea what that means. [...]

DawgTilliDie

March 6th, 2014
12:33 pm

As long as BoBo doesn’t turn all conservative the offense should be ok. But the D is going to be the difference maker…

Bulldawg35

March 6th, 2014
12:52 pm

Well guess who asked Mcgarity about the silver britches and what is his all time favorite UGA victory was??? Yes that would be me…..I ask him those questions? Can y’all really believe he said swimming?? Heh it didn’t surprise me though.

Bulldawg35

March 6th, 2014
12:54 pm

I can’t believe gurley is still hurt?? I think he is looking ahead to the NFL….and that’s not good Gurley is going to do a clown and that will most certainly lock us in for 5 loss season.

Bulldawg36

March 6th, 2014
1:14 pm

mcGarity’s record over last 5 years UGA football:
2009–finished Unranked
2010- finished Unranked
2011- Finished 18
2012- Finished 5
2013- Finished unranked

AD McGarity and Mark Richt don’t deserve to keep their jobs.

old dog

March 6th, 2014
1:38 pm

But seriously, I believe in following rules. However, why are we so much stricter than most? The suspended guys in Clemson must have been involved in human sacrifice or something……..

Bulldawg35

March 6th, 2014
2:00 pm

I should of asked Mcgarity more hard core questions…but I knew that they were monitoring the questions! He wouldn’t of answered any question that was hard core! You best damn believe that.

old dog

March 6th, 2014
2:24 pm

The following teams will pass us (or already have) in the SEC:
‘Bama (obviously already has)
LSU-one down year does not mean Miles won’t be back.
Auburn-recovered faster than many thought they ever would.
South Carolina-yeah, we won it, so? Look how far that program has advanced from an old one that never even went to a bowl. They will keep improving.
Ole Miss-finally back on the national scene after a couple of awesome recruiting years and good coaching. They will make big noise this year, and more next year.
Tennessee-as bad as they were last year….I rest my case. They will be way better this (and especially next) year.
We will do about like always……and be a middle of the pack team until we get serious about the o-line and special teams. Our D will improve, and our o-line will be better than some, but not good enough. We do well enough to be in the middle of the pack, but we are now fixin’ to get passed by teams who are addressing the needs they have.

dawgfan

March 6th, 2014
2:52 pm

LSU won the SEC just two seasons ago and played in the BCS title game. They’ve won 10 or more games each of the past 4 years. You’ve got to go back a decade to find the last time Richt achieved such a feat.

South Carolina has had three 11 win seasons in a row. Richt is incapable of such a feat.

We may have won the battle against those teams this past year but they are clearly winning the war. We are not even close to being a top SEC team anymore. Not even close. Even in 2012 when we were “5 yards away” we were arguably the 4th best team in the conference at best. Alabama beat us. South Carolina destroyed us. And I shutter at the thought of what Johnny Manziel would have done to our joke D that year had we played them. That season has been the highlight of the modern Richt era though. It got us a nice spot in the Cap One Bowl. That’s as good as its going to get with Richt.

I really don’t see how any of this is all that different from the Jim Donnan years.

UGA Insider

March 6th, 2014
3:19 pm

dawgfan is right. USCe beat the hell out of us on Nat’l TV 35-7. We didn’t deserve to play ND but the Kook Aid crew thinks we were the 3rd best team in the country… However in the Cap 1 Bowl we struggled against Nebraska. Same old same old.

The team simply is not prepared and we usually back our way into an SEC East championship. Special thanks again to Auburn in 2012 for beating USCe.

old dog

March 6th, 2014
4:01 pm

Insider,
I gotta say, though, Notre Dame did not belong in the game either. Not just because ‘Bama banged them up, either. They just were not that good………period. Folks just wanted them to be.Not just being an SEC fan, but there were 5 teams that would have stomped them.

old dog

March 6th, 2014
4:02 pm

Thats 5 SEC teams that would hve whooped them, as well as many others! Y’all saw the game.

UGA Insider

March 6th, 2014
4:22 pm

Special thanks to Drew Butler in 2011 game saving shoe string tackle against Vandy that would have sunk the SECEC that year as well. Another game filled with ST’s disasters.

UGA Insider

March 6th, 2014
4:24 pm

old dog,

ND did deserve to be in that game! They beat everyone on their schedule and were ranked #2 in the country. It is what it is…. UGA should try beating everyone on their schedule instead of playing not to lose.

old dog

March 6th, 2014
4:57 pm

Good point, Insider, but they just were not that good……..they were not a #2 team.

Skint

March 6th, 2014
5:36 pm

Gurley is definitely looking toward the NFL. He has to do it by himself so many times. It will be interesting to see what happens early on. He will be running behind what could probably be our worst OL in a while, which is saying something. Our D will be better, but Lilly doesn’t inspire on ST.

dawgfan

March 6th, 2014
5:53 pm

True. We can’t really whine about media darlings like Notre Dame making it to the big game anymore. We had our chance and, in typical Mark Richt form, we blew it. Now with the 4 team playoff it will be even harder for the Kool Aiders to pull their woe is me everybody hates us routine.

They’re about to start getting crazy creative with their excuses for Richt. Just wait and see.

Rabuin Dawg

March 6th, 2014
6:17 pm

If Gurley is not ready to go at full speed, watch out for Chubb! This guy is a beast, and just may be the #1 running back by mid season!

Hairy Dawg

March 6th, 2014
6:38 pm

Haha! Clemscum players all out for game. Im really looking forward this year to running game. We got more depths and talent now than ever for running ball. That should help in blowing open holes to let running back go wild flattenings DB. And then that makes play action beter to freeze DBs and WR run past for big play. But defense should be good to with experience returning and Grantham shown door and also with the running back by them helping D rest from time of possessoin. And more running game give chance for OL to wear down opposing D so we can smash mouth them late in game for closeout. I really excited how it all coming together this year. And it all starts with beatdown on Clemscum to payback last year and make them hurt with missing suspendeds players.

Go Dawgs!

Da Oracle Grande

March 6th, 2014
6:51 pm

Band unis look good. Thumbs up.

As far as Gurley, I’m depressed.

He has the unfortunate combo of injury proneness with a slowness to heal. Couple that with laziness for a trifecta.

Dump him down the depth chart ’til he acts like a man.

Hairy Dawg

March 6th, 2014
7:07 pm

Gurley willl be healthy and full blast by Fall. No reason to depressed.

PAPA-DAWG

March 6th, 2014
7:23 pm

would like to see OB competition. also more aggressive play selection. pedal to the metal!

Skint

March 6th, 2014
7:30 pm

I finally quit giving $$ this year after 28 yrs. I graduated in 1985 and remember the good times as well as bad. I always held out hope, just like many of you. However, until we make changes on the Athletic Board, and the higher ups, we will continue to be an OK program. The game has changed and we are falling behind. It took AU one year to make the NC game. We are content on being mediocre. The object of the game is to win. McGarity should answer this question. Is he willing to win?

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

March 6th, 2014
7:37 pm

This is hilarious

I like how this coaching staff publicly calls a player out but please dont question them on why they cant win big games with more talent than anyone in div I football except for one team

Hairy Dawg

March 6th, 2014
7:49 pm

Nobody putting questions where they deserve it. Like asking why we punish for weed and why we not letting Coach Richt roster manage like Saban does it.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

March 6th, 2014
7:58 pm

Yea its really no fair that Auburn; Florida; Alabama; FSU; USC Texas and LSU; are allowed to sign over 10,000 recruits each year and UGA is only allowed 21

I guess thats why they get to play for National Titles and UGA plays for meaningless bowls somewhere in Florida

mgdawg

March 6th, 2014
9:11 pm

Quayvon Hicks disappeared after having a superb first couple of games, to me it seemed as though we just went away from him all together and I rarely saw him on the field.

Here’s what I want to know from richt. Is the starting qb job being given to Mason because he’s been there the longest, or is this an open competition? I’m hoping it is an open competition, whoever is the best let them prove it.

Skint

March 6th, 2014
9:41 pm

I guess my last post got removed. Why are music and uniforms and bathroom doors important. What pays the salaries of the staff. It’s football. Mediocre doesn’t cut it.

Slingshot

March 6th, 2014
10:44 pm

McGarity’s best moment was…..

a diving match?????

seriously????

News flash..

Football brings in the money,, get clued into what counts, and what’s he’s measured by

4 years, 0 footballl conference championships
5 year, 3 finishes with unranked teams, one top 20, 1 top 10

He doesn’t want to be measured by football…

because he doesn’t measure up…..

Slingshot

March 6th, 2014
10:45 pm

If AD Greg McGarity values DIVING/Swim team more than football

is he really competent enough to be the AD?

I mean, that’s seriously misjudging his priorities.

Perhaps he needs a new job coaching swim teams.

Slingshot

March 6th, 2014
10:47 pm

Come to think of it…

The UGA men’s basketball team ain’t done nothing either in 4 years..

meantime, AD McGarity is out swimming and diving….

Boykin

March 6th, 2014
11:23 pm

Fans arent concerned bout Indoor Facility..just Richt!

MelissaKnowsMore

March 6th, 2014
11:24 pm

Bigger Question for Dawgs is: Gurley new Clowney? CMR and BOBO on same page with Gurley? Hutson?

MelissaKnowsMore

March 6th, 2014
11:25 pm

RED DOG 77

March 7th, 2014
12:07 am

As a University of Georgia Alum, I am proud Mark Richt is our coach. It is sort of difficult reading these “fringe” fans knock arguably one of the top two or three coaches in America………….These are the same type of fools as the Tenn. fans who ran Phillp Fulmer out of town………..boy they sure did improve when he was gone………….Good Greif ………………RED

DogFan2

March 7th, 2014
7:40 am

Ga. doesn’t care about winning a NC. As long as they can win 9 or10 games a year they are satisfied.

dawgfan

March 7th, 2014
7:43 am

“..top two or three coaches in America . . .”

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

gtcaryd

March 7th, 2014
7:57 am

Red Dog i think you meant to say CMR is one of the 2 or 3 best” men” in the country coaching college football.

dawgfan

March 7th, 2014
8:01 am

Red Dog should consider a career in comedy.

old dog

March 7th, 2014
8:30 am

Simple things, folks, like for instance putting somebody back deep on punts who can actually catch the ball! How in the world did we booger that up so many times!