UGA’s Greg McGarity not changing stance on inviting recruits to Jacksonville

One of the coolest scenes in college football every year. Recruits not invited (AJC)

One of the coolest scenes in college football every year. Recruits not invited (AJC)

UGA athletics director Greg McGarity told the AJC that he hasn’t given any consideration to changing his stance of not inviting football recruits to the annual Georgia-Florida game, despite the fact that SEC rivals are taking full advantage of the new rule.

Under amended SEC legislation passed last June, member schools are permitted to give complimentary tickets to prospects when they are the “home team” at a neutral site, such as Saturday’s game located in the fertile recruiting grounds of Florida.

Soon after the rule was announced, McGarity and his Florida counterpart, Jeremy Foley, made an agreement that neither school would entertain recruits for the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” because of logistical concerns.

Should recruits be invited to Georgia-Florida?

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“I think the NCAA rules come into play on the decision that both institutions have agreed up because you cannot have any contact with any recruits … none of our football coaches or recruiting staff (because the game is at an off-campus location),” McGarity said this week.

“In essence, the only thing you would be able to do is have a ticket office staff member provide the recruit with a ticket to the game. My decision is based on the same theory, same justifications, and same reasons that we’ve had all along.”

Both Alabama’s Nick Saban and Auburn’s Gene Chizik didn’t waste any time in seizing the golden recruiting opportunity. Alabama invited an all-star cast of recruits from Texas to its season-opener against Michigan in Dallas, while Auburn brought in a star-studded group when they played Clemson at the Georgia Dome.

“No, the Alabama and Auburn situations didn’t make me look at our decision any differently,” McGarity said. “The bottom line is this: If you can’t even communicate or talk (to the recruits), they are basically just getting a ticket to the game and going up in the stands, just like any fans.

“In our case, with the game being such a hard ticket, I don’t think either school is in a position to take tickets from people that have been attending that game for a number of years, as well as your student body. Perhaps with those other games … well, I’m not really sure what the dynamics are there. (Anyways) that’s the reason neither Jeremy or I basically want to go in that direction.”

UGA is a recruiting threat to Florida when it has a good showing in Jacksonville (AJC)

UGA is a recruiting threat to Florida when it has a good showing in Jacksonville (AJC)

McGarity said the agreement could be broken with Florida, if either side wanted to end it, but that “it has never been anything that has been brought up. It just doesn’t make sense.”

OUR OPINION: What do we think? While we respect McGarity’s opinion, we respectfully – and strongly – disagree with it. Recruiting is the lifeblood of your football program. When you have a “home game” in Florida, which is one of the top three states in the nation for manufacturing college football players, you’ve got to take advantage of it. Every time. That’s why Alabama and Auburn, along with every other SEC school that has the future opportunity, will take advantage of it. Due to Jacksonville being an off-campus location, neither UGA nor Florida can have any contact with the recruits once they arrive at the site, per NCAA rules. But that is not as important as exposing many of Florida’s best to the energy, excitement and enthusiasm at the annual showdown. Regardless of the game’s outcome, a Florida high school football star couldn’t be anything but impressed by seeing such a large and loyal army of UGA fans showing up for a game in another state and so far, far away from Athens. “I can’t believe this many Georgia fans traveled to Florida for a game. I mean, we’re in Florida. Georgia must have some of the best fans anywhere. Look at all that red.” You’ve also got to realize, due to travel concerns (UGA is five hours from the Florida border), many of the Florida kids are simply not able to swing a weekend trip to catch a game at UGA. So you’re the Bulldogs, and you’ve got the golden opportunity to showcase your program in the heart of Florida? And you pass on it? If I’m Jeremy Foley, I agree to that deal, too. He’s not worried about Florida kids missing on a game-day atmosphere with the Gators because they’re just down the road from Jacksonville. With as strongly as UGA traditionally recruits the state of Florida (QB Aaron Murray and OL John Theus are from Florida, along with four of the team’s 2013 commits), I can see UGA taking another look at this in the future. I think this was mainly a financial decision, and I can completely understand McGarity’s ticket concerns. I would set the ticket allotment for recruits at 500 or less (maybe even 300), and I would put them wherever there were less-desired seats. It wouldn’t matter. The recruits wouldn’t be on the 50-yard line, and they might even be sitting behind some poles. But they would be somewhere in the stadium, and they would get to experience the electrifying environment. Any potential recruiting benefits – and the potential is always mighty in talent-rich Florida – greatly outweigh the loss of revenue from a few hundred tickets somewhere in the stadium. Again, it all comes back to the priority of recruiting – the lifeblood of every successful college football program. It’s an easy call.

That’s my opinion. What is yours? Please post below.




– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

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82 comments Add your comment


October 25th, 2012
10:02 pm

Woof, woof, woof. Hunker Down You Hairy Dawg!!!

The Legend of Bear Bryant

October 25th, 2012
10:04 pm

Top 5 reasons UGA won’t change

1. McGarity is too cheap

2. Coach Garner would have to miss a pregame meal

3. Coach Bobo recruited Cam Newton as a tight end, Nick Marshall as a DB, and is proud of it

4. Aaron Murray’s childhood buddies would see him blow yet another big game but in person

5. Because Nick Saban said so!!!! RTR


October 25th, 2012
10:27 pm

Who would want to see a defense with all NFL first rounders play like a high school team?

The Truth

October 25th, 2012
10:40 pm

Invite recruits to see UGA get out coached/out played….no way.

UGA Brigade

October 25th, 2012
10:48 pm

McGarity is a clown if he can’t see how this would enormously help with recruiting. None of his reasoning makes sense. MC is right. Every other SEC school will take advantage of this rule. IT’S A NO BRAINER!!!!

Chatsworth dawg

October 25th, 2012
11:02 pm

This a clear case of Foley out smarting gomer pyle Mcgarity. Geez talking about a moron. Of course Foley agrees to this deal so he can keep Florida’s top recruits away from Georgia. Duh. It’s in their home state. Saban was smart to invite Texas recruits to Cowboys stadium to watch Bama crush Michigan. Thats why he wins championships and were mired in mediocrity. Mcgarity is as clueless as Richt. UGA fans will suffer to friggin eternity I guess.

Dawg Whisperer

October 25th, 2012
11:04 pm

lol… you’ve got to have a life in order to lose it. Your remarks are pathetic and have no place on this blog. Are you paying attention MC?

Sandy Hotchkiss

October 25th, 2012
11:08 pm

Sounds like Magarity has red panties!


October 25th, 2012
11:15 pm

Agree with Chatsworth… McGarity is still owned by Foley…. Let’s see after this Feb 6th how he feels about it facing our 2013 schedule…Things might change then. I wonder how the new Prez will feel about this when he takes charge this summer also….


October 25th, 2012
11:16 pm

-Agree with you Michael that we are blowing a good opportunity to at least get the attention of some local Fla talent.Also,there is not much expense involved since all we would be doing is furnishing a ticket and not all the other travel expenses.Seems like a No-Brainer to me to re-do this “agreement” with J.Foley and dole out at least about 250 tickets…

Moobs Johnson

October 25th, 2012
11:20 pm

Why invite kids that you are trying to entice into your program to a game that you annually lose – usually in lopsided fashion?

Moobs Johnson

October 25th, 2012
11:21 pm

Why invite kids to a game that you annually lose – usually in lopsided fashion? Richt ain’t no dummy.


October 25th, 2012
11:26 pm

CMR going to blow this big game again, Dawgs have plenty of talent, enough to beat these Gators, BUT, CMR gets outcoached once again!

Rick James

October 26th, 2012
12:05 am

I dont get it..

THUGA is a national laughingstock

October 26th, 2012
12:45 am

This is a McGarity smokescreen. Fact is no one wants to play for this pansy-a$$ed program except backward-named walk ons from Alpharetta.

THUGA is a national laughingstock

October 26th, 2012
12:54 am

Good move by McGarity. This a$$kicking is going to be epic.


October 26th, 2012
1:41 am

The agreement between UGA and UF is beneficial to Florida and therefore UGA is at a recruiting disadvantage. If I were Florida I would LOVE this agreement when it comes to recruiting. UGA has a chance to get some Florida players to come to see them play in a very exciting environment. They can come see Florida play any game but Florida players cant come see UGA nearly as easy. I know it works both ways but the game is in the state of Florida not in south GA so I say UGA loses more opportunites than Florida. when its all said and done….I could be wrong


October 26th, 2012
1:51 am

Gators are slightly overrated because of their offense IMO. UGA can win if the defense is serious and intense and finally FIRED UP! if the defense isnt fired up it will take some turnovers or special teams plays. Unlike some of you so-called Bulldog fans, I am uniting and supporting my team this weak. The rest of you UGA fans who are criticizing and speaking gloom and doom and curses over “your team”, well you should stop #1. And #2, you can go hug a tree and become an Auburn fan. Just please do NOT celebrate when UGA goes down to Florida, in the wind, and plays their first complete game of the year and comes home with a W over the #2 team in the nation OK? PLEASE do not celebrate a drop…wth the real fans who support their team. 7-1 seems pretty darn good. You knwo how many years UGA was 6-1 between the time Herschel left and Richt arrived? Not too many and if you dont keep having seasons like this or better, you wont likely breakthrough and win it all. Consistency. The next step is around the corner.



Bad Dawg

October 26th, 2012
2:09 am

lol at there still being Mark Richt supporters. Even the most disney of our fanbase seems to think he is not the man for the job.


October 26th, 2012
6:04 am

Just hope CMR doesn’t get totally out coached can’t stand another lopsided loss like against USCe. If we do lose also hope we blow up against Ole Miss because then there is NO way CMR is here next year.


October 26th, 2012
6:18 am

There’s no way that McGarity and Richt want their recruits to see the dwags humiliated at their annual beatdown in Jacksonville.

Beast from the East

October 26th, 2012
6:19 am

I think both schools are making the right decision. Don’t want to risk an NCAA violation with illegal contact with the kids. They can watch it on CBS like anyone else and they can visit the campuses for home games to witness the atmosphere of each respective stadium.

Über due

October 26th, 2012
6:28 am

Even the most disney of our fanbase seems to think he [Richt] is not the man for the job.

That’s correct. Only a dwindling minority still wants to keep Richt. At least 95% of dawg nation wants this loser out of Athens, the sooner the better.

GatorBait 18-4

October 26th, 2012
6:49 am

To the staff AJC staff writer. Foley and McGarity are proably the two best AD’s in the country and millions while you toil at your word processor, so I think I’ll stay with the smart guys.

BTW, I still don’t understand why McGarity puts up with Richt, the players know there is a problem but Richt is clueless.

Eddy Merckx

October 26th, 2012
7:13 am

I would rather he give tix to perspective head coaches.


October 26th, 2012
7:20 am

Stupidity and ignorance starts at the top in this case. McGarity may not be ‘Da Man’.


October 26th, 2012
7:32 am

Mikie You are just like a lot of these stupid people that show up here with more stupid statements,

read the NCAA rules ie; number of visits Number of contacts etc and you will know why the did this


October 26th, 2012
7:47 am

The flip side of that is these kids get a look at Florida, on Georgia’s dime, which has the momentum going now. No one ever tells you the simple truth now days but I am guessing these recruits are more impressed with the local crowd of Florida people that a bunch of strangers from Georgia. When they go back to their home towns it is not Georgia the people are talking about it is Florida, and they were there. These locals then start recruiting them for the Florida program.

Circus Act

October 26th, 2012
7:54 am

What a bunch of clowns in Athens. I bet Saban is laughing since he loves to raid our state for recruits along with Dabo.


October 26th, 2012
7:56 am

would we really want one of our recruits to watch us in Jacksonville?????????????????? Think about it.


October 26th, 2012
7:57 am



October 26th, 2012
7:57 am

“Perhaps with those other games … well, I’m not really sure what the dynamics are there.”

I think the dynamics are those two teams (although Auburn is blowing chow right now) have won the past 3 BCS titles. Maybe that is part of their “dynamics” which leads into recruiting.

Mr. Dawg

October 26th, 2012
7:57 am

Unfortunately, it’s been more than 20 years since the Bulldogs won more than they lost in in a stadium that resides 30 minutes from the UF campus. Until that changes I wouldn’t worry too much about “showcasing” the program there. I’m more interested in making it a home and home series.

Howdy Doody is a clown!

October 26th, 2012
7:58 am

I bet Saban is laughing even more now.

dawg style

October 26th, 2012
8:05 am

They can have my tickets at least the recruit will be big enough to punch some drunken gator fan in the face after he throws up on him.


October 26th, 2012
8:19 am

why would it matter? aren’t there plenty of thugs to go around the sec?


October 26th, 2012
8:27 am

@GatorBait 18-4

What are you basing your opinion on concerning McGarity being one of the two best AD’s in the country? What has he done as the UGA AD?


October 26th, 2012
8:48 am

Actually, lots more coaches do, than don’t:

Nick Saban
Gene Chizik
Urban Myer
Les Miles
Bob Stoops
Pete Carroll
Phil Fulmer
Larry Coker
Steve Spurrier
Dennis Erickson
Bill McCartney

That’s 16 National titles since 1990.

But don’t let facts get in your way, Columbus . . .


October 26th, 2012
8:59 am

You cant even have contact with the recruit at the game…then i dont see the problem, and only the home team gets the priviledge? Should go ahead and extend the opportunity to both schools since there is a no contact policy…since there is no recruiting advantage. Plenty of kids can make it to Athens to see a game, its called an official visit. Giving some top recruits some crappy seats in the stadium sure says alot about the respective programs. Think ppls hatred for McGarity are just using this as sensationalism. I have no problem with this agreement between both programs.

abe lincoln

October 26th, 2012
9:01 am

Do you think Mcgarity is smart enough to hire Kirby Smart. This program needs a major house cleaning.95% OF THE HIGH SCHOOL COACHES IN THE STATE HAVE A HARD TIME WITH HOW THIS STAFF GOES ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS.

Dawg Tired

October 26th, 2012
9:05 am

So poor coaching is not our only problem.

abe lincoln

October 26th, 2012
9:11 am

Saban is laughing at you again.

Uncle Kirk

October 26th, 2012
9:21 am

no Über due….95 percent if the idiots, trolls, and bandwagon fans on these blogs want Richt gone. That is NOT the feeling among those that actually matter.

Aw Poo Poo

October 26th, 2012
9:24 am

@ uncle kirk has been into the kool aid again……

A person SMART enough to know.....

October 26th, 2012
9:24 am

Urban Oscar Meyer

October 26th, 2012
9:36 am

Testosterone-laden high school kids without supervision in Jacksonville for the cocktail party = drunken brawls and a night in the Jacksonville jail. Who gets the black eye for that?

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 26th, 2012
9:39 am

Well I see Christoper Columbus captain of the USS Bogus Stastics

and Admiral James T. Kirk captain of the USS Kool-aid

are back on here claiming all is well with the UGA program under our championship coaching staff

A person SMART enough to know.....

October 26th, 2012
9:54 am

FLAT… are on the Hater roll all week. LOL

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 26th, 2012
9:59 am

A person SMART enough to know…..

Hater of what?


October 26th, 2012
10:07 am

I agree with McGarity.