What Greg McGarity has to say …
A few notes from a conversation Monday with Greg McGarity:
- Georgia’s new athletic director concurred with Mark Richt’s decision to dismiss Demetre Baker from the football team after the freshman linebacker’s arrest early Sunday. “When Mark talked to me about it, I was fully supportive of his recommendation,” McGarity said. Asked if this reflects a new zero-tolerance approach to arrests on the football team, McGarity said: “It’s up to the coaches, but yeah, I think Mark has had enough. And he’s made it very clear to the players what is expected.”
- McGarity talked at length during the interview about his scheduling philosophy, which is quite different from his predecessor’s. (I’ll have a full story on that later in the week.) Suffice to say, this week’s trip to Colorado wouldn’t be happening under McGarity’s philosophy, as demonstrated by Monday’s news that a scheduled 2015-2016 series with Oregon has been canceled. McGarity’s basic philosophy is that Georgia should have seven home games per season and should schedule in a way that maximizes the chances of winning championships. “Granted, it may not be the big matchups that everybody loves to play, but I can assure you this: You have to do what is the best scenario for you to get to Atlanta [to play for the SEC championship],” McGarity said. Like I said, much more to come on this.
- One thing McGarity doesn’t want to hear in regard to Georgia’s 0-3 SEC record is about the star player who wasn’t available.
“Nobody likes [the record], but we can’t sit around and play the what-if game — ‘what if A.J. Green had been there?’ We can’t deal with what-ifs,” McGarity said. “They are a crippler. They will absolutely cripple a program if you deal with what-ifs.”
At a meeting Monday morning, McGarity asked the athletic department’s senior staff to approach their work in exactly the same way they would if the team were 4-0. “I think players, coaches, everyone, has to take that same attitude,” he said.
“The only way we have to approach things is to be as positive and supportive as we can be,” he said.
He acknowledged that he’s hearing from Bulldog Nation and “there are a lot of people who are frustrated with the way things are going, and that’s what I’d expect. . . . But we can’t sit around and be pointing fingers. We’ve got to do what we can do to change things.”
The message he gets from fans is mixed, he said. “You’ve got a certain element who just don’t like the way things are. You’ve got an element supporting you, win or lose. And you’ve got an element totally supportive of Coach Richt. You’ve got a little of everything. ”
Mark Richt: “I understand why everybody’s bent out of shape.”