McGarity: Outback Bowl loss won’t impact negotiations with Richt

Georgia’s loss to Michigan State in the Outback Bowl will have no impact on contract negotiations between UGA and football coach Mark Richt, which remain at least “three to four weeks” away from completion, according to Athletic Director Greg McGarity.

Georgia AD Greg McGarity said the Bulldogs' overtime loss to Michigan State did nothing to change his opinion on the direction of the football program under coach Mark Richt. (UGA photo)

Georgia AD Greg McGarity said the Bulldogs' overtime loss to Michigan State did nothing to change his opinion on the direction of the football program under coach Mark Richt. (UGA photo)

“We plan to meet as soon as we can get together,” McGarity said Wednesday. “But I don’t see anything, certainly not a signed document, anytime soon. We’ll start the process of digging into the details of our extension and it will be determined in the near future.”

McGarity also urged fans upset over the Bulldogs’ 33-30, triple-overtime loss to the Spartans to keep the defeat in perspective.

“Blair Walsh kicks a 42-yard field goal and we’re sitting here feeling great about ourselves,” McGarity said. “But would we have solved our running game problem? No. Would that have solved them being able to go on an 85-yard drive with no timeouts? No. So, I mean, the dynamics haven’t changed. It’s not going to matter diddly-squat when we start lifting weights in three weeks. If anything it’ll add more incentive for next year.”

Georgia lost back-to-back games — including a loss to LSU in the SEC Championship game — to finish the 2011 season 10-4. Richt, 51, is 106-38 heading into his 12th year as the Bulldogs’ coach.

McGarity said there is no rush to complete a new deal with Richt, who has two years remaining on an employment agreement that pays him $2.81 million annually. Including bonuses and outside income from endorsements, Richt earns more than $3 million a year.

Richt is expected to receive an extension of at least three years, which would keep him as the Bulldogs’ coach through December of 2016. McGarity said he and Richt already agreed in principle when they met last month.

“This is an important recruiting time and I told Mark after the SEC Championship game that he could go to these high school kids and tell them he’s going to be their head coach,” McGarity said. “We felt it was very important to send out the message that we haven’t worked everything out but Mark’s going to be our coach. That was the immediate need, to go ahead and address the future of our program. But we didn’t get into any details or anything like that that’s kind of where we left it. He wants to be here and we want him to be here.”

Any renegotiation is unlikely to include a significant pay raise for Richt, however. Richt is sixth among SEC coaches in compensation but that ranks No. 11 nationally. Alabama’s Nick Saban ($4.8 million), LSU’s Les Miles ($3.75), Auburn’s Gene Chizik ($3.5), Arkansas’s Bobby Petrino ($3.1) and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier ($2.88) currently make more than Richt.

“Longevity is the first priority and then compensation would follow,” McGarity said.

McGarity said he has received about 50 emails in the wake of Georgia’s loss this past Monday. He said “about half” of those fans complained about coaching decisions made as the Bulldogs let a 16-0 at halftime lead slip away. Michigan State scored a touchdown with 14 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 27-all and send it into overtime.

Walsh missed a 42-yard field goal attempt that would have won the game in the first overtime, then had a 47-yard attempt blocked in the third OT.

“Any time you lose a game, especially one as gut-wrenching as that one was, people get frustrated and they vent in various ways,” McGarity said. “If the game was lopsided, if we had lost 42-0 or something, then there would be some concerns. But to point the finger at a player or a coach or offense or defense or special teams is a waste of time. That was a true team loss. There are plenty of second guessers out there, but there are so many what-ifs on either side it could have gone either way.”

What McGarity hasn’t heard is enough credit being given to the Spartans, who recorded back-to-back 11-win seasons for the first time in school history.

“What I have not seen in one email is anyone giving any credit to the Michigan State team, and that’s very unfortunate because they made the plays they needed to win the game,” McGarity said. “The first thing you should do when you get beat is give the other team credit, because they’re working just as hard as you are. Kirk Cousins, look what he did in the last two minutes of the game with no timeouts. That was pretty impressive, as was the way they defended us in the second half. Unfortunately people never give the opponent any credit.”

McGarity said it’s important that Georgia fans rally behind the team, which he thinks has a chance to do some great things next season.

“We go from 6-7 to 10-4 and we’re looking forward to 2012,” McGarity said. “We’ve got a lot of kids coming back, a great nucleus and a great group of leaders. There’s a segment of our fans that want to play the blame game. But when you have a loss like that, everybody shares in it. I’m sure everybody on that field felt like they if they could have done something differently, coaches and players, we might not have lost the game. But that’s just part of the deal.

“What is important is for people to know that Mark Richt is our football coach, and he and his staff and these players spend so much time in an effort to bring championship football to Georgia. . . . The more negative people become, the more it distracts you from being successful.”

NOTES: Georgia’s annual G-Day spring football game has been set for April 14. No other spring practice dates have been set. . . . Junior noseguard John Jenkins sprained the AC joint in his left shoulder late in the Outback Bowl. However, the injury is not expected to require surgery and he will be available for spring practice. . . . Freshman wide receiver Chris Conley will undergo wrist surgery this month. . . .Redshirt freshman tailback Ken Malcome suffered a concussion early in the fourth quarter against Michigan State and did not play the rest of the game.

962 comments Add your comment

IndyGT

January 5th, 2012
8:09 am

First! As a GT fan, I hope you guys can him.. because frankly he owns us.

Newman

January 5th, 2012
8:10 am

Greg McGarity is a true Bulldog Blessing!

DAWG with two bags over head

January 5th, 2012
8:11 am

McGarity is apparently drinkly the Richt Kool aide. I knew he didn’t have a pair either. Looks like we’ll need an AD and a new HC before we can every reach the SEC’s first tier. Very depressing news to hear this morning.

DAWG with two bags over head

January 5th, 2012
8:13 am

McGarity is a blessing for all our SEC opponents. I really think he’s a UF mole sent to keep us down.

magnolia, tx dawg

January 5th, 2012
8:17 am

DawgVoiceofReason

January 5th, 2012
8:17 am

Glad to hear McGarity’s perspective on this. I’m a little surprised he would reveal the info about the emails. It would really be interesting to know what are the criticisms he has, not that he would reveal those, as you can tell by his last comment about negative remarks.

AL Dawg

January 5th, 2012
8:18 am

Are many of our fans delusional? Yes!
We could have a program that we would be ashamed of but instead we should be proud. Great leadership in all phases including academics. Remember what happened to Alabama after they lost in the SECC game? Lost to Utah I believe.

[...] to belabor the obvious, but Greg McGarity is all in on Mark Richt, Outback Bowl outcome [...]

Matthews Dawg

January 5th, 2012
8:20 am

I say it shouldn’t impact it and I hope they keep CMR around for another 5 years! Now, let the Bobo bashing begin! We need to block better, execute better and sometimes players have to make plays!
I’m behind CMR all the way and I hope he coaches us for many years to come. He has integrity, character and does the right things on and off the field. Yes, I believe he is a great football coach!
Go Dawgs!!

funny...

January 5th, 2012
8:20 am

what is even funnier is fans emailing the AD like they have a say LOL

Half Century Dawg

January 5th, 2012
8:21 am

Thank GOD for sending Mr. McGarity back home

Dem Dawg

January 5th, 2012
8:22 am

Every top tier program has a top tier staff. CMR has about half a top tier staff. Remember the weak link in the chain theory? It applies to football, too. Fix the weak link in the chain, and you fix the program. And for all you crying about the loss, MSU was a lot better than our Dawgs. We were fortunate to get to an overtime.

Dawgs in 2012

January 5th, 2012
8:22 am

Enter your comments here

Reality Gator

January 5th, 2012
8:23 am

Listen to this guy, and this is why UGA has not won NAT since Jimmy Carter was in office.
We go from 6-7 to 10-4 and we’re looking forward to 2012: Hey reality check you lost to every team with a wining record, you get beat by 32 in the SEC Nat game, wow, talking about a loser mentality.
Mark R. please stay at UGA because there is not a school in the state of Flordia incl high school you would be offered a job, 11 years and never even played for Nat, wow”””’

BIGDAWGFAN

January 5th, 2012
8:23 am

well that tells it all no emotion Richt will be keeping Bobo
and the same old run run pass routine so sad.

Dawgs in 2012

January 5th, 2012
8:23 am

After that huge 10 win season and all the talent that richt has stockpiled on the roster, he should get a huge raise and long-term contract extension. In 2012—the Dawgs are loaded and will win the SEC—book it.

evil empire

January 5th, 2012
8:24 am

great news…more years of mediocrity and bulldawg failures…thanks mr. mcgarity!!…your early decisions have made me happy…scheduling bad ooc games and keeping cmr will insure that uga remains a mid-tier program, with no national respect…as a “troll”, thats important to me…

crossdawg

January 5th, 2012
8:24 am

If CMR had earned all those $$ the Dawgs would have been better coached (esp offense) & we wouldn’t be so embarassed to be fans.

Gainesville Dawg

January 5th, 2012
8:25 am

DAWG with two bags, I don’t think you are a Dawg fan. Who are you?

Chipper

January 5th, 2012
8:25 am

What, no mention of the poor job of play calling from Bobo? We need a real offensive coordinator and a special teams coordinator. Goodbye Bryan McClendon, too. No production. No job.

Ga Wins

January 5th, 2012
8:26 am

I think McGarrity hit it on he head concerning the second guessing. There were several turning points in the game. It seems to me that if we had a cohesive running game we would not have to depend on Walsh or Murray to win games.

Go get us some SEC calibre backs for next year and we’ll be dominate. We can’t expect a one demensional offense to last 4 quarters without some kind of let down.

Bremen Dawg

January 5th, 2012
8:26 am

I believe ol McGarity will force Richt to make more changes in the contract extension, he has got to light that fire under Richt to made changes in the offense and the way we recruit. Yes I said recruiting, we did not have a single lineman would could block M. St defensive tackles.

tide roll

January 5th, 2012
8:26 am

What a wimp McGarity is! Carlton Thomas gains three yards around left end. You’re sitting at Mich. State’s 22 yard line, 2nd and 7. Mich. State is done,and they know it. In fact, on Thomas’ run, the Mich St. DB who tackled him is slow to get up. Go right back at the kid with the same play or something similar. Worst case you probably end up 4th and 3 at the 18! Then Walsh, who is lacking in confidence as it is, has a 32 yard field goal attempt as opposed to a 42 yarder. He makes that and the Dawgs go home with a win. But noooo. Tanning bed has Hair product run to the center of the field, losing the 3 yards gained, and Walsh misses from the 42. Unbelievable. And McGarity acts like it doesn’t matter. It should matter and a lot. This is so typical of McGarity. Rationalize these losses so he can take the easy way out. Pitiful.

Serious??

January 5th, 2012
8:29 am

This program will continue to be average as long as CMR & Bobo are there.

SugarHillDawg

January 5th, 2012
8:29 am

Well if we can’t fire him at least pay him what he’s worth. He’s behind every one of those coaches listed.All you people who think Richt is good for this program should start the year off right and get psychological help.They have really good drugs out there these days.

DePort

January 5th, 2012
8:29 am

This is just the sign of where this country is heading … It seems like everyone is sooo negative about everything… We barely hear anyone say that UGA had a good year… Atleast we are not 6-7 again … lets be happy and proud of our team … and if your not a true fan .. please go cheer for Tech who hasnt won a bowl game since 04 …

Matthews Dawg

January 5th, 2012
8:30 am

McGarity made some outstanding comments and it’s amazing that if we all take the emotion out of it (which I understand is not easy) and look at things logically, he is correct. I hated the loss on Monday. I was in a bad mood all the next day, but give MSU credit for doing their job. The more McGarity is here the better I like his thinking and not “knee jerk” reactions like most of the Dawg fans! We will be fine and better next year. Also, who cares about the schedule. When it is difficult, people don’t say “well, they played a tough schedule, they should lose”. No, we still have the same people on hear complaining day in day out and then let someone like “Tide Roll” get under their skin. We’ll keep working and we’ll keep winning! Can’t wait for 2012!! Go Dawgs!

Ray

January 5th, 2012
8:30 am

Michigan St. was not that much better than UGA a blown FG by our kicker is what cost us the game plus it didn’t help with the conservative play calling in the 2nd half.

Georgia’s biggest problem gain a lead in the 1st half then go conservative in the 2nd half.

BobDawg

January 5th, 2012
8:31 am

McGarity is our voice of reason… Look at the Clemson game last night and I wonder if Dabo gets fired??? NO, they had a great year also… We had a good year and will even have a better year next year… Sure, we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, but we were dominant and MS hung around like a veteran team should…

Matthews Dawg

January 5th, 2012
8:31 am

And on cue…..there is Tide Roll! Worry about LSU! We don’t care about your thoughts or opinions!

Bogey

January 5th, 2012
8:32 am

When you are proud of your state university, other things are as important as winning. His record is 106-38 so it seems he does that pretty good as well.

Get The Picture

January 5th, 2012
8:33 am

106-38 do you think Ole Miss and UT would take that over the last 11 years.

BobDawg

January 5th, 2012
8:33 am

Tide “Troll” calling the kettle black?? How about the end of your LSU 1st game??? Care to discuss that or are you still celebrating the fact that McclWhine is gone now????

Red Dawg

January 5th, 2012
8:34 am

Greg McGarity speaks for me. Things are much better than we realize and they are going to get better. Go Dawgs!

icallbs

January 5th, 2012
8:34 am

McGarity is upfront and as transparent as possible – quite refreshing after years of ego maniac Evans. Fans seem to forget how dismal things looked this time last year. Richt definitely has a different attitude and knows he is being held accountable.

BobDawg

January 5th, 2012
8:35 am

No one will outwork McGarity. I went to school with the dude and no him well… He is perpetual motion and will demand and nudge all our programs towards greatness….

DawgGone

January 5th, 2012
8:36 am

O.K. this is scary if McGarity does not see the need for a new OC. I am alright with CMR but not run Carlton Thomas up the middle Bobo. How many top teams have we beaten in the last 2 years? Bobo is so unpredictable my wife can call the plays. I don’t know what has to happen to get Bobo out of the OC position. Keep him as QB coach or something. I thought with McGarity coming from Florida it would learn something on what it takes to win. Just food for thought Jon Gruden maybe looking for a coaching position. Gruden would make a great hire and he would bring in top offensive coaching able to use the talent of the wide receivers we have.

DawginLex

January 5th, 2012
8:36 am

I’m thankful Greg McGarity is at UGA.

tony

January 5th, 2012
8:36 am

So they have decided to keep that FRAUD. What a shame.

BobDawg

January 5th, 2012
8:37 am

…. “know”

hammerhead

January 5th, 2012
8:37 am

Nice to hear an AD with perspective. He’s exactly right, if we simply make a 42 yard field, the same morons blasting Bobo on here would be staking our claim as a Top 5 program. Georgia has issues with depth, an erratic QB, conditioning (although that has improved), and, yes… questionable play calling on offense. Richt must address our offensive gameplan. It is crucial that he get more involved as Mike Bobo has shown a reluctance to let our players play when the games on the line. We went into a shell offensively and it cost us a useless bowl game.

evil empire

January 5th, 2012
8:38 am

the kool-ade is flowin this morning…you guys are so funny…sign him up for lifetime!!!…

tide roll

January 5th, 2012
8:39 am

McGarity = Wimp

evil empire

January 5th, 2012
8:40 am

I’m thankful Greg McGarity is at UGA.

WOW…

ChompChomp

January 5th, 2012
8:40 am

I love it!! Ya’ll now have no guts McGarity. We had our off year this year but we will kick your @#$ next year and be in position for the NC again. I hope you have another GREAT recruiting class again. You just have trouble coaching them up. Oh! and try to keep them out of jail this off season will ‘ya!!!!

TampaDawg

January 5th, 2012
8:40 am

Reality Gator

January 5th, 2012
8:23 am

Listen to this guy, and this is why UGA has not won NAT since Jimmy Carter was in office.
We go from 6-7 to 10-4 and we’re looking forward to 2012: Hey reality check you lost to every team with a wining record, you get beat by 32 in the SEC Nat game, wow, talking about a loser mentality.
Mark R. please stay at UGA because there is not a school in the state of Flordia incl high school you would be offered a job, 11 years and never even played for Nat, wow”””’
————————–
From a fan of a team with Will Muschump as a coach, this is comical at best. Your little homies went 8-5 two years ago and 7-6 this year and no one outside of Gainesville sees any reason for optimism. I guarantee he would land a job with UF in a heartbeat. You’ve got recruits decommitting, your “prize” OC just quit, the price recruit from last year, Driskel, looked like he got his head caved in this year, Rainey and Demps are GONE, and well, you still have Muschump running the show. Have fun with that. There is obviously nothing positive about UF to go blog on your own blogs about so why not come on here and blog negative crap. Now THAT”S loser mentality.

TampaDawg

January 5th, 2012
8:42 am

Chomp Chomp is up for a reality show about how devastating crack is to the brain. You won’t have a great recruiting class and you have no legitimate coach at all so keep trying.

DawginLex

January 5th, 2012
8:42 am

evil

Do you want us to go re-hire red panties?

Do you know anything about McGarity?

Do you know the discussions he and Richt have had all season?

Answers: NO,NO and NO

I believe the man can do his job. You have your opinion, I have mine.

LakeDawg

January 5th, 2012
8:43 am

If McGarity has decided to retain Richt, it serves no purpose to reveal what he considers weaknesses in Richt’s coaching. His job is to rally the troops. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t realize what’s going on. If I’ve learned one thing about McGarity, its that he has a plan and he doesn’t always reveal it publically. The terms of the extension will be very revealing, especially the buyout clause.

RxDawg

January 5th, 2012
8:44 am

I just wish Bobo would adjust to what’s happening on the field. Murray throwing pics like he placed a bet against us? Try Mason. Running up the middle is getting stuffed 39 times? Try something else. O-linemen are too slow to block? Put in some freshmen.

But McGarity is right. MSU played hard and never gave up. Kudos to them.