D1.dossiers: Georgia
College Athletics News:
December 7, 2020:
names Academic Counselor/Diversity and Inclusion Strategist Gay to the newly created position of Asst. AD for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. (link)
December 3, 2020:
Sports Illustrated’s Forde notes that Alabama Deputy AD Purinton is a name to keep in mind for the Georgia AD post, citing his relationship FB HC Smart as well as his experience in the SEC with FB powers Alabama and LSU. (link)
December 2, 2020:
The Athletic's Emerson believes the new AD at Georgia should be focused on the following: 1) "Continue a hands-off approach to football, while also sharing and understanding the vision that Smart has for taking the football program to the highest level."; 2) Create a master facilities plan ("It’s one thing to keep building things. It’s another to do it in a manner that makes sense."); 3) Financial creativity ("Do you keep holding onto these reserves for the next crisis? Or do you find smart ways to use that money to improve your product and the all-important fan experience?"); 4) Hard looks at leadership situations for sports like MBB, Women's Soccer & WBB; and, 5) A likely need to be more visible than outgoing AD McGarity & push harder on SEC issues. (link)
December 2, 2020:
More from Georgia Senior Deputy AD Brooks’ media call today, during which he emphasized that now was not the time for the department to undergo significant change. “We have enough challenges in front of us navigating these times that we are facing right now in light of the pandemic and everything else going on. It’s really about keeping the ship on course.” Regarding to what degree he plans to use his period as interim AD to demonstrate his readiness to take on the job permanently, Brooks points out that “hopefully what I have done in my career has built up more than just what you would look at in a couple months. I have always tried to show that day in and day out. If this is an audition then so be it, but I come to work the same way every day. I will treat today or January 1 no different than any day -- show up, treat people the right way, represent the university." Asked whether he has any philosophical differences with how the department has been run in the past, Brooks explains that his values are aligned with AD McGarity’s but adds: “I’m probably more vocal and outgoing on social media and things like that and more forward-facing in terms of that, but I would just hope to share the same values.” Full interview. (linklink)
December 1, 2020:
Here's the full transcript of yesterday's presser with Georgia Prez Morehead & outgoing AD McGarity. Of note from Morehead, "I haven’t spoken directly or indirectly with any potential candidates. I am sure as this process unfolds that will happen. There are a number of channels where that will be possible to take place. Michael Luthi who heads the UGA search group will be managing this search for me, and we’ll certainly establish some channels of communication that will make that possible. I obviously have a lot of contacts serving not only in a leadership role in the SEC and working with Commissioner Sankey, but at the NCAA-level on the NCAA Board of Governors. So, I will use those contacts as needed to ensure those channels are made open. We will just see how the process plays out." Morehead also lauded McGarity's fiscal responsibility, "’s been pouring the last eight or nine months, and having those reserves has put us in a much better position than many other major athletic programs in the country that chose to go deeply in debt and not to have anything in reserve." McGarity calls Senior Deputy AD Brooks the "pied piper" of the department, "Great leaders have a lot of followers and he was able to cultivate a large group of student workers and others that just enjoyed being around him," plus says of Deputy AD of Administration Griffin, "I’m telling you folks, she is a super star on the rise." More. (link)
December 1, 2020:
McGarity's Exit...
Georgia Prez Morehead says he doesn’t have a “firm timeline” for hiring AD McGarity’s successor. Rather, he wants the advisory committee to have time to find “significant candidates.” However, he adds: “I don't want this to drag out for months and months and months.” (link)
+ McGarity on Senior Deputy AD Brooks as a potential successor: “He’s very popular among the staff and he’s just wired the right way. His responsibilities grew and he represented me when I wasn’t able to be at athletic directors’ meetings. Very much like Jeremy Foley did for me at the University of Florida, I wasn’t in the chair but I was pretty close to it.” Prez Morehead adds: “I want to send a really strong signal to this senior leadership team that whoever is the next athletic director I have great confidence in the people Greg has assembled to run the Athletic Association.” On the qualities he will be looking for in the next AD, Morehead says: “Someone that’s loyal to the institution, that always puts the institution and the Athletic Association ahead of his own personal interests and someone who is focused on making things better.” (link)
November 30, 2020:
McGarity's Exit...
+ Lost in the madness yesterday was Georgia Prez Morehead appointing an advisory committee to assist with the selection of the new AD in Athens. It's a 10-person group that includes Deputy AD for Administration Griffin, a handful of UGA Athletic Association Board members, FAR Shipley & notable business leaders. (link)
+ In addition to Bulldogs Senior Deputy AD Brooks & Virginia boss Williams, The Athletic's Emerson lists UCF AD White, Texas Executive Assoc. AD Johnson, who is a UGA grad, former FB standout/retired Coca-Cola VP Ros & former FB student-athlete/Athletic Board member Stinchcomb as possible candidates. (link)
+ Georgia's Rivals outlet lists Oregon AD Mullens, UConn's Benedict, Virginia Tech's Babcock & UAB's Ingram as those who could be in the mix. (link)
November 30, 2020:
Georgia AD McGarity will retire at the end of the year and be succeeded on an interim basis by Senior Deputy AD Brooks. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Towers reports Brooks will be a candidate for the permanent post, adding that Virginia AD Williams and former UGA student-athlete/current Helios Partners CEO Welton are also expected to be considered. Also from the ATC article, "McGarity recently sold his east Athens home and his wife Sheryl has already relocated to the Jacksonville area, where their son Alex lives." (link)
November 30, 2020:
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Bradley reflects on the tenure of Georgia AD McGarity, writing: “To say that McGarity was a good servant to his university is to understate by a bunch. Did he have his critics? Oh, yes. Sometimes it seemed he had nothing but critics. He wasn’t a great politician, a slapper of backs and a teller of tales. He’s a shy guy who wound up in a high-profile job, which doesn’t always work. He made this work.” Bradley goes on to observe that McGarity did a good job but did not receive the credit he was due. “Why so many alums turned on him is something I’ve never fully understood. … What I saw from McGarity was a guy who some considered a bumbler but who never bumbled anything of great importance. On the contrary.” Looking ahead, Bradley notes: “It will be fascinating to see how much of a role [FB HC] Smart, who wants everything and wants it now, will play in the selection of the person who’ll technically be his boss.” (link)
November 16, 2020:
Georgia State is looking for a naming rights sponsor to adorn the $85M convocation center that will house the MBB/WBB arena. AD Cobb: “That’s the next big box to check. There’s high visibility and certainly there’s somebody out there that has a similar thought that Center Parc had with the stadium. So the charge to the Van Wagner guys is to find that next partner for the university.” Meanwhile, Georgia continues to successfully fundraise despite the pandemic. UGA’s Magill Society has brought in $151M during the fiscal year. The group has helped UGA avoid borrowing money and go into deeper debt which is particularly important during this challenging financial time. Bulldogs AD McGarity: “If we’re in the same pandemic conditions for the next two years, you’ll see significant changes in college athletics -- and I mean significant. I think everyone can weather the storm for one season.” (link)
November 12, 2020:
Georgia equestrian HC has tested positive, making her the third UGA HC (men’s tennis HC Diaz and women’s soccer HC Lesesne) to test positive in the last two weeks. (link)
November 11, 2020:
The Georgia-Missouri FB game scheduled for Saturday has been postponed due to positive tests and contact tracing within the Tigers program. (link)
November 8, 2020:
After Georgia Women's Soccer HC Lesesne tested positive earlier in the week, Men's Tennis HC Diaz did so on Saturday. Diaz has "mild symptoms and is feeling well" per a statement from the school. (link)
November 4, 2020:
Georgia Women’s Soccer HC Lesesne tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the regular season finale vs. Missouri. He is expected to be back for the SEC tournament. (link)
October 25, 2020:
AthleticDirectorU & Athlete Viewpoint released the latest Athletic Department Power Index with a look at how sitting ADs in the SEC, along with those who could lead a department in the league, perceive the attractiveness of each AD chair within the conference. Overall ranking order: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU, Kentucky, Tennessee, Auburn, Arkansas, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Missouri, Mississippi State & Vanderbilt. Some notable outliers: LSU fifth overall, but 13th in the Quality of Life. Conversely, Vanderbilt 14th overall, but second in the same category. The Gators are in the top four in every category, as is UGA, with the exception of Potential for MBB Success. One notable comment on the best AD job in the SEC, "Georgia is an absolute monster. The combination of brand, facilities, location, institutional quality, funding and in-state talent make it a sleeping giant. The could dominate the Directors' Cup and win national titles in football and men's basketball." Lots more interesting data/feedback here. (link)
October 18, 2020:
Per Law360, former Georgia FB student-athlete Reed has sued agency Sportstars, Inc. after he went undrafted in the most recent NFL Draft & points to the agency for not alleviating teams concerns over a knee injury he suffered in high school. (link)
October 15, 2020:
Georgia MBB student-athlete Kier was arrested last week after he was spotted driving recklessly. Per the Gwinnett County Sherriff's Office report, three other teammates were in the car. All admitted to smoking marijuana. (link)
October 15, 2020:
Louisiana Monroe AD McDonald remains optimistic that Arkansas and Georgia will fulfill the financial guarantees from this season’s canceled buy games. “We did everything we could to honor our part of the contract and we’re just asking them to reciprocate. They’re playing games and we’re playing games on the dates we were scheduled to play. I just feel like we’ll get something worked out.” ULM was set to receive $3.2M total from the games, and McDonald explains conversations behind the scenes have been “cordial.” Both contracts included cancelation fees if a school canceled, but they also included force majeure clauses. (link)
October 13, 2020:
247Sports has updated its Team Talent Composite to quantify which FB teams have the most talent on their rosters. To measure the talent, 247 takes into account recruiting rankings, transfers in, transfers out and other natural attrition metrics. This year, Georgia takes the top spot with 16 of its student-athletes entering UGA as five-star players while another 52 were four-star players. The Bulldogs are followed by Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Texas, LSU, Florida, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and USC, who comprise the rest of the top 10, respectively. 247’s Simmons notes that Clemson is in its highest position ever, eclipsing its previous best of sixth in 2018 when the Tigers went 15-0 and won the national title. Simmons also notes that Oregon and North Carolina are trending up while Michigan, UCLA and Florida State are trending down. Full rankings and analysis. (linklink)
October 7, 2020:
Georgia will reseat its student section at Sanford Stadium & place more staff in the area to encourage better social distancing at games moving forward. (link)
October 7, 2020:
Georgia season ticket holders donated $14M back in the form of unused tickets and seat donations. UGA saw 58% of its season ticket base opt out of attending one of four home games, and 26% of those said UGA could keep all or part of the scheduled fees for this season. (link)
October 5, 2020:
After photos circulated on social media showing Georgia students gathered together too closely during Saturday’s matchup with Auburn, UGA says it will address the issue before this weekend’s matchup with Tennessee. Senior Deputy AD Brooks: “The biggest takeaway from me is we had 99% compliance from all of our fans. It’s just refining that 1%. The majority of our students were great. They had great attitudes, they were respectful, they were compliant, but it just takes a few who without having malicious intent just filtered down or get into areas where they’re not supposed to sit, especially when the cameras are down there and they’re trying to get a great camera crowd shot. … We just need constant reinforcement. The other thing that makes it look worse is the students are standing the whole time, so when you’re standing the whole time you don’t get a true sense of the vertical gaps. It looks more congested than it actually is.” (link)
September 24, 2020:
How did Georgia spend nearly $3.7M on football recruiting in FY19? The Athens Banner Herald digs in on the specifics, which include arcade games ($8,880), aerial cinematography ($14,717). 140 charter flights ($850,610), The Kirby Copter ($83,260), five different recruiting services ($53,550) and "lots and lots of food." Lots more. (link)
September 18, 2020:
In its first release of testing results, Georgia reports seven positive cases among FB players screened before voluntary workouts began on June 8 out of 100 athletes who had returned to campus at that time. (link
September 18, 2020:
Georgia FB unis will feature a “Together Equality” patch. (link)
September 17, 2020:
Georgia FB HC Smart and his wife have committed $1M to support UGA’s social justice program and create scholarships for senior student-athletes whose final seasons were impacted by COVID-19 and expand the FB program. (link)
September 17, 2020:
Stadium’s McMurphy lists the colleges with the most players on active NFL rosters. Alabama leads the way with 53 followed by Ohio State (48), LSU (41), Florida (36), Michigan (33), Georgia and Penn State (32), Miami, Notre Dame and Oklahoma (31), Florida State (30), Texas A&M (29), Clemson, Iowa and Stanford (28), Washington and Wisconsin (27), and Auburn, Texas and UCLA (26). (link)
September 11, 2020:
Georgia AD McGarity told the university's athletic board today that he expects a $55M shortfall this fiscal year. On using the department's $95M reserve, "We certainly don’t want to deplete our reserves. We plan to use a portion. We really don’t know what that number will be but certainly it’s a huge part of our operating expenses to be able to spend of the interest off of that. ...It will be one of the tools in the tool chest that will use to help make ends meet." To date, the Dawgs have not implemented any cuts, furloughs, layoffs, etc. (link); Georgia Prez Morehead sings the praises of SEC Commish Sankey: "The thing that's really impressed me about commissioner Sankey is he's generally about a month ahead of everyone else in thinking about what we need to do next." (link)
September 9, 2020:
The Georgia FB team has launched the Dawgs for Pups program to raise money for Wi-Fi hotspots for K-8 students in Clarke County. (link)
September 3, 2020:
Georgia has agreed to a strategic alliance with former FB student-athlete and current Atlanta Falcons RB Gurley to “serve as a mentor and featured speaker for student-athletes on topics such as social justice, creating value beyond sport, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.” (link)
September 2, 2020:
Georgia reported a total of 821 positive tests on campus last week, an increase from 189 the previous week when classes started. Of those who tested positive, 798 were students. (link)
September 2, 2020:
Georgia QB Newman is opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns and will focus on training for the 2021 NFL Draft. (link)
August 31, 2020:
is receiving criticism for a social media photo depicting FB student-athletes, coaches and staff sitting in the stands at Sanford Stadium with the caption “Socially distanced we sit, but united we move forward.” However, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution points out that some individuals are not wearing masks and “almost no one was six feet apart.” (link)
August 26, 2020:
Similarly, Georgia is seeing a higher "opt-out" response than expected, with 50%+ of Bulldogs' donors opting to pass on some or all of the tickets for which they qualify. UGA's deadline was last night, as well. Dawgs AD McGarity: "...Then again, that also allows us to go deeper in the pool. So, we might be able to help out more donors. Once we get all the data in, we’ll just see where the measurements stop." (link)
August 24, 2020:
Georgia is projecting that COVID-related costs could total more than $5M with expenses including frequent testing, increased facilities sanitation and healthcare. The school is asking those who opt out of applying for football tickets this season to consider rolling over all or a portion of their contribution for season tickets and Hartman Fund or seat back balances to a COVID-19 UGA Athletics Fund. (link)
August 19, 2020:
Georgia FB DC Lanning has reportedly received a $500K raise to $1.25M along with a contract extension through 2022. Lanning’s buyout terms remain unchanged. (link)
August 14, 2020:
Former Georgia/current Detroit Lions QB Stafford and his wife, along with UGA FB HC Smart and his wife, are endowing a social justice initiative at UGA that will “continue developing an environment that will affect meaningful change ... for all the Association’s members, including student-athletes, coaches and staff.” The Staffords are donating $350K to the initiative and the Smarts are donating $150K. (link)
August 6, 2020:
Georgia Prez Morehead has been appointed to the DI Board of Governors and Board of Directors. (link)
August 3, 2020:
Georgia AD McGarity intimates there have been no salary increases since the COVID-19 shutdown. Those who did get raises this year include Senior Assoc. AD for Sports Medicine Courson, whose salary increased $10K to $260K; Senior Deputy AD Brooks, who received a $23K bump to $217K; Deputy ADs Ransom & Griffin also received $10K upgrades to $204,507 & $203,490, respectively. More. (link)
July 28, 2020:’s Talty identifies several “behind-the-scenes power players” in the SEC, people he notes don’t make the highest salaries but are “vitally important people who have real influence in college football’s most powerful conference.” On the list, Talty includes Alabama Assoc. AD for Sports Medicine Allen, LSU Executive Deputy AD/Executive Director of External Relations Ausberry, Georgia Senior Deputy AD Brooks, Gridiron Founder/Prez Brown, SEC Assoc. Commish for Competition/SWA Daniels, ESPN EVP of Event and Studio Production Druley, Arkansas Deputy AD for Academics, Integrity and Student-Athlete Development Fagg, Ole Miss FB GM Lindsey, CAA agent Marynowitz, Kentucky Deputy AD Peevey, Tennessee Deputy AD/COO Sigmon, Florida Executive Assoc. AD for Administration Tealer, and SEC Assoc. Commish for Communications Vincent. To compile the list, Talty spoke with a wide range of sources, including Power 5 ADs, coaches, administrators, agents, search firm consultants and media members. (link)
July 26, 2020:
Georgia Senior Deputy AD Brooks and Ball State Deputy AD Fields sit down with AthleticDirectorU to discuss transitioning to the Deputy role overseeing external operations from their backgrounds and beginnings in internal operations, communicating your department’s unique value proposition, continuing to find new innovations, prospects or diamonds in the rough at established institutions and more. Fields: "Our approach will be very aggressive. We're always trying to find people, we're always looking for diamonds in the rough. If you keep getting after it, you're gonna find some influential people who know other influential people. And that creates a domino effect. [...] We have to make sure people understand what our plan is, but we've got to reciprocate that to make sure that we're as involved with them as we can be." More. (link)
July 16, 2020:
USA Today publishes its annual revenues & expenses list for public departments with data from 2018-19. Top 5 in revenues: Texas ($223.87M), Texas A&M ($212.74M), Ohio State ($210.54M), Michigan ($197.82M) & Georgia ($172.04M). Looks like all Big Ten & SEC publics were above $100M. Top 3 Group of 5: UConn ($80.9M), Houston ($75.04M) & UCF ($69.12M). Top 3 FCS: James Madison ($52.7M), Delaware ($47.94M) & UC Davis ($40.98M). Lots more. (link)
July 15, 2020:
Georgia FB and MBB coaching staffs were limited in their recruiting contacts for at least one week due to NCAA secondary violations, per Online Athens. (link)
July 2, 2020:
Georgia and Clemson will both receive guarantees of greater than $4M or 45% of net revenue when they face off to start the 2021 FB season on September 4 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. (link)
June 25, 2020:
Georgia's house and senate leaders approved a $26B budget yesterday that does not require mandatory furloughs, but does include $2.2B in cuts of anticipated revenue due to coronavirus. At one point, state leaders were suggesting a 14% furlough rate for state employees, but the figure was reduced to 10%, which still would have required more than two weeks of unpaid leave for UGA's higher-paid employees, including FB HC Smart and MBB HC Crean. Bulldogs' AD McGarity: "That’s why we don’t panic and do things until something becomes official. We were just waiting to see what the state government said." (link)
June 22, 2020:
Though the athletic department isn't releasing its COVID-19 data, the Athens Banner-Herald uncovers Georgia "reported that 44 students or employees had tested positive as of June 3, according to information collected by or reported to the University Health Center. That number grew to 61 by June 8 and stood at 89 as of 8 a.m. Monday." FWIW, UGA FB student-athletes returned to campus the first week of the month and were tested at that time. (link)
June 18, 2020:
The Georgia marching band will no longer play Tara’s Theme from Gone with the Wind and replace it with Georgia on My Mind. (link)
June 15, 2020:
About 75 Georgia athletics staffers will begin returning to their normal workspaces today with another 72 joining them on a limited basis. AD McGarity explains that the return will be welcome. “It’s essential to make sure that everyone’s on the same page and you’re coordinated. So many of our events and things that we do are very detailed. We were so used to the type of communication. Now with the Zoom meetings, you’ve got people talking over each other. You’ve got to wait. Are they muted? Unmuted? How’s their connection? It’s just not as good as just having the old fashioned face-to-face meeting.” (link)
June 13, 2020:
Georgia FB Director of Player Programs Gantt posts a video of many members of the team walking to register to vote. "What a great feeling as the team walked to the Board of Elections and Voter Registration and registered to vote...Taking Steps!!!" (link)
June 4, 2020:
Georgia AD McGarity on the Bulldogs ~$95M reserve fund, "We’ve got enough to where Ryan (Nesbit - VP for Finance & Administration) said we could handle six months if there’s no revenue. So we’ll just have to wait and see how that develops and whether we have to tap into it or not." Another interesting note in the Online Athens article, "One positive in the next fiscal budget is the school received a favorable excise tax opinion on its contention that its highest paid coaches including football’s Kirby Smart and men’s basketball’s Tom Crean are 'common law' employees of UGA and not employed by the Athletic Association. That’s worth more than $1.8 million." (link)
June 4, 2020:
Georgia Prez Morehead believes the SEC will decide on a league-wide policy on fans in stands: "I expect it by the SEC on behalf of all of the schools coming up with comprehensive guidelines as they’ve done so far for our reopening efforts. We’ll just continue as 14 presidents to talk about those issues each week and see where we land in a month or so." (link)
June 4, 2020:
Georgia AD McGarity has signed a one-year contract extension that would keep him in Athens through June of next year. McGarity will receive a pay increase of $25K, which will bump his annual salary to $700K. Prez Morehead says extending the contract for just a year was McGarity’s idea. “I can say definitely that’s the way he wants it. I’ll be happy to have Greg as athletic director as long as I’m President of the University, but he prefers this approach.” McGarity explains: “Our world’s kind of small here, but certainly with everything he’s dealing with I was respectful of his time, and I just didn’t want him to go down the path of trying to fill my position and divert attention with other things that are a lot more important than my role.” (link)
May 29, 2020:
We knew Georgia OC Monken was part of the $1M/year AC club & here's more details. Three-year deal scaling from $1.1M to $1.5M & fully guaranteed if Monken is fired. If he exits for the NFL, he owes $400K in the first two years or $200K for leaving before the end of 2022. Monken will owe 20% of the remaining salary for a college OC job and owe nothing if he takes a HC position. (link)
May 21, 2020:
When Georgia and Bowling Green agreed to a MBB game in Stegman Coliseum later this year, the contract included in its force majeure clause a reference to an “epidemic, pandemic or public health emergency” that would make “impossible or impractical the playing of the Game or which prevents the participation of at least one of the Parties in the Game.” Specifically, if one of the teams can’t make it for an aforementioned reason, UGA would not have to pay the guarantee. (link)
May 20, 2020:
Georgia boss McGarity stiff arm's the AJC's Towers on most questions, but does say, "It’s got to be a lifestyle going forward. You can’t have a certain population of your athletes that feel like they're immune. Should they infect someone who wasn’t sick, you can see what can happen. So, it has to be something that everyone accepts and everyone abides by. That is part of this new world. You can’t have any outliers. You can’t have anybody who thinks they’re more powerful than the virus, or we’ll be taking steps backward in a hurry." (link)
May 17, 2020:
The cost of recruiting... "In a 13-day period that bracketed Georgia’s appearance in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 7, the Bulldogs spent $422,047.07 on 42 trips by chartered air planes for coach Kirby Smart and members of his staff. Those flights landed in 23 different cities outside of Georgia’s borders, some as far away as Van Nuys, Calif., and Ontario, Canada. ... Georgia football coaches boarded chartered flights at least 74 times between September and mid-December of last year. On average, the UGA Athletic Association paid $9,409 for those trips, not including coaches’ personal expenses. The total: $696,269.99." Priciest flight was $27K from Athens to Las Vegas then onto Van Nuys, but both players signed with UGA within 10 days. Bulldogs AD McGarity points to a "return on investment" with the Bulldogs securing a second No. 1-ranked recruiting class in three years. (link)
May 13, 2020:
Regarding whether HCs will be furloughed or asked to take pay reductions, Georgia AD McGarity remarks that “we’ll have those discussions in the coming weeks with the university, but we must remember we’re all state employees.” System spokesman Diamant: “At this time, institutions are developing plans for a potential 14% budget reduction. Part of their plans will include furloughs and these plans are still being developed. We anticipate that athletics programs will voluntarily participate to support the institutions’ state employees who will be furloughed.” Online Athens reports that the tiered plan would call for 16 furlough days for anyone earning over $154K, reducing respective salaries by 6.2%. (link)
May 7, 2020:
Georgia Senior Deputy AD Brooks tells The Athletic that the UGA staff is going through several scenarios about how to safely bring fans back to Samford Stadium, assuming they’re allowed to. “I’ve got a team working right now in that scenario how you maximize capacity while maintaining social distancing at the same time. You could have a plan and a formula but you literally have to map it out because every single row is different.” In addition to social distancing within the stadium, cashless transactions, one-way concourses and the reduction of “touch points” and “congregation points” are areas being discussed. Brooks: “You try to see all those things and really make sense of it all. And try to understand that there’s no perfect plan. You’re going to have to try to apply it to your situation, and that it’s going to take some adjustments.” (link)
May 5, 2020:
Georgia coaches are utilizing Zoom to stay engaged with donors, and in the case of FB HC Smart, that included three one-hour “Chalk Talk” sessions for members of the The Hedges, a group for supporters who donate at least $100K per year. In addition, MBB HC Crean, WBB HC Taylor and ESPN host/UGA alumna Taylor taped a roundtable chat that was sent to all donors. AD McGarity: “It’s really not fundraising right now. It’s really more of our staff checking in with our donors. We’re trying to reach out and just make points of contact and just stay in touch with our donors. To say there’s any aggressive type of fundraising activity now, it’s not occurring.” Still, Deputy AD for Development Borman explains that while gifts are down from previous levels, UGA has still secured 25 gifts from roughly $1.6M in the past six weeks. (link)
May 1, 2020:
Georgia Prez Morehead on his expectations for a fall FB season: “The SEC Commissioner, SEC Presidents, and SEC Athletic Directors are in constant discussions about the fall football season. [..] We are operating under the hope and expectation that we will have a full football season, under relatively normal conditions. However, that depends upon progress against the virus. I expect we will have answers to many questions in the coming weeks. I remain personally optimistic.” Morehead also hopes to have student-athletes on campus “at some point during the month of July.” (link)
April 30, 2020:
Georgia doesn’t expect to implement any pay reductions, according to AD McGarity: “Some institutions are doing so just to be whole in this fiscal year which ends June 30. Some institutions are struggling, obviously, to get to that point so they have no alternative. Other schools are dependent on state funds. The only fees we receive outside of what we generate ourselves are our student fees. That’s a very small portion of our total budget.” (link)
April 29, 2020:
Georgia Prez Morehead tells faculty that UGA is anticipating a return to in-person instruction in August and will begin phasing in the reopening over the summer but adds that things could change. (link)
April 20, 2020:
With $17.9M in 2020 reserves remaining and $102M available in total reserve funds, Georgia AD McGarity notes that “we were ready for a rainy day, not a level 5 tornado.” On potentially cutting sports, “We’re eventually going to be up and running. Once you cut a sport, you can’t get it back. …  I hate to make a short-term decision and have it affect you for the entirety of your program, because we’ll get back to full speed.” (link)
April 16, 2020:
Georgia FB video coordinator Klawsky has been discharged from the hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19. (link)
April 12, 2020:
Georgia AD McGarity on returning spring sport seniors, "Many already have full-time jobs based on graduating. We will support those who choose to return for one more year." (link)
April 7, 2020:
Georgia Prez Morehead & AD McGarity agree to wait until we're through the crisis to further discuss McGarity's contract situation, which technically expires at the end of June. Morehead: "In the meantime, he continues to represent UGA athletics in an outstanding manner." (link); With more than $100M in its reserves, UGA has the means to withstand a significant financial impact from the coronavirus should one occur. AD McGarity: “We are in a position to weather the storm for a period of time due to the conservative approach that’s been a part of Georgia athletics dating back to the days of Joel Eaves. … We’re really in healthy shape, and we’re one of the few that are. You can only imagine the angst with institutions that don’t have the financial reserves that we have.” McGarity also credits the Magill Society for donating or pledging $145M to construction projects since 2015. “Just think of our world if we didn’t have the Magill Society step up. How would we pay for all of these new facilities.” Former FB HC/AD Dooley over the weekend intimated that even during his tenure, which ended in 2004, UGA factored worst-case scenarios into its financial planning. “I’m sure that (current UGA administrators) are doing the same thing. You’ve got to have that kind of reserve in case you get into a catastrophe, and this could be a catastrophe.” (link)
March 31, 2020:
Georgia FB DC Lanning is your latest AC with pay above $1M as he's now at $1.25M, up from $750K last season. More on Dawgs AC pay. (link)
March 28, 2020:
Georgia AD McGarity: "We’re planning as if a football season is going to happen. If that doesn’t happen, that’s a whole another environment. [...] We also have to be realistic if football was not part of that what does that mean with our reserves, how much of the reserve can we utilize to make us somewhat whole. That’s why we have a reserve, thank goodness. We’re probably in better shape than a lot of institutions because of our financial stability." (link)
March 25, 2020:
Football Scoop has compiled a list of FB revenues from FY18-19 and found that Texas is once again the highest grossing school with $156M, followed by Georgia ($123M), Michigan ($122M), Notre Dame ($116M), Ohio State ($115M), Penn State ($100M), Auburn ($95M), Oklahoma ($94.8M), Alabama ($94.6M) and Nebraska ($94.3M). UCF led all Group of 5 schools with $30M followed by Colorado State ($25M), SMU ($20.5M), Boise State ($20.3M) and Houston ($19M). Full list. (link)
March 23, 2020:
Construction on Georgia’s $80M FB operations facility expansion continues despite the coronavirus outbreak. Bulldogs AD McGarity notes that DPR Construction employees are able to work as the company directs them. “We’re certainly not exerting any pressure on any partner. … They’re following their own company’s protocol as far as when they work and social-distancing goes. But they have been working, pouring concrete and things like that. Right now, there’s not really a lot of intensive work because everything is below-grade right now.” As far as when the Bulldogs will take the field again, McGarity points out: “Everybody has to realize we have been under this [stoppage] only for a week. It seems like it’s been a month, but we’re just starting our new way of operating, the second week of what we expect will be many weeks. So there are a lot of other things that have been prioritized right now. It’s a little early to talk definitively about something that may or may not happen.” (linklink)
March 18, 2020:
A staff member at Georgia has tested positive for the coronavirus. The staffer is being treated in the hospital while another employee who had contact with the staff member is under self-quarantine and is not exhibiting symptoms. AD McGarity says he is unable to comment further on the situation. (link)
March 13, 2020:
Georgia FB HC Smart and others ACs & student-athletes around the Bulldogs FB program will be self-quarantined for 12 days due to a university policy regarding those who have traveled internationally during spring break. (link)
March 6, 2020:
Georgia MBB set a program record for season attendance at 164,071. (link)
March 3, 2020:
New Georgia FB AC Cochran will earn $550K in Athens, a decrease from his salary of $595K at Alabama last season as S&C HC. (link)
February 27, 2020:
Georgia FB HC Smart in a statement regarding the arrest of student-athlete Wyatt: “I’m disappointed in the conduct that is outlined in the incident report. … We will address it internally in the appropriate way.” (link)
February 24, 2020:
Longtime Alabama FB Strength & Conditioning HC Cochran has reportedly agreed to join the Georgia staff as special teams coordinator, “barring an unforeseen development,” reports. The Athletic’s Suttles discusses the impact of Cochran’s departure, noting that Cochran is often the person student-athletes turn to when they problems, both on the field and off. Suttles also indicates it “hasn’t been the best-kept secret around Alabama that Cochran was looking for something different, perhaps a change.” (linklink)
February 24, 2020:
The Athletic's Staples and Feldman go in on Alabama FB S&C HC Cochran moving to Georgia as Special Teams Coordinator, "His move will reverberate through the SEC and through all of college football. Because if it works as intended, it could forge an entirely new path to becoming a head coach — a path that runs through the weight room. [...] If Cochran can excel as a recruiter at Georgia — his new role allows him to recruit off-campus, but his old one did not — he could be on the fast track to becoming a head coach. He already understands how to build and maintain the architecture of a championship program. If he proves as much of a hit with five-star players before they sign as he already is after they do, then he would only be a few good assistant coach hires away from having all the tools to build a winning program. If that happened, it might create an entirely new track to becoming a head coach." (link); Interesting tweet from 247Sports Founder Terry on the Cochran-to-Georgia news, "(Next) real flex is which college is going to be the 1st to give their athletes NAD. highly effective & legal. NFL players on it. only be absorbed thru blood stream at $500 per pop & takes about 6-7 treatments per mo. game changing legal wellness & science is coming, but real $$$." (link)
February 23, 2020:
Data-driven journalist Wittry takes a look at FB recruiting budgets for AthleticDirectorU. In FY19 specifically, Georgia became the first program to spend in excess of $3M as 38 of the 52 public 'Power 5' institutions increased FB recruiting by an average of $103K. In addition to the Bulldogs, Alabama ($2.66M), Tennessee ($2.24M), Clemson ($2.23M) & Arkansas ($1.93M) made up the Top 5. At the other end of the spectrum: Wisconsin ($431K), Mississippi State ($435K), Washington State ($503K), Arizona State ($525K) & Maryland ($548K). Lots more, including averages & YoY changes by conference, programs with the largest increases, nifty graphic on the Top 10 annual since 2005. (link)
February 20, 2020:
A little more than a year since Georgia sold its seven-seat King Air plane for $1.4M, UGA may be on the market for a new plane, according to AD McGarity: “I expect to get with the president next month to talk about opportunities. Our intention was to go through a couple of cycles and have a financial review at the end of those cycles to figure out what’s the best path moving forward in our aviation efforts. … We may continue to do what we’re doing or we may go down a different path.” Georgia’s football recruiting expenses were $3.7M in FY19, an increase of more than $1M from FY18, and McGarity last week explained those numbers may be skewed since UGA didn’t have a jet for the FY19 cycle. “Cost may be hidden in another category as far as how it’s accounted for. Having gone through that at Florida, which had two aircraft at the time, I know how the expenses are accounted for with aircraft. It’s a little bit different. It’s never really apples and apples, but it kind of is what it is to be able to recruit nationally.” (link)
February 18, 2020:
Clemson AD Radakovich says "the planets aligned" to pull off the 2021 FB matchup with Georgia in Charlotte. More: "I will tell you that that was really a long and thoughtful and difficult decision. Had it not been for the opponent being Georgia and the availability and subsequent deal with Charlotte from a transportation perspective for our fan bases, I’m not sure that would have happened." The Athletic's Emerson reports the Bulldogs will pay San Jose State $1.8M to exit the scheduled kick on the same date. Seems ESPN is another big time winner here as ad rates will certainly be far more valuable than the previously scheduled games. (linklink)
February 17, 2020:
It’s that time of year when ADs express confidence in their respective HCs, and despite some struggles this season, Georgia AD McGarity says of WBB HC Taylor: “It just gets down to recruiting and making sure players are getting better. She’s absolutely the total package and she knows what we need to do. She’ll admit we’re not where we need to be, but I’ve got total confidence in her to turn it around.” (link)
February 12, 2020:
Georgia AD McGarity says he & Prez Morehead will discuss his contract situation in the next "four to five weeks." McGarity's current deal runs through June of this year. Morehead: "It’s always in his court. I have great confidence in Greg." McGarity: "I’m 65. I enjoy working. So that part of it, I have no problem with that (short-term nature of his agreement). If I was younger it might be a different story, with four or five years. But I’m very comfortable with the way things are." The Athletic's Emerson: "Morehead, who also may not have too many years left before he retires, does not appear eager to hand the reins to a new athletic director unless McGarity wants to step away." (link); More renderings of UGA FB's new space, this time a meeting room & new weight room. (link)
February 12, 2020:
Here's a rendering of the lockers Georgia is putting in its expanded FB locker room. (link)
February 11, 2020:
Alabama only spent 3.8% of its budget on FB recruiting in FY19, but's Casagrande notes how the $2.6M expensed last year will escalate in years to come not only in Tuscaloosa but around the SEC. In 2009 the Tide spent $893.8K (adjusted for inflation). Georgia topped the most recent list at $3.7M, while Tennessee ($2.2M), Arkansas ($1.9M) and LSU ($1.6M) all pushed out seven figures plus. For comparison, the Pac-12's Washington dropped $714K on the year. A few comparison charts across the SEC. (link)
February 10, 2020:
Georgia is positioning FB HC Smart & MBB HC Crean as "common law" employees of the university, not the Georgia Athletic Association, in its upcoming tax return as a measure to avoid paying excise taxes of ~$2M. Ernst & Young Managing Director Pitts, whose firm assists UGA, "One of the main things it boils down to is the university itself, if something happened and you decided to fire the head football coach, the university really makes that decision. [...] The way the law is written the University of Georgia is not included because they’re not a 501(c) (3). They’re an integral part of the state of Georgia. They are not an applicable tax exempt employer that this law applies to." Pitts does expect the IRS to send a notice with questions about the approach. (link)
February 10, 2020:
Georgia breaks ground on $80M in FB facility expansions slated to be complete in April 2021. (link)
February 8, 2020:
In a lengthy read centered on the performance thus far of second-year Georgia MBB HC Crean, The Athletic's Emerson says the future of Bulldogs AD McGarity could be discussed at an Athletic Board meeting this Wednesday. As you may recall, McGarity's current contract runs through the end of June. No indication from Emerson on where the conversation on McGarity's deal may lead. (link)
February 7, 2020:
Georgia will decrease visiting FB ticket allotments and increase available season tickets effective in 2020. Senior Deputy AD Brooks: “It’s really handicapped us in what we can do with season ticket sales because we’ve got this variable number on the visiting allotment.” New tickets will be sold as part of season ticket package on 600 level for $75 each, plus a standard donation. (link)
February 6, 2020:
The Athletic's Emerson analyzes the increased recruiting budget in Athens since Georgia FB HC Smart took over, which played a part in the Bulldogs landing their second No. 1-ranked signing class in three years. During FY15, UGA spent roughly $1.3M on recruiting, then Smart took over and in FY16 the number jumped to $2.2M. By 2018 it was $2.6M and the most recent figure is $3.6M. Two trips to Hawaii and lots of out-of-state signees (16 of the 22 HS ones) are part of the picture. Smart: "Recruiting never sleeps." (link)
February 3, 2020:
Georgia ended FY19 with an operating surplus of $30.7M, bringing in revenues of $174M (down $2.6M YoY) against expenses of $143.3M. UGA donated $5M of the surplus back to the university and allocated $23.1M to facility improvements. The remaining $2.7M was transferred to the UGA Foundation to support future athletic enhancements. Nearly one-third of revenue came via contributions, and of that figure, 84% ($44.3M) was earmarked for FB. Overall giving declined 22.5% YoY while FB giving fell 28.9%. Per the Atlanta Journal Constitution: “Other 2019 figures from SEC teams that have been published so far include Florida ($159.7M revenue/$17.9M profit), LSU ($158.9M/$8.9M), Auburn ($152.4M/$13.2M) and Tennessee ($145.7M/$10.8M).” (link)
January 30, 2020:
Georgia Volleyball HC Black wants the Bulldogs to add Beach. Says he has given AD McGarity his proposal and Black thinks "it's high on their radar." (link)
January 27, 2020:
The sale of beer and wine at athletic events will likely be a topic of conversation during Georgia’s spring athletic board meetings, per AD McGarity, who says UGA is conducting research on the issue right now. “If we weren’t interested in perhaps moving forward, we wouldn’t even be going through this exercise. Things are trending that way. We certainly don’t want to be behind others, but at the same time, we’ve heard of problems that our fans experienced in Nashville and Knoxville. What we don’t want to do is just jump in without a lot of thought and with a good plan that doesn’t affect our current concessions. [..] If and when we roll it out, it will be an organized and fluid plan. … There are a lot of hurdles to go through. Nobody in our state does it right now. Georgia Tech may start it next year. … We’ve got to cross those bridges with Board of Regents approval and awareness and things like that.” (link)
January 23, 2020:
New Georgia OC Monken will earn a base salary of $1.1M. (link)
January 17, 2020:
Former Southern Miss FB HC Monken back in the college game as the new OC at Georgia. Monken was the OC with the Cleveland Browns this past season. (link)
January 16, 2020:
Georgia announces that Baseball season tickets are sold out. (link)
January 9, 2020:
Georgia has promoted Deputy AD for Operations Brooks to Senior Deputy AD. UGA AD McGarity praised Brooks, saying he is “building a national reputation as a rising star among athletic administrators in the Power 5.” Coincidental (or not) given the Georgia Southern opening. McGarity also ups Executive Assoc. AD Lawler to Deputy AD for Compliance. (link)
January 9, 2020:
$3.5M. That's how much former Georgia FB student-athlete Mays' father is asking for in his lawsuit against Georgia athletics for the 2017 severed pinkie incident. Mays has retained notable attorney Mars, who has accused UGA of leaking the suit to the media, calling it a “record new low for UGA Athletics.” In response, UGA has released a statement indicating that “unlike Mr. Mars” it would not discuss the matter publicly. Additionally, the statement contends that while the lawsuit is publicly available, no one at the university was authorized to discuss it and the journalist who first reported the story explained that no one from UGA notified him of the suit. (linklinklink)
January 7, 2020:
Learfield IMG College celebrated its Clydes awards last night: Buffalo, Gonzaga, Purdue and Georgia were the four high-performing properties of the year. Lots more. (link)
January 6, 2020:
Here's a really good look of where Georgia's expanded FB facility is going. Currently a gray slab that was below turf. (link)
January 5, 2020:
Georgia FB student-athlete Webb is one of three individuals facing a federal lawsuit for hazing. (link)
December 22, 2019: 
Attendance at SEC home FB games fell this year by a combined 82K fans across the 102 games. "The SEC averaged 72,735 fans in those 102 games in 2019. That’s a decrease of 2,282 from last season, and the conference’s lowest total since 2001, when it averaged 72,130. The team’s high-water mark during that stretch, 78,274, came during the 2015 campaign. It hasn’t been a constant decline since then — the number dropped to 77,507 in 2016 and 73,571 in 2017, then went back up to 75,017 in 2018 before falling this season." Missouri had the largest increase in percentage of capacity filled and average attendance, with 13% and 2,700 increases, respectively. Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina and Texas A&M also saw increases. (link)
December 13, 2019:
Former Ole Miss HC Luke will be paid $900K as Georgia's AHC/OLine AC. (link)
D1.dossiers: Georgia
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