Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Now that ACC expansion is wrapped up

Monday October 13, 2003

I’m not that impressed. Remember, the big goal was to bring in this huge new interest base and watch the TV money roll in.

Miami – probably the best football program there is. Nationwide fan base for TV but lukewarm local fan support. Outstanding baseball program. So-so hoops. Definitely the jewel of the expansion.

Va Tech – good football program, mediocre at best elsewhere. No nationwide fan base…more like occasional interest to see what they will do against Miami. Very limited regional base in rural western Virginia. Solid local and loyal fan support – more like Clemson than any other ACC member in that regard. They are in the ACC primarily because the Virginia State Legislature said so. From a football perspective, a good pickup. From business and other sports, blah.

BC – supposed to be the Pied Piper that brings the NE interest to the ACC. Not going to happen. If the market for NE football was so rich, Miami, BC, VT, and Syracuse wouldn’t be looking to jump. Upper limit of 8-3 as a football program, occasionally good at hoops but not consistently, but they will have the ACC hockey title sewn up. Limited fan base, not much national interest unless there is an upset story going on vs Miami or Notre Dame. Georgraphic disconnect from Maryland to Boston will isolate BC and strangle any rivalries that might develop.

Post Already tired of Reggie Ball

Monday September 15, 2003

His line Saturday: Reggie Ball 11-24-1-116

That would be 46% passing for a whopping 116 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT. That’s plenty for another glowing Furman Bisher column. Yet he finds it his place to promise, “we won’t lose again.”

Ball must be counting on his defense to back up his mouth, because his play so far doesn’t show the stuff needed to ensure victories for his team. His so-so play has gotten a pass because he’s only a freshman, but that excuse only holds so much water. Every complete forward pass is not in and of itself a sign for a golden future, though every pass that doesn’t hit the ground has so far seemed cause for gushing by the Atlanta media. For all of the adulation and talk of a near-win, the game came down to Ball’s ability to position the team for a winning field goal, and the job didn’t get done. He might someday be a quarterback capable of leading his team with the game on the line, but he’s nowhere near there yet. Until he is, he might want to let Tech’s proven playmakers like Fox and Smith do the talking.

Post Cluckings of Desperation

Monday September 15, 2003

There have been rumblings from over in Columbia that 1) DJ Shockley should not have thrown for the endzone late in the game and 2) Damien Gary should not have returned the onside kick for a touchdown. How pathetic. This from the same crowd that craves equality with the Bulldog program and loves to point out the narrow differences in the last two outcomes in the series.

So you want to pull an onside kick down 17 with under a minute left IN SANFORD STADIUM?!?!? I only wished Georgia had tried an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff. Damien’s return was a big UP YOURS to the games and futile tactics Lou Holtz tried all game but especially at the end.

Holtz outsmarted himself all day. The punt gimmick worked…once. The next time, the punter nearly had an uncomfortable meeting with Pollack. There was the FG to break up the shutout. CLANK – the sound of justice. Then, not having learned a thing from his failed last play in 2002, he decides once again to run to the left side needing only a yard on 4th down – guess who was waiting? Must’ve been another “fluke”, because once again David Pollack and a safety were waiting behind the line of scrimmage.

Then they try to call timeout with 1 second left?

Gimmicks. That’s all Holtz had, and his team deserved the results.

Post Axe-Adams successes and failures

Thursday July 17, 2003


– Brought the issue to the public. There might’ve been people who were vaguely aware of who Michael Adams was. Now, I don’t think there isn’t an active member of the University community who doesn’t have some sort of take on this.

– Transitioned the issue to members of influence within the UGA community. As much as President Adams would like to mock the handful who took visible actions like sending those $0.34 checks, when names like Payne, Bestwick, and Foundation trustees start speaking out and questioning the leadership of the University, there is a serious implication for the President’s ability to lead, lobby, and raise funds in the future.


– Enormous PR failures when faced with the “academics vs. athletics” spin. Instead of being prepared to meet that head-on, the response was to fumble around into charges of extravagant spending and vague accusations of micromanagement. The perception of the movement as football-only yokels has caused some to distance themselves from the movement.

– Failure as yet to show a strong show of numbers or power. Yes, the petition was supposedly signed by 60,000. Internet forms are next to worthless. The few hundred that showed for the rally or mailed in $0.34 checks have only been met with amusement and condescension by the media and the President. It’s too early to determine if there has been a dent in the fundraising ability of the President.

– Failure as yet to, well, axe Adams.

Post Discretionary spending at UGA

Tuesday July 1, 2003

It seems as if many of the non-athletic complaints gainst President Adams have to do with financial oversight, specifically those expenses outlined in the AJC. His chartering a plane, the houses, the remodeling, etc. Spending of UGA funds seems to rest with the office of Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration Hank Huckaby. How much discretionary spending is the president allowed, and who has oversight over that spending? Obviously if it’s Foundation money being spent, the buck stops with the Finance Committee of the Foundation Board headed by Treasurer Michael P. Marshall (who has served several terms as Foundation Treasurer).

Adams’ spending might be extravagant, but so far I haven’t seen anything to suggest misappropriation or fraud – both definitely reasons to fire someone. But if Adams is just spending too much or unwisely, there are supposed to be internal controls to keep it in check. If the concern is with Adams spending excessively or inappropriately, the investigation should naturally turn to what those internal controls are and what the criteria are for them to kick in. I know that’s not as sexy or simple as “FIRE ADAMS”, but there you are. The spending issue will not get Adams removed unless it can be shown that the controls that should be in place have turned into a rubber stamp.

PS – It should also be noted that Huckaby, essentially UGA’s CFO, is on the search committee for the new AD and is the Athletic Board treasurer. It should also be noted that he has been distracted lately with additional duties within the Perdue gubernatorial administration.

Post “Probably South Carolina, a lot

Friday May 23, 2003

“Probably South Carolina, a lot of people from around here lose their minds and end up going to school there.”

– Incoming Bulldog freshman Danny Verdun on the game he’s looking forward to in 2003

Post “I am one of the

Friday May 23, 2003

“I am one of the most aggressive DB’s you’ll ever see. I love to hit. I cant stand to let anybody catch the ball on me, but when and if they do I like to make them pay.”

– Incoming Bulldog freshman Paul Oliver

Post “Had Georgia beat them last

Friday May 23, 2003

“Had Georgia beat them last year they probably would’ve won the national championship, they would’ve at least played for it and this year its time to take care of business. They have had our number for a while now and it’s time to put a stop to it.”

– Incoming Bulldog freshman Thomas Flowers on the Florida game

Post Releasing recruits now premature

Thursday March 20, 2003

Georgia’s top men’s basketball signee for 2003, Mohamed Abukar, is exploring seeking a release from the letter of intent he signed with the Dawgs. Without the release, he would have to sit out for two seasons before becoming eligible to play elsewhere. Another signee, Corey Gibbs, has said that he will honor his letter of intent and come to Georgia.

Georgia will come under pressure to grant a release to Abukar and anyone else who might want one, but acquiescing now would be very premature. Even those conducting this investigation don’t know what the result will be. Will there be a coaching change? Will there be sanctions? Possibly. Probably.

Should Harrick be fired or Georgia ends up with sanctions (self-imposed or otherwise), then it might be appropriate to offer the option of release to the incoming signing class. But Georgia would be doing itself a great disservice by forcing these kids into an uninformed decision. Only when it is known who will coach Georgia next season and under what restrictions (if any) the team will play will the signees have all of the cards on the table.

It might sound cold, but simply playing for a program with a black eye isn’t a valid reason to release a signee from his letter of intent. Should the investigation produce a coaching change or sanctions, then it will be time to consider such requests. But given the way this has been handled so far, look for UGA to cave early.

Post “There has been this growing

Thursday February 20, 2003

“There has been this growing trend in the last decade, at least, of fan behavior getting worse. We’re not going to totally solve the problem, but hopefully we can turn the corner a little bit.”

– Vince Dooley on a Sportsmanship Summit he will chair to address unruly fans

Post Dooley tackling unruly fans

Thursday February 20, 2003

It’s gotten to this point. Vince Dooley will chair a discussion on fan sportsmanship after unruly fans dominated the headlines in 2002, especially late in the season.

When Iowa fans (the visiting team) carried off Minnesota’s goal posts from inside a domed stadium, things reached an absurd head. This discussion is a good first step, but real change will only come after campus authorities start handing out real penalties for unruly behavior and treating these fans as the hoodlums they are.

Post “The main ingredient of mat

Thursday February 20, 2003

“The main ingredient of mat drills is mental toughness, but the second is team unity. We are all working together. There are no stars, no heroes, there are no great players, we are all a team. We are all dressed alike, we are all doing the same exact drills, we are all getting treated alike, and then the unity comes.”

– Coach Dave Van Halanger on the philosophy behind the infamous mat drills

Post “Right now, I plan on

Tuesday February 18, 2003

“Right now, I plan on coming back. College is fun. I love it here. I still need to work on some things.”

– Jarvis Hayes on his plans for next season.

Post “Right now, I plan on coming back”

Monday February 17, 2003

Although lots can change, Jarvis Hayes sounds as if he’ll be back in Athens next year. It makes sense – with the (relative) struggles this year and a mid-season injury, he would have been in better shape leaving after last season.

Should Jarvis stick to this and return, the Dawgs appear to be loaded next season. Ezra Williams is the sole loss among the regulars. The Dawgs welcome in a class big on size and talent. Jarvis’s return will mean that Georgia will still have a proven outside threat while they develop a strong post game.

Hayes’s return also means that Mohamed Abukar, perhaps the top recruit coming in next year and Georgia’s future at the wing position, can spend a year learning as the understudy to one of the best wingmen in the game.

Post Quality Losses

Monday February 17, 2003

Jay Bilas: Georgia is 2-5 on the road, but four of its losses have come against RPI top 50 teams — and all have been nail biters. Plus, two of those losses came without Steve Thomas and Chris Daniels. That has to be factored in when the selection committee meets during the second weeken of March.

Very true, and it’s good to have national recognition for the quality of Georgia’s schedule (again). But sooner or later you have to win some of these quality matchups on the road. The biggest remaining road game for Georgia is Tuesday evening at Alabama. The Tide has been even poorer on the road with a lower-quality schedule, but like Georgia, they have proven nearly unbeatable at home.

Win in Tuscaloosa, and the Dawgs have a very impressive road win to pretty much lock up an NCAA bid. Lose, and Georgia can point to all of the tough, marquee road losses they want as they drop dangerously close to wrapping up a finish in the lower half of the SEC East.