Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Indoor facility redux

Saturday August 25, 2007

Mark Richt made his most passionate plea yet for an indoor facility last night as a thunderstorm canceled practice.  You can just hear the frustration dripping:

“It’s a royal pain to have to deal with this kind of stuff,” coach Mark Richt said. “It would be nice to have an indoor facility nearby where you wouldn’t have to spend your whole life trying to figure out a new plan. It gets very frustrating and very old and I’m about tired of it. Maybe one day we’ll get that done.”

It’s a theme that comes up on the rare occasions the Dawgs have to change venues or cancel practice outright due to weather.  Back in 2004, Richt was beating the drum:

”I’d like to have an indoor facility,” Richt said Tuesday. ”That’s No.1 on my list right now.”

You have to hand it to him – he knows how to play the situation to his advantage.  A canceled practice at this stage of the season can really mess up game preparations.  The Dawgs will practice twice on Saturday to make up for the lost time.  And his appeals are guaranteed to find sympathetic ears from fans who will turn around and scream, “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GIVE THE MAN WHAT HE WANTS!!!”

But get Richt away from the frustration of an altered practice plan, and his tone becomes much more pragmatic.  Other priorities emerge.  Just a year ago, Richt admitted that he’d rather have a weight room expansion at the Butts-Mehre building before an indoor facility.  The utility to the program is just that much more. 

Another issue is the scale and location of the facility. 

If UGA does build one, “it would be something that will be scaled down, not one of these enormous facilities,” he said.  And it would likely be built somewhere on South Milledge Avenue, away from the main UGA campus, Adams said.

Richt is aware of those considerations and admits that those issues could be delaying the project. 

We have to decide exactly what we want and also have to decide where to put it,” Richt said. “That’s kind of slowed it down. You want it all together if you can get it. We could just put an indoor facility and stick it out by Soccer/Softball (on Milledge Avenue) and say we have an indoor facility, but I want it to be more than that. I want it to be convenient, also.”

I’m not going to argue the merits of a facility (though I tend to agree with pwd there.)  If Richt wants it, he wants it.  Just remember the more measured side of Richt the next time he sounds as if he’s at the breaking point.  Fans could use a dose of that themselves when it comes to the indoor facility.

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