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Post Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing

Monday June 8, 2009

OK, I can buy that Mark Richt and Damon Evans have different takes on the appropriate strength of schedule for Georgia football. There’s certainly nothing approaching a consensus among the fans, so it’s understandable that Richt and Evans might not see exactly eye-to-eye. Fine.

But to take this ABH article about the nonconference schedule at face value, I find myself having to ask these two questions: does Mark Richt really have limited input as to his own team’s schedule, and does the dismissive “I’ll listen to his opinion” comment really sum up Damon Evans’ view of the coach’s role in setting the schedule?

It doesn’t work that way for Georgia’s other sports. Bringing up the “Harrick approach to scheduling” will get a knowing nod from Georgia basketball fans. David Perno adjusts his schedule each year.

Sure, football is a different animal than the other sports. A single nonconference game can carry a commitment of almost one million dollars of athletic department money, so of course some oversight and due diligence is necessary. Most nonconference games, especially against quality opponents, are now set years in advance, so annual tweaking isn’t really possible. Football is also your biggest product with fewer discretionary games and opportunities to showcase the program than any other sport. I realize why Evans would want to be involved in the process.

Still, regardless of our personal preferences as fans, the coach needs to be the one who drives the scheduling philosophy. It’s not something to be handed down from on high by the athletic director. Saying “I’m sure (Richt) has some valid points” is way too late in the game to have a meeting of the minds about the schedule. At the same time, knowing how involved the coaches are in determining the schedules for Georgia’s other sports, I’m skeptical that Richt has had as little to do with setting the schedule as it seems.

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