Most of the Q’s and A’s from Wednesday’s 30-minute interview with Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity can be found on myajc. Here were two snippets.
Asked if he believes Mark Richt is capable of delivering a championship, McGarity said: “Until I’m convinced he is not, then I believe he can.”
About making coaching changes in general: “You have to be 100 percent convinced that it can’t work. If you get to that point, you make the decision. Which has had to happen in five other sports (in McGarity’s four-plus years as Georgia AD) … I think I’ve shown the ability to be able to make changes, not only on coaching staff but administratively, too. Yes, I have the confidence and the ability to make that assessment.”
And now here’s a bonus track, as they say in the music biz. As we know, the lack of an indoor practice facility has become a flashpoint for Georgia coaches, who believe they really, really need one to keep up with the Butch Joneses of the SEC. (Tennessee has one. Heck, so does Georgia Tech.) Here was McGarity’s take:
“Georgia spent $33 million on the addition (to Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall) that was completed in 2010. (McGarity started as AD in September of that year.) That was four years ago. That would have been the perfect time, if the emphasis was on an indoor building, to do it. That had been on the drawing board since 1999 and 2000 – that never got off the ground. I come in and I’m moving into a brand new building and the indoor facility was not on the radar.
“Let’s fast-forward to 2013, to where it does become important. The first thing we do is talk about it; we have an allocation for the research for our athletic board, which was granted; we’ve selected an architect; we’re in the programming stage right now. When we meet with our board in February, we should have more information on cost and location so we can start the fund-raising.
“Once it was identified as being really, really important — I don’t know how important it was in 2009 or ’10, but if it had been that important, it would have been done at that time – so while it wasn’t that important and we played football outside and that’s the elements we need … (pause) … things change. We react to that.
“There’s a couple of other things that Mark really wants to do that just came to our attention like renovating the football locker room at the stadium and creating a recruiting room in the stadium. Well, once he made me aware of those two things, they were automatically put on our radar. But a lot of times it’s got to be the coach expressing to us what’s important. My question to coaches is, ‘What can I do to help you?’ And if I don’t know about it, I can’t predict what they want in that vein.”
And now, if you’re asking: “Do you, having spoken with McGarity for half and hour, feel that the rumors of a growing tension within the athletic department are overstated?”, the answer is …
No. I do not.