Showing 1 - 6 of 6 posts found matching keyword: greedy mcgarity

For those of you interested in my UGA season ticket dilemma, you may appreciate this correspondence between myself and the UGA Athletic Director.

Mr. McGarity:

I write to you in regard to 2018 football season ticket prices.

I've been a season ticket holder since I graduated from the University in 2002. I have attended almost every home game in that time. It has been my dream that I will be able to continue attending games in Sanford Stadium for the rest of my life. For the first time in the past 15 years, this year's jump in season ticket prices has me wondering if that will be possible.

I recognize the need for the Athletic Department to raise funds to maintain its competitiveness. I don't begrudge small adjustments from year to year -- especially after championship seasons -- to maintain operations in football and other sports.

However, I consider a 50% jump in ticket prices year-over-year to be excessive, even after reading the justifications provided at, especially considering that a less painful 25% increase per ticket would still have placed UGA squarely in the middle of the pack of your listed comparibles. I would have hoped that loyalty would have some value to the Athletic Department, but if your goal is to price out longtime ticket holders in pursuit of deeper pockets, that's your prerogative.

Please know that despite my disappointment at the steep increase in price and the difficulty it presents to my personal budget, I still plan to renew my season tickets for 2018 and beyond. I do so with the hope that going forward, I shall not again experience such a sticker shock.

Go Dawgs!

Walter Stephens, BFA 2002

To my surprise, I received a handwritten response, transcribed below.

(Before I go any further, let me publicly thank Mr. McGarity for responding, period. I'm sure if he'd read any of the terrible things I've said about him in the past 8 years here on my blog — which is accessible to Google — he would already have banned me from campus.)

Dear Walter,

Thanks for your letter of 2.8.18. I do understand the dilemma these ticket price increases caught our fans and in a perfect world, increases would never be necessary. I wish that were so! But in order to make all parts of our program work at the highest levels, football is one of the areas that allows us to raise the essential revenue.

I hope future increases are more in line with previous year increases, if and when necessary.

Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely, Greg McGarity

Any price we football fans can pay is worth it to help the equestrian team win another national championship, I guess. Go horse-Dawgs!

Actually, I probably shouldn't pick on the equestrian team. Their most recent national title came in 2014 and is one of the few titles to be won by UGA teams since McGarity replaced Damon Evans (fired for having a DUI and red panties!) in 2010. Everyone knows UGA basketball is terrible and many other sports are under performing. Boosters have been pressuring for McGarity's replacement. Obviously, McGarity sees diving into football fans' pockets as a potential solution to his department's other woes.

I'm not sure I agree, but I'm willing to wait and find out. At least for one more year.

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I've had the same two University of Georgia football season tickets since 2002. For most of that time, no matter how many games UGA won or lost, those 2 tickets cost about $500 (allowing for seasonal variation based on the number of home games played).

This year, UGA played for the national title. This week, it was announced ticket prices are going up 50%.

This is what losing a national championship costs
Imagine what the school will do when they actually win a national title game.

For the record, that's just the cost of the tickets. Before you can buy tickets, you first have to make a "donation" to the Hartman Fund (which pays for student athletics scholarships). UGA increased the mandatory donation last year, and I paid it without complaint. A 10% increase after years of stability seemed reasonable at the time. Yet this latest announcement means that the same pair of tickets that cost $1,055 in 2016 will cost $1,480 in 2018. Ouch.

What does this price increase get me? The six-game 2017 home schedule was particularly terrible, with Tennessee, Auburn, and Georgia Tech all out of town. Despite the jump in cost and the return of those three teams, the rest of the home schedule is filled out with Vanderbilt (whose only 2017 SEC win was against Tennessee), University of Massachusetts (who lost to 4-8 Tennessee), Middle Tennessee (who lost to Vanderbilt), and Austin Peay (who lost to undefeated UCF 33 to 73!). $1,480 is a lot to pay for only 3 worthwhile football games.

Athletic Director Greg McGarity said he needs my money so he can make "substantial adjustments to the compensation of our coaching staff" (as quoted by (What's the matter, Coach Smart? Being the highest paid public employee in the state [$3.75 million] wasn't enough for you?) Despite my qualms at the quality of what I'd be buying with my money, if paying an extra $400 for one season would guarantee a coaching staff that could beat Nick Saban's backup quarterback for a national title, I'd pay up. Are you willing to make that promise, McGarity? If we lose again, do I get my money back?

Obviously, I like attending football games. I have imagined myself continuing to travel to Athens on Saturdays until I'm old enough to need a walker to get around. That said, I won't get there if I go broke first. Fifteen years was a good run, but if UGA is getting greedy, I think maybe it's best if I go ahead and give up my dream before it breaks me.

Can you think of a reason I should keep paying? If so, please let me know. I have until February 15 to decide if it's worth giving UGA athletics any more of my money.

Comments (1) | Leave a Comment | Tags: football georgia greedy mcgarity kirby smart news nick saban rant reports that last week UGA had to lower the cost of their season tickets for year two of the Kirby Smart era. When asked why such an unusual move was necessary, the UGA Associate Athletic Director for Tickets said "I don't know what the full cause is."

Hmm. I don't know what the "full cause" might be, either. Let's help out the AADfT and see if we can't go all Sherlock Holmes on this using a little inductive reasoning (also known as "what I learned in PHIL 110, Introduction to Logic").

Logical syllogism #1:

Fan enthusiasm wanes following bad seasons.
2016 was a bad season.
Therefore, fan enthusiasm is down.

Despite what you may have read between the lines in my opening paragraph, I'm not going to blame Kirby Smart for decreased ticket demand. Not directly, anyway. Last year's very disappointing season is probably playing a role, but UGA has had other lackluster seasons without needing to discount tickets the following year (see: 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, etc.).

Logical syllogism #2:

Spectators do not want to pay to see games against weak teams.
UGA's 2017 home schedule is full of weak teams.
Therefore, spectators do not want to pay to see UGA's 2017 home games.

Ugh! What a terrible home schedule UGA has put together for 2017. Home games against Appalachian State, Samford, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, and Kentucky — I'm not sure I want to pay to see most of those. If UGA can't win at least 5 of those games, it's time to get out of the SEC altogether.

Logical syllogism #3 (the important one):

Higher ticket prices result in fewer tickets sold.
UGA raised their football season ticket prices.
Therefore, UGA sold fewer tickets.

That's right, UGA raised their 2017 ticket prices a minimum of 10% over 2016 prices. Personally, I don't consider the new prices so bad because it's the first time they've raised the price in years, but I can't say that I'm surprised others have cut back, especially given other reasons listed above. Football tickets are a luxury expense, after all.

So there you go, Mr. AADfT. It's not going to do much to help you this year, but you might want to keep these things in mind before you set prices in the future. Even UGA fans don't want to have to pay a premium price for an inferior product.

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Today is the University of Georgia's annual G-Day game practice, the unofficial start of the 2017 hype season. This marks Kirby Smart's second year as head coach. You may recall he was hired to take the team to the next level after Athletic Director Greg McGarity lost faith in Mark Richt. Let's just say that year one wasn't everything Bulldog Nation hoped it would be.

So how does Smart kick off year two? By demanding that the media not report on injuries unless he gives permission. Even if the player breaks his leg in front of a television camera.

What the fuck, Kirby?

Hey, man, I get it. You're a tin-pot dictator who gets paid millions of dollars a year to boss around children. That shit goes to your head. Last year, you somehow convinced the Georgia State legislature to pass a law allowing you to extend delays in responding to open records requests from three days to three months. It's only logical that the next step in your plan for world domination would be to refuse the release of any information at all.

The only question I have is how is this media gag order supposed to help UGA win football games? Did the Bulldogs go 4-4 in SEC games last year because our opponents knew Jacob Eason was a Freshman? Did Vanderbilt get its 3rd win versus Georgia in 22 tries because reporters told them ahead of time that the Bulldogs couldn't stop a 75-yard drive in the final quarter? Did Tennessee's Hail Mary to defeat Georgia with only zeroes showing on the clock happen because they'd read news reports about the secondary's practice habits in the week prior to the game? As I recall, it was Nick Chubb's mother who released information about the extent of his knee injury in 2015, by the way. Good luck stopping her from talking to the press in 2017, Coach.

Hey, sports reporters, if you see something, say something. I have a hunch you'll still have a job in two years. Coach Smart I'm not so sure about.

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We came to Athens for the crowning of a new king, and we stayed for something that vaguely resembled football.

Mom watches the dogs (the actual dogs, not the football team).

Vanderbilt perfectly played the role of the walkover Homecoming guest, allowing Georgia to hang 43 unanswered points on them in the completely one-sided rout. Unlike Tennessee last week, which was reeling from a crushing loss at LSU, Vanderbilt was just plain bad: outplayed in all phases of the game. If you didn't know better, you'd think that Georgia was actually good. (But we know better: Georgia blew through all of their first half timeouts in the first 5:16 of the 1st quarter. The crowd held it's breath, relaxing only once it became clear that Vandy hadn't really come to play.)

UGA 43, Vanderbilt 0

But no one seemed too disappointed that the game wasn't competitive. Most of the crowd, my mother included, had come to the stadium solely to see the coronation collaring ceremony for Uga VIII (nee Big Bad Bruce). Uga VIII, less than a year old, seemed a little understandably overwhelmed by the crowd, cameras, and noise. Russ, however, seemed relieved to be free of the burden of having to watch the Dawgs play any more football.

Russ, make way for the new head of the Bulldog Nation, Uga VIII

Earlier in the week, Athletic Director Greg McGarity said that Uga represents "everything we want our student-athletes and fans to be: proud, loyal, tenacious, and relentless." I can't speak for any bulldogs, but I for one am proud to recognize that three of those words are nearly synonyms for stubborn.

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I know that most of you are sick and tired of hearing about UGA's terrible football season. But I'm not done talking about it because I just read this:

"The model that we would establish in the future would have seven home games every year. If you look at the models of other schools that have played for the (BCS) championship lately, there's always one tough nonconference game."

That's UGA band new Athletic Director Greg McGarity quoted in an article in this week's Athens Banner-Herald flat-out saying that Georgia will in the future be scheduling extra cupcake opponents at home to pad the team record and the Athletic Department's pocketbook. UGA currently schedules 6 home games, 5 away games, and 1 game at a "neutral" site. McGarity clearly intends to change this distribution, and not by dropping the "neutral" site.

The article is ostensibly about UGA dropping a pair of games against Oregon in the 2015-1016 seasons. I agree with McGarity's reasoning for dropping the series, scheduled by his lying, womanizing predecessor. He argues that the time-consuming cross-country travel is perhaps inappropriate for college athletics, even if he does come across as someone with a typically substandard UGA-caliber education:

"We think we're going a long way this week [to Boulder, Colorado], try Eugene, [Oregon]. That's even further."

I'm pleased to hear that McGarity passed geography, even if he did fail grammar. Sounds like it's not just the students who could use a little more time in the classroom, McGarity.

Yes, the UGA program is in trouble. The players can't put together 4 quarters of consistent play, partially in thanks to the coaches' inability to create a practical gameplan. [Bobo!] The team wilts from opposition and collapses under pressure. The "student-athletes" are incredibly spoiled and undisciplined -- the tenth UGA player this season was arrested earlier this week for an under-aged DUI! And the solution to this problem as proposed by our newest AD, ostensibly hired by UGA President Michael Adams for his strength of character, is "let's play more easy teams"?

In that case, I've got something to say, too: Fuck you.

If I wanted to cheer for a team who scheduled weak opponents for boringly lopsided cupcake home games as a flimsy excuse to sell tickets for an extra game that no one cares about, I'd pull for scum like Alabama or Florida. If your solution to our character problems is to sacrifice some smaller and financially poorer school in order to artificially inflate our players' and boosters' egos, I want no part of it.

There are still plenty of schools who aren't willing to sell their souls in order to scrounge up a few meaningless football wins. And if this foolish babble is indicative of UGA's new Athletic Director's direction, one of those schools will be the proud benefactor of this fan's fanaticism.

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To be continued...


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