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Is Richt's new deal enough?


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Does Richt s new deal come up short?

By Chip Towers | Friday, March 7, 2008, 12:37 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

This may seem ridiculous, especially to those of us who toil for modest wages, but there are a lot of people out there who don t believe Georgia did not do enough for football Mark Richt when it gave his an $800,000 a year raise to $2.8 million annually. That s tied with Auburn s Tommy Tuberville for fifth among SEC coaches and Richt will be back to sixth when Tuberville s automatic $200,000 raise kicks in next year.

I m not going to name names, but there are at least a few folks close to Richt who thought the Bulldogs should have extended his contract a couple more years. He currently has six years left on an eight-year contract that expires in 2013.

Some thought the athletic association should have done more to comply with Richt s request for a true indoor practice facility, one that would include new coaches offices and a new weight room. It should be noted that Georgia is building an addition on the north side of the Butts-Mehre Building to expand their facilities.

And, these same people wondered, why not go ahead and take Richt to $3 million a year and make a statement that Georgia is as passionate about football as Alabama, LSU and Florida. Richt still would have been behind three of the five SEC coaches (and most recent ones) that have won national championships and, after all, UGA remains one of the most profitable athletics programs in the nation, largely because of the revenue generated in football, so what s another $200,000 per?

The biggest thing, those in the Richt camp say, is UGA is not going to find a better representative of the school nor one more committed to staying put and not shopping around for better deals. The Bulldogs should reward him for that philosophy and given him whatever he says he wants or needs within reason.

Now let s be clear, I m not saying I agree with all that. I m just relaying some of the concerns I heard from some people close to the situation. Yes, Richt makes plenty of money, a king s ransom for living in Athens, Ga. But those are some football-world realities being discussed in the coaching community today.

However, it s the job of AD Damon Evans to try to keep things fair and in balance and he s on record as saying he believes that s the case with Richt s new deal. And, lest we forget, everything could be renegotiated if the Dogs were to win a national title under Richt. Maybe that s a carrot Evans want to continue to dangle.

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