Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mark Richt's blatant disregard for the rules

Believing members of his football staff weren't being compensated satisfactorily, Georgia coach Mark Richt unknowingly violated NCAA rules by paying them out of his own pocket. Richt's supplemental payments to several staffers were among a series of secondary NCAA violations uncovered by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a standard open records report released Tuesday.

According to the AJC report, Richt's actions broke NCAA rules on supplemental pay. But discipline was limited to letters of admonishment from the school to Richt and those he made payments to, as well as additional rules education, the report said.
LOL WUT indeed. I'm assuming the intent of the rule is to avoid Willie Lyles-style shenanigans with no paper trail, but ... I mean ... arrrghgh:
Georgia's investigation into the matter determined that Richt made several impermissible payments:

• To former recruiting assistant Charlie Cantor, $10,842 over an 11-month period through March 2011.

• To former linebackers coach John Jancek, $10,000 in 2009 after the previous university administration declined to give Jancek a raise when he turned down a coaching opportunity elsewhere.

• To director of player development John Eason, $6,150 in 2010 when his new administrative position called for a salary reduction after he stepped down from an assistant coaching position on Richt's staff.

• Richt also paid a total of $15,227 when the school -- citing "difficult economic conditions being experienced by the University" -- refused bowl bonuses to 10 non-coach staff members.

• He also paid a five-year longevity bonus of $15,337.50 due to tight ends coach Dave Johnson when he took a job at West Virginia in 2008 just short of his fifth anniversary coaching at UGA and $6,000 to fired defensive ends coach Jon Fabris in 2010 when Fabris was unable to find a job after his UGA severance package expired.
Upshot: Mark Richt has handed out at least $75,000 of his own money over the last three years to coaches who either (a) didn't get the raises/bonuses he felt they deserved or (b) lost their jobs. And this resulted in a bazillion secondary violations and an accompanying letter of admonishment from Georgia. I'm giving this a 17 out of 10 on the "inexplicable NCAA violations" scale. Mark Richt: You are awesome.

One other thing: Georgia's football program had a net profit of $52 million last year (only Texas was higher nationally) and a net athletic department profit of $11.7 million. Think about it.


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