Dean Legge of DawgPost.com is reporting that there is an athletic board meeting at 5:00 pm this afternoon. There is no clear indication from Dean that it's Dennis Felton related. He says they could very well be meeting to discuss Coach Richt's anticipated pay raise / extension.
I thought most of the big salary increases / contract adjustments were done at the May / June meeting, but I could be wrong.
Regardless, if I were Damon Evans and I were about to go shopping for a new basketball coach, I would make sure that Coach Richt's contract was squared away first. Especially, if I were going to pay a competitive wage to land an "in demand" coach.
Being proactive on that front might make Richt, Adams, large boosters and "football only" fans more comfortable with paying "market rate" for a premium coach.
(Note: Premium means a guy other people are aggressively pursing. Not Coach K or Roy Williams.)
Coach Felton makes $760,000 per year. At best that makes him the 9th highest paid coach in the SEC. More than likely he's 10th as I think only Lebo (Auburn) and Kennedy (Ole Miss) each make less. As a point of comparison, the top mid-major teams like Creighton and Xavier pay their coaches $800k-900k / year.
Felton was paid a competitive wage commensurate with his experience when he was hired in 2003. Unfortunately for him, his marketability hasn't risen since his date of hire so his salary looks like it has fallen behind the broader market.
Then again...you get what you pay for.
If UGA replaces Felton at the end of the season, I think a new coach will cost Georgia at least $1.2-1.5 million per year. I know Jeremy Foley, athletic director at UF, caught a great deal of heat when he renegotiated Billy Donovan's contract after last season before upping Urban Meyer's deal.
If Damon is moving to bump Richt up before going hoops shopping, I think it's a smart move.
If we make a move (and I expect that we will), it will be very interesting to see what we pay. For a variety of reasons, we haven't had a coach that was "in demand" since May 11, 1997. That's the day before we lost Tubby to Kentucky. Prior to that, you have to go back to '91 or so (at best) to find the last time another school looked at our basketball coach and said "We should see if that guy will come here."
It will be interesting to see how Damon Evans responds financially to that market dynamic. In less than 10 days, we may have to go fishing in a very crowded pond as LSU, South Carolina, Indiana and possibly Alabama and/or Georgia Tech seem prepped to throw their hooks into the water as well.