- He's still recruiting talent. For better or worse, his classes are still highly rated by Baseball America. I'll get to talent development in a minute, but there are arguments that the past two seasons are aberrations based on untimely injuries, club house lawyers, and very some unlucky bounces against teams. Remember, McGarity is a long term view guy. One that isn't likely to make a judgement solely on record.
- He is under developing talent. If Perno gets credit for the recruiting classes, then you have to lay the blame of those classes not becoming elite pitchers and hitters on the college level on him. Again, there is an argument that part of the blame could be traced to injuries, ect.
- His connections to the department are a wildcard. The guy was on the national championship team. His family is as connected as they get in Athens, at least as much as the Dooleys. He's been in the department for a very long time.
Perno has been to the CWS multiple times. That means something, especially when you start thinking about how McGarity views a coaching search. Is there someone out there that can at least replicate the successes of Perno, circa mid-00's?
There is one other thing in play here, that being the increasing fan apathy towards baseball. I know, put a good product and people will show up, blah, blah. If I had to bet, I'd say Georgia Athletics is on the verge of a big capital campaign. The timing of that kick off also plays in here. If UGA Athletics is about to push a campaign this summer, a change is more likely. If UGA Athletics is going to wait, a year isn't necessarily going to hurt that. If Perno bounces back, great. If he doesn't, well we need the money to improve facilities to give the new coach a leg up.
The biggest issue is that we have fallen precariously behind the other teams in the conference. Ten SEC teams are projected as locks into the 2013 NCAA tourney, with four teams projected to host (meaning they'll be national seeds, in all likelihood). Still, don't think McGarity is dead locked on firing Perno. It took him a season to move on gymnastics, nearly all based on the goodwill Jay Clark had built up as a long time coach in Athens.
Actually, the Jay Clark situation is a pretty good indicator of how this will go. It is clear we aren't close to competing for conference championships, much less qualifying for the NCAA championships. The real question lies in how much McGarity thinks Perno is the reason why we aren't, how much credit he gets for when the baseball team was competing at that level, and how much he believe Perno is capable of getting us back to that level.