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April 2, 2014

UGA extends Fox's contract

What does that mean?

Well, the devil is in the details. They haven't been released yet (and likely won't be for a few more days; more on that in a minute), but what we know is Fox gets two more years added to his contract. And specific direction from his boss to kick it up a notch:
“I think the program should be just like any other program that we sponsor,” McGarity said in a 15-minute meeting with reporters at Georgia’s Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall complex. “We want to be competitive in the SEC and usually if you’re competitive in the SEC then you’re competitive on a national level. Every sport we have with 15 different head coaches - our goal is to all be competing in the NCAA Championship for whatever sport that may be. If you look at our goals as a department, that’s one of our goals – that every team competes in their national championship. Basketball should be treated just as other sports and as far as expectations.”
Yes, we finished second in the conference, tied with a Final Four team. However, only three teams got into the NCAA tourney. The SEC isn't currently a premier basketball league. And we have a long way to go to be competing for NCAA Championships.

And that is what McGarity is saying when you read between the lines:
“If you ask anybody that follows our program, if you ask our teams or our coaches, absolutely, that’s our ultimate goal, to get in the show,” McGarity said. “And if that wasn’t our objective why are we even playing the game? … Is that the final determining factor? There’s a lot of things that come into play. So you never go to a coach and say ‘this has to happen or else you’re gone.’ You can’t have that conversation. There are so many factors to go into decisions. And I think it pretty much handcuffs a coach, too. It’s just very difficult to work in an environment if you put out those kinds of demands before the season.”
Coach Fox is on the way to Dallas for the Final Four and coaches' conference.  If you ask me, McGarity and Fox have 'agreed to terms' but haven't signed the contract, which makes the contract terms secret for now. And they probably won't be released until Fox gets back.

And that is a good thing. Hopefully, McGarity was able to work around the 100% buyout that he gave Fox after the NCAA tourney season in 2011. Under the old contract, Fox would be owed 100% of the remainder of his contract ($3.4M this year). If McGarity gets that to a one year guaranteed or a much smaller percentage of the contract, then you know McGarity is serious.

If Fox is now under contract for four more years, got a raise, and is guaranteed 100% of his remaining contract (think $2M/year x 3yrs if he is fired after next year), basically McGarity's tough talk is just that. Because we won't pay a guy $6M to leave, no matter how next season goes.


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