Posted: 12:07 pm Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Opinion: Is it time for UGA to invest in an indoor practice facility? 

By Michael Carvell

When is UGA athletics director Greg McGarity finally going to buy an indoor practice facility for the football team?

That was a popular topic of conversation at Dawg Night, UGA’s biggest recruiting event of the year. Many of the top high school prospects from around the Southeast showed up for the football camp a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, the outdoors-only Dawg Night was hindered by rainy weather.

And some of the top prospects in attendance, along with their parents, wondered aloud why UGA doesn’t have an indoor practice facility or IPF, like the rest of the SEC schools they’ve visited (with the exception of Florida).

It’s an excellent question – and one that always seems to be a sore point among many UGA fans on message boards.

How can UGA not have an IPF when most everybody else does — including far lesser programs? And why not when McGarity is already sitting on a pile of cash reserves at an estimated $70 million? On top of that, the SEC Network is about to make it rain dollar bills in the SEC like never seen before in college athletics.

It seems like the perfect time to make this type of commitment to UGA’s football future, doesn’t it?

Obviously, an IPF would help tremendously with recruiting, but that’s not really the main reason to build one.

The No. 1 reason why it might be time for McGarity to ante up for an IPF is for competitive reasons in football.

Simply put, not having one puts UGA at a competitive disadvantage.

Rivals such as Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia Tech can plan out a practice schedule months in advance and not have to worry making any changes due to weather. None. They can just go inside.

It may not seem like a big deal but it is. For example, Alabama will go indoors at least once per week during the brutal August heat to keep the draining heat off the players. Once the season starts, Alabama traditionally moves its entire Thursday and Friday practice sessions to its state-of-the-art IPF to keep the players fresh.

So that’s 28 indoor practices over the course of a 14-game season when the weather is good. We’re not even talking about using the IPF during thunderstorms, or every morning before practice for walk-throughs (like they do at Alabama and many other SEC schools, too).

Time is of the essence in college football. Don’t forget there’s talk about the NCAA putting even more time restrictions on future practices, so every minute of game preparation will count more than ever.

And there’s more. What about winter conditioning? Was it truly safe for UGA’s players to be running around at 5 a.m. when it was 35 degrees outside? What about spring practices? And what about the team’s voluntary workouts earlier this summer? One player told me at least six 7-on-7 sessions were canceled or postponed due to thunderstorms.

Realistically, the football team would use an IPF at least 150 times per year.

Wouldn’t it be nice to maintain some consistency with practices and workouts on a year-round basis rather than have to continuously check The Weather Channel app on your iPhone?

Let’s get right to the point: Since UGA’s football team generates the revenue and pays the bills for the school’s athletic department, why not give them the best of everything within reason?

An IPF would be a strong statement and investment by McGarity about the football program. (By the way, this is nothing personal against the AD; he’s always been courteous and professional to me).

It’s an easy solution for everybody: Put the IPF where the track is now (next to the UGA outdoor practice fields for football), and erect a new track next to the soccer and softball fields on Milledge Avenue. And build a top-notch track facility like other SEC schools – one that will attract elite sprinters who also play football. (What about the multi-purpose room at the Butts-Mehre with a small turf strip? Bust out the walls to expand the weight room)

And the IPF won’t only benefit football, but other UGA athletic teams, too. It would also be available to the baseball, track, volleyball and softball teams, just like they are at other SEC programs. It’s a win-win for everybody.

Few people realize this: Nick Saban created a dynasty at Alabama, but it’s not just because of his coaching or recruiting. Since 2007, university leaders and boosters have committed tens of millions of dollars toward top-notch facilities (new strength-and-conditioning center, an expanded indoor facility, new locker rooms at stadium, etc.) and other football-related needs. It’s not a coincidence Alabama’s ascension to the top under Saban has been accompanied with a tremendous commitment toward resources.

Is Greg McGarity ready to make the same type of commitment toward UGA’s football program? Does he want put the Bulldogs in the best position to compete at the same level as the Alabamas and Auburns for national championships every year?

What’s your opinion? Please post below.

114 comments
KenSIsAWeasel
KenSIsAWeasel

Yep,I think it is time to invest in a Indoor Practice Facility (IPF).

BigGAdawg
BigGAdawg

The UGA Ath. Assoc. can solve this with the stroke of a pen.  They have tons of cash reserves.  This is one of the most profitable programs in all of college football.  There is no good reason not to have a full- size indoor facility added to Georgias arsenal.

Caius
Caius

All McGarity has to do is ask a well heeled alumna to fork over the cash.

PigIron
PigIron

Why do Bulldogs endure this humility?
Their complaints just result in futility.
Dawg Night is a pain,
Soaking wet in the rain,
Cause they don't have an indoor facility.

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

1,375 votes yes and only 117 votes no do not buy an UGA Indoor Football Practice Facility. So, why don't we have one, then ?

UnbiasedObserver
UnbiasedObserver

OLE MISS....has better athletic facilities than UGA.


Not to mention FSU, ALA, and all the other supposed big time D1 programs.

UnbiasedObserver
UnbiasedObserver

Why do you think UGA continues to miss out on big time in-state recruits? They don't "run this State"


ALA, FSU, and others do.


Keep your heads buried............UGA Admins.

UnbiasedObserver
UnbiasedObserver

UGA has mediocre facilities compared to most of  its SEC  brethern and certainly to other big time D1 programs.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

If you build it, they will hush.

LostGoat
LostGoat

enough is enough--GA fatcat boosters need to put up the millions to get the indoor facility, asap!  mcgarity needs to make some calls and shake this money loose---these millionaires will pay whatever it takes if they get a lot of benefits in return.  i'm tired of this.

Hangonsloopy
Hangonsloopy

Last season, a targeting foul caused an automatic ejection and 15-yard penalty. If instant replay determined that the hit was not targeting, the ejection was rescinded but inexplicably, the 15-yard penalty remained. Now, if officials determine via instant replay that the hit is not targeting, both the ejection and 15-yard penalty are overturned.


=============


I can hear dogs rejoicing. Perhaps they will lose Excuse #4:


The Refs

Red-Dog
Red-Dog

Past time in reality, you don't have to build a marble and brick temple with a statue/bust in every corner. Throw up a metal building over a slab and call it a day....

That's what the Falcons have in Suwanee just saying...

Then lets bulldoze stegman and get a modern basketball arena and you can spend all the Hartman extortion money there on that project.


Appoint me to the BOR and I'll get that done and do away with daylight savings time!


I promise< 

JimBoBob
JimBoBob

Yes we need a IPF yesterday its been total BS with all the foot dragging, It will not be put where the track is now due to the students and facility using it but it is the best place and never never enclose the bridge end at the stadium. Do we need more seats? No. Where would the parking come from? It really was tragic when the East end was enclosed and we lost the RR tracks also the Tech Deck is ugly!

ATL89
ATL89

YES, especially since the SEC Championship is played indoors.

Black Maine
Black Maine

UGA has one of the highest grossing football programs in the country, the truth is this goes deeper than being cheap....I smell a conspiracy!

OH-IO
OH-IO

dogs are just cheap. 

LeonMathis III
LeonMathis III

Well I'm a UGA fan stuck in starkville,ms. and the bullpuppies at MSU have $ indoor practise facilities....wth..there is only offense,defense and special teams..always wondered what the fourth one will be used for

RangeRover
RangeRover

This isn't complicated, McGarity.  

You take note of the teams that year in and year out are competing for Championships, like Alabama, and determine what are their resources.  If Nick Saban believes in an IPF, I believe in an IPF.  So, if you want to be viewed as a genuine AD, it's time to give your coaches and players all the legitimate and affordable resources to attract talent and optimal preparation.  Otherwise, you're still viewed and as associate AD under Foley.

LADawg
LADawg

Richt said last year that he does not see the benefit in an IPF. He imagines the IPF near the soccer and softball fields and he doesn't want to bus the players. He doesn't want to disrupt the track facilities.

Can anyone imagine Saban deferring to the track coach? That's the difference between leadership that plays for national and SEC championships and leadership that is content with state championships.

SinceVince
SinceVince

Would like to expand our stadium too. We need to make the Sanford Bridge a focal point and spruce it up underneath. IPF is a No Brainer and Howdy Doody McGarrity has been dragging his feet on this one as well.

shep2121
shep2121

If everyone else has a IPF, then McGarity should be fired.  What is he thinking?  Is he a fool?  What possible reason can he have, given there is a70 million dollar surplus, PLUS the SEC cash rain that is to come.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

If you build they will come, and stay dry.

DIT
DIT

PAST DUE!

DawginLex
DawginLex

The answer is YES

One bad storm on Dawg Night and we don't get to observe all the recruits who drove from all over to be there

No excuse

Build it

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@ThomasBrownUGA 


Thoma$$:


One way to pay for the IPF would be to charge a fee(per word) to post on here with proceeds going to the IPF.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@ThomasBrownUGA Easy to see there are about 117 tightwads in the dawg fan base, Thomas i think you can buy some gold shovels. 

Hangonsloopy
Hangonsloopy

@OH-IO all the usual blow-hard dogs need to start the IPF fund by opening their own wallets. 


That means dog in lex, 350, dog gone it, tom brown, lhardng columbus dog, big macon and all the rest. 


El cheapo dogs 

Dawggie
Dawggie

@OH-IO  I agree, and will add that the folks in charge of that money don't particularly care about competing at the "same level as the Alabamas and Auburns."

thebucket
thebucket

@SinceVince  So MC we are constantly encouraged by you not to engage in personal attacks on your blogs and then you feature a comment that disparages the UGA AD? Not classy at all. The comment was fine until an adjective was used to describe Mr. McGarity. Greg was a DGD and is a lifelong UGA fan who doesn't deserve that type of disrespect from a UGA "fan".

OH-IO
OH-IO

@DawginLex Pony up, big mouth. Put your money where your mouth is. 

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Since the Reverend took over.

All the other "Banner" University's in the Conference have one. What have Y'all been waiting on?

Further proof of Richt trying to distance himself from rest of the SEC.

Richt is the biggest SEC hater of em all!

He's the ultimate outsider. Schooled at the U & FSU -- those aren't SEC schools!!

I wouldn't be surprised if he's spying for the Russians!

Y'all got no shot at anything keeping that guy around. :(

loel
loel

@BigCrimson75 :  Are you making fun of the "Reverend" .  Perhaps someone full of evil like a Hitler would be better.????


The_Real_KJ
The_Real_KJ

@loel @BigCrimson75 Yeah, kind of odd that the resident gump trolls keep mocking CMR's faith, given that their entire worthless state is full of bible thumpers.