The Tipping Point

ATHENS – April hasn't been a good month for Mark Fox and Georgia basketball.

First UCLA forward and DeKalb County native Tony Parker decided to stay in Los Angeles to play for UCLA – a program that he had publically wondered if he was going to stick with during the season.

A week later SEC Player of the Year Kentavious Caldwell-Pope declared his intentions to play professional basketball.

This is the tipping point for Mark Fox. The bloom is off the rose – three losing seasons in four years will do that – and the vultures are circling, which happens when folks who don't like a coach come hardest at him to get him gone.

And the vultures have a pretty good argument right now.

Georgia enters the 2013-14 season without the best player in the SEC returning. The Bulldogs have two players committed to them for the coming season who are not expected to change the trajectory of the season. Perhaps most importantly, the apathy towards the basketball program has changed none.

Yearly Georgia basketball attendance

2013 – 6,198
2012 – 7,079
2011 – 8,250
2010 – 6,834
2009 – 6,700
2008 – 7,823
2007 – 7,336
2006 – 7,115
2005 – 6,192
2004 – 8,619
2003 – 9,857
2002 – 9,064

Have a look at the ticket sales over the last 12 seasons. Note that when Georgia is good – like in 2002, 2003 and 2011 – fans show up. Note that when Georgia basketball does what Georgia basketball always does less than 8,000 fans on average come to games. Also note that 2013's 6,198 average per game attendance is the second-lowest in the 12-years shown. The only year worse? Dennis Felton's second year – when the program was at its lowest point in recent memory.

Attendance figures don't get coaches on the hot seat, but they are an indicator of fan enthusiasm and interest in the program. Judging by the attendance records enthusiasm and interest is pretty low.

One can understand why, too.

Fact: Georgia isn't winning at basketball.

I don't think I have to (once more) ramble on about Georgia's sad basketball history – or that the state is hemorrhaging with talent; and that those two things combined make no sense at all.

What's worse is the lack of feeling surrounding the program. People are numb. I'm not sure they really care any more, and that's a really, really bad sign.

There wasn't much reaction to the news that KCP was leaving Georgia. It was as if it was understood that it was going to happen. But that was just step one of the grieving process (if you want to call it that; some would call it the predictable downward spiral of long-suffering fans). Step two was assuming that Fox wouldn't be able to sign a stellar recruiting class this coming fall. Step three was the assumption of another losing season this winter And step four, naturally, was picking out who would replace Fox this time next year.

That's the world we live in – that's the way Georgia fans have come to view their basketball program. It doesn't have to be this way, but that's the way it is.

A Bad month? Georgia basketball fans would tell you it's been a bad life.

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