What We Are Hearing

ATHENS – Dean Legge gives you some inside scoop in this edition of What we are hearing.

Double What?

What would happen if Georgia's president, Dr. Michael Adams, left to take the position of NCAA President? Obviously it would set off a chain reaction that would affect every aspect of the University. Adams has been hush, hush about any sort of move to the NCAA. But he has been mentioned as a potential candidate by several national outlets.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Tim Tucker pointed out two days before the Florida game that Dr. Adams had resigned as chairman of the NCAA Executive Committee. Tucker added that Dr. Adams' resignation would "further fuel speculation about Adams as a candidate for the president's position himself" – I am pouring gas on that fire (sorry). I have heard from no more than three different folks that Dr. Adams made the move in order to position himself for the job. Obviously that's hearsay, but think about the press conference a day after the 2007 national title game – about a playoff in college football. At the time one reporter said to me: "He's setting up for a run at the NCAA spot (meaning the position of president)."

I was there… get your YouTube on:


Sorry about that audio... I hope we have gotten better around here...

It appears the NCAA is almost a year away from naming their next president, but a high-ranking administrator at another NCAA institution added: "They (the NCAA) are going to hire another university president after the job Myles Brand did – Adams is probably high on their list because they have seen him up close the last few years."

Those, however, are all speculative statements (then again, this is "What We Are Hearing"). What we know is, according to Tucker, Dr. Adams was scheduled to serve another six months on the Executive committee. His term would have been up before the next president of the NCAA would have taken over, so it is easy to understand why people are speculating that Dr. Adams is interested in the NCAA job even though he's not saying so publically.

What is even more attention grabbing is who would love to take over for Dr. Adams after he leaves – NCAA or not. It is always interesting hearing what politician would like to move into the president's mansion at the University of Georgia. I can assure you that no currently-elected politician in the state has the academic chops scholars at the institution would insist that politician have in order to become the president at Georgia (I may be leaving out some mayors of one-horse towns if you get my drift). I am not going to name names on this one as it is a little too high up for me to go there, but there has been a trend in higher education lately to hire more out of the academic realm at the spot of president – still I can't think the Board of Regents will go that far. Then again, the Regents are political by nature, too.

Ballin'

Mark Fox and company played their first public "scrimmage" Friday night against Division II North Georgia – a Peach Belt Conference school in Dahlonega. But their scrimmage against Clemson was the one that had the Tigers take note – and maybe one that SEC foes should take note of, too. Either Clemson didn't play well, which I heard was some of the case, or Georgia is a little better than they were last year, which I also heard was the case.

Apparently Clemson's coaches didn't know what to think. "Here Clemson is – supposedly challenging for the ACC this season, and Georgia, a team picked to finish last in the SEC East, is sticking with them. But Clemson won."

Good for them – they should have.

Georgia is still going to struggle in the SEC East. The division is brutal, but don't buy too much into Georgia being drive-off-a-cliff horrible this season. Mark Fox is benefiting from Tray Thompkins' summer, and has seemingly gotten Travis Leslie to play within the triangle offense he runs. "But don't expect Leslie to dunk as much as he did Friday night…" one coach said with a smile at the Tennessee Tech game Saturday.

Fox is doing everything the right way so far in terms of publicity. People need to get out before the Auburn game and take in what seems to be a surprisingly decent Georgia team Friday night.

I don't know

I'm not going to sit here and act like I know what Mark Richt is thinking – or where he is going with changes (if any) during the off-season. I'm getting too many conflicting reports on what could change, and who may or may not be coaching at Georgia next season.

In my view we are still a little early in projecting what change could/will happen. I have been given conflicting reports regarding "changes" during the off-season, but sometimes people say things they "want" to happen and convince themselves that those things will happen. I'm not falling into that camp. I do expect Richt to be particularly hands on this off-season. I also have heard through the recruiting grapevine that recruits have been told that "there could be some changes" in the off-season, so that's probably a good indication that something will happen, but Georgia has gone through a coaching change on the assistant level nearly every single season Richt has been at Georgia since he arrived, so to say there will be changes is not something that should come as Earth shattering.

2001: Entirely new staff save Rodney Garner
2002: Tony Pierce dismissed
2003: Ken Rucker
2004: None
2005: John Jancek, Kirby Smart
2006: Tony Ball
2007: Stacy Searels
2008: John Lilly
2009: Bryan McClendon

So do I know what will happen? Nope. Does anyone? I don't think anyone really knows… maybe a decision has been made, but if it has – in true Mark Richt fashion – very few know about it.


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