GREENSBORO - Mark Richt's annual base salary is not being increased, but the head football coach will receive more in performance bonuses.
That's what Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity told the athletic board on Friday morning. McGarity also said that small details remain left to be worked out, so the contract apparently won't come up for a vote.
McGarity pointed out that Richt's salary of $2.9 million put him in the upper ecehlon of SEC coaches, but not among the highest-paid. But the performance bonuses for winning the SEC, BCS and other things are being increased.
"We want to reward excellence," McGarity said.
UGA president Michael Adams said the contract was also being tweaked to allow Richt to receive more money from off-field sources, such as commercials. Adams said in previous contracts Georgia had been "conservative" with that part of the contract. The additional revenue for Richt potentially earn from that could run in the "low six figures" according to Adams.
"My general view is we expect a head coach a whole lot of money and we expect a whole lot," Adams said.
Richt's new contract will last through 2016.
In other news:
- The board also voted for an upgrade to Foley Field that will cost $1.35 million. The improvements include basically everything: The press box, the main entrance, ticket booth, dugouts, locker rooms and lounge, training room and batting cages, and other aspects of the field.
In addition, the current outfield trees will be replaced due to age.
McGarity said this is part of a long-term plan to spend $10 million on a renovation of Foley Field. UGA will attempt to raise $5 million by itself, then come back to the board to ask for whatever else is needed.
- There will also be $1.006 million spent to upgrade the scoreboards at the baseball, softball and soccer fields.
- And there will be $375,000 spent to improve Gate 10 at Sanford Stadium. That gate is at the end of the pregame "Dawg Walk", near the Tate Center lots.
- Out of concern over a lack of student turnout at football games, a series of changes will be proposed. Chief among them is tickets will be based first on attendance, then on seniority, while an appeals system will be created for students who have "a legitimate, unexpected reason for missing a game, such as a family emergency."
This led to a spirited debate. Adams expressed concern about rewarding fifth-year students over students who were attending school within the normal four-year framework. Adams also pointed to a proposal three years ago by a student to help increase turnout.
"In all candor, the students have not held up their end of the bargain," Adams said.
- UGA will finish the year with a profit of about $2.3 million, largely the result of having more football home games.
And a few other nuggets:
- Adams said the SEC presidents had a "lengthy" teleconference last Thursday, and he expects plenty of "substance" to be discussed at next week's SEC meetings in Destin, Fla. Adams indicated that the main issue is the SEC's position on the changing landscape of the college football postseason. The presidents are approaching a "unified" take on the playoff, according to Adams, which should be voted on and announced next week.
- Also on the agenda next week in Destin: Possibly establishing an SEC championship for equestrian. McGarity said that will be discussed; Georgia is one of four SEC schools that fields an equestrian team, with Texas A&M one of the others.
- Georgia finished the year ranked second, behind Florida, in the all-sports competition. (A cumulative ranking of how each school did in all sports recognized by the SEC.)
- UGA's scores in the Academic Progress Rate, which the NCAA uses, are all well above water, in no danger of any penalties.
-The Georgia football team had a spring GPA of 2.80, which is a rise from 2.49 in 2004.
"Whatever they're doing at Rankin Smith, it's making a difference," said David Shipley, UGA's faculty representative to the athletics association.