GREENSBORO, Ga. -- The Mark Richt contract news out of Thursday’s University of Georgia Athletic Association Board of Directors meeting is that there is still no news.
“We are so close to getting the final T's crossed and I's dotted,” athletic director Greg McGarity told the board. “We’re there. It’s just a matter of legal wording that needs taking care of and deal points that have all been covered.”
McGarity informed the board that Richt’s $2.8 million base pay “basically stays where it is right now,” although the two sides are finalizing several changes to Richt’s deal.
UGA announced on March 12 that it was adding three years to the football coach’s contract, extending his deal through 2016. McGarity said Thursday that while Richt’s base salary will remain the same, his contract incentives -- pay bumps for accomplishments like BCS and SEC championships and bowl appearances -- will double.
“All the important performance bonuses, which means bowls, which means BCS championship appearances, they really increased 100 percent,” McGarity said. “One of the things was basically rewarding excellence. I don’t think anybody has a problem at all when we do great things as far as competing for SEC championships, participating in BCS bowls, so there is a lot of incentive in that.”
McGarity added that “there will be some adjustments” to Richt’s buyout and that the language in the document will be much simpler than in the coach’s current contract.
McGarity said he hopes to have versions of contracts for Richt and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham -- who he confirmed is in line for a raise to his $750,000 salary -- available for public consumption in the near future, but the legal wrangling over final details prevented them from being completed in time for Thursday’s board meeting.
He said the holdup is not the product of contentious negotiations between UGA and the Richt and Grantham camps.
“We all agree on everything,” McGarity said. “It’s just a matter of going through that process of our legal counsel. I don’t know what their caseload is like. As long as it’s all agreed upon, everybody is sort of in a good place.”
McGarity first revealed that UGA would revisit the coaches’ contracts nearly seven months ago and has insisted for months that negotiations moved along smoothly. UGA president Michael Adams reiterated McGarity’s point that the lack of resolution is not a source of frustration on his end.
“This is simple nitpick lawyering at this point,” Adams said. “If it was something else, I think I would tell you. But these things sometimes just take more time than when you get into them you think they’re going to. They’re complicated. These are high-profile people. They have a lot of obligations to us and we require a lot of obligations to them.”