MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Georgia beat the Florida Gators Tuesday night to snap a three-game losing streak. By the way, I’m talking about basketball – not football.
Florida has had Georgia’s number for years in college hoops, and with the Bulldogs struggling it was a good win to beat the 23rd-ranked Gators get beat by 12 points. Georgia is now 13-8 overall and 4-5 in the SEC. They have nine games remaining in the regular season, including another game with Florida, two games with Tennessee and another game with Auburn.
Georgia had lost five out of the last six going into Tuesday’s game, so it’s going to be tough for them to finish with a great regular season record unless they can do something like win five of six games. This mediocre season has again brought up the subject of whether or not head coach Mark Fox should continue his job in Athens.
This is Fox’s ninth season, and Georgia has not won a NCAA tournament game in those eight seasons. They’ve been twice and lost in the first round both times. If Georgia fails to make it to the big dance this year, Fox should be fired. There is no reason for him to continue into a 10th season if he hasn’t been able to get the Bulldogs into the NCAA tournament.
It was bad enough when the SEC was not very good and Georgia still couldn’t get in. Just think now with the SEC being better, and if Georgia still can’t get in? That won’t be good, either.
Look – Georgia basketball will never be the priority in Athens. It just won’t. Football is and will always be king, and this past season will make that gap even more dramatic. But there is no reason Georgia basketball has been this mediocre for this long. And there is no reason they should give a coach nine seasons to figure things out.
What is the fascination with giving a coach that long a period of time? They did it in Athens with football – giving a good man 15 years to try and make the Georgia football team a championship program. That was too long, and now that a new coach has come in the second year and taken them to the championship game, it looks even more foolish to have given Mark Richt that long of a leash.
This situation is really simple, even though there should be no public declaration by the athletic director Greg McGarity. If Fox can get Georgia into the NCAA tournament, he should keep his job. If he can’t, Georgia should simply try someone else. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “Mark, you did a good job for nine years. But we just want to see if someone else can now try to do better.”
You hate to see a team play for their coach’s job, but that’s where Georgia is now. The fans need to demand more, just like they did with Mark Richt a little over two years ago. There’s no reason to expect Georgia to become a basketball power, but the fans should at least expect them to be better than this.