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Blog: Richt’s contract won’t include boost in salary, but increases performance bonuses

GREENSBORO—Georgia football coach Mark Richt’s revamped football contract won’t include a salary increase, but it will reward him with larger performance-based bonuses for on-field success.

Athletic director Greg McGarity told the Georgia Ahletic Association board of directors Thursday that Richt’s deal “basically stays where it is right now,” at about $2.8 million a year.

The contract is being extended three years through the 2016 season, but is still not finalized and wasn’t voted on at the meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge on Lake Oconee.

McGarity said all of Richt’s performance bonuses will double. He said Georgia will be “rewarding excellence,” for winning championships.

Richt faced questions about his job security after an 0-2 start last season that followed a 6-7 record in 2010, but the Bulldogs reached the SEC title game for the first time since 2005 and finished 10-4.

Richt’s current contract allows a maximum total performance bonus of $400,000. Georgia says  his reworked deal would increase that total to $800,000.

Richt would get $200,000 for winning the SEC championship in place of $100,000 now. He would get $500,000 for winning a national championship instead of $250,000. A top-five finish in the AP or coaches’ poll would bring him $100,00, up from $50,000. His current contract also includes bonuses for reaching the SEC title game and reaching certain tiers of bowls.

McGarity said he met with Richt and executive associate athletic director Frank Crumley on Wednesday.

“We are so close to getting the final T’s crossed and the I’s dotted,” McGarity told the board. “We’re there. It’s a matter of legal wording that needs to get taken care and viewpoints that have all been covered.”

Asked during a break in the meeting why these contract negotiations are taking so long, McGarity said: “I don’t know. Mark and I, we’ve all been on the same page as far as all the major points of it for months. ”

Richt, 106-38 in 11 seasons, is currently the 12th highest-paid coach, according to information from a USA Today salary survey and published reports in recent months of coaches’ new deals.

He is the sixth highest-paid coach in the SEC afterAlabama’s Nick Saban ($5.32 million), LSU’s Les Miles ($3.86 million),Auburn’s Gene Chizik ($3.5 million), South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier ($3.3 million) and Florida’s Will Muschamp ($3.22 million).

Richt’s contract was last amended in 2008 after Georgia finished ranked No. 2 in the nation.

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and Georgia also have agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension running through 2014, as was announced earlier, but that is also still being finalized.

McGarity said he anticipates Grantham will be getting a raise to his $750,000 salary.

Georgia and Richt have had contract talks since December.

Richt said before spring practice in March when the contract length was announced that “we’ve agreed to all the big stuff. There’s still some things that gotta be ironed out, but, yeah, I’m excited about the new contract.”

Those things still apparently aren’t completely ironed out.

Georgia president Michael Adams said the delay in getting the Richt and Grantham contracts done are “simple, nitpick lawyering at this point. If it was something else, I think I would tell you. These things just sometimes take more time when you get into than you think they are 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.”

Adams said as soon as the contracts are signed, they will be released to the media.

“I don’t think it’s prudent to release unfinished contracts,”Adams said.

McGarity said there will be “some adjustments,” in Richt’s buyout.

“The whole contract will be much simpler,” he said.

The athletic board met in a closed-door, executive session for 28 minutes, but Adams wouldn’t say if they were regarding Richt and Grantham. No action was asked or taken.

“They’ll both be self-evident in a few weeks,” he said.

The board also approved $2.73 million for facility upgrades including:

–$1.35 million for minor Foley Field renovations. That would include a canopy to replace the trees beyond the left field wall and adding a retaining wall and seating at Kudzu Hill.

McGarity envisions an eventual $10 million renovation that would start after $5 million is raised. Georgia will unify the facility and address current code requirements including a new press box. The renovation’s eventual focus will be at the main entrance to the exterior plaza, ticket booth, entry gates and flow into the main concourse and the seating bowl will be reconfigured. Renovations will also be done to the restrooms, concession and main concourse.

–$1 million for upgrades to scoreboards to baseball, softball and soccer to include HD video display. Each is in their seventh season of operation. Sound system speakers will be upgraded.

–$375,000 to improve the entrance at Sanford Stadium Gate 10 on the southwest end of the stadium under Sanford Drive Bridge.This gate is the entrance at the end of the ‚ÄúDawg Walk.‚Äù

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