GREENSBORO, Ga. -- Georgia's 2012 baseball season hinges on Monday's NCAA tournament selection show, but the status of the program's head coach does not.
UGA athletics director Greg McGarity confirmed after Thursday's Athletic Association meeting that Bulldogs head baseball coach David Perno's job is not in jeopardy regardless of the bubble team's NCAA at-large status.
"Dave will be back next season," McGarity said. "It's not even an issue."
Georgia dropped both games at this week's SEC tournament, losing an elimination game to Auburn on Wednesday that won't help the Bulldogs' fading hopes for an NCAA bid at 31-26.
Losing two of three games to SEC cellar-dweller Alabama in the last weekend of regular season was also a costly blow, reportedly dropping UGA more than 10 spots in the RPI ratings.
"We play in a very tough league, the toughest in the country and we beat everybody at least once, but now it's out of our hands," Perno said after Wednesday's defeat in Hoover, Ala. "I would love for this team to get a shot, but like I said, we can't control that anymore."
If UGA does not receive a bid, it would mark the second time in the past three years the Bulldogs have missed the NCAA tournament.
McGarity said Thursday, "We're holding out hope that we may have an at-large (bid). Who knows? Stranger things have happened."
Perno is completing his 11th season at Georgia. In confirming there will be a 12th, McGarity cited Georgia's SEC record during the past two years and other issues that have befallen the program -- such as tragic injuries to players Chance Veazey and Johnathan Taylor.
"Dave has had a lot of issues off the field the last three years: Chance Veazey, J.T.," McGarity said. "He's dealing with some (family) struggles right now."
He added, "You take SEC records over the last two years, and you give credit to South Carolina, Florida and Vandy and just do some research and see where the rest of us are ... over that two-year span, we're one game over .500. Arkansas, Ole Miss, LSU, you've got a lot of schools that are kind of right where we are as far as the SEC standings."
Asked if next year is critical for Perno's status, McGarity replied, "Every year is critical. Every year is crucial. There's not one year that's more important than the others. They're all important."
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