Let athletics windfall benefit Redcoats

Larger salaries for basketball coaches, new engines for the athletic association’s airplane and contributing $2 million each of the next three years to the university to support academic programs. Those are all excellent ways for UGA’s athletic association to be spending some of the financial windfall that has resulted from an increase of $8.5 million in sports revenue thanks to the SEC’s new TV deal and the Bulldogs’ new media deal.

As detailed by the AJC’s Tim Tucker, that revenue boost also will pay for a lot of other items, including athletes’ scholarships, medical supplies and even new bulkheads in the swimming pool. 

So while Damon Evans is in a generous mood, I thought I’d suggest one other possible use for some of that money: a group of 400-plus students who work long and hard supporting UGA’s football and basketball teams, are a big part of the Sanford Stadium game experience and have been known to play a role in victories as they get the crowd and team fired up. They also happen to be the Dogs’ most ardent and loudly heard fans.

 

Georgiadogs.com

Georgiadogs.com

I’m talking about the Redcoat Band, of course.

 

My brother Jon, a Redcoat alum, was telling me about how the band finally is getting its own dedicated practice field over at the Intramural Fields in Athens now that the club sports have moved out to a new facility off South Milledge Avenue. The university is taking care of grading the band’s new field, planting and irrigating the grass and installing the lights. But the Redcoats need to raise $1 million to build a teaching tower for rehearsals (which take up six to eight hours a week of the band members’ time), stands for viewing rehearsals and recruiting, and a building in which to store musical instruments and equipment. A “100 Yards for 100 Years” campaign has been launched, and you can contribute here.

But considering what a big part of the football program the Redcoats are, the athletic association ought to make one of the larger contributions to that campaign — if not the entire million bucks.

As the pregame chant goes, ain’t nothing finer in the land than the Georgia Redcoat marching band! The athletic association should see that it stays that way.

35 comments Add your comment

Clay

June 29th, 2009
2:23 pm

I think the windfall needs to build the indoor practice facility that Richt has been asking for. It’s football that created the windfall and it’s football they should benefit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a bug fan of the Redcoats and the band warm up may be my favorite part if game day; but, they’re not an athletic department.

UGAredcoat

June 29th, 2009
2:25 pm

I believe the band does fall under the athletic association.

John

June 29th, 2009
2:27 pm

First. I’d say support em’, but under one condition. . . .they gotta play fight songs at the halftime intermission and cut WAY BACK on the soundtrack renditions of Star Wars, Star Trek, Forrest Gump, and other movies. I also am sick and tired of hearing “tributes” to musicians. I really hope I don’t have to sit through a “tribute” this year to Jacko. That guy’s/gal’s/whatever it was, music has no business at a UGA football game, especially at halftime. I love how UT’s band, although I hate hearing the tune, plays their fight songs and rocky top almost constantly.

JP

June 29th, 2009
2:37 pm

Please tell me they didn’t get the field that the rugby team “built” and maintained for so long…if that’s the case, it would be nice if they left the field big enough for rugby and lacrosse to play on in the spring when the Redcoats aren’t in season, simply as a courtesy to the several hundred men and women who are currently playing those sports at UGA who deserve a nice facility. I mean, the rugby team has been through a lot of BS with the athletic association in regard to the field (RV parking there, leaving trash, broken bottles and bottle caps for the ruggers to “find” at practice the week after a game) over the years, and, although the Redcoats aren’t UGAAA, they might as well be.

LifelongDawg

June 29th, 2009
2:48 pm

I’m a former Redcoat and agree that some extra expense should be allotted to the band. The amount of time and effort given is greater than most people think. And they ARE very important to the sporting atmosphere.

Bill King

June 29th, 2009
2:52 pm

The rugby team uses the new club sports complex out on South Milledge.

jrmdvm1

June 29th, 2009
2:55 pm

The first football game I attended at UGA was “Band Day”. I was with my high school marching band, along with at least twenty or so other high school bands. We were “hosted” by the Redcoats, and it was just overwhelming to be down on the field and playing in the stands, right along side the Redcoats. I became a Dawg that day, long before I attended UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The Redcoats deserve to share in the windfall.

SOUTHSIDE DAWG

June 29th, 2009
2:57 pm

I hope the athletic department helps the Redcoats with the money. I wish the Redcoats would learn to march on the field like the Big 10 teams do. It just looks bad at a bowl game when the Redcoats come on the field after one of those bands. Plus, play more fight songs and different things at the bowl pep rallys.

Red Clay Hound

June 29th, 2009
3:06 pm

This one time at Band Camp…. Oh never mind.

Native Atlantan

June 29th, 2009
3:07 pm

I say take the whole band to ALL the away games as well. It would be nice to see that instead of the pep band at road games such as the Mississippi schools, Vandy, Kentucky, Arkansas and LSU.

This bunch works hard and spends many summer hours all day getting ready for the season. They deserve to go to all the games, and I think the football players would prefer that as well.

deacondawg

June 29th, 2009
3:24 pm

To all you complaining about the Redcoats, you should know that they are one of the finest organizations in the nation. I believe they were the FIRST SEC band to earn the coveted Sudler trophy which is given to the top collegiate marching bands. GIVE THEM THE MONEY. Send them to Fayetteville, or Stillwater instead of the pep band or derbies. Dooley used to support the Redcoats and Dr. Dancz a pretty good bit. In fact, he had them moved from under the top deck around the 35 on the north side to nearby where they sit now. The reason was because the spirit and noise of the band, due to their proximity to the field at Neyland, helped Georgia beat Tennessee in Knoxville, 1973.

SOUTHSIDE DAWG

June 29th, 2009
3:43 pm

deacondawg
All I am saying is from going to bowl games for many years they dont put on a good showing at the pep rallys neither do the cheerleaders. I like the way other schools march on the field it looks really cool and th Redcoats usually play the same thing at the bowl games mix it up a little. I do think they should get the money and the whole band should go to ALL the road games

UGAredcoat

June 29th, 2009
3:58 pm

I personally never would have joined if they marched like a Big 10 band, and I doubt most of my peers would have either. Militaristic marching sucks to perform plus the Redcoats spend more time on music and learning drill. The AA has always wanted as many shows as possible (usually 4) while few other bands take the time to learn more than 1 or 2 a season. This also means they can’t just sit there and play schools songs over and over (which would be rather boring anyway IMO). I agree the marching quality could be better, but that’s a function of marching skill not being a part of auditions like it is at LSU. Of course, at LSU, they are scholarshipped and paid to be there, where UGA is just the opposite. You’d be surprised how much the AA has in the say over things. The band lobbied hard to get rid of Hey Baby and the Hey Song and other such over played high school songs, but the AA wouldn’t allow it.

Spike

June 29th, 2009
4:26 pm

I was in the Redcoat Band for one year. You cannot believe the amount of time and effort the band puts in practice and how much time it takes to learn the steps to put on a show. And hot those uniuforms are in September. So show the band a little ove with domr dough. I must add though, a million dollars for a tower seems like a lot.

Spike

June 29th, 2009
4:28 pm

Sorry, “..how hot..” and “..a little love with some dough” Bill, get spell check on this thing.

Another Redcoat

June 29th, 2009
4:29 pm

As another current redcoat (and son of two former redcoats who helped play the dawgs through a national championship) I have some idea of how things work.

First, the Redcoat band is very much funded through the Athletic department.

Second, you’d find very few members (if any) who’d like to march like a Big 10 band. Actually, our drill is much more current in terms of where the activity has gone in recent years. As UGAredcoat noted, we also perform a much higher frequency of shows than other schools do. This naturally decreases the opportunity we have to learn complex drill in return for making sure the most hardcore fans (which include us) don’t get bored.

Third, the band isn’t always given enough seats at away games to take more than the derbies anyway. We’d all love to go to every game, but other schools want more paying fans I guess. I’m just saying I’m not sure any money we got could really help that situation.

Lastly, I do think the money could be put to good use. Certainly our practice field needs some more money (we held a big fundraiser this year and I don’t think it made too much of a dent). However, it would also be well used if it went to more marching scholarships. You’d attract better players and marchers and overall quality would be bound to improve.

Fort Worth Dawg

June 29th, 2009
4:30 pm

Split the difference – let the Athletic Department match contributions, up to $500K.

Last I heard it costs $25K to endow an undergraduate scholarship. The Athletic Department should establish a new band scholarship fund and add an additional $25 – 50K each year – the equivalent of an incremental scholarship each year, with a perpetual application.

Once a dog, always a dog...how sweet it is!

June 29th, 2009
4:37 pm

At the DAWG WALK, you can hear the Redcoats playing a warm up “chorale” before they play the fight songs and “Georgia” standards that get the crowd ready for the game. The Georgia Tech High School Band plays that same “chorale” in the stands…I guess it warms them up for the Budweiser song that they play at the start of the 4th quarter.

Cuz

June 29th, 2009
5:03 pm

It may be a small band group that attends away games but I can always hear them playing in opposing stadiums on my radio. My hat is off to you redcoats.

SuperB

June 29th, 2009
9:10 pm

I agree the university needs to support the band. But a million bucks for a tower and some bleachers is ridiculous! Georgia needs: (1.) an indoor practice facility and (2.) to quit playing the annual “away” game in Florida. Damon Evans: Quit scheduling teams like Oklahoma State and Oregon, quit bowing down to the Jax Gatorbaiters– or– get the hell out of Athens.

Saint Simons

June 30th, 2009
9:14 am

45-42!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Yellow is the color of P**S

June 30th, 2009
10:24 am

31-17 (2001) & 51-7 (2002) & 34-17 (2003) & 19-13 (2004) & 14-7 (2005) & 15-12 (2006) & 31-17 (2007)!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Get over it Saint Simons. That was the North Avenue Trade Schools 5th Win against GA in 19 years. Way to go!

Damn Good Dawg

June 30th, 2009
11:29 am

I’m all for it. By the way, I’m also all for putting “Dixie” back into their name…The Dixie Redcoat Marching Band!!!!! Yeah! Screw the early manifestation of political correctness that caused the “Dixie” to be dropped!

Damn Good Dawg

June 30th, 2009
11:30 am

By the way, remember November 24, 2009.

razerGT

June 30th, 2009
3:51 pm

Sports programs get millions of dollars from their Athletic Associations, and more from people attending games, etc. Marching bands have to raise a lot of their money themselves. As someone who’s marched for 7 years, through high school and college, I know this all too well. If the UGAAA just got an $8.5 million increase then a good chunk of that needs to go to their band. A lot of people probably don’t realize how expensive it is to run a college marching band. Native Atlantan’s suggestion that the full band go to all away games is a great idea, but unfortunately transportation for 400 to anywhere costs a lot of money.

The bottom line is: the band needs money, so give them some money. Keep classy, Saint Simon and Yellow is….; there was a good conversation going on until you screwed it up.

Redcoat 91

June 30th, 2009
5:32 pm

The Redcoats receive their funding almost entirely from the Athletic Association. The band is in need of many things, but let me point out one example. Every time they take the field, Tom Jackson proudly announces “Keep your seats everyone, the Redcoats are coming.” He should change that to “Keep your seats everyone, the Red…oops…orangish red sorta faded red coats are coming.” The uniforms they wear today were purchased in 1995. Most high school bands plan to get 7 to 9 years out of their uniforms. The Redcoats are entering year 15 in these same coats. Just look at them up close one day; you’ll see how incredibly faded they are. Yes, band uniforms are expensive, but I’m positive the AA has the money to make this happen.

Current Redcoat

June 30th, 2009
5:58 pm

To see some of the AA funding come in the direction of the Redcoats would be great! Yes the AA built the new practice feild which is greatly appreciated because sharing a feild with a football team can be difficult. However, the new feild is currently grass and will be dead by the end of august. Its just what happens when 350 plus people trample a feild day in and day out (there is a reason we dont practice at Sanford.) Turf for the feild would be a major benefit for the band and is something I believe the AA could find funds for somewhere in their new 98 million dollar deal.
After all, if things go south for the football team (lets hope not) fans may leave, TV channels may turn, but I can promise that the Redcoats will be there from Kickoff to the final whistle. Go Dawgs!

Ain’t Nothin’ Finer in the Land

SugarHillDawg

June 30th, 2009
8:58 pm

The Redcoats deserve all the help the UGA AA can provide. Some of my fondest undergrad memories involve the Redcoats at Sanford Stadium, Grant Field, Jordan-Hare, the Gator Bowl for the WLOCP, etc. My oldest son is a sophomore in the Auburn University Marching Band (catchy name, huh?). I’m constantly amazed how much time he spends each week during the football season with the band. (He’s a molecular biology/pre-vet major, so time’s pretty valuable to him!) Fortunately, the AUMB has their own facility (with all of the “bells and whistles” mentioned in the article). I love hanging out with them on game Saturdays, watching them rehersing for that day’s performance. (I was the only parent in Red and Black at the UGA – AU rehersal last November – pretty well ticked off my son with my moves when they practiced “Glory!”) Since Auburn has eight home games, their band will probably attend ten of their twelve games this year. (Rumor has it the AUMB band will be in Knoxville and Athens.) I find it hard to believe Auburn’s got more $$$ available to them than UGA – the AA really should do what they have to do to support the Redcoats! (Auburn certainly does, much to my chagrin!) Go Dawgs! (And, except for that November meeting, “War Eagle!”)

Another Redcoat

July 1st, 2009
4:30 am

I agree with what my fellow Redcoats and the former Redcoats have been saying. UGA has one of the few athletic associations in the country that actually makes money every year. It’s amazing to me that with the amount of money the AA makes, I’m playing on a half broken instrument and wearing a faded jacket that barely zips up. Still, the fact remains — band is expensive. Instruments, uniforms, meals, trips, they all cost a LOT. Band costs a lot when you think about the sheer amount of hours and effort on and off the field that we give. Still, we do it because it’s worth it. Imagine going to Sanford Stadium for a game without the Redcoat Band. I’m surely biased, but a lot of the atmosphere that you love is because of us. Imagine starting the 4th quarter without throwing your hands up into the air at the start of Krypton. Imagine pregame and the Dawgwalk. I’m not saying that we deserve every little bit, but anything will help. It will help us, and by proxy, it will help the team too.

And to the people who think we should march like Big Ten bands: Um, no. Just no. Marching like that is not only impractical, it looks stupid and I would never want to do it. You may not realize this, but our band program is one of the best in the nation. We’re big, we’re loud, and we’re good. We do put more emphasis on playing and musicianship (as I think we should), but that doesn’t mean that our marching style is bad. Also, we aren’t ever going to play fight songs during halftime. We do that at pregame. And besides that, we get sick of playing Glory. We like to have more variety, too. Halftime shows are done for entertainment, and so we play Led Zeppelin and Journey. We learn four shows every year. That’s a lot of time and a lot of memorization. Most bands play two, and there are plenty of other bands (such as UT, I believe) who read music from flip folders during their shows. Please don’t forget how much work we do that you just don’t see or even consider.

UGAfan

July 1st, 2009
2:56 pm

I agree with the band getting more money. Every bit is appreciated from the AA and the band shows its support every single Saturday whether it be pep band or full band, away or home, or even during the week three nights a week, for certain sections four nights a week. ALL of those hours and time of hard practice go to making each game an experience for fans from their first UGA game to their last. I agree with what someone said…take away the band from gamedays and think of what it would be like. YES, it’s a football game but think of when we score-no GLory. Pregame-…well what pregame? No pregame. 4th quarter and before the game Krypton-no Krypton. No pagentry in the stands or on the field…what the band does is underrated and I think we should all support this financially and let Damon Evans hear our voice, repsectfully of course! Just support the Redcoats in whatever way because their work doesn’t stop in football season. Basketball band and volleyball band…band members are there supporting athletics whole-heartedly. And in the summer they come back to school 2 weeks early, already cranking up the tunes ALL day practicing.

Don’t forget what they do..

UGARCB Sousa

July 1st, 2009
3:51 pm

First I agree we need better funding for the band. The RCB is mostly funded from the UGAAA. Over the last few years they gave the band money to purchase approximately 300-400 new uniforms. However, we still have to keep alot of the older jackets around because of the sizes that are used most frequently. Trying to keep these uniform parts clean and decent is hard because of the abuse that just one year of marching can do to them. Ripped fabric, seams, fading, and other damage.

In regards to the practice field, the field is being made using grass now. The band will have the field dead by the end of the band camp week no matter how they try to maintain it. The band alumni association is trying hard to raise the money for the field to be made out of the field turf. Also with this fundraising effort is the desire to build a grand stand with bleachers, a press box, teaching tower for the directors to teach and observe drill from, and equipment rooms for certain sections underneath the stands. This includes one room dedicated completely to the maintenance and storage of 30 sousaphones, a room dedicated to maintenance and storage of the drum equipment, and one room dedicated to the maintenance and storage of ladders, props, coolers, and other equipment the band users on a daily basis.

For the away games we attend the band has to get 8 charter buses, gas for three Ryder trucks, hotels, and money for STUDENT drivers of the trucks that have to leave the night before any game and stay afterwards to drive the trucks back the next day. There is also served to every member of the band at least three meals on every trip.

The band is made up of students from all across the campus that actually pay money to take the Redcoat Band class. There are scholarships given to music majors that require participation in the RCB (these are the minority). But most students pay for the class in tuition and pay additional fees to cover expenses for the year. The band is usually is around $150 a person for fees. The auxiliaries (Flagline, Georgettes, and Majorettes) have been rumored to have fees around and above $500 dollars because of their costumes and additional commitments outside of additional rehearsals.

The entire band rehearses three nights a week and before every home game. The drumline and auxiliaries rehearse an extra night each week in addition to the normal class schedule. Other sections may hold additional practices but that is at their discretion.

The style of marching is more inline with the current environment of DCI and BOA style bands and is actually much easier to execute than military of show style marching. Granted their needs to be more attention to precision but the style used is inline with other organizations.

The music selection at hafltime is based upon student input, entertainment value, and if the band can get rights to certain songs from certain artists to play the songs at halftime. The stands tunes are usually Georgia standards that have been around awhile. There is currently an effort to expand the amount and variety of music played by the band in the stands. And I agree with all previous postings, while I love Glory and what it means to the Bulldog Nation, after the 436 time, it does wear on you a bit.

All in all I love the band, what it does, and what every member contributes. And I highly encourage everyone to donate to the campaign so we can address some of the issues addressed here so that in the future when the band takes the field we will put out a band that everyone will look at and wish to emulate.

Once a Dawg, always a Dawg. How sweet it is!

Matt from Suwanee

July 1st, 2009
5:30 pm

…The heart of the bulldog spirt…

RedcoatMusicMajor

July 2nd, 2009
11:07 pm

Alright, so I’d like to add a bit of my own unique perspective to this article.

I started out my collegiate career at Auburn for two years before making the switch back home to UGA last year. (a lot of people reading this now know who I am probably :P ). Because of this, I have been privileged to be in two of the best marching bands in the country and have a unique view of how things are run differently.

The above poster is right about Auburn. The AUMB has their own field that ONLY they use during the fall. The field has high fences and gates so that it is kept pristine for their benefit. The field also has a marching tower and a few trailers where the larger instruments (sousaphones, percussion, baritones, mellophones) are kept.

Because the AUMB has this field, they are ensured uninterrupted practice as they see fit. Unlike Redcoats last year, they don’t have to wait for a football team to leave in order to get marching practice in. Quite frankly, it’s amazing to me that we marched as well as we did last year considering the paltry amount of practice we got in marching our shows. I think for the last show (Zeppelin) we had about 6 hours of marching rehearsal on it? Someone correct me on that if I’m wrong.

One thing that separated Redcoats from AUMB was that we got to practice (when we could) on artificial turf. Over the course of a marching season, the AUMB’s field RAPIDLY deteriorated. Ruts and holes got created by trampling, and setting drill was a bit of an adventure. Additionally, because of the uneven surface, marching technique suffered to a degree.

If you could combine the two above great attributes – an exclusive practice field with storage and artificial turf – you would have the ultimate practice space. I think it would be great if the AA gave us a significant chunk towards putting artificial turf on the field (I think it costs about a million to do it). The stadium seating that is in the plans (with the storage being underneath the stands) isn’t as important IMO. You can buy a few trailers like Auburn has and put equipment in there just as easily. Or just use our truck to take the big stuff (sousas/drumline/other equipment) over to the practice field every day like we’ve been doing.

Anyway, my point is that yes, it would be awesome if the AA used some of the surplus to help with the cost of the new facility as long as it’s for the most important things.

To whoever mentioned our uniforms awhile back, yes they are quite old. If they AA opted to buy us new uniforms (even instead of the artificial turf) that would be a huge help as well. Scholarships aren’t needed as much really. Redcoats already has a TON of music majors and otherwise good players in it (more than a good number of top bands really). UGA has one of the best music schools in our corner of the country, so we get lots of good players simply by existing.

As for the music we play…I honestly can’t think of any Star Wars or Star Trek quotes/songs. I also have trouble seeing a MJ tribute actually happening, given his history…just don’t think it would go over well. I was on the music committee for this year and we selected a lot of good new music for this year (and also tossed out some deadweight). We’ll see what happens with that.

RedcoatMusicMajor

July 2nd, 2009
11:10 pm

One last thing I forgot to mention: last year, LSU raised prices on certain football tickets by $10. The $10 increase went to building a brand new awesome facility to their band. There’s precedent for this kind of involvement.

ScholarshiptheREDCOATS

July 21st, 2009
11:14 pm

I, for one, would like to see the REDCOATS scholarshipped eventually through a well executed plan. A scholarship component should be phased in over the next two to three years under conditions. For example, I would like scholarshipped REDCOATS to meat physical fitness and conditioning requirements in addition to be outstanding performers and marchers on the field. Basic conditioning could be accomplished by requiring scholarshipped REDCOATS to participate in summer training. I’d rather have a smaller band whose members are fit and well conditioned in addition to be outstanding performers.

Goooooooooo DAWGS !!!!!!!!!!!