Which UGA athletic heroes are worthy of statues?

Vince Dooley and the statue honoring the 1980 national championship. (University of Georgia)

Vince Dooley and the statue honoring the 1980 national championship. (University of Georgia)

Looks like we’ve entered a new Bronze Age in the SEC.

You probably saw the recent news that the University of Alabama is quickly putting up a statue of Nick Saban to mark the Tide’s most recent national championship. It’ll join statues of the other UA coaches who’ve won national titles in the “Walk of Champions” area outside Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.

Then came word that the University of Florida is looking at erecting bronze, life-size statues of the Gators’ Heisman Trophy winners, Tim Tebow, Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel.

That got me to thinking which Bulldog heroes ought to be enshrined if UGA were to go beyond the statue honoring former coach Vince Dooley and his 1980 national championship team that was unveiled in 2008 on the South Campus athletic complex named after Dooley.

Now let me say up front that I recognize there are those who question whether a university campus perhaps ought to erect monuments to great scholars or distinguished alumni rather than athletes, and I’d be all for honoring those folks as well if someone’s willing to put up the money like the athletic association did with the Dooley statue. I certainly don’t think tax dollars ought to be shelled out for statues when there aren’t enough faculty members.

And, indeed, private funds will pay for a statue of UGA’s founder and first president, Abraham Baldwin, that will be erected on North Campus, just as the Sonny Seiler family donated a small bronze statue of Uga VI to the veterinary medicine school. (The other bronze statue of a Georgia Bulldog that sits outside Memorial Hall is actually of Mike, one of the pre-Seiler UGA mascots.)

Anyway, for the purpose of this discussion, let’s stick to athletic heroes and assume that the funding comes either from private donations or that nice fat athletic association surplus. UGA currently doesn’t have an equivalent of Bama’s “Walk of Champions,” but perhaps something along those lines could be worked into the new Reed Alley plaza being built at Sanford Stadium. And if not full statues, maybe bronze busts would be more suitable and take up less space.

Or maybe statues/busts of football heroes could anchor the four corners of the stadium. Heisman winners Herschel Walker and Frank Sinkwich would be natural subjects, along with “Flatfoot” Frankie’s teammate, Maxwell Award winner Charley Trippi. Who for the fourth corner? Longtime coach Wally Butts, who won Georgia’s other consensus national title? Or fan favorite Erk Russell, perhaps?

And over at Stegeman Coliseum, which also is undergoing a facelift and expansion of its concourse, some of the Dawg heroes associated with that venue might be honored, like human highlight film Dominique Wilkins or five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards or Courtney Kupets, the NCAA’s all-time most decorated gymnast.

Which UGA athletic heroes do you think should be honored with a statue or bust? And is a “Walk of Champions” type of area something that needs to be added to the campus in Athens?

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230 comments Add your comment

DawginOH

February 6th, 2010
11:22 am

Eric

February 6th, 2010
11:26 am

Joe

February 6th, 2010
11:27 am

Eric

February 6th, 2010
11:29 am

Herschel was the greatest college football player to ever play the game, if anyone who has ever played the game deserves one it should be him.

Mitch Cumstein

February 6th, 2010
11:33 am

Reggie Ball!!!

JTK

February 6th, 2010
11:34 am

Definitely Herschel. I would love to see him running over Bill Bates or him jumping over the pile in bronze. It’s a no-brainer!

BigGAdawg

February 6th, 2010
11:48 am

All of the ones you mentioned Bill, are great choices. Add Suzanne Yoculan to the list as a hands down choice. No one has brought more NCs to UGA or built a more dominant dynasty in their sport.

dap01

February 6th, 2010
11:52 am

Herchel Walker!

DreamandWonder

February 6th, 2010
11:54 am

Imagine all the UGA greats enshrined and memorialized in bronze, then somewhere next to Herschel, Trippi, Erk…….is Suzanne Yoculan. Deserved but funny.

Joel

February 6th, 2010
11:56 am

Larry Munson!!!

Bleu_Bayou42

February 6th, 2010
11:58 am

All I know is the most under-rated bulldog is Hines Ward.

UGA 2010

February 6th, 2010
12:00 pm

Hershel Walker, definitly!!!! MY GOD HE’S ONLY A FRESHMAN!!! Larry Munson maybe?????

Pitbull

February 6th, 2010
12:00 pm

Only the two UGA Heisman Trophy winners: Frank Sinkwich and Hershal Walker deserve statues.

OK. maybe Reggie Ball too.

UGA 2010

February 6th, 2010
12:01 pm

My thoughts exactly Joel….

UGA 2010

February 6th, 2010
12:03 pm

Why the slow day Bill, Nobody is really writing anything….

Joel

February 6th, 2010
12:09 pm

Also, the largest viewed video was of Lindsay Scott in Jacksonville.

Old Dawg

February 6th, 2010
12:09 pm

Maybe a Wall of Honor i.e. Yankee Stadium

Alvin and the Chipmunk

February 6th, 2010
12:25 pm

I agree with Mike….definitely Reggie Ball

schultz is mighty smart

February 6th, 2010
12:26 pm

May need to save money, and get Richt that indoor practice facility. You know like all the top schools have.

Halsey

February 6th, 2010
12:29 pm

Statues of athletes is just lame, except when they’re placed in a Hall of Fame or something similar. There are more important people that should have statues long before a great ball player should. How much rear kissing do athletes need in one lifetime for success at a game.

Michael

February 6th, 2010
12:35 pm

Where can they put a statue of Tebow fumbling another snap from center?

Terry

February 6th, 2010
12:37 pm

Bill Stanfill

Voice of Reason

February 6th, 2010
12:47 pm

Instead of bronze, could not more be accomplished with dollars if done in a smooth finish, white concrete. Maybe even molds could be made from those still living to achieve the exact likeness. How about somewhere in the new addition to BM. I can see recruits imagining their bust up with the others one day. Security would be a concern, so maybe some kind of breezeway or courtyard area that would be secure.
I can see concrete being only a fraction of the cost of bronze, with numbers obtaining effectiveness equal to or more than, bronze. Descriptions similiar to the HS honors listed with recruits in the press guide with each bust would be nice, covering their college and/or pro careers or coaching achievements.

NCDAWG

February 6th, 2010
12:52 pm

Herschel Walker, Frank Sinkwhich, and David Pollack for football

Voice of Reason

February 6th, 2010
12:55 pm

Gator Nation – I agree that Tim Tebow has been a great college player, and as to whether the greatest, to be debated. Too bad you can’t recognize greatness as well, ala your “jock strap” remark. Did you ever see Herschel play? I would venture to say no, and that you are an immature individual. You probably think that UF has always had great teams. Check the record, see how UGA used to regularly beat them like a drum, and may again some day. Remember when UF won their first SEC championship? Enjoy your wave and ride it, but do it knowing what you are talking about.

CatsFly

February 6th, 2010
1:01 pm

If you erect a statue to honor someone for athletics alone, you’ve got screwed up priorities.

john marshall

February 6th, 2010
1:01 pm

must be deceased for 3 years tobe considered,otherwise,everyone who scores a winning td will have nominations

Pago Flyer

February 6th, 2010
1:07 pm

Today, The U of TOL opens their indoor practice facility, besides football, this includes a track, basketball court and golf greens. Not bad for a MAC school.

gte268p

February 6th, 2010
1:07 pm

I’m surprised uga hasn’t built a shrine to Herschel Walker yet and required all students to attend it every Sunday night.

Tom

February 6th, 2010
1:09 pm

Herschel and Trippi. Maybe David Pollack once more time passes by.

Definitely a statue of Abraham Baldwin, he is the founder after all.

UGA is not Alabama and cannot have a “walk of champions”. Alabama is a little overboard putting a statue of Saban. They are going to hate it when Saban leaves in a few years.

Red

February 6th, 2010
1:11 pm

Statue of Herschel Walker tearing up SEC mascots. Or better yet, statue of Herschel all over Jose Canseco.

Statue of Herschel Walker tearing up SEC mascots. Or better yet, statue of Herschel all over Jose Canseco.

BigNCDawg

February 6th, 2010
1:12 pm

Mike is the bulldog that I knew personally. During the baseball games in the 50’s Mike use to wander through the bleachers begging for for peanuts. He use to come sit with some of us boys while the game was in progress. The baseball field in those days was where the basketball arena sits today. He wore the wide spiked collar.

123456789

February 6th, 2010
1:22 pm

Only One. Jan Kemp.

jeffrey d

February 6th, 2010
1:23 pm

Herschel definitely. I’d say Pollack too.

jimmy

February 6th, 2010
1:32 pm

iagree with joe jake scott and also fran tarkington

curious

February 6th, 2010
1:33 pm

only statues of the heisman winners. you start putting up statues of other players w/ less credentials and you open yourself up to criticism from other fanbases. an example, though pollack was a great player (3-time all american) and representative of the university, there’s really only one award/accomplishment that people remember who won each year.

David Granger

February 6th, 2010
1:34 pm

My initial feeling is that there should be NO statues at UGA. I’d like to see us hold ourselves to higher standards than other programs, who just can’t wait to slap statues and plaques all around. But if we have to put up a statue, then make it of some unidentified offensive lineman…tired and sweat-streaked after a hard game. Call it something like “Bulldog Pride”. We’re Georgia, damnit…not one of these lesser universities, and we should ACT like it.

Irked ERK

February 6th, 2010
1:43 pm

Erk Russell period without him Dooley has no MNC

PhilDawg

February 6th, 2010
1:43 pm

Hershel
Sinkwich
Trippi
Butts
Dooley

If it takes more than one name to describe, no BUST!

Klocken Locker

February 6th, 2010
1:45 pm

Born, raised near Jacksonville and I can tell you that Florida has been great these past few years but Gator history? Nothing. Before Spurrier became coach nothing happened in Gainesville and if you don’t believe me, look at the records. And get ready, both FSU and Miami are regaining their old swagger and the Gators will shrink back to 3rd string. Now please, go look at the records.

Irked ERK

February 6th, 2010
1:46 pm

Errect a bust of Erk and players can rub his bloody bald head when they emerge from the side tunnel onto the football field

cobradawg

February 6th, 2010
1:47 pm

I think a walk of fame in the new Reed ally would be nice. Don’t forget Terry Hoage.

A long one !!!! Oh my Gawd !!!

February 6th, 2010
1:50 pm

Kicker Kevin Butler

KJ

February 6th, 2010
2:05 pm

“Hershal (I sell chicken) Walker can’t hold Tim Tebows jock strap..No player who leaves early should have his number retired or have a statue. ”

I’d rather our athletes sell chicken than pro-life propaganda any day of the week.

And don’t kid yourself chump, Teblow would have left early in a second, it’s just that nobody leaves early just to be a career clipboard holder.

Damn good Dawg

February 6th, 2010
2:13 pm

Erk Russell and he should be on vince dooley’s shoulders, he is most responsible for all the wins.

especially the National Championship. How many times did vince get ahead by seven points or

less and sit on it, knowing Erk would take charge. The great motivator.

Mike Adams

February 6th, 2010
2:17 pm

How about a Joe Cox statue!

Junkyard Hawg

February 6th, 2010
2:18 pm

How about a statue of the NCAA president, since he’s spent so many times reviewing Ugag violations over the years.

jesse james

February 6th, 2010
2:22 pm

Instead of individual honors, I would like to see the top teams in each sport honored. I agree with Coach Dooley’s statue. He did so much for the entire athletic program. When you start honoring individuals, somebody is always left out. Coach Dooley set the standards for athletics with his discipline and pride.

Murray County Mystic

February 6th, 2010
2:41 pm

how about statues of all the UGA fans in their black shirts crying while Bama kicks their azzez on national television…good times..

dawgonit

February 6th, 2010
2:41 pm

Gator Nation,

Did you ever actually see Herschel play? He gained 150 plus yards every game when EVERYBODY knew what was coming. He gained 150 yard in the Sugar Bowl with a injured shoulder and Georgia only completed one pass in the game for 11 yard. Herschel was the whole offense.

Tebow is a great college player. But he has succeeded with a lot of talent around him. Tebow would have probably left early too if he would have been a top draft pick. Any kid that doesn’t leave early to become an instant millionaire is an idiot or is getting bad advice.

Herschel is the greatest I ever saw.