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

Hey Dogtards

February 6th, 2010
2:47 pm

Hey Junkyard – you need to look up what a “consensus” championship means. You claim uga won one under Butts in 1942, but that simply isn’t accurate.

First – “consensus” championships didn’t exist until 1950, when the coaches poll was born (and there were at least two consensus polls to vote a champion). Thus, a 1942 team can’t have won one.

Second, even if they did exist in 1942, that honor would have belonged to Ohio State – NOT uga. Selectors used to determine teams listed as “Consensus National Champions” in the NCAA record book include the AP Poll, Coaches’ Poll, Football Writers Association of America, and the National Football Foundation/College Football Hall of Fame.

Ohio State, in 1942, was #1 in the AP Poll. Remarkably (despite your unsupported contentions otherwise), uga was not voted #1 by a single poll in 1942. Rather (again) that honor belonged primarily to Ohio State, who was voted #1 in 3 polls. Wisconsin was voted #1 by the other poll that existed in 1942.

Murray County Mystic

February 6th, 2010
2:50 pm

dogonit, your Hershel story says in a nutshell how pathetic the Dooley/Russell regime was…The Tebow/Meyer era is by far the most legendary in the last 30 years (stretched it out 30 years just so we could include UGA’s glory time, all be it short-lived, in the conversation)…

Rich

February 6th, 2010
2:50 pm

If a player does not receive a degree, they should not be included. There is no reason they cannot finish after a pro career.

Hey Dogtards

February 6th, 2010
2:51 pm

Also (albeit coming from a GT fan), I would only put up a statue of Herschel. Others might have been “DGD”s as you say, but I think statues stand for coaches/players who define a program. Pollack doesn’t define uga’s program. He hardly defines a decade. To me, Herschel is THE defining player at uga. Dooley is the other defining character.

Rich

February 6th, 2010
2:52 pm

I have searched the web and the only place I can find UGA as the 1942 NC is on UGA websites. What is the truth? Looks like UGA only has one NC.

Dr. Phil

February 6th, 2010
2:53 pm

I would contribute to a statue of Mike Adams with his hand in the Arch Fund cookie jar.

Another Dawg

February 6th, 2010
2:55 pm

Hey dogtards: Georgia had 8 of 14 major polls in 1942, and an 11-1 record vs. Ohio State’s 9-1 and Wisconsin’s 8-1-1. Your information is simply false, nevermind illogical.

jayjay

February 6th, 2010
2:55 pm

I’d like to start a campaign….how about we (UGA) hire the University of Oregon cheerleading coach. God knows with the football team we are likely to have we could use some improved entertainment/distraction on the sidelines. Lets sex those cheerleaders up a bit, like at Oregon. Screw the gymnastic abilities…..

Another Dawg

February 6th, 2010
2:56 pm

More importantly, even though we’ve finished with #1 rankings in various polls over the years, the 1942 championship was recognized by the NCAA.

Murray County Mystic

February 6th, 2010
2:57 pm

hey another dawg…you cannot claim wartime championships as legitimate…well, when you have only one to brag about, maybe so…

Rich

February 6th, 2010
2:59 pm

We do not claim all of the losses to Tech, we can claim anything we want. If you repeat it enough, it becomes the truth.

cheerleading

February 6th, 2010
2:59 pm

Fully on board jayjay. What is it with cheerleaders as “athletes”? Screw that. I want eye candy!

Buddy El

February 6th, 2010
3:01 pm

HEY DAWGTARDS: ONE OUT OF ONE IS “CONSENSUS”.

eyecandy!

February 6th, 2010
3:05 pm

I second the motion. Sex up the UGA cheerleaders! Drop the male cheerleaders. Females only. Forget those cute little sorority girls…..get a few of those that know how to get down and dirty. Guarantee will boost morale and increase ticket sales

Jeff

February 6th, 2010
3:06 pm

Freddie Gilbert, Hugh Durham, Vern Fleming

A statue for a traitor?

February 6th, 2010
3:14 pm

So, next fall when Dooley is cheering for his son and the Vols, can we paint that statue of his orange and paint traitor on it? I’ll buy the paint.

1eyedJack

February 6th, 2010
3:20 pm

Statues are so yesterday.

CountryDawg

February 6th, 2010
3:22 pm

What about Dan Magill?

Why statues?

February 6th, 2010
3:22 pm

How bout this? I was at the new Colts stadium this past summer for four days, and if you haven’t been there, its amazing. Instead of statues, they had pictures and murals all over the place of different plays from the Colts history and different great players. In addition to this, there were also some wrappings around different columns and on walls of other events at the stadium, showing off the diversity of the uses of the facility. I would love to walk around Sanford stadium and see different pictures and paintings of great moments and players in UGA history, both football and other sports. That way, you can put all the stuff that you guys are talking about up there, without having like 50 statues all over the place. If Alabama wants to put up statues, let them. But that doesn’t mean we have to do the same. Kinda like taking Auburn’s tiger walk and turning it into the Dawg Walk. Lame. Lets be UGA, and do things our way.

"Last Call" Scott Hall

February 6th, 2010
3:42 pm

Jasper Sanks

Quincy Carter

Joe Terishinski

Joe Cox

and

Mark Richt’s tanning bed

wild bill

February 6th, 2010
3:45 pm

should be “pulpwood” smith or jan kemp

gadawg

February 6th, 2010
3:51 pm

Gator Nation, suck it up, Hershel did what Timmy did in just 3 years. From now own he will be refered to as fumble dumble Tebow get used to it.

chazzo

February 6th, 2010
3:51 pm

Dominique Wilkins!!!

gadawg

February 6th, 2010
3:51 pm

Correction, that should be from now on.

tweenthehedges

February 6th, 2010
3:56 pm

I can’t believe no one has mentioned Fran “the man” Tarkenton. Maybe there aren’t enough old guys around who respond in this format.

shane#1

February 6th, 2010
4:07 pm

Traitor, any father that doesn’t support his own, especially when it involves something as trivial as a ballgame, does not deserve to be called a father. I would like to see a walk of fame with busts of UGA greats along both walls with a plaque describing the accomplishments of each person. “Catfish” Smith, Tripi, Sinkwich, Rauch, Bratowski, “General” George Patton, Stanfill, Scott, Walker, Green, and many others deserve mention. How about Ward? Ward played three different posistions in the same year because of injurys. At one time or another he was TB, WR, and QB. What about Champ Bailey? It would be hard to choose among so many greats.

Chief

February 6th, 2010
4:17 pm

Probably a bust because that’s what UGA programs usually turn out to be

shane#1

February 6th, 2010
4:17 pm

bTW, to whoever made the comment about wartime championships. pearl Harbor was hit on 07 Dec, 1941, AFTER the regular seasn. UGA beat UCLA in the Rose Bowl on 01 Jan 1942. Lt Tommy Witt was the first former Bulldog player KIA in October of that year.

59bulldawg

February 6th, 2010
4:29 pm

With all my heart let it be Erk Russell!

KJ

February 6th, 2010
5:04 pm

Shane, that’s not very nice, you’re confusing the trolls with facts.

“I have searched the web and the only place I can find UGA as the 1942 NC is on UGA websites. What is the truth? Looks like UGA only has one NC.”

Um, this took me about 10 seconds, you fail at the internet. 6 polls voted UGA #! in 1942, same as OSU:

http://collegefootball.about.com/od/nationalchampions/a/champions-list_3.htm

“If you repeat it enough, it becomes the truth.”

Indeed.

Murray County Mystic

February 6th, 2010
5:07 pm

Sorry for my terrible posts guys, I inhaled too many carpet fumes today… or maybe that was just the meth talking.

Lenny in Ludowici

February 6th, 2010
5:12 pm

I’m still laughing about the Dooley statue. Mr Mediocrity himself. Compare his accomplishments over the 25 years in Athens with the guy over in Tuscaloosa. 5 or 6 SEC Championships. 11 seasons with 4 or more losses. And lest we forget…. the championship season schedule definitely favored UGA in that the road to New Orleans bypassed, you guessed it, Alabama. I still remember the calls for Vince’s head back in the 70’s with his “3 yards and a cloud of dust” offense. Russell deserves that statue more than Dooley.

Hey Dogtards

February 6th, 2010
5:16 pm

Another Dawgtard said “Hey dogtards: Georgia had 8 of 14 major polls in 1942, and an 11-1 record vs. Ohio State’s 9-1 and Wisconsin’s 8-1-1. Your information is simply false, nevermind illogical.”

My information is simply false / illogical? You must be stupid, son. Those eight “polls” you refer to aren’t polls.* They are mathematical systems / rankings, not unlike (and in fact including) the Sagarin Ratings. In other words, determined by algorithms created by a single person. A poll refers to humans voting.

I’m not sure what information is “simply false” or even “illogical.” There was only one major poll in 1942, the AP. The AP chose Ohio State as its national champion. You can’t argue otherwise.

Like I said above, the consensus national champion has been determined based on 4 polls: the AP (1936-present), the Coaches Poll (1950-present), the Football Writer’s Association of America (1954-present), and the National Football Foundation / College Football Hall of Fame (1959-1990, 1995-present).

The reason there was no “consensus” national champion prior to 1950 is that only one of the four consensus polls existed – the AP. Even if there was a “consensus” champion (which there wasn’t), it would be Ohio State – not uga.

Don’t believe me? Go to p. 74 of the link below. That “ncaa.org” part means its official. See how none of the “major selectors” existed before 1950, with the exception of the AP Poll? See how in 1942 it says “Ohio St.”

More importantly, see how it lists “consensus” national champions on p. 77 and starts at 1950?

Again, as supported by both logic AND fact. There was no consensus champion before 1950. If there were, it would have been Ohio St., not uga. Just cause it hurts your feelings doesn’t make it wrong or illogical.

http://web1.ncaa.org/web_files/stats/football_records/DI/2009/2009FBS.pdf

*The eight are the Berryman (QPRS), Billingsley Report, DeVold System, Houlgate System, Litkenhous, Poling System, Sagarin Ratings, and Williamson System.

Hey Dogtards

February 6th, 2010
5:21 pm

KJ said “6 polls voted UGA #! in 1942, same as OSU:”

Actually, no polls voted UGA #1 in 1942. As I said, uga was picked #1 by 8 math systems.* Of the four polls that existed at the time, three of them picked Ohio State and one picked Wisconsin.

Look, I’m not disputing that those 8 systems crunched some numbers and calculated uga at #1. I’m disputing i) that uga was somehow consensus champion some 8 years before a consensus championship even existed; and ii) that uga was somehow consensus champion without being voted #1 by any poll – a requisite of being a “consensus” champion.

*The eight are the Berryman (QPRS), Billingsley Report, DeVold System, Houlgate System, Litkenhous, Poling System, Sagarin Ratings, and Williamson System.

Matt from Suwanee

February 6th, 2010
5:24 pm

Can anyone else see a Baghdad-ish scene in a few years when angry Alabama people will storm the “Walk of Champions”? They will pull down the statue of Saddam Hussein.. err… I mean Nick Saban after he leaves in the middle of the night like he did in East Lansing, Baton Rouge, and Miami.

Tom

February 6th, 2010
5:35 pm

Another Dawg

February 6th, 2010
5:35 pm

I’ll be darned, dogtards is right. Guess we only have one national championship. Looks like I was the one whose statements were simply false and illogical. Man I wish I had gone to a better college that would have helped me think before I speak.

Lenny in Ludowici

February 6th, 2010
5:36 pm

Better take their flip flops away.

clemcudtlhopr

February 6th, 2010
5:43 pm

What a waste of time!

Bill King

February 6th, 2010
5:54 pm

CountryDawg:

I can’t recall if there’s a bust or anything of Dan Magill at the tennis stadium, but if there’s not, there certainly should be.

Bill King

February 6th, 2010
5:55 pm

eyecandy:

Last I looked, selling tickets wasn’t a problem.

Bill King

February 6th, 2010
6:00 pm

To Hey Dogtards:

The “consensus” claim is officially made by UGA on the basis, as the media guide puts it, that in 1942 Georgia was chosen “by at least half the recognized polls.”

CatsFly

February 6th, 2010
6:17 pm

How about a bust depicting a redneck lying at the feet of an “unknown UGa player”.? That would best reflect the UGa fan following.

Hey Dogtards

February 6th, 2010
6:39 pm

Bill – I understand claiming it as a championship. Calling it “consensus” is a bit of a misnomer, though, given that the NCAA has defined what a consensus championship is. Particularly when the only existing piece of a consensus championship, the AP poll, went with Ohio State.

Lefty

February 6th, 2010
6:58 pm

Who built the winningest UGA sports program in history(Mens Tennis-6 NCAA Championships-32 SEC Championships-77 All-Americans) and the finest Collegiate Tennis facility in the USA?
Dan Magill!!!
Hands down he is known far and wide and the most knowledgeable Bulldog about all things UGA. Former assnt AD, Sports Info Director and Current Curator of the NCAA Tennis Hall of Fame (which he had built adjacent to the finest tennis facility in the land!)

Monticello Dawg

February 6th, 2010
7:06 pm

I would say any coach that won a national title would get one, though that might not be practical with the large number involved. Some others would obviously be deserving, even without a national title. Going by the national championship criterion you would have Vince Dooley, Steve Webber, Suzanne Yoculan, Dan Magill, Manuel Diaz, Jeff Wallace, Jack Bauerle, Chris Haack, and a couple of others cannot think of right now, including women’s golf coach.

You can easily see that at a school that churns out NCs like UGA, statues may not be the way to go.

Dan Magill should get one regardless, as he is the most influential tennis coach in NCAA history.

Monticello Dawg

February 6th, 2010
7:17 pm

In reference to my previous post, has any SEC school won national titles in as many different sports as Georgia? We have football, baseball, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s swimming, and gymnastics. Multiple titles in at least 4 of those sports.

More Bulldog points of pride. Lady Dog swimming team has now won 69 (or is it 70) straight meets at UGA. The men’s tennis team has a 65 match winning streak at home.

wally buttz

February 6th, 2010
7:33 pm

Shreveport Sam

February 6th, 2010
7:34 pm

Jasper Sanks!

Murray County Mystic

February 6th, 2010
7:41 pm

hey ShreveportSam and Catsfly….great ideas from both!