The success of UGA football’s Young Alumni Program, which took frequently unused seats away from the student body’s ticket allotment and made them available to recent graduates, ought to send a loud and clear message to the undergrads:
Show up for games, or there might be even fewer student tickets sold in the future.
The young alums program, instituted for the coming football season, offered those who graduated from the University of Georgia within the past five years (May 1, 2008-May 31, 2013) the opportunity to request renewable season tickets for football without having to make the usual required donation.
The 2,000 tickets in question, previously part of the 16,000 allotted to students, are those in the northeast upper level of Sanford Stadium, where UGA averaged about 6,000 empty seats last year. That was especially embarrassing to the university on television.
Ticket applications are being sent Friday via e-mail to those young alums whose eligibility was validated, and their orders are due back June 3. Since UGA got more requests than they have tickets, the seats will be doled out in a lottery this summer.
Some 3,500 young alums signed up for the chance to buy the 2,000 seats, UGA athletic director Greg McGarity told the Athens Banner-Herald.
The AD noted that “with two tickets a person, that just shows that we could’ve moved 7,000 tickets.”
McGarity added: “We only have 2,000 available this first year, but who’s not to say that if students’ attendance continues to decline that we may up that number in the future.”
Those students who do show up for the games are usually the loudest and most supportive fans in Sanford Stadium, so it’ll be a shame if fewer UGA undergrads get the chance to attend Bulldogs football games in the future. But the student body will only have itself to blame.
Bottom line: Those students who get tickets to the games this season would do well to use them or turn them back in by the deadline so they can be resold.
Meanwhile, the William C. Hartman Fund raised more than $23 million in donations this year, surpassing last year, with 500 new donors welcomed to the Georgia Bulldog Club. The season ticket assignment process began this week and generally takes well over a month to complete.
A detailed announcement concerning season tickets, parking, and availability of single home-game, and away-game tickets will be made in mid-summer, the Bulldog Club says. Tickets will be mailed in August.
The incredibly frustrating story of UGA offensive lineman Kolton Houston’s battle to regain his NCAA eligibility, taken away because of his body’s inability to get rid of a banned substance he was given for an injury in high school, will be featured on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” at 9 a.m. Sunday.
And the story of Albert Hollis II, another Bulldog football player whose career didn’t go as planned, was featured this week on USA Today’s high school page.
Hollis, now known as Dynast Amir, was a highly ranked running back when he came to Athens in the fall of 2000, but during spring practice in 2001 he dislocated his right knee while making a cut, severing his hamstring muscle, multiple ligaments and stretching his peroneal nerve.
After three years of therapy, he drew a standing ovation from fans for gaining 6 yards on his first carry in a G-Day game, but residual nerve damage limited his effectiveness and ultimately he gave up football even though he had not used up all his eligibility.
The USA Today story looks at what he’s done with his life since then. It’s worth a read.
Got something you want to discuss concerning the upcoming football season or some other aspect of UGA athletics? Or maybe a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? If so, send it to email@example.com.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg