Georgia and Florida won’t be taking advantage of a new SEC rule change for recruiting when they play yearly in Jacksonville.
The SEC amended its rules last week to allow member schools to give complimentary tickets to recruits if they were the “home team” for a game at a neutral site. It was already permissible by the NCAA.
Despite the potential recruiting benefits, Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity said both schools have reached an agreement to not provide recruiting tickets for the annual showdown because of logistical concerns.
“It’s very difficult to do that on the road, as far as personnel and tickets involved,” McGarity said. “Right now, it’s such a difficult ticket for that game, and you would need in the neighborhood of 500-600 tickets for recruits that you would have to free up. Obviously, those seats would have to be good seats.
Georgia gets approximately 40,000 tickets for the game, and has sold out its allotment for the last 20 years.
“Who do you take those recruiting tickets from? You’re not going to take your top boosters and bump them,” McGarity said. “That’s a lot of tickets. And what’s the final number? All of sudden, if you have [a top recruit] come in and you can’t accommodate them, what do you tell them? There’s just more flexibility when you’re at home, and you already have your support staff and amenities in place on your campus.
“I don’t think either institution is in a position right now to go down that road.”
UGA traditionally recruits heavily in the Jacksonville area and state of Florida. This past February, the Bulldogs signed 5-star offensive lineman John Theus from Jacksonville. UGA’s top commitment for 2013, RB Derrick Henry, lives about 30 miles above the city.
It’s an interesting decision because it would’ve allowed many Florida prospects attracted to UGA to see the Bulldogs in person without having to make the long drive to Athens.
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