Archive for July, 2009

The price of going on the road with the Dogs . . .

So what does it cost to go on the road with the Bulldogs?

Georgia said Thursday that cumulative lifetime contributions to the Athletic Association of at least $21,950 were required to gain the right to buy tickets from UGA’s allotment to the Oct. 10 football game at Tennessee. Getting tickets through UGA for the Sept. 5 season opener at Oklahoma State required contributions of at least $4,000.

On the other hand, Georgia said it was able to accommodate all orders from contributors for the Sept. 19 game at Arkansas. Cutoffs haven’t been calculated yet for games at Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech and in Jacksonville against Florida.

Georgia earlier said that $4,205 in lifetime contributions were required to gain the right to buy first-time home season tickets this year. And what about season-ticket holders who wanted to purchase additional single-game tickets to, say, the Oct. 3 home game against LSU? That required contributions of $32,500 to qualify.

Georgia said lifetime …

Continue reading The price of going on the road with the Dogs . . . »

Pregame, postgame shows checking in to hotel

ISP,  Georgia’s new radio rights holder, continues to develop plans for this fall’s football broadcasts.

Jeff Huffman, general manager of ISP’s Georgia operation, tells me that portions of an expanded four-hour pregame show and two-hour postgame show will air at home games from the Hotel Indigo opening soon in downtown Athens.  Other portions of the shows will air from Sanford Stadium, as in the past.

The boutique hotel is located at 500 College Avenue.

Georgia has said that Loran Smith and Neil Williamson will continue in their roles as hosts of the pregame show, and WSB-TV sports anchor Chuck Dowdle told me last night that he will join the postgame radio show to conduct the locker-room interviews with coach Mark Richt and players. Georgia also has said that Smith will continue as sideline reporter during games.

There is more to come in terms of on-air talent. Huffman said contracts are still being finalized.

Between the pregame and postgame shows -– and, oh yes, the …

Continue reading Pregame, postgame shows checking in to hotel »

Richt watches his words

   As Mark Richt walked to his red truck in the Cobb Galleria Centre parking deck after last night’s Greater Atlanta Bulldog Club meeting, he admitted that he’s more restrained about what he says at such gatherings than he used to be.

  “You gotta be more careful,” he said. “It’s just going to get blown way out of proportion [if you’re not].

   “I think in years past everybody would get on the old tour and you’d say a joke about a certain opponent. And it’d never get out there because it was just everybody having a little fun.

   “But then all of a sudden it becomes Internet [material]. You can’t even tell a good joke anymore without it becoming a big stinking deal. And so you got to be careful what you do.”

    The first question from the floor to Richt last night tested his caution: “Based on this year’s plan, how bad are we going to stomp Florida?”

   Richt did not, as Mark Bradley noted, take the Gator bait.

  Richt said he likes the fact the Dogs have an open date before …

Continue reading Richt watches his words »

Spurrier made sure he voted for A.J.

   Steve Spurrier might not have noticed that Tim Tebow’s name was missing from his pre-season All-SEC ballot.  But he made sure that A.J. Green’s name was on it.

   The South Carolina coach said the Georgia receiver was one of just two names he noticed on the ballot, which he said was filled out by an aide, before hastily signing off on it.

   “I can tell you two guys that were on there, A.J. Green and [Florida defensive end] Carlos Dunlap,” Spurrier said at SEC Media Days. “Those were the only two names I saw. I said, “That’s fine.’”

  – One more leftover from last week’s circus in Hoover, Ala.: Mark Richt was asked about preparing to face Oklahoma State’s defense, which last season ranked 93rd among the 119 Division I-A teams in total defense (allowing 405.5 yards per game) and 76th in scoring defense (allowing 28.1 points per game) but enters this season with a new coordinator, the veteran Bill Young.  “You look at where he’s been, and if it’s consistent [what he did] at …

Continue reading Spurrier made sure he voted for A.J. »

Mack Brown confirms commitment to Florida while on visit

The answer came in two tiny words on a text message.

“Yes sir,” Mack Brown wrote.

His response was to the question, “Did you commit to Florida tonight?”

And indeed he did. That was the word from Brown, generally considered the top running back in the state, just a few minutes before midnight Friday. I got the exact same reply a few minutes earlier from his coach at Martin Luther King High, Corey Jarvis.

The amazing part is I had gotten a totally different indication about 10 hours earlier. Speaking by cell phone just a short while before going onto Florida’s campus to take part in the Gators’ “Friday Night Lights” camp and recruiting activities, I asked Brown if he planned to commit that night or was he going to come back to Atlanta and mull the decision between them and Georgia. As at least a few of you read here, he plainly stated, “Nah, I’m just going to take everything in.”

So whether that was Brown’s plan all along or he was simply overwhelmed by what was surely an …

Continue reading Mack Brown confirms commitment to Florida while on visit »

Dogs picked 2nd in East; Gators unanimous No. 1

   Hoover, Ala. – Florida is the unanimous pick to win the SEC East and an almost unanimous pick to win the SEC Championship Game, according to a vote by media members who cover the league.

    In the vote, announced this morning at SEC Football Media Days,  Florida got all 64 votes to win the East  and 63 of 64 votes to win the title game.

     Georgia was predicted to finish second in the East,  with South Carolina third, Tennessee fourth, Vanderbilt fifth and Kentucky sixth.

     Alabama was picked by the media to win the Western Division, followed, in order, by LSU, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Auburn and Mississippi State.  Alabama got 33 votes to win the West, while LSU and Ole Miss split the others.

   The one vote that did not go to Florida to win the SEC championship went to Ole Miss.

   Also today, the media’s preseason All-SEC team was announced.

   Receiver A.J. Green was the only Georgia player named to the first team, while offensive linemen Clint Boling and Trinton …

Continue reading Dogs picked 2nd in East; Gators unanimous No. 1 »

Sorting out the SEC’s TV puzzle

   Hoover, Ala. — Amid the piles of paper produced for distribution at SEC Media Days, there’s an instructive grid detailing television arrangements for the first three weeks of the SEC season.  By my count, those games will appear on seven different networks (CBS, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FSN and CSS).  Then there’s one game per week that doesn’t go on a network per se, but rather to a syndicate of local stations in 73 markets around the country (including Peachtree TV in Atlanta).  And there’s one game per school per season that is reserved for pay-per-view.

  Got all that?

   Starting times run the gamut from noon ET  to 10:30 p.m. ET (LSU at Washington Sept. 5 on ESPN). On Sept. 5, from the noon start of the Kentucky-Miami (Ohio) game on ESPNU  to the late finish of the LSU-Washington game, SEC football will be on TV for about 14 consecutive hours.

   Better make sure you’ve got extra batteries for the remote control.

    Almost two-thirds of the games in the first three …

Continue reading Sorting out the SEC’s TV puzzle »

Hello from SEC Media Days; Gators in FSN South opener

   Hoover, Ala. – First morsels from SEC Media Days, which officially get underway in a few minutes:

  – Atlanta-based FSN South, which will televise seven SEC football games this year under a deal with ESPN, gets these games the first three weeks: Charleston Southern at Florida on Sept. 5, Mississippi State at Auburn on Sept. 12 and Mississippi State at Vanderbilt on Sept. 19.  All air at 7 p.m.  Just ran into Bob Rathbun, the Hawks voice who will call play-by-play on the FSN games, and he’s excited about adding the seven football games to his workload.

– Peachtree TV (WPCH), which will be the Atlanta home for a package of SEC noon football games  being syndicated under the brand of “SEC Network,” gets these games the first three weeks: Western Kentucky at Tennessee on Sept. 5, Troy at Florida on Sept. 12 and North Texas at Alabama on Sept. 19. Veteran SEC announcer Dave Neal will call play-by-play on the syndicated games.

  –  And just to reiterate if you’ve lost track: …

Continue reading Hello from SEC Media Days; Gators in FSN South opener »

50 days to Opening Day! And only one A.J.

   ATHENS – An offshoot of A.J. Green’s remarkable freshman season is the buzz about whether another UGA rookie receiver could have a similar impact this year. But for all the talk about the  talents of incoming freshmen Marlon Brown, Rantavious Wooten and Orson Charles, the veteran receiver Michael Moore introduced a bit of wise perspective to the discussion yesterday.

   “It’s really not fair to compare anybody to A.J. Green right now,” said Moore, a senior. “That’d be putting too much pressure on somebody.”

  That said, Moore praised what he has seen this summer from Brown, Wooten and Charles:  “I really feel all three of them can make plays. Marlon — you throw it up, and he’s going to get it. Wooten –- he’s a fast, quick guy; put the ball in space and he can make something happen.  And Orson –- he’s a hard worker, a nitty-gritty guy . . . a big body who can also run.”

   But as to whether any of them could possibly have an A.J.-like impact, “just come in and work hard and …

Continue reading 50 days to Opening Day! And only one A.J. »

Season-ticket renewal rate: 97 percent

  – How many football season tickets turned over at Georgia this year because of non-renewals? 1,560, according to Alan Thomas, associate AD for external operations.  That compares to just 805 last year and 1,450 in 2007. “Yes, the number [almost] doubled [from last year], but it’s back in line with where it has been historically,” Thomas said. “Last year was the anomaly.”

  – After student seats, faculty/staff seats, visitors’ seats and comps are accounted for, about 53,500 Sanford Stadium seats are available as season tickets to donors.  So the renewal rate this year, although the lowest in three years, was 97 percent.  By comparison, pro sports teams generally consider an 85 percent renewal rate to be cause for major celebration, even in good economic times.

  –  Those who bought new UGA season tickets this year had to have made cumulative lifetime contributions of  at least $4,205 to the Athletic Association’s “Hartman Fund.” While that is less than half of last year’s …

Continue reading Season-ticket renewal rate: 97 percent »

Fox hires former Kentucky player, two others

    A quick bit of basketball news tonight:

   Mark Fox has completed his first UGA staff by hiring three people from his past for support personnel positions.  The hires: Kent Davison, who coached Fox in the late 1980s at Garden City Community College in Kansas, as director of basketball operations; Mark Pope, who played at the University of Washington when Fox was an assistant there, as operations coordinator; and Todd Okeson, who was recruited by Fox to play  at Nevada, as graduate assistant.

  The hires, announced Tuesday, follow Fox’s earlier naming of three assistant coaches.

   Davison’s long coaching career includes stints as head coach of three NBA Developmental League teams and, most recently, as coach of the Qatar national team. Fox played for Davison at Garden City CC before transferring to Eastern New Mexico. Davison was a Garden City assistant when Fox was there and later became head coach.

  Pope played two seasons at Washington, where Fox was beginning his …

Continue reading Fox hires former Kentucky player, two others »