ATHENS – Help is on the way for Georgia’s beleaguered football team.
New mascot Uga VIII is scheduled to make his long-awaited debut at the Oct. 16 homecoming game against Vanderbilt in Sanford Stadium, Sonny Seiler told the AJC today. Seiler, of Savannah, owns the line of white English bulldogs that have served as Georgia’s mascot since 1956.
Seiler said the plan is to hold a “collaring” ceremony for Uga VIII before kickoff of the Vanderbilt game. He said UGA President Michael Adams, athletic director Greg McGarity, Seiler family members and interim mascot “Russ” will participate in the ceremony.
Seiler said he could not provide details about Uga VIII until next week, when he said the university will issue a news release and distribute a photograph. The photo will be taken in Savannah later this week, he said.
Seiler did offer a couple of hints today, saying Uga VIII is a “big” dog and a direct descendant of Uga VI.
Seiler previously had said there were several candidates to be Uga VIII but that all were too young to assume the role at the start of the season.
Uga VII died unexpectedly on Nov. 19, 2009, of heart-related causes.
Russ, UGA VII’s 5-year-old half-brother, has been serving as fill-in mascot while the Seiler family identified and readied the next Uga. Russ was said to be too old to be considered for the role of Uga VIII.
Georgia has a record of 3-4 with Russ as its mascot — 2-0 at the end of last season and 1-4 so far this season.