Three items to start the day:
Plans are “being finalized” to move Georgia’s spring football game back a week to April 16, UGA athletic director Greg McGarity told me as we waited at Hartsfield-Jackson for a (delayed) flight to Memphis on Monday. The Masters will be played April 7-10.
The G-Day game has been played on Masters Saturday the past couple of years. McGarity figures G-Day will benefit in terms of attendance and media attention by not overlapping the Masters.
He said the shift worked best for the football program because UGA’s spring-semester classes will start later than a year ago – Jan. 10 instead of Jan. 7 — and added that eliminating the conflict with the Masters is a “byproduct” of the change.
“It allows us to make sure we get every bit of off-season conditioning that we can get in place [before spring practice],” McGarity said. “Allows us to take advantage of everything we can, the timing of it.”
Former athletic director Damon Evans instituted a strict class-attendance and academic-appointment policy in January 2007 in an effort to improve graduation rates among UGA athletes. The policy calls for a student-athlete in any sport to be suspended for 10 percent of the season (rounded down) if, in any semester, he or she has three unexcused absences from class or five missed appointments with an academic adviser, tutor or mentor. King violated the missed-appointments provision, UGA said.
Georgia figures it can use close to 6,000 tickets, including sales (about 4,800 as of the latest accounting) and comps for players, staff and guests. But that leaves at least another 4,000 tickets in UGA’s 10,000-seat allotment. The SEC will cover the cost of up to 3,000 unsold tickets, leaving Georgia responsible for at least 1,000 more at $50 apiece.