Archive for June, 2011

UGA: Brent Benedict free to transfer anywhere he wants

Brent Benedict has been granted an unconditional release by the University of Georgia, Athletic Director Greg McGarity confirmed Tuesday.

McGarity

McGarity

The redshirt freshman offensive lineman from Jacksonville is free to transfer to any school of his choosing, and that includes Florida or Georgia Tech or any of the Bulldogs’ bitter rivals.

Such is the athletic department’s policy under McGarity. If a student-athlete is unhappy at UGA, then he’s free to seek happiness elsewhere, he said.

“I bring the same philosophy as we had at Florida,” said McGarity, who was an associate AD for the Gators for 18 years before returning to his alma mater last year. “If a kid’s not happy, we just want him to be happy. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I don’t care where he goes. These four or five years are the supposed to be the best and most important of these kids’ lives and they need to be happy.”

As for Benedict’s depature, McGarity said, “Things just didn’t work out. I’m sympathetic to that. …

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UGA’s Mark Fox unaware of eligibility issues for top basketball recruit until Columbus report

Just talked to Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox on the SEC’s summer teleconference call with coaches.

I was able to get in only two questions — writers from all over the league participate — but the first thing I asked him about was, of course, the eligibility issues suddenly surrounding the Bulldogs’ prized recruit, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Specifically, I asked Fox when he was made aware that there may be some issues and if he anticipated the five-star shooting guard from Greenville would be subject to NCAA suspension.

“Really I was just made aware of that yesterday,” Fox said Monday. “Obviously we’ll cooperate with the process. I really can’t speculate on what penalty there will be if there is one.”

I also asked Fox where he thought the team’s scoring will come from this season with the loss of last year’s top two point producers — Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins — to the NBA draft.

“That’s the question,” he said. “We did lose a lot of scoring and I think any coach would …

Continue reading UGA’s Mark Fox unaware of eligibility issues for top basketball recruit until Columbus report »

Richt in Honduras: A trip that changes lives

In case you missed it, here’s Steve Hummer’s Sunday AJC story from his trip to Honduras with Georgia coach Mark Richt and his wife, Katharyn.

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Mark Richt doesn’t squander tears on a football game.

What is there in a game to make a man cry? Lose to Central Florida on the last day of 2010, come back and try to make it right next September. That’s a challenge, not a tragedy.

Wednesday, far away from the fields of the SEC, Richt cried.

The Georgia football coach stood holding hands with his wife, Katharyn, in a small, crumbling schoolroom off a cratered dirt road that ran up the face of an unnamed Honduran hillside. A man whose language they did not understand was shouting a prayer as if trying to rattle the floorboards of heaven.

So this is what it takes to break down one of college football’s most stoic coaches.

Carlos Cantarero, the rare Baptist preacher in a Catholic land, was very much on his game that day. Dressed in white from neck to pants cuffs, one …

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Redshirt freshman OL Brent Benedict leaving UGA for ‘personal reasons’

Georgia’s already-precarious situation on the offensive line just got more precarious.

Benedict

Benedict

Brent Benedict, a redshirt freshman offensive lineman from Jacksonville and a former five-star recruit, left the team due to “personal reasons,” head coach Mark Richt said in a news release on Sunday. Benedict (6-foot-5, 312-pounds) was slated to back up Chris Burnette at right guard. He signed as a tackle.

Benedict did not return calls and texts seeking comment. Richt, who just returned from a mission trip to Honduras, was not available to comment.

Benedict was medically cleared this spring after a two-year rehabilitation of a major knee injury that occurred his senior year at The Bolles School. Indications are there has been some differences over how much and what kind of off-season training he should be doing as he prepared for his first active season on the field.

Georgia is now down to 13 scholarship offensive linemen, five of whom are true freshmen who just arrived on campus …

Continue reading Redshirt freshman OL Brent Benedict leaving UGA for ‘personal reasons’ »

UGA aware of accusations in Columbus that could affect eligibility of Jarvis Jones, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

A police investigation in Columbus has uncovered alleged illegal activity in the parks and recreation department there that may or may not affect the eligibility of Georgia football player Jarvis Jones and basketball signee Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported Sunday that an unauthorized bank account controlled by the parks director and one of his associates was used to pay for flights to and from Los Angeles for Jones while he was playing football for Southern Cal, and for the cell phone bill of Caldwell-Pope’s mother. Both Jones and Caldwell-Pope played AAU basketball for the Georgia Blazers, a “city-funded, Nike-sponsored” group overseen by parks director Tony Adams and Herman Porter.

Adams allegedly used the team’s credit card to pay for four flights for Jones to or from Los Angeles worth a total of $828 from June to October of 2009, according to the police investigation. Also, police allege Porter paid the $280 Verizon phone bill of Rhonda …

Continue reading UGA aware of accusations in Columbus that could affect eligibility of Jarvis Jones, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope »

Postcard from Honduras: No ticket for Boise State fan

POSTCARD FROM HONDURAS

Mark Richt was nearly 1,400 miles away from the Georgia Bulldogs’ practice fields this week, touring impoverished areas of Honduras served by the Christian charity organization World Vision International. It was his third visit to Honduras , but the first time any media has accompanied him. This is the last of daily postcards provided by AJC reporter Steve Hummer, who followed Richt and his wife Katharyn to chronicle their trip. Look for an in-depth report on Richt’s journey in Sunday’s AJC.


TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — The return to what in Mark Richt’s world passes for normalcy began Friday before he and his wife, Katharyn, boarded the plane for home.

In the Honduran countryside, no one knew Richt or really understood what he did for a living. You try explaining his job to someone with no knowledge of The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.

“Coach Mark,” he often was referred to, without any real concept of the title.

But in the …

Continue reading Postcard from Honduras: No ticket for Boise State fan »

UGA’s Trey Thompkins, Travis Leslie reunited in NBA by L.A. Clippers (UPDATED)

Criticism of his physical conditioning contributed to Georgia's Trey Thompkins dropping to the second round in Thursday night's NBA draft. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Criticism of his physical conditioning contributed to Georgia's Trey Thompkins dropping to the second round in Thursday night's NBA draft. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie thought they had left Georgia to pursue their NBA dreams separately. As it turns out, they’ll be reunited in Los Angeles after the Bulldogs’ star players were both drafted in the second round by the Clippers.

Thompkins, a 6-9, 240-pound power forward from Lithonia, was the first to go, but not until the37th pick. His call came at 10:45 p.m., or three hours and forty-five minutes after the NBA Draft show on ESPN began.

The call for Leslie, a 6-4 guard from Decatur, came 10 picks and nearly a half-hour later.

“Congrats to Trey and Travis on being drafted,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said via his Twitter account. “Never thought I’d say I was going to cheer for the Clippers. . . . I will now.”

Thompkins (17 points/8 rebounds) and Leslie (14/7) were the Bulldogs’ leading scorers and …

Continue reading UGA’s Trey Thompkins, Travis Leslie reunited in NBA by L.A. Clippers (UPDATED) »

Postcard from Honduras: This bank small but effective

POSTCARD FROM HONDURAS

Mark Richt was nearly 1,400 miles away from the Georgia Bulldogs’ practice fields this week, touring impoverished areas of Honduras served by the Christian charity organization World Vision International. It was his third visit to Honduras , but the first time any media has accompanied him. This is the last of daily postcards provided by AJC reporter Steve Hummer, who followed Richt and his wife Katharyn to chronicle their trip. Look for an in-depth report on Richt’s journey in Sunday’s AJC.

The Richts laugh as they listen to a presentation Thursday morning at the Better Future Community Bank in Gracias, Honduras. (Photo by Steve Hummer/steve@ajc.com)

The Richts laugh as they listen to a presentation Thursday morning at the Better Future Community Bank in Gracias, Honduras. (Photo by Steve Hummer/steve@ajc.com)

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Back home where he is somewhat well known for coaching a college football team, Mark Richt is in a position to hang out with some well-fed cats. He schmoozes with big boosters, does endorsement work for such corporate giants as Coke and Ford, is buddies with many of the …

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Postcard from Honduras: Milky water stirs Mark Richt’s passion to help

A sign clearly marks the dirt road leading to Mark and Katharyn Richt's visit to the small village of San Antonio. (Steve Hummer, steve@ajc.com)

A sign clearly marks the dirt road leading to Mark and Katharyn Richt's visit to the small village of San Antonio. (Steve Hummer, steve@ajc.com)

POSTCARD FROM HONDURAS

Mark Richt is nearly 1,400 miles away from the Georgia Bulldogs’ practice fields this week, touring impoverished areas of Honduras served by the Christian charity organization World Vision International. It is his third visit to Honduras , but the first time any media has accompanied him. This week AJC reporter Steve Hummer will be providing daily postcards as the Bulldogs’ coach views the world beyond the narrow focus of football. Look for an in-depth report on Richt’s journey in Sunday’s AJC.

GRACIAS, Honduras — Much of Tuesday’s tour involved areas long served by World Vision, but Wednesday was all about showing the “before” picture of poor rural life in Honduras.

It was an emotion-charged day for the Richts as they visited locations where World Vision had only just arrived. Several times Richt and his …

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Notebook: More strength & conditioning, NBA draft and Dooley on ‘Extreme Makeover’

Joe Tereshinski Jr. and AD Greg McGarity continue to restructure Georgia's strength and conditioning program. (Photo by 247Sports.com)

Joe Tereshinski Jr. and AD Greg McGarity continue to restructure Georgia's strength and conditioning program. (Photo by 247Sports.com)

Cleaning out the notebook . . .

Georgia’s strength and conditioning program was in the news again on Tuesday when it was announced that former Bulldog Tony Gilbert was hired as assistant director. Gilbert became the sixth football letterman to join the strength staff in some capacity since the end of last season. He joins director Joe Tereshinki Jr. (1974-76), full-time assistants John Kasay Sr. (1965-66) and Thomas Brown (2004-07), and Kendrell Bell (1999-2000) and Verron Haynes (2000-01) , NFL veterans who are helping out while they’re taking classes at UGA. (Keith Gray and Rex Bradberry, assistants under former director Dave Van Halanger, also remain on the staff.)

I constantly am being asked how Tereshinski and his staff may be training the Bulldogs differently than before. Tereshinski has declined interviews since spring practice began …

Continue reading Notebook: More strength & conditioning, NBA draft and Dooley on ‘Extreme Makeover’ »

Postcard from Honduras: UGA football’s reach extends to Latin America

Georgia football coach Mark Richt greets school children at La Buena Nueva (The New Life) School during his visit to Honduras. (AJC photo by Steve Hummer/steve@ajc.com)

Georgia football coach Mark Richt greets school children at La Buena Nueva (The New Life) School during his visit to Honduras. (AJC photo by Steve Hummer/steve@ajc.com)

POSTCARD FROM HONDURAS

Mark Richt is nearly 1,400 miles away from the Georgia Bulldogs practice field this week, touring impoverished areas of Honduras served by the Christian charity, World Vision International. It is his third visit to Honduras , but the first time any media has accompanied him. This week AJC reporter Steve Hummer will be providing daily postcards as the Bulldogs’ coach views the world beyond the narrow focus of football. Look for an in-depth report on this other side of Richt – one far removed from the gaudy excesses of big-time college football – in Sunday’s AJC.

La Esperanza , Honduras – Tuesday’s wake-up call was a rooster, a persistent pest outside the hotel that began calling in the new day at 4:30 a.m. Its constant crowing kept Richt awake the rest of the morning – making it the …

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Former LB Tony Gilbert the latest Bulldog to join UGA’s strength staff

Georgia continues to turn to its past for the future of its strength and conditioning program.

Gilbert

Gilbert

The Bulldogs on Tuesday made official the hiring of former player Tony Gilbert as assistant director of strength and conditioning. Gilbert, an NFL veteran who lettered for Georgia from 2000-02, has been working with the team for the past couple of weeks while awaiting the clearance of a background check.

“I’m thrilled to have Tony as part of our strength staff and program,” said Georgia coach Mark Richt, who is currently on a mission trip to Honduras. “His experience as a member of a UGA SEC championship team and an NFL player is a perfect combination for us. Our players will benefit greatly from his knowledge.”

Gilbert becomes the fourth new member of the ever-expanding strength staff. He joins director Joe Tereshinski, John Kasay Sr., Keith Gray, Thomas Brown and Rex Bradberry. Also assisting in the weight room as they attend classes at UGA are NFL veterans Kendrell Bell …

Continue reading Former LB Tony Gilbert the latest Bulldog to join UGA’s strength staff »

Video: Mark Richt’s mission, ‘pocket dialing’ and who’s next A.J. Green

Continue reading Video: Mark Richt’s mission, ‘pocket dialing’ and who’s next A.J. Green »

Richt in Honduras: Football soon far from his mind

Katharyn and Mark Richt arrived in Honduras Monday for week long charity trip. (Steve Hummer, steve@ajc.com

Katharyn and Mark Richt arrived in Honduras Monday for week long charity trip. (Steve Hummer, steve@ajc.com

Mark Richt is nearly 1,400 miles away from the Georgia Bulldogs practice field this week, touring impoverished areas of Honduras served by the Christian charity, World Vision International. It is his third visit to Honduras, but the first time any media has accompanied him. This week we will be providing daily postcards, as a coach views the world beyond the narrow focus of football. Look for an in-depth report on this other side of Richt – one far removed from the gaudy excesses of big-time college football – in Sunday’s AJC.

On the road to La Esperanza:

Sunday, Mark Richt celebrated Father’s Day at his Lake Hartwell home, enjoying the place while he can. That’s the same $2 million home he put up for sale in May, after deciding there were far more egalitarian uses for his money than supporting a second home.

Twenty-four hours later, he was flying into the Honduran …

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Rewind: Mark Richt heads south on mission to Honduras

THE MONDAY REWIND:

We have officially entered the dog days of summer as Georgia’s football coaches are trying to squeeze in a little vacation before the grind of recruiting evaluations and preseason preparation cranks up in earnest the first of July.

Georgia coach Mark Richt is putting his words into action this week. (AP photo)

Georgia coach Mark Richt is putting his words into action this week. (AP photo)

Georgia coach Mark Richt has, in fact, left the country. He and his wife Katharyn have embarked on a Christian mission to Honduras with the World Vision organization. You may recall my report late last month that Richt, after reading the World Vision book “The Hole in the Gospel,” decided to sell his $2 million Lake Hartwell property and use some of the proceeds to help the extremely impoverished. This trip is a result of that decision.

In the meantime, AJC reporter Steve Hummer is following the Richts on their five-day adventure to Central America. Hummer will be filing daily reports that you’ll be able to read here on AJC.com and he will chronicle …

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‘Pocket dialing,’ inadvertent texts result in NCAA violations for UGA

“Pocket dialing” and inadvertent text messages have generated a pile of paperwork for Georgia, the SEC and the NCAA the past two months.

According to documents obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Wednesday afternoon via the Freedom of Information Act, UGA had to report six secondary violations in five sports since April. Two of those violations were inadvertently committed in one instance last month by head football coach Mark Richt.

In Athletic Director Greg McGarity’s letter of explanation to the SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, dated May 27, he explains that Richt accidentally sent two text messages from his Blackberry to the father of football prospect Jordan Jenkins of Harris County on May 26th (text messages to prospects or their family members are impermissible per NCAA rules until one day after a prospect has signed a national letter of intent with the school). In the first instance, Richt received a text from Ron Jenkins asking for camp dates. Since Richt did not …

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Q&A: UGA’s Mark Richt, Christian Robinson talk up the 2011 football season

Georgia coach Mark Richt hopes more off-field accountability among the players could translate into more on-field victories this fall. (AJC photo)

Georgia coach Mark Richt hopes more off-field accountability among the players could translate into more on-field victories this fall. (AJC photo)

Q&A WITH MARK RICHT & PLAYERS

I had a bunch of in-office responsibilities yesterday and have been away from the blog today doing what us reporters do. So my apologies if you’ve been pining to read something UGA and have checked here only to find nothing. But while I was wiling away with clerical duties and in meetings yesterday, my hard-working colleagues Ken Sugiura and Meghan Rose were down in Macon soaking in the preseason football talk at the annual Peach State Pigskin Preview at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. And in addition to attending to the many teams and personalities represented there, they also were kind enough to listen in on the Bulldogs’ discussions. So in as raw a form as you can get it, here then is some of the Georgia stuff from that event. And don’t worry, I’m working on a few things here and there myself. …

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Rewind: UGA football recruiting gets kick in pants it needed

THE MONDAY MORNING REWIND:

Or in this case, what happened while I was away on vacation. . . .

Here’s one thing you can be assured of in this business: When you’re out on vacation, news will happen. Usually a lot of news.

So, of course, that was the case when I took off for the beach last week. I left immediately after the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla. I wrote that the SEC presidents went against the football coaches and voted to reduce the annual signee limit to 25, drove home, took my bags out of one car and put them in another and hit the road for the right coast early the next morning. So unplugged was I that it took me several days to realize that Mike Hamilton was out as AD at Tennessee.

I returned to civilization this past Saturday afternoon and I have gradually tried to get myself back up to speed on all things Georgia, etc. (nice to see the Braves get on a roll, huh?!) So please indulge me as I conduct a brief review of the UGA happenings while I was away and be …

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Competition between MLB teams to draft Johnathan Taylor, says report

The Texas Rangers selecting paralyzed UGA outfielder Johnathan Taylor in the 33rd round of Wednesday’s MLB Draft because “he deserved the honor of being drafted” was one of the feel-good stories of the summer (go here for full story).

The Rangers were universally praised for what UGA coach David Perno termed as a “classy move.”

However, Texas wasn’t the only organization thinking about honoring Taylor in the draft, according to a report by MLB.com’s Louie Horvath:

There seems to have been some competition between Major League teams to draft Taylor, but the Rangers sent out a special request to make sure they could team him with his close friend, [UGA outfielder Zach Cone, drafted in the first round by Texas].

“There were rumblings about other teams that were going to do it, and I guess Texas stepped in and kind of put the word out that they felt it was the right thing for them to do considering they got Zach,” Perno said. “It was really …

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Texas Rangers say paralyzed UGA OF ‘deserved to be drafted’

Georgia players gather around injured center fielder Jonathan Taylor before Saturday's first game against Florida in the SEC Tournament. (AP photo)

Georgia players gather around injured center fielder Jonathan Taylor at the SEC Tournament. (AP photo)

Georgia outfielder Johnathan Taylor, who was paralyzed after colliding with a teammate in March, was drafted by the Texas Rangers on Wednesday in the 33rd round of the MLB Draft.

“The kid, he’s obviously going through a tough time, and this was a way to let him know that people are thinking about him,” Ryan Coe, the Texas Rangers scout for Georgia, told the AJC.

“And you know what? The kid deserved to be drafted. He was a good player for all those years. He’s somebody we had interest in had he been healthy.

“He deserved the recognition to be drafted … that’s all I can say.”

The selection of Taylor was one of the feel-good stories of the three-day draft. In the first round, the Rangers used the No. 37 overall pick to take Georgia’s Zach Cone, who was involved in the devastating outfield collision with Taylor in a March 6 game against Florida State.

Cone and Taylor remain best …

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UGA golf team advances to NCAA final

Georgia's Harris English is 2-0 at this year's NCAA tournament as the Bulldogs will play Augusta State Sunday for the national title.

Georgia's Harris English is 2-0 at this year's NCAA tournament as the Bulldogs will play Augusta State Sunday for the national title. (Matt Barnard, The Tulsa World/AP)

From UGA sports communications:

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Georgia men’s golf team defeated Duke in the semifinals of the NCAA Championships on Saturday at Karsten Creek Golf Club and will play for the national title on Sunday against Augusta State.

The Bulldogs dispatched the Blue Devils 3-2 behind wins from seniors Harris English and Russell Henley and sophomore Bryden Macpherson. Augusta State, the 2010 national champion, knocked off home-standing Oklahoma State 3-2.

Sunday’s final match will be played at 1 p.m. Live scoring and video will be available at NCAA.com.

“It feels really good,” said English, who is 2-0 in the NCAAs this year. “It’s what we’ve been gearing up for all year. We’ve got three seniors (English, Henley and Hudson Swafford), and this is our final tournament. Having this …

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SEC presidents vote to cap football scholarships at 25 per year

DESTIN, FLA. – Southeastern Conference presidents on Friday introduced sweeping legislation that will radically alter the way the league’s football teams go about recruiting.

Starting next year, SEC teams will be allowed to sign only 25 football players to a national letter-of-intent. The period that encompasses will be changed to Dec. 1 to May 31 and will include mid-year and summer enrollees as well.

In all there were five proposals regarding football scholarships that the presidents voted on and enacted on Friday. You may need a lawyer to interpret the details regarding what they’re now calling “roster management.” But essentially the SEC office will be overseeing the scholarship process, including the issuance of medical exemption scholarships.

The SEC also voted to eliminate the one-year, postgraduate exception it instituted only a year ago.

“The goal here is to make sure that we can balance the equities between prospective student-athletes and our institutions,” SEC …

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Vigorous debate continues among SEC presidents

DESTIN, FLA. – And now, we wait.

The presidents are hunkered down in the executive boardroom here at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Resort and the athletic directors are gathered in the Emerald Room where they’ve been all week during the SEC Spring Meetings.

I just talked to SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and UGA President Michael Adams this morning and both said it would be after lunch before we get some real news.

Of course, over-signing and roster management have dominated the conversations here this week. But there are actually a lot of things on the table in front of the presidents today. Among the issues we expect to get some resolution on today include:

  • Anti-oversigning legislation
  • Elimination of divisional play in men’s basketball
  • Banning of 7-on-7 flag football tournaments from SEC campuses
  • Rescinding the exception for one-year, postgraduate transfers
  • Elimination of noise-making devices such as cowbells at football games.
  • We’ll find out the SEC revenue distribution for …

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Former UGA RB Washaun Ealey lands at Jacksonville State

Washaun Ealey has found a home.

Jacksonville State football coach Jack Crowe announced on Thursday that Ealey has enrolled in classes there and will compete for the Gamecocks this fall.

Ealey, a rising junior, was the Bulldogs’ leading rusher last year. He was granted an unconditional release by UGA coach Mark Richt after the two reached a “mutual decision” Ealey would be better off continuing his football career elsewhere.

Ealey was one of two SEC transfers to join the I-AA program this summer. Linebacker Clarence Jackson is coming to Jacksonville State from Ole Miss.

“Both of these players are experienced SEC players,” Crowe said. “We expect both of them to come in and make an immediate impact on our team.”

played in 21 games for Georgia with nine starts during his two seasons with the Bulldogs. He rushed for 1,528 yards and 14 touchdowns, including 811 yards and 11 touchdowns in 12 games as a sophomore.

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Looks like big changes coming from SEC presidents on over-signing issue

DESTIN, FLA. – UGA’s Michael Adams and most of the other SEC presidents emerged very tight-lipped about what took place during their 3 1/2- hour meeting Thursday. But the comments of one president indicate some major changes are about to take place regarding roster management in football.

The SEC presidents will vote on several items of legislation before them in their final meeting Friday morning. Thursday afternoon they debated amongst themselves and Thursday night they will huddle with their respective athletic directors one last time.

The main issue on the table is whether to cut or further restrict the number of football players SEC teams can sign to scholarships each February. Currently that number is 28.

“There was vigorous discussion and debate on that,” said South Carolina President Harris Pastides. “I couldn’t predict that one, I really can’t. I’m going to speak to my athletic director about that tonight and I have heard from a lot of people about that. But again, I …

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UGA’s Michael Adams expects ‘robust discussion’ among SEC presidents on over-signing

DESTIN, FLA. – Welcome to Day Three of the SEC Spring Meetings at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Resort. This is traditionally known as the quiet day around here, which is in stark contrast to yesterday when Steve Spurrier was proposing paying players, Nick Saban was storming out of meetings and the conference leaders were retooling men’s basketball.

UGA President Michael Adams expects a battle among SEC presidents over the issue of over-signing. (AJC photo)

UGA President Michael Adams expects a battle among SEC presidents over the issue of over-signing. (AJC photo)

As of today, all of the coaches and some of the administrators have gone home. This morning there were golf and tennis outings for attendees. But this afternoon the real work gets done.

The SEC president conduct the first of two meeting at 2:30 p.m. EST to discuss the legislation brought before them by the coaches, faculty athletic reps, senior women’s administrators and athletic directors. Sometime tomorrow morning they will cast actual votes on said legislation and then we might see some changes regarding roster management, …

Continue reading UGA’s Michael Adams expects ‘robust discussion’ among SEC presidents on over-signing »

No mandate on over-signing but SEC men’s basketball to eliminate divisions

DESTIN, FLA. — Over-signing in football has dominated the conversation at the SEC Spring Meetings this year, but the real sweeping changes came in basketball.

Conference athletic directors on Wednesday accepted the men’s basketball coaches’ recommendation that divisional play be eliminated and SEC tournament be seeded 1 through 12 with the top four teams getting first-round byes.

The league’s 12 presidents, who will not arrive until Thursday, still need to vote on the recommendation on Friday before it’s official.

“If [the presidents] approve it, we want to go 1 through 12,” said Georgia coach Mark Fox, who voted for the change. “We have to come up with tiebreakers and everything else, but the seeing will be based on conference record. It wasn’t unanimous but I think everybody is confident that this was the best thing for the league.”

The fact that they eliminated divisions this year is somewhat of a surprise because SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said earlier this week wasn’t …

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Steve Spurrier proposes that coaches pay players out of their own pockets

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier believes coaches should be able to pay 70 players $300 per game out of their own pockets.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier believes coaches should be able to pay 70 players $300 per game out of their own pockets.

DESTIN, FLA. – South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier emerged from Wednesday afternoon’s meetings with SEC athletic directors and fellow football coaches with a crinkled piece of paper in his hand. And with a raspy, Godfather-like voice — he has been hoarse the past two days — he proceeded to tell media gathered here to cover the SEC meetings that he wants to be able to pay his players out of his own pocket.

“I presented a proposal that we give our football players $300 a game for game expense,” Spurrier told reporters in one of the lobbies in the Sandestin Hilton Beach Resor. “They can give it to their parents for travel, lodging, meals. Maybe they could take their girlfriend out Sunday night or Saturday night and so forth.”

For a fleeting moment it wasn’t clear if Spurrier was joking or being serious. Then he raised the piece of a paper from which he …

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SEC coaches emerge, take opinions into meeting with ADs

DESTIN, FLA. — The SEC football and basketball coaches have finally emerged from their meeting rooms after discussing for more than four hours this morning possible legislation regarding their respective sports.

Over the next couple of hours they will share their opinions on over-signing and tournament seeding with their respective athletic directors. Exactly what those opinions are remain secretive.

“I think we all came to some conclusions together that are in the best interest of our league and the players,”Georgia coach Mark Richt. “That’s the big thing. We’ve got to make sure we’re doing what’s in the best interest of the players.”

Football coaches were debating new “roster management” legislation that could further restrict the number of players they can sign to scholarships each year. Basketball coaches are discussing possibly changing the SEC tournament seeding format to eliminate the divisional finish component.

Said Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox: “I’ll say this, …

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Q&A: UGA’s Mark Richt discusses recruiting philosophies, ethics

Q&A WITH MARK RICHT

As there will be a whole new round of discussions and interviews at the SEC Meetings today, I figured I’d just share pretty much all of what Georgia coach Mark Richt said on the record yesterday as it’ll be rendered mostly moot after lunch. I’ll also provide a Q&A of the media’s session with UGA basketball coach Mark Fox a little later. Here’s what all Richt had to say:

Q: So where do you stand on the over-signing issue and the roster management proposals?

Richt: “I’m just going to listen to what everybody else has to say before I decide. Sometimes you think you know the right answer and then you hear someone elses’s opinion or rationale and you may feel differently. It’s like when we were talking about an early signing date a few years ago. I thought one way going into the meeting and I came out of the meeting feeling differently after hearing everyone’s thoughts on it. So I really don’t know what I think right now.

Q: Does 28 seem like a good …

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