Archive for the ‘Non-revenue sports’ Category

Georgia ‘peaking at right time’ after capturing 34th SEC tennis title

The Georgia Bulldogs and coach Manny Diaz just added more SEC hardward to their crowded trophy case. (UGA photo)

The Georgia Bulldogs and coach Manny Diaz just added more SEC hardware to their crowded trophy case. (UGA photo)

Georgia is good in tennis. Everybody knows that. But sometimes it’s hard to truly appreciate the level of success the Bulldogs enjoy in that sport.

Georgia’s men’s team captured their 34th SEC championship this past weekend in Starkville, Miss. Just let that number wash over you for a few seconds. Then think about this one: The title was the 14th for coach Manny Diaz. That’s one more than the legendary Dan Magill, for whom Georgia’s vast tennis complex is named.

“Last night on the bus ride home it kind of hit me — I mean, 34, my Lord,” said Diaz, still groggy after rolling in at nearly 2 a.m. Monday. “It’s a lot of championships and just a whole lot of guys who made it happen. And I was thinking about Coach Magill. In my mind, this was for him.”

Magill, 91, was Diaz’s coach at Georgia and Diaz served as his assistant for many years.

As it often has, Georgia’s …

Continue reading Georgia ‘peaking at right time’ after capturing 34th SEC tennis title »

Bubba Watson back at UGA after second PGA victory of year

Bubba Watson, who won $1.1 million at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans on Sunday, warms up with Matthew Stafford on Monday before playing in a celebrity event for the Stadion Classic at UGA. (Photo from Stadion Classic)

Bubba Watson, who won $1.1 million at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans on Sunday, warms up with Matthew Stafford on Monday before playing in a celebrity event for the Stadion Classic at UGA. (Photo from Stadion Classic)

Q&A WITH BUBBA WATSON

What a stroke of good fortune for the Stadion Classic at UGA golf tournament. For months, they had Bubba Watson lined up to be the honorary chairman of this year’s annual Nationwide Tour event at the UGA Golf Course. It just so happened Watson arrives as the hottest American golfer and a top 10 player in the world.

Watson, who played college golf at Georgia, hit a 7-iron 210 yards out of a fairway bunker to the reach the par-5 18th hole in two and two-putt for a victory over Webb Simpson in a sudden-death playoff at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans on Sunday. It was the second victory of the year for Watson and third in his last 19 tournaments over 11 months.

Less than 24 hours later Watson was in Athens to donate $50,000 of his Ryder …

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Yes, UGA has a No. 1-ranked team

UGA has a team at the top of a national poll.

Georgia’s softball team is ranked No. 1 -– for the first time in school history — in this week’s USA Today/National Fast Pitch Coaches Association Top 25 poll, released Tuesday.

The Bulldogs (10-0) received 16 of 30 first-place votes and moved ahead of previous No. 1 UCLA (9-1). Arizona is ranked No. 3, Florida No. 4 and Alabama No. 5.

Georgia has piled up some impressive statistics on its season-opening 10-game winning streak — outscoring its opponents 87-18, compiling a team batting average of .383 and a  team slugging percentage of .652, and holding opponents to a .176 batting average.

Georgia’s softball program finished the past two seasons ranked in the nation’s top five -– No. 4 in 2009 and No. 3 last season. The Bulldogs opened this season at No. 3 and climbed to No. 2 after the first week of the season.

Georgia next plays in a tournament in Cathedral City, Calif. The Bulldogs will face No. 19 Oklahoma State and No. 6 …

Continue reading Yes, UGA has a No. 1-ranked team »

UGA reports nine secondary violations

Georgia has self-reported nine secondary violations of NCAA rules this year — a list of transgressions that provides a glimpse into the minutiae of the NCAA rulebook.

The violations, revealed in response to an open-records request by the AJC, cover a range of sports — a football coach returning a call to a high school junior, basketball recruits sitting in the wrong seats in Stegeman Coliseum, a track-and-field recruit being reimbursed an extra 5 cents per mile.

All crossed the line of NCAA bylaws.

Schools routinely self-report secondary violations to the NCAA, which defines them as inadvertent missteps that don’t create a significant competitive advantage. Georgia’s nine violations since Jan. 1 are a typical number for that time period; UGA reported 10 in the final six months of last year.

“Not to make any excuses, but the NCAA manual is over 400 pages thick, with other interpretations out there too,” said Eric Baumgartner, Georgia’s assistant athletics director for …

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Vandy No. 1, UGA No. 2 in SEC football academics (Plus: APR for all UGA sports, all SEC football teams)

Georgia posted the second best score among SEC football teams in the Academic Progress Rate (APR) statistics released Wednesday by the NCAA.

UGA’s football team had an APR of 973 out of a possible 1,000, topped only by Vanderbilt’s 975 in the SEC. The national average for football teams was 944.

Georgia had the SEC’s highest scores in women’s basketball (1,000), men’s golf (1,000) and gymnastics (996). The baseball team posted Georgia’s lowest APR, 941.

The Bulldogs’ men’s basketball team recorded a score of 944, which ranked fifth among SEC teams. The national average for men’s basketball teams was 940.

All of Georgia’s 20 sports teams posted scores comfortably above the NCAA-mandated threshold of 925. Teams that post APR scores below 925 and have a player leave school ineligible can be assessed penalties, including loss of scholarships.

The APR is an NCAA-designed measure that assesses the eligibility, retention and graduation of athletes over a four-year period. The figures …

Continue reading Vandy No. 1, UGA No. 2 in SEC football academics (Plus: APR for all UGA sports, all SEC football teams) »

The UGA notebook: Vance Cuff’s 40 time is something to write home about (UPDATED)

Good morning from Destin, where SEC athletics directors and coaches begin four days of meetings today.  (I’ll be tweeting from the meetings, so please follow @ajcuga on Twitter for news, notes and anecdotes.) Before turning to the business of the SEC, let’s run through a few UGA items that have accumulated:

  • Georgia cornerback Vance Cuff tells his hometown newspaper, the Moultrie Observer, that he ran the 40-yard dash this spring in 4.24 seconds, the fastest ever recorded by a UGA football player. Now, granted, 40-yard dash times aren’t exactly the most reliable records in the world of sports. But a 4.24 clocking is definitely something to write home about. “It hasn’t soaked in yet,” Cuff told the Moultrie paper. Check out the story here. (UPDATE: Mark Richt confirmed today that Cuff did, indeed, run a 4.24. Richt said he saw it.)
  • Remember Bill Gullickson, the former major-league pitcher? Went 162-136 in 14 seasons with the Expos, Reds, Yankees, Astros and Tigers in the …

Continue reading The UGA notebook: Vance Cuff’s 40 time is something to write home about (UPDATED) »

Take a look at UGA athletes’ spring semester grades, team by team

ST. SIMONS ISLAND – Georgia’s Athletic Board receives reports not just about the Bulldogs’ on-field and financial performances, but also about their academic performance.

Contained in the information provided to board members at this week’s meetings here was the spring semester grade point average of every UGA sports team.

The men’s and women’s teams with the highest GPAs? Swimming, in both cases.

The men’s and women’s teams with the lowest GPAs? Basketball, in both cases.

Overall, Georgia athletes had a 2.98 GPA for spring semester (2.82 for the men and 3.14 for the women). Football came in at 2.76.

Here’s the team-by-team breakdown for spring semester 2010, with teams listed in order of GPA:

MEN’S SPORTS

Sport                    # of students      Semester GPA

Swimming                     24                     3.21

Cross-country              15     …

Continue reading Take a look at UGA athletes’ spring semester grades, team by team »

Will SEC baseball tourney move to Gwinnett? Plus: Ex-Dog Smith enters Hall of Fame tonight

The SEC baseball tournament opens today in Hoover, Ala., where it has been played annually since 1998. Might the tournament move to, say, Gwinnett County in a couple of years?

It’s possible.

The SEC’s contract with Hoover’s Regions Park expires after next year’s tournament, and the conference plans to put the event up for bid for 2012 and thereafter.

The SEC will send requests-for-proposals this summer to Regions Park and two other minor-league baseball stadiums that have expressed strong interest in hosting the tournament — Gwinnett County’s Coolray Field and Memphis’ AutoZone Park.

Coolray Field is home of the Braves’ Class AAA farm team, and AutoZone Park is home of the St. Louis Cardinals’ AAA affiliate.

The issue of a future site for the SEC tournament might come up during the league’s spring meetings in Destin, Fla., next week, but a decision isn’t expected until the fall.

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Gordon Smith –- a former Georgia tennis player, a retired partner at Atlanta-based law …

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Georgia dominates Oklahoma to reach tennis Final Four (UPDATED)

ATHENS –- By Georgia’s lofty tennis standards, this was something of an off season –  a 17-7 regular-season record and a No. 11 seed in the NCAA tournament. But look at the Bulldogs now, right back where they so often are at this time of year.

Georgia dominated Oklahoma 4-0 Sunday in an NCAA men’s quarterfinal match at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex to reach the national semifinals for the fourth time in the past five seasons.

“I’d been telling these guys — and they were probably a little bit tired of me saying it — that we hadn’t played our best yet,” Georgia coach Manuel Diaz said.  “I knew our best tennis was still ahead of us. And they’re proving me right.”

The Bulldogs (21-7) will play Tennessee (30-1) at 5 p.m. Monday for a berth in Tuesday’s national championship match. Tennessee defeated Baylor 4-0 in a Sunday quarterfinal.

In Monday’s other men’s semifinal, No. 1 seed Virginia (30-1) will play defending champion USC (23-3) at 4 p.m. Virginia defeated UCLA 4-2 …

Continue reading Georgia dominates Oklahoma to reach tennis Final Four (UPDATED) »

Hutson Mason ‘moving up the depth chart rapidly,’ and other notes

Cleaning out the notebook:

  • With all the turmoil at Georgia’s quarterback position of late, Mark Richt has been fielding a lot of questions on the speaking circuit about incoming freshman Hutson Mason. “I’m sure he’s very excited about what’s going on,” Richt told a group last week. “He’s been moving up the depth chart rapidly because of what happened with Mr. Mettenberger and Logan Gray probably spending most of his time at wide receiver now.”

Asked the followup question of whether he sees Mason playing or redshirting this year, Richt said:  “I don’t know.  I want to see what he can do. If we don’t think he’s ready, I’d be more apt to have Logan continue to be our No. 2 and just go from there. I don’t want to say because I have no idea how he’s going to perform until he shows up.”

  • Another hot topic, of course, is conference expansion. Richt is on record against it for the SEC, mainly because “I think if you get into what would be a super-conference, you’re just not …

Continue reading Hutson Mason ‘moving up the depth chart rapidly,’ and other notes »

Bulldogs ride off with a national championship

Thought you’d like to know . . . the University of Georgia won a national championship Saturday night.

The Bulldogs, for the third year in a row and the fifth time in eight years, won the national title in equestrian.

UGA beat runnerup Texas A&M in a tiebreaker to win the overall title at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships in Waco, Texas.

The victory continued the remarkable success of Georgia’s equestrian program, which in its brief eight-year history already has amassed more national team championships than any UGA sport except gymnastics (10), men’s tennis (8) and women’s tennis (also 5). (Tennis championships include indoor and outdoor.)

Twenty-three Division I and II college athletics programs compete in equestrian, which is classified as an emerging sport by the NCAA.

Georgia equestrian coach Meghan Boenig’s reaction to her team’s latest championship (from a UGA release late Saturday night):

“This was just an incredible day and, I believe, the most special, …

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Georgia sophomore wins NCAA championship

Thought you might like to know . . .

Lawrence

Lawrence

Georgia claimed its first-ever NCAA indoor title on the track Saturday night when star sophomore sprinter Torrin Lawrence won  the 400-meter dash in the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.

Lawrence ran the race in 45.23 seconds, the third-fastest time of his career and the second-best time ever in the NCAA final. He beat Alabama freshman Kirani James by four-tenths of a second for the NCAA title.

Lawrence holds the world’s fastest time this year in the event, 45.03.

The Georgia men’s track and field team had won only two previous NCAA indoor titles, both in field events: Hrvoje Verzi in the triple jump in 1995 and Andras Haklits in the weight throw in 2001.

More details are here.

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Other UGA news today:

Mark Fox will meet soon with Trey Thompkins and family about future.

Fox thanks his first UGA team for making “an impact on Georgia basketball.”

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Please follow me on Twitter for the latest UGA news and …

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A big month in Bulldog Nation

It’s been an interesting month in Bulldog Nation, I’d say.  So before moving on to February, let’s revisit January.

THE MONTH’S TOP FIVE UGA SPORTS STORIES:

1. The defensive coordinator search: For some reason –- maybe the Internet/information age in which we live, or maybe the widespread exasperation with two years of declining defense -– Mark Richt’s search for a defensive coordinator drew more attention than any assistant-coach hiring I can recall.  Kirby Smart’s rejection of the job roiled Bulldog Nation, which was calmed four days later by the hiring of Todd Grantham.

2. Big basketball upsets: Entering the month, the Bulldogs had not beaten a ranked opponent in men’s basketball in almost three years. But they beat two this month, first Georgia Tech and then Tennessee. The second came in front of a   sellout crowd, of all things, in Stegeman Coliseum.

3. Lady Dogs over Lady Vols: Georgia’s women’s basketball team upset No. 3-ranked Tennessee in Stegeman Coliseum, …

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Georgia-Florida A&M game discussed

Georgia continues to seek an opponent to fill out its 2010 home football schedule and has had discussions with Florida A&M, as well as other schools,  UGA associate athletics director Arthur Johnson said today.

“But [there's] nothing firm,” he said.

Johnson said Florida A&M remains a possibility for the final spot on the Bulldogs’ 2010 schedule, but he said a deal could be struck with someone else first.

Aside from the annual game against Georgia Tech, the Dogs have non-conference games next year against Louisiana (Lafayette) in Athens and against Colorado in Boulder.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for more on the Dogs’ preparation for this year’s opener at Oklahoma State, here’s the blog from earlier today.

Continue reading Georgia-Florida A&M game discussed »

Kudos to Kupets, indeed

   “Oledawg” expressed the opinion here yesterday that Courtney Kupets should be a blog topic.  Quoting “Oledawg”: “Kudos to Kupets!”  Agreed.

    Kupets’ Georgia gymnastics career — she helped the Gym Dogs to NCAA championships each year she competed and won an unprecedented nine NCAA individual titles along the way –  was appropriately capped yesterday  with the Honda-Broderick Cup as the nation’s Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. Click here for the story.

   She became the first UGA athlete to win the award in its 33-year history. And became just the second gymnast to win it. And joined a list of winners that forms a Who’s Who of women’s sports: track-and-field’s Jackie Joyner-Kersee, soccer’s Mia Hamm, softball’s Lisa Fernandez, basketball’s Candace Parker. . . .

   That’s company in which Kupets belongs.

   Her award was presented during a ceremony at Columbia University in New York, and Suzanne Yoculan, Georgia’s retiring gymnastics …

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With health and spirit, ‘we’ll be much improved on defense’

  A year ago, Georgia’s football team was preseason No. 1. A year later, that seems like a long time ago.

   So, minus Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno, what is the general feeling about where the Bulldog program is today?

   Coach Mark Richt tackled that question this week (and you’re welcome to do so below).

   “I think in our building [the feeling] is very good,” Richt said. “We know we have a lot of guys who have been in our program for a while, you know, preparing for their opportunity.

   “I think fans really know your starters pretty good and know your signing class pretty good, and they tend to forget about everybody in between that’s working their tail off for their opportunity. I think we as coaches know we’ve got a lot of guys in that category.”

  Ask about any of the question-mark positions, and Richt mentions someone he sees as eminently capable of providing the answer.

   Defensive end? Richt thinks Rod Battle is capable of a big senior …

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On softball’s show and Knox’s transfer . . .

   Georgia’s softball team played two games on national television Sunday and put on a good show.  Hope you saw some of it.

   The youngest team in major-college softball -– 10 freshmen, eight sophomores, no juniors, two seniors –- was one of the last three teams standing in the Women’s College World Series.

   After beating Washington (and national Player of the Year Danielle Lawrie) 9-8 in a compelling, extra-inning marathon Sunday afternoon, the Bulldogs found themselves one victory from the WCWS finals.  Alas, they lost a Sunday night rematch to Washington and Lawrie, 9-3.

   So now it’s Washington vs. Florida in a best-of-three series for the championship.

   But the Bulldogs did their school proud in their first trip to the Women’s College World Series,  playing with tenacity and enthusiasm.

   A couple of other things from the weekend:

  – Georgia’s baseball team, clearly over-hyped when it climbed to No. 1 in the polls a while back, had …

Continue reading On softball’s show and Knox’s transfer . . . »

Geno Atkins among Dogs in action

  – Can UGA’s baseball team make another NCAA postseason run, perhaps to the College World Series?  You might not think so, based on recent results. But it’s a funny game, as you know, and first baseman Rich Poythress made the point Thursday that the Dogs weren’t exactly swinging the bats great entering the postseason last year, either.  And then they broke out and went on a tear in which they scored 9, 14, 8, 18, 11, 6 and 17 runs in consecutive games to reach Omaha. So we’ll see. (Here’s a story on Georgia’s bid for an encore.)

  –  More of what Poythress had to say: “Our goal is to play our game and put it all together. . . . We’ve got to get the middle of the order going again. We need to step up and swing the bats a little better. We can rely on our postseason experience, the postseason at-bats we have had. . . . We’ve talked about our young guys a lot, but the middle of the order and the heart of the pitching staff have been there before.  . . . …

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A busy, mostly good, weekend for the Dogs

    Hope everyone had a great weekend.

    Well, once again, the Georgia baseball team didn’t, getting swept at South Carolina to continue a late-season collapse that has reached 11 losses in 13 games.

    And the men’s tennis team didn’t have a great weekend, either, losing to Texas in the rain-interrupted quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships to end the Bulldogs’ quest of a third consecutive national title.

   But elsewhere, the weekend was good to UGA:

   Men’s basketball: Tennessee State’s top scorer announced plans to transfer to Georgia. Guard Gerald Robinson Jr., who averaged 17.8 points per game as a sophomore last season and 15.2 as a freshman, will have to sit out the 2009-10 season under NCAA transfer rules. The 6-foot-1 Robinson, from Nashville, then will have two years of eligibility remaining. ”I sat down and evaluated everything, put together a checklist, and Georgia offered all the things I was looking for,” Robinson told The Tennessean. “. . …

Continue reading A busy, mostly good, weekend for the Dogs »

On Stafford’s dollars, Dogs in the Dome and other stuff

  About  Matthew Stafford’s contract:   As you might have heard, it calls for more guaranteed money ($41.7 million) than any contract in NFL history — more than any contract signed by Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, among others. If you find that incredulous, no argument here.  In the next round of collective bargaining, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and some owners plan to push for economic reform that would redirect money from unproven draft picks to proven veterans and establish some form of rookie wage scale.  Stafford’s contract will become the league’s Exhibit A in that battle, supplanting Matt Ryan’s deal ($34.75 million guaranteed) with the Falcons last year.  Of course, it  must be noted that the owners — the same folks demanding new restraints — are the ones giving the runaway rookie contracts.

 

  About Mark Richt’s mention to the Augusta Bulldog Club of a remotely possible 2010 UGA non-conference game in the Georgia Dome:  That stirred a lot of fun …

Continue reading On Stafford’s dollars, Dogs in the Dome and other stuff »

Football! Basketball! Baseball! A Monday sampler …

  Athens – OK, before we start another week, let’s clean out an overfull notebook from last week. . . .

  – UGA President Michael Adams sat in on interviews with five candidates for the basketball coaching job and said he was extremely impressed with Mark Fox.  But Adams stressed that the hiring decision was purely athletics director Damon Evans’. “What I did was sit back and listen,” Adams said. “Damon conducted the interviews. I don’t think I asked any candidate more than two or three questions.” Adams said he was there to show the importance the institution places on the job.  ”I felt it was my role in this process to demonstrate the university’s commitment to basketball,” Adams said. “It’s why we built the [practice] facility we built, why we were willing to pay what it took to hire the right coach.”

  – There was no quibbling over salary when Evans made his offer to Fox.  “Six years at $1.3 million is not bad, is it?” Evans said. “I …

Continue reading Football! Basketball! Baseball! A Monday sampler … »