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College

    ATHENS – When it comes to the subject of football spending and facilities, Jon Stinchcomb is in a unique position. As a former Georgia player, he knows what the team needs and wants. As a current member of Georgia’s athletic board, he has a vote and a say in how and what money is spent. Over the past month, Stinchbomb has cast a vote agreeing to a project that will cost the school and donors $63 million. He’s also had numerous conversations with friends and donors about what more needs to be done. UGA says it will address fans’ stadium concerns And what the plan is. And if there isn’t one, what it should be. “Even for your big-money donors, it’s not: We don’t want to spend the money. It’s: Let’s make sure we’re spending it in the right places, and that it’s part of an over-arching, big picture approach that keeps us competitive,” Stinchcomb said. “And included in that is: Help me understand what we’re doing with the reserve (funds), and what’s our approach to that. Based on conversations with several donors, most of whom did not want to be named, there is a concern over whether Georgia has an institution is spending enough to keep up in the SEC and national facilities arms race. But the overarching concern is whether there is a master plan, or whether the school simply playing whack-a-mole, moving deliberately from one project to the next. “There’s a lot of frustration with the current administration and the athletic department and their use of capital, that has so enthusiastically been donated,” said Ryan Scates, a corporate attorney in Atlanta who as a student was on UGA’s athletic board during the 2012-13 school year. “UGA isn’t known for being a reactionary, second-rate institution. It’s one of the best schools in the South. So to see us get out-paced by Clemson, and Alabama and Auburn, in terms of (athletics facilities.) It’s not because we’re at a disadvantage because of resources.” Georgia’s administration, with athletics director Greg McGarity as the point man, have defended themselves by pointing to what they are spending now in facilities: • Three major projects since 2010 centered on football, totaling around $121 million. That began with a $31 million renovation to the Butts-Mehre building, then the $30.2 million just-completed indoor facility, and now $63 million committed to the Sanford Stadium renovation, which will build the team new locker rooms and a recruiting area.  • Just over $21 million committed this year alone for other projects, including Stegeman Coliseum getting a long-awaited center-hanging scoreboard. So it seems inarguable that spending has increased in recent years, and not just on facilities. (Football staff salaries went up significantly, for instance.) Sanford Stadium field gets an overhaul But the concern is that the school was only playing catch-up with these latest projects, and that more work is needed: Georgia’s weight room (built in 2011) quickly became among the smallest in the SEC. Programs like Florida and South Carolina are putting together master plans to build new facilities. Tennessee, Arkansas and others have executed strong facilities plans the past few years. “This may not be in line with other sentiments. But the indoor facility, we were playing catch up,” said Stinchcomb, an offensive tackle at Georgia from 1998-2002, who went on to play in the NFL. “We were the last in our conference (building an indoor facility) with something that can be deemed a necessity. Not just recruiting, this isn’t for looks, this is functionality. My personal feel is we should never be in that situation again. The University of Georgia has too good of a fan base, too good of an athletic department and we’re in too good of a financial situation to be last in areas of need – not just want, but in need. “That was catch-up. Now you look at the improvements for the stadium, some of those fall in line with where we were at with the indoor facility. We haven’t had a true locker room at Sanford Stadium, ever. It was an open room with no lockers. It was that way when I played there, when my brother (Matt) played there in the ‘90s. Those are not racing ahead and blazing new trails. That’s playing catch up.” UGA officials have confirmed that the athletics department has just over $77 million in reserve funds, including about $45 million listed in the most recent treasurer’s book, and $32 million invested in the UGA foundation set aside for “general support” of athletics. School officials defend that, saying there needs to be protection in case the seeming deluge of money stops. That’s also why the school is fundraising for the major projects: After donors answered the call for the indoor facility, the school is seeking $53 million from donors for the $63 million Sanford Stadium project. So how will that go? Stinchcomb said fans want to give and they support the school. They just want a “clarification and understanding as they write these sizable checks” what previous donations have gone to and “how this fits in a much bigger picture.” “When people ask me, because I’m a board member, the approach is not: We don’t want to give,” Stinchcomb said. “It’s, Help me understand where we are with the reserve, what our plan is with the reserve, and how that coincides with the raising for this project specifically of $53 million.” The stadium project announcement set off many fans who were concerned about the state of the bathrooms and concourses at the stadium. McGarity attempted to answer that by “expediting” work on those in time for next season, at a cost of $950,000. Scott Mooney, who now lives in Greenville, S.C., said he and his family have been season-ticket holders for five years. They had complained in the past about the concessions and bathrooms, and while the “expedited” work on the bathrooms was good to hear, his greater concern was the concessions area, which he found too bottled up. Mooney said he worried that the administration takes the fans for granted, “given all the money that is pouring into UGA athletics.” He said he’s reconsidering his season-ticket purchase, especially given the (slight) increase in ticket prices and the required donation to secure them. “And they are sitting on $30-million plus in rainy day funds? I just don’t get it,” Mooney said.Scates, the former athletic board member, said he donates to the Hartman Fund and has season tickets. He said he and fellow donors he’s spoken to want to see a master plan develop, or they’ll reconsider their donating. “UGA has no reason not to be the premier athletic department in the southeast. We have the donor support necessary, we have the population necessary in the state, we have the athletic talent in the state,” Scates said. “And it seems to be increasingly clear that the one thing we’re lacking is groundbreaking thinking.” The desire, according to donors, is not to go willy-nilly into the arms race and waste money. And ultimately, according to Stinchcomb, everyone wants the same thing. “What we want to do is put our football team in the best position to compete and provide the facilities and resources that they need to be champions,” Stinchcomb said.
  • Brice Ramsey is leaving Georgia. The rising senior quarterback has decided to transfer following his graduation in May to a program where he could compete for the starting quarterback job and potentially play this season. That’s according to a statement Ramsey provided to Dawgs247.com on Tuesday morning. His statement in part reads: “I have enjoyed my years at UGA, the bonds I have made with the coaching staffs as well as the numerous friendships with my teammates will last a lifetime and will continue to help guide me with decisions and future endeavors. I will never look back on my time at UGA with regrets, I have loved every minute of my time here.” That brings Georgia down to just two scholarship quarterbacks for this season: Sophomore Jacob Eason and freshman Jake Fromm.
  • From UGA Sports Communications ATHENS, Ga. -- The Georgia swimming and diving teams will travel to Atlanta to face in-state rival Georgia Tech on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the McAuley Aquatic Center.  The Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs are coming off a sweep of Florida last Friday and look to extend their undefeated seasons. The Georgia Tech men only have one loss this season (2-1), while the Tech women sit at 2-2. Both Georgia teams are currently ranked No. 1 in the country by CollegeSwimming.com. “We love swimming against Tech,” head coach Jack Bauerle said. “It is parcel to being a Georgia coach and athlete. Their men’s team is strong and always has been and I don’t think that will be any different this year. It will be a tough middle of the week meet, but we love swimming there.” The Bulldogs have won 49 straight meets against Georgia Tech dating back to the 1961-62 season. The Lady Bulldogs boast 11 straight victories over the Jackets.  Three Georgia swimmers own the fastest time in the country in their individual events this year. Chase Kalisz posted the fastest time in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke in Georgia's most recent meet against Florida. Megan Kinglsey owns the top women’s time in the 200 butterfly, while Pace Clark holds the top time in the same event on the men’s side.  Meaghan Raab is coming off of three individual wins against Florida last weekend and will lead the Lady Bulldogs alongside Kingsley, Chantal Van Landeghem and Stephanie Peters, all of whom posted double wins against Florida. On the men’s side, Clark, Kalisz and Jay Litherland all posted two individual wins against the Gators and will lead the Bulldogs against the Yellow Jackets.  Bauerle is 34-0 all-time against Georgia Tech (21-0 coaching the men, 10-0 coaching the women and 3-0 as a Georgia swimmer).
  • Georgia lost tailback Nick Chubb to an ankle injury, lost a game for the first time under new coach Kirby Smart, and looked overmatched as Ole Miss rolled over the Bulldogs 45-14 Saturday in Oxford, Miss. Chad Kelly threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score to lead the No. 23 Rebels (2-2, 1-1 SEC). Ole Miss broke a 10-game losing streak in the series dating to 1996. Georgia (3-1, 1-1) trailed 31-0 at halftime and 45-0 in the third quarter. Chubb left the game with a sprained ankle injury in the second quarter and did not return. “Don’t know the severity yet,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said right after the game. “He couldn’t come back in the game.” Brian Herrien led the Bulldogs with 78 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Georgia freshman quarterback Jacob Eason had a tough day, completing just 16 of 36 passes for 137 yards and an interception. It doesn’t get any easier for the Bulldogs, who host Tennessee next week. Click here to read more about the game at Dawgnation.com
  • Georgia lost tailback Nick Chubb to an ankle injury, lost a game for the first time under new coach Kirby Smart, and looked overmatched as Ole Miss rolled over the Bulldogs 45-14 Saturday in Oxford, Miss. Chad Kelly threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score to lead the No. 23 Rebels (2-2, 1-1 SEC). Ole Miss broke a 10-game losing streak in the series dating to 1996. Georgia (3-1, 1-1) trailed 31-0 at halftime and 45-0 in the third quarter. Chubb left the game with a sprained ankle injury in the second quarter and did not return. “Don’t know the severity yet,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said right after the game. “He couldn’t come back in the game.” Brian Herrien led the Bulldogs with 78 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Georgia freshman quarterback Jacob Eason had a tough day, completing just 16 of 36 passes for 137 yards and an interception. It doesn’t get any easier for the Bulldogs next week when they host Tennessee. Click here to read more about the game at Dawgnation.com
  • Breaking down Saturday's Georgia-Ole Miss game in Oxford, Miss.: » Back to normal: Sony Michel ‘100 percent’ after summer accident » Planning for opponent: Running game is the key » Dread of the spread: Bulldogs have to defend against it again » Early risers: Bulldogs not too concerned with noon kickoff » Opposing view: Ole Miss frustrated but still confident » Photos: Faces from the UGA-Ole Miss series » Weekend Predictions: Jeff Schultz weighs in on Dogs, Rebels
  • The real challenge to this Tour Championship — thicker even than the Bermuda rough at East Lake or the ZZ Top starter beard on Kevin Chappell’s caddie — is to keep on top of all the different intrigues at play in this one tournament.There are competitions within competitions going on here, a nesting doll of self-interests, one fitting neatly in another to make for one very complex whole.This stopped being a simple golf tournament a long time ago.There’s Dustin Johnson, playing to protect his position as the top claimant to the FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus that comes with it. This the points leader did quite nicely at the end of the Tour Championship’s first quarter (a football reference for all those in these parts who only see the world that way).Little surprise that Johnson headlined a three-way lead at the close of business Thursday, his 4-under 66 tied with Chappell and Hideki Matsuyama. He simply transferred the dominance he showed at the previous playoff event — winning the BMW Championship by three shots — to his account at East Lake.Johnson’s opening remark was quite forceful, something of a primal scream really. Playing the new No. 1 at East Lake for the first time competitively, he dumped his tee shot into one of the bunkers lining the left side of the fairway. From the sand, 158 yards out, he deposited his approach just two feet from the hole. A mighty birdie indeed.“A nice shot to start the day. I was just worried about getting it out of the bunker, but, obviously, I hit it really solid,” he said.His closing statement wasn’t bad, either. He nearly drove his tee shot into the seemingly unreachable water on the new No. 18, flexing a muscle with which no one else out here is familiar. Dry, he got his birdie and planted his flag at the top of the leaderboard.There’s the case of Chappell, the 30-year-old quite adept at collecting PGA Tour place money (three seconds this season alone) but still looking for his first tournament victory.He knows, even though the numbers fairy back at PGA Tour HQ has laid out a complex scenario in which he could win it all, he’s not going home with the $10 mill. “It’s not going to happen,” he said. The Georgia Lottery is probably not going to adopt that for a motto.And Chappell knows what it might take to claim that elusive first victory. “I need to play 72 holes like I played the front nine here, probably not take my foot off the gas like it appeared on the back (nine),” he said.Chappell’s first-side 31 Thursday, which featured a chip-in from 50 feet on the par 3 second hole, certainly would be a winning pace, if only he could sustain. Not likely. Indications are East Lake might have its teeth this week.Of course, there’s those big names that find themselves in the unfamiliar part of the marquee under the heading “Also Featuring.”Rory McIlroy committed back-to-back double bogeys Thursday — on Nos. 7 and 8 — and still came in a 2 under, two off the lead. Jordan Spieth had some bounce-back to him, too. He began the day like someone playing from the members’ tees, going bogey double-bogey right out of the gate. And, still, he came in the same as McIlroy, with a 68.Then, lastly, there’s the little clutch of players who want to come out to East Lake and show a little leg, maybe flash a smile and couple of scores in the 60s and convince Davis Love III to make them the final pick for the U.S. Ryder Cup squad. He makes that choice Sunday evening.Chappell might be in the running. And certainly a couple of former Georgia Bulldogs would like to think they are.Bubba Watson dearly wants to be on that team. Maybe too dearly. He took that added pressure to a course that never seems to suit him and shot 72 Thursday.Kevin Kisner, who finished dead last in his first Tour Championship last year, at 18 over par, picked an advantageous time to shoot is first sub-par round at East Lake, a 67.On the Ryder Cup issue, Kisner said, “Well, you know the old saying: It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. We’ve got a long way to go to get to Sunday, but I need to be in that top three or four to probably steer (Love’s) head a little bit.”That will require much good work through the weekend. Which prompted the question of the good Bulldog: Who will have the better Saturday, you or that football team travelling to Ole Miss.“Hopefully me. I don’t like (the Bulldogs) chances,” he said grimly.That’s another intrigue for another venue.
  • Freshman quarterback Jacob Eason threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah McKenzie on fourth down with 1:31 left as No. 16 Georgia rallied for a 28-27 victory over Missouri on Saturday night in Columbia, Mo. The Tigers (1-2, 0-1) turned the ball over five times, including four in the second half. Eason completed 29 of 55 pass attempts for 308 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception for Georgia (3-0, 1-0 SEC), which missed two short field goal attempts.. McKenzie caught 10 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball twice for 19 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown run near the end of the first quarter. Mark Bradley: UGA has its quarterback The road is different. Every coach says so. The road can humble the most talented of teams and players. It came close to humbling Georgia and Jacob Eason here Saturday, but the Bulldogs and their freshman quarterback danced away loud and proud. Read more here. More Bradley: Two rookies showed us something Georgia’s rookie coach acquitted himself nobly. Kirby Smart took a game going wrong and made it go right. Read more here.
  • Breaking down Saturday's Georgia-Missouri game in Columbia, Mo.: » Getting physical: Receivers looking to step up » Planning for opponent: Tying up loose ends before facing Tigers » Opposing view: Missouri adjusting to major changes » Weekend Predictions: Jeff Schultz says the Bulldogs will .... » Photos: Georgia-Missouri among must-see TV games this week