The University of Georgia Athletic Association Board of Directors held its Fall meeting Friday on the UGA campus to discuss both financial and athletic matters.
In a wide-ranging Athletic Director’s report, J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity first praised the Student Athlete Advisory Committee for its role in gathering a truckload of relief supplies in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. ‘’We know these efforts to aid others in time of need will always be a part of our culture for student-athletes, staff and our partners,’’ McGarity said. ‘’Everyone affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma remains in our thoughts and prayers.’’
McGarity also touched on the following additional topics in his report:
> Reflections on all the events related to Georgia’s football win at Notre Dame last Saturday. He thanked the Notre Dame staff and commended the host’s fans for their gracious hospitality extended to all UGA people on the campus at South Bend. He then implored all UGA fans to commit to be more welcoming and respectful at every UGA home game, as Bulldog fans were treated last weekend at during their visit to Notre Dame.
> After a presentation by Executive Associate Athletic Director Josh Brooks on facility construction, McGarity followed with by summarizing UGA’s investment in its facilities in the past seven years. In that span, UGA has received approval to invest over $150 million for enhancements to all of its facilities. Of that $150 million, over $110 million can be attributed to improvements directly related to the football program. These projects have been funded by athletic department reserve funds, operating funds and gifts from donors, while incurring a relatively small amount of debt.
> Concurrent with the facility enhancements, the Georgia Bulldog Club has experienced significant growth in gifts, generating over $275 million from a combination of ticket priority programs, Magill Society gifts, scholarship and coaching endowments and other gifts during this seven-year span.
> McGarity also called attention to Georgia’s annual Football Letterman’s Day, which will take place Saturday at the football game vs. Samford. During halftime, UGA will pay tribute to one of its all-time greats, Charley Trippi, as well as a host of other Bulldog lettermen.
Brooks’ report on facilities included updates on five projects. Two of these projects were completed this summer: Spec Towns Track resurfacing and Turner Soccer Complex renovation. Three projects are currently underway. The final phase of renovations at Stegeman Coliseum includes a new scoreboard, suspended over the midpoint of the basketball court; the replacement of all the existing spectator seats; and the installation of light-emitting diode (LED) lights, also called “ribbon” lighting around the upper facade of seating. An expansion of the Boyd Golf Center that will include an additional 4,000 square feet. Finally, the West End Zone project at Sanford Stadium that will provide 120,000 square feet of new and improved space is well underway and will take approximately 17 months to complete.
McGarity followed the report from Brooks by updating two projects that are currently under discussion for future construction:
1) The Equestrian Locker Room project. Located at the team’s facility in Bishop, the project will include full locker room space for student-athletes, coaches’ offices, meeting rooms and other team areas.
2) The Indoor Tennis Facility. UGAAA is currently working with Campus Architects on three potential locations to expand or construct a new facility. Two sites are within the Dan Magill Complex and the other is located at the Turner Soccer/Softball Complex on South Milledge Ave. Early estimates on this project range between $10 million to $25 million.
More information on both projects will be presented to the Board at its next meeting in February of 2018.
Other highlights of the meeting included:
> Presentations by head basketball coaches Mark Fox and Joni Taylor. Each commented on the anticipation surrounding the start of the 2017-18 season, as well as the impact the new, improved Stegeman Coliseum will have upon their respective programs.
> Faculty Athletics Representative David Shipley gave a glowing academic report. The most prominent information that he shared was the combined 3.10 grade point average recorded by all of UGA’s student-athletes during the 2016-17 academic year. The men’s cross country (3.32) and women’s equestrian (3.41) teams won Faculty Athletics Representative Award for having the highest grades for the entire year.
> Reports from student Board members Jacob Fucetola and Jonathan Pelham.