Friday, August 31, 2018

Athletics Board Convenes for Fall Meeting

UGA Sports Communications

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 reflected on the newfound enthusiasm within the overall athletics program. The success of Dawg teams in 2018 — leading to an 8th-place finish in the Learfield Director’s Cup — has helped to make UGA the preferred destination for more and more prospective student-athletes. Along with Georgia’s popularity will come UGA’s continued responsibility to educate and train these young student-athletes, McGarity said.

McGarity also touched on the following additional topics in his report:

> Reflections on the West End Zone dedication that took place Friday. Completion of the $63 million project was the culmination of a joint venture that involved many and varied entities. Most prominent among those mentioned included head coach Kirby Smart and the football staff; the UGA Office of University Architects for Facilities Planning; Deputy Athletic Director Josh Brooks and his Operations staff; and the contractors that contributed work to the project.

> Acknowledgement of the many facility enhancements that have touched nearly every athletic program at UGA in the past decade. Over $167 million in improvements to UGA’s athletic facilities have taken place during this time period, funded by a combination of donations and UGA reserves.

> Recognition of UGAAA’s nutrition program, its growth since the addition of a single staffer in 2011, and the total investment (over $3.6 million annually) in the food and nutritional supplying of Georgia’s student-athletes.

> The improvements in UGA’s fundraising and donor relations, resulting in a record-setting fiscal year 2018, in which over $80 million was raised. McGarity also announced the promotion of Matt Borman, who has directed UGA’s athletic fundraising since December of 2016, to Deputy Director of Athletics.

McGarity then requested approval to allocate $3.1 million of operating reserves to begin construction on a new Equestrian Clubhouse at the team’s complex in Bishop, Georgia, 10 miles south of Athens. The 7,000-square foot facility will provide fully equipped locker room and dressing facilities, a 70-seat team meeting room, sports medicine space, uniform storage and laundry facilities as well as coaches’ space, including an office suite and locker room.

The Equestrian Clubhouse must clear authorization from the USG Board of Regents at its October 2018 meeting – after first serving as an informational item in its September meeting – before construction can begin in December. The projected date of completion for this project is January of 2020.

McGarity also reported that an architect has been chosen to begin designs on another facility project: renovation of the grandstand at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

Other highlights of the meeting included:

> Faculty Athletics Representative David Shipley gave a glowing academic report. The most prominent information he shared was the 3.1 overall grade point recorded by all UGA student-athletes in the 2017-18 academic year. That figure matches the all-time highest GPA for a single year, equaling the 3.1 mark of the 2016-17 year.

> Executive Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Will Lawler conducted an educational session for board members approximately 20 minutes in length. Among the topics Lawler covered was the NCAA’s expectations for institutional control.

> Reports from all three student representatives on the Board: Roya Naghepour, a senior from Roswell, Ga.; Kayla Smith, a junior pole vaulter from Indianapolis, Ind.; and Connor O’Neill, a senior men’s basketball player, also from Roswell.

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