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National Govt & Politics
Facing a Thursday shutdown deadline, GOP fills 515 page stopgap funding bill with legislative extras

Facing a Thursday shutdown deadline, GOP fills 515 page stopgap funding bill with legislative extras

Facing a Thursday shutdown deadline, GOP fills 515 page stopgap funding bill with legislative extras
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

Facing a Thursday shutdown deadline, GOP fills 515 page stopgap funding bill with legislative extras

With money for the federal government running out at midnight on Thursday night, Republicans in the House are pressing ahead with a plan that extends a temporary spending plan into late March, adding in full funding for the military, money for community health centers, along with dozens of unrelated provisions dealing with health care.

Because of all the legislative extras in the bill, the stopgap funding plan weighs in at 515 pages - as the House plans to vote on it today and then see if the Senate will simply accept it.

In legislative parlance, that's what is known as "jamming" - the House is trying to "jam" the Senate into accepting whatever is passed, no matter whether Senators like the details or not.

Here is some of what the GOP bill would do:

+ Temporary funding for the federal government would be extended through March 23 - just before the Easter break - to give lawmakers time to finish the spending bills for 2018. (That was supposed to be done by October 1 of last year.)

+ While non-defense programs would remain on a temporary funding plan, the bill includes full funding for the military, lasting through the end of the fiscal year on September 30.

+ Require the Secretary of Energy to sell off up to $350 million of crude oil stored in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help with maintenance of the facility.

+ $225 million in disaster relief funding for the Small Business Administration.

+ The bill also includes a laundry list of health measures, some pushed by Republicans, some supported by both parties, which cover everything from civil penalties for Medicare fraud to prostate cancer testing, and a provision that boots lottery winners off of Medicaid.

The GOP plan is so expansive, that the section-by-section summary is 29 pages long. You can read that here to get a better idea of what's in the bill.

This is how the GOP described all the extra items on health care, which take up 345 pages of the 515 page stopgap funding bill, which includes a legislative nickname, the "Strengthening and Underpinning the Safety-net to Aid Individuals Needing Care Act of 2018" or the ‘SUSTAIN Care Act of 2018':

Specifically, the CR will include language from or based on:

⦁ H.R. 3926, the Community Coordination And Resource Empowerment Act (Community CARE Act), authored by Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), providing FY2017 and FY2018 funding for Community Health Centers.

⦁ H.R. 3935, the Bolstering Organizations and Options to Support Training in Primary Care Act (BOOST Primary Care Act), authored by  #SubEnvironment Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL), providing FY2017 and FY2018 funding for the National Health Service Corps.

⦁ H.R. 3394, the Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education Extension Act, authored by House Republican Conference Chairman Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), providing FY2017 and FY2018 funding for Teaching Health Centers.

⦁ H.R. 3924, to amend the Public Health Service Act to extend funding for the special diabetes program for type I diabetes, authored by Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), providing FY2017 and FY2018 funding.

⦁ H.R. 3917, to amend the Public Health Service Act to extend funding for the special diabetes program for Indians, authored by Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), providing FY2017 and FY2018 funding.

⦁ H.R. 3900, the Youth Empowerment Act, providing FY2017 and FY2018 funding for Title V Sexual Risk Avoidance Education, authored by Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX).

⦁ H.R. 938, the Medicaid Third Party Liability Act, authored by #SubHealth Chairman Burgess. As modified, the provision will improve Medicaid Third Party Liability rules and strengthen Medicaid’s role as the payer of last resort by requiring other liable insurers to pay claims for prenatal services before Medicaid pays.

⦁ A permanent repeal of the annual limit on per-patient therapy expenditures in Medicare (therapy caps), authored by #SubCommTech Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Rep. Gus Bilirakis.

⦁ Technical corrections to MACRA, authored by #SubHealth Chairman Burgess.

⦁ H.R. 3263, to extend the Medicare Independence at home Medical Practice Demonstration program, authored by #SubHealth Chairman Burgess and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), would extend the Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Program (IAH), which provides a home-based primary care benefit to high-need Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions, ideally allowing them to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations, ER visits, and nursing home use, for two additional years.

⦁ H.R. 1148, the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine Act of 2017, authored by  #SubOversight Vice Chairman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH). H.R. 1148 will expand the ability of patients presenting at hospitals or at mobile stroke units to receive a Medicare reimbursed neurological consult via telemedicine.

⦁ H.R. 3163, the Medicare Part B Home Infusion Services Temporary Transitional Payment Act, authored by #SubEnergy Chairman Upton (R-MI). H.R. 3163 will create a temporary transitional payment policy, for services related to infusion drugs before a permanent payment policy, included as part of the 21st Century Cures Act is finalized.

⦁ H.R. 3271, the Protecting Access to Diabetes Supplies Act of 2017, authored by Rep. Diana DeGette and Rep. Susan Brooks, would address several issues beneficiaries have reported facing under the competitive bidding program regarding Diabetes Test Strips (DTS). Among them include: providing enhanced reporting that will aid Congress and CMS in ensuring beneficiaries are receiving the diabetic testing supplies they need to manage their condition.

⦁ H.R. 2465, the Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act of 2017, authored by House Republican Conference Chairman Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), and Rep. John Larson (D-CT). H.R. 2465 will make coverage of speech generating devices under “routinely purchased durable medical equipment” permanent under the Medicare program.

⦁ H.R. 3245, the Medicare Civil and Criminal Penalties Act, authored by Rep. Gus Bilirakis and Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL). H.R. 3245 will update both penalties within the Medicare program, many of which have not been updated in 20 years.

⦁ H.R. 3120, to reduce the volume of future electronic health record-related significant hardship requests, authored by #SubHealth Chairman Burgess and Rep. Debbie Dingell. H.R. 3120 would amend the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act to remove the mandate that meaningful use standards become more stringent over time and allows the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to be more deliberative in such evaluations.

⦁ Modifying the reductions in Medicaid DSH payments, authored by #SubHealth Chairman Burgess.

⦁ H.R. 2557, the Prostate Cancer Misdiagnosis Elimination Act of 2017, authored by Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), will provide for coverage of DNA specimen provenance assay (DPSA) testing for prostate cancer.

⦁ H.R. 829, the Prioritizing the Most Vulnerable Over Lottery Winners Act of 2017, authored by #SubEnergy Chairman Fred Upton. H.R. 829 will disenroll lottery jackpot winners from Medicaid, in order to prioritize the most vulnerable.

The new bill language doesn't have a table of contents, so I put one together for the health provisions included in this stopgap budget.

Section 2101: Extension of the Medicare-dependent hospital (MDH) program

Section 2102: Extension of increased inpatient hospital payment adjustment for certain low-volume hospitals

Section 2103: Studies relating to hospital programs paid outside of prospective systems

Section 2104: Extension of home health rural add-on

Subtitle B—Medicare Part B

Section 2111: Ground ambulance services cost reporting requirement

Section 2112: Extension of work Geographic Practice Cost Indices (GPCI) floor

Section 2113: Repeal of Medicare payment cap for therapy services; replacement with limitation to ensure appropriate therapy

Subtitle C—Miscellaneous

Section 2121: Providing continued access to Medicare Advantage special needs plans for vulnerable populations

Section 2122: Extension of certain MIPPA funding provisions; State health insurance assistance program reporting requirements

Section 2123: Extension of funding for quality measure endorsement, input, and selection; reporting requirements

Title II—Additional Medicare Policies Relating to Extenders

Section 2201: Home health payment reform

Section 2202: Information to satisfy documentation of Medicare eligibility for home health services

Section 2203: Voluntary settlement of home health claims

Section 2205: Extension of enforcement instruction on Medicare supervision requirements for outpatient therapeutic services in critical access and small rural hospitals

Section 2206: Technical amendments to Public Law 114-10

Section 2207: Revised requirements for Medicare intensive cardiac rehabilitation programs

Title III—Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (Chronic) Care

Subtitle A—Receiving High Quality Care in the Home

Section 2301: Extending the Independence at Home Demonstration Program

Section 2302: Expanding access to home dialysis therapy

Subtitle B—Expanding Innovation and Technology

Section 2311: Adapting benefits to meet the needs of chronically ill Medicare Advantage enrollees

Section 2312: Expanding supplemental benefits to meet the needs of chronically ill Medicare Advantage enrollees

Section 2313: Increasing convenience for Medicare Advantage enrollees through telehealth

Section 2314: Providing accountable care organizations (ACOs) the ability to expand the use of telehealth

Section 2315: Expanding the use of telehealth for individuals with stroke

Subtitle C—Identifying the Chronically Ill Population

Section 2321: Providing flexibility for beneficiaries to be part of an ACO

Subtitle D—Empowering Individuals and Caregivers in Care Delivery

Section 2331: Eliminating barriers to care coordination under ACOs

Section 2332: GAO study and report on longitudinal comprehensive care planning services under Medicare Part B

Subtitle E—Other Policies to Improve Care for the Chronically Ill

Section 2341: GAO study and report on improving medication synchronization

Section 2342: GAO study and report on impact of obesity drugs on patient health and spending

Section 2343: HHS study and report on long-term risk factors for chronic conditions among Medicare beneficiaries

Title IV—Medicare Part B Miscellaneous Policies

Subtitle A—Medicare Part B Improvement Act

Section 2401: Home infusion therapy services temporary transitional payment

Section 2402: Orthotist’s and prosthetist’s clinical notes as part of the patient’s medical record

Section 2403: Independent accreditation for dialysis facilities and assurance of high quality surveys

Section 2404: Modernizing the application of the Stark rule under Medicare

Subtitle B—Additional Provisions

Section 2411: Making permanent the removal of the rental cap for durable medical equipment under Medicare with respect to speech generating devices

Section 2412: Increased civil and criminal penalties and increased sentences for Federal health care program fraud and abuse

Section 2413: Reducing the volume of future EHR-related significant hardship requests

Section 2414: Coverage of certain DNA specimen provenance assay tests under Medicare

Section 2415: Strengthening rules in case of competition for diabetic testing strips

Title V – Public Health Extenders

Section 2501: Extension for community health centers, the National Health Service Corps, and teaching health centers that operate GME programs

Section 2502: Extension for special diabetes programs

Section 2503: Extension for family-to-family health information centers

Section 2504: Extension for sexual risk avoidance education

Section 2505: Extension for personal responsibility education

Title VI: Child and Family Services and Support Family First Prevention Services Act, Social Impact Partnerships, and Related Pay fors

Subtitle A: Family First Prevention Services Act


Section 2621: Foster care prevention services and programs.

Section 2622: Foster care maintenance payments for children with parents in a licensed residential family-based treatment facility for substance abuse

Section 2623: Title IV–E payments for evidence-based kinship navigator programs.


Section 2631: Elimination of time limit for family reunification services while in foster care and permitting time-limited family reunification services when a child returns home from foster care

Section 2632: Reducing bureaucracy and unnecessary delays when placing children in homes across State lines.

Section 2633: Enhancements to grants to improve well-being of families affected by substance abuse


Section 2641: Reviewing and improving licensing standards for placement in a relative foster family home

Section 2642: Development of a statewide plan to prevent child abuse and neglect fatalities.

Section 2643: Modernizing the title and purpose of title IV–E.


Section 2651: Limitation on Federal financial participation for placements that are not in foster family homes.

Section 2652: Assessment and documentation of the need for placement in a qualified residential treatment program.

Section 2653: Protocols to prevent inappropriate diagnoses.

Section 2654: Additional data and reports regarding children placed in a setting that is not a foster family home.

Section 2655: Criminal records checks and checks of child abuse and neglect registries for adults working in child-care institutions and other group care settings.

Section 2656: Effective dates; application to waivers.


Section 2661: Supporting and retaining foster families for children.

Section 2662: Extension of child and family services programs.

Section 2663: Improvements to the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program and related provisions.


Section 2665: Reauthorizing adoption and legal guardianship incentive programs.


Section 2667: Technical corrections to data exchange standards to improve program coordination.

Section 2668: Technical corrections to State requirement to address the developmental needs of young children.


Section 2669: Delay of adoption assistance phase-in.

Section 2670: GAO study and report on State reinvestment of savings resulting from increase in adoption assistance.

Subtitle C—Supporting Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results

Section 2681: Supporting social impact partnerships to pay for results.

Subtitle D—Modernizing Child Support Enforcement Fees

Section 2691: Modernizing child support enforcement fees.

Subtitle E—Increasing Efficiency of Prison Data Reporting

Section 2699: Increasing efficiency of prison data reporting.

Title VIII—Offsets

Section 2701: Payment for early discharges to hospice care

Section 2702: Home health market basket reduction

Section 2703: Reduction for non-emergency ESRD ambulance transports

Section 2704: Extension of target for relative value adjustments for misvalued services and transitional payment rules for certain radiation therapy services under the physician fee schedule

Section 2705: Delay in authority to terminate contracts for Medicare Advantage plans failing to achieve minimum quality ratings

Section 2706: Medicare Improvement Fund

Section 2707: Payment for outpatient physical therapy services and outpatient occupational therapy services furnished by a therapy assistant

Section 2708: Changes to long-term care hospital payments

Section 2709: Non-Budget Neutral Transitional pass-through payment change for certain products

Section 2710: Third party liability in Medicaid and CHIP

Section 2711: Treatment of lottery winnings and other lump-sum income for purposes of income eligibility under Medicaid

Section 2712: Modifying reductions in Medicaid DSH allotments

Section 2713: Medicaid improvement fund rescission

Section 2714: Sunsetting the exclusion of Biosimilars from the Medicare Part D coverage gap

Section 2715: Prevention and Public Health Fund

Read More

Local News

  • ABC News correspondent and UGA alumna Deborah Roberts will give the University of Georgia’s spring undergraduate Commencement address May 10 at 7 p.m. in Sanford Stadium. Loch Johnson, Regents Professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia, will deliver the spring graduate address on the same day at 9:30 a.m. at Stegeman Coliseum. Tickets are not required for either ceremony. Since graduating from UGA in 1982 with a degree in broadcast news from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Roberts has risen through the ranks of television news, received numerous awards and been a regular reporter and contributor for programs such as “Dateline NBC,” “20/20,” “Nightline,” and “Good Morning America” to name a few. Born in the small town of Perry, Georgia, Roberts was one of nine children. She began her post-college career at WTVM-TV in Columbus, Georgia, and subsequently worked at WBIR-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she gained notice for her coverage of the state legislature. Roberts further honed her reporting skills as bureau chief of WFTV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Orlando, from February 1987 to May 1990, where she also served as the station’s field anchor at the Kennedy Space Center and co-anchor of the weekend news. In 1990, Roberts began her network career with NBC News as a general assignment correspondent. She covered stories in the Southeast from the Atlanta and Miami bureaus and was dispatched to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait reporting on the lead up to the Persian Gulf War. Roberts was later named a magazine correspondent for “Dateline NBC” and reported from Barcelona during the 1992 Summer Olympic games, earning an Emmy nomination for this coverage. In 1992, she received a University of Georgia Distinguished Alumnus Award, presented annually to recent graduates who have excelled rapidly in their professions. Roberts joined ABC 20/20 in 1995. Since then her curiosity has taken her around the world, from Bangladesh to report on women’s maternal health to Africa where she has traveled extensively, telling stories about the HIV/AIDS crisis and an Emmy-winning report on a woman who discovered her long lost mother in an African village. Roberts has won numerous awards for her work including a Clarion award for coverage of abuse within the Amish community. In 2006, Roberts delivered UGA’s Holmes-Hunter lecture, and in 2016 she presented an Alumni Seminar. Earlier this year, she participated in a panel discussion entitled “Grady Greats: A Conversation on the Enduring Values and Power of Journalism.” Johnson, who also holds the title of Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, is an accomplished scholar in political science, with numerous awards for his teaching prowess and research. During his career at UGA, Johnson authored more than 30 books and over 200 articles on intelligence agencies, foreign policy and national security. He served as editor of the journal Intelligence and National Security and as a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Intelligence History, International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence,  Intelligence and National Security and The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence, among many others. His latest book is entitled Spy Watching: Intelligence Accountability in the United States (Oxford, 2018). Johnson was a driving force in the creation of the School of Public and International Affairs in 2001. In 2012, the fourteen universities that comprise the Southeast Conference selected him as the inaugural recipient of its now annual prize: “The SEC Professor of the Year.” After receiving his doctorate in political science from the University of California at Riverside in 1969, he taught at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, California State University (San Francisco) and Ohio University, where he was tenured in 1974. From 1975 on, Johnson also served as a political consultant and congressional staff member, pushing for increased oversight of intelligence agencies. He was Special Assistant to the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which investigated the nation’s spy agencies and led to the establishment of oversight committees in the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives to monitor intelligence activities. Additionally, Johnson served on the staff of the Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations, as staff director of the House Subcommittee on Intelligence Oversight and on the staff of the House Subcommittee on Trade and International Economic Policy. He became a member of the UGA faculty in the Department of Political Science in 1979, becoming a full professor in 1985. He took a year’s leave from the university in 1995 to work on the Aspin-Brown Commission on Intelligence. He has also taught at Yale University and Oxford University as a Distinguished Visiting Professor, and he has presented addresses on national security and foreign policy topics at over 150 colleges and universities in North America, Europe, and New Zealand. During his time at UGA, Johnson has been involved in both local and national politics, including writing Friend of the Court petitions in intelligence-related court cases, serving as a member of the Georgia State Board of Elections and leading the SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) campaign to finance a new Cedar Shoals High School and renovate public schools throughout Athens-Clarke County. Johnson will retire at the end of the spring semester after more than 40 years at UGA.
  • There is a Saturday session for the citizens committee that is looking at the SPLOST project list: the panel meets at 9 tomorrow morning at the Sandy Creek Nature Center. Athens-Clarke County voters decide the fate of the penny-on-the-dollar sales tax referendum in November.  Saturday is a trail work day at the Sandy Creek Nature Center: Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services says volunteers will gather at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning at the Nature Center on Old Commerce Road. Leisure Services says it’s a clean-up day.  The Green Life Expo and Awards ceremony is set for Saturday at the Library on Baxter Street, underway at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning. The Green Life Awards recognize sustainability leaders in schools, businesses, community organizations, and government in Athens. |
  • The University of Georgia was ranked No. 2 by OpenStax on a list of top 10 schools that have saved their students the most money through adoption of OpenStax free college textbooks in the 2017-18 school year. These textbooks helped 42,245 UGA students, according to data from Rice University-based publisher OpenStax. Savings from these textbooks saved students around $3.9 million, according to UGA data. UGA, as well as the University System of Georgia, has made a concerted effort to move toward free online textbooks, especially for large-enrollment courses, to save students money and improve teaching. “At UGA, we are growing a culture of Open Educational Resources thanks to dedicated advocacy for affordable textbook alternatives by our students, faculty, staff and administrators,” said Megan L. Mittelstadt, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. “The majority of these savings are a result of the adoption of OpenStax texts—the high-quality, peer-reviewed OpenStax books are popular among our faculty seeking to implement open education resources in service of equity and student academic success. These not only lower the cost for students, but data from a small sample of UGA courses using OpenStax books also shows improved end-of-course grades, especially for Pell recipients, part-time students and student populations historically underserved by higher education.” UGA was an early adopter of these free textbooks and pioneered ways large institutions can focus their implementation on a bigger scale and improve learning outcomes. Peggy Brickman, a professor of plant biology, and her colleagues teach general education biology courses taken by nearly 2,000 students a year. When she adopted an OpenStax textbook in 2013, CTL used a grant to fund a graduate assistant who worked with Brickman to redesign her course. It was an opportunity for Brickman to rethink how to best teach the course, and students have been thanking her ever since. “It has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars for students,” Brickman said, “and the course is much better after we redesigned it.”
  • The Hart County Sheriff’s Office is heading up the investigation into the shooting that wounded an Elberton man: the shooting apparently happened at the dam on Lake Hartwell. The victim, who was shot in the leg, tells investigators it happened during a robbery. A White County man begins his life sentence: Frederick Sauder is 30 years old, from Cleveland. He was sentenced after his conviction for his role in the armed robbery and murder of 66 year-old Wayne Alexander, who was killed in August of 2016. A Hall County man is behind bars, charged with a long list of drug and driving charges: the Hall County Sheriff’s Office says 39 year-old was arrested after a traffic stop.    From the Hall Co Sheriff’s Office... On February 20, 2019, Deputies with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office arrested Donald Jason Passmore, 39, of Gainesville (pictured above), at a location in the 3300 block of Baker Road, during the course of an investigation.   Four Superior Court Probation warrants had been previously issued for Mr. Passmore’s arrest in July 2018.    His original charges included: manufacturing methamphetamine near a child, possession of methamphetamine 3cts. DUI, possession of drug related objects, theft by taking and obstruction.   On February 20, 2019, Passmore attempted to break into a storage building located at a residence in the 3700 block of Baker Road by prying the lock with a crow bar.   He also attempted to enter the primary residence but fled the scene in his car when confronted by the homeowner/victim in this case.   Deputies responded.    When deputies attempted to arrest Mr. Passmore, he accelerated his vehicle, driving towards the Deputy, causing the deputy to jump out of the vehicle’s path to avoid being struck.   Passmore was ultimately arrested without further incident and charged with:    1) Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer 2) Felony Obstruction 3) Failure to Maintain Lane of Travel 4) Suspended License 5) Reckless Driving 6) Fleeing/Eluding 7) Criminal Trespass of Property 8) Possession of Tools of a Crime (of Burglary) 9) Superior Court Probation Warrant (issued 7/13/18) 10) Superior Court Probation Warrant (issued 7/13/18) 11) Superior Court Probation Warrant (issued 7/24/18) 12) Superior Court Probation Warrant (issued 7/24/18)   Passmore was booked in at the Hall County Jail.  
  • The University of Georgia’s Black History Month Awards and Dinner is set for this evening in Athens: it gets underway at 5:30 at the Georgia Museum of Art. From the University of Georgia master calendar… This dinner and awards ceremony features the presentation of the Larry D. and Brenda A Thompson Award. Visit bit.ly/gmoa-bhma19 to sponsor and receive guaranteed tickets. Individual tickets will be available Jan. 4 for members and Feb. 1 for nonmembers. Call 706-542-4199 with additional ticket inquiries. Friday, February 22 at 5:30pm to 9:00pm Georgia Museum of Art 90 Carlton Street, Athens, GA 30602

Bulldog News

  • Georgia and Ole Miss played an exciting, down-to-the-wire SEC basketball game Saturday, but it was what took part before the game that sent a ripple across the nation. Six of the Rebels basketball players kneeled during the national anthem before the game on Saturday in Oxford.   Several Players from @OleMissMBB kneeling for the national anthem. pic.twitter.com/3fLNXoiFm1 — NewsWatch Ole Miss (@NewsWatch_UM) February 23, 2019   The Mississippi Clarion Ledger reported that as the Ole Miss players were preparing for the game, “almost 100 pro-Confederate supporters gathered in town to protest the University of Mississippi’s past actions to remove Confederate emblems and songs, as well as the discontinuation of mascot Colonel Reb.”   The march has begun with a “God Bless Dixie” chant pic.twitter.com/nmu2gq3qv1 — Nick Suss (@nicksuss) February 23, 2019   The Rebels beat the Bulldogs, 72-71, when UGA guard Tyree Crump missed a last-second shot attempt.     The post WATCH: Ole Miss basketball players kneeled during national anthem appeared first on DawgNation.
  • It was another gut-wrenching loss for what’s become a gritty Georgia basketball team on Saturday at Ole Miss, a 72-71 defeat. The Bulldogs (10-17, 1-13) had a chance to win in the final seconds in a game that saw 10 lead changes, but Tyree Crump’s 3-point attempt as time expired was off the mark. The Rebels (19-8, 9-5 SEC) held off a furious UGA rally after leading by as many as 13 points, protecting their NCAA Tournament resume. Ole Miss led 69-62 with 2:53 left when Georgia made its final run, fueled by 7 consecutive Jordan Harris points, including a pair of free throws with 1:36 left that tied the game. Harris scored a career-high 15 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the floor and 5-of-5 from the free-throw line along with five assists. The Rebels answered Harris’ run with a Devontae Shuler 3-pointer to go up 72-69, before a Nicolas Claxton jumper closed the gap to 72-71. Ole Miss star Breein Tyree missed the front end of a one-and-one situation at the free-throw line with 10.9 seconds left, and Georgia had the ball with a chance to win on the final possession. Coach Tom Crean called for a timeout with just under 6 seconds left and designed the inbounds pass to go to Claxton, who in turn dished the ball out to Crump for the ill-fated shot attempt. “They didn’t get a great look, but they got it to the best player, Claxton, and he didn’t panic when he got double teamed, and he found the open player,” SEC Network analyst Dane Bradshaw said. “It looked like it was going in off the glass.” Georgia was down 10 at halftime but opened the second half on an 8-0 run, cutting the Ole Miss lead to 39-37. The Rebels halftime lead came on the strength of a 13-0 run midway through the first half that made it 28-18.. The Rebels pressure created Georgia through the first 20 minutes, leading to 12 first-half UGA turnovers that sparked Ole Miss to 11 points in transition. Georgia returns to action at 9 p.m. on Wednesday at home against Auburn (TV: ESPNU). The post Georgia basketball misses last-second shot at Ole Miss, falls 72-71 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm doesn’t expect Georgia’s offense to change much under the direction of first-year offensive coordinator James Coley. But the 2019 Heisman Trophy candidate indicated it could evolve. When one considers the returning personnel, it’s not hard to understand why and how. The Bulldogs ranked 18th in the nation in total offense last season and return a veteran offensive line, a 1,000-yard back and a third-year starter in Fromm. RELATED: Kirby Smart makes his pick on offense “There’s just going to be more added to it,” Fromm, who ranked fifth in the nation in passing efficiency last season, told WSB. “We’re super excited in what we have going on.” Receiver Tyler Simmons, who played part of last season limited by a shoulder brace, told WSB-2 he’s expecting a different feeling in the huddles. “A little bit more energetic,” Simmons said. “Coley brings a lot of energy to the offense, we we’re all excited.” Simmons suggested the Georgia pass attack won’t drop off despite the Bulldogs losing four of their top five receivers last season in Riley Ridley, Mecole Hardman, Isaac Nauta and Terry Godwin. “We may have the ball in the air a little more,” Simmons said. “A little bit more passing, a little bit more balance offensively.” That may be true, but it won’t come at the expense of a dominant run game, if Coach Kirby Smart stays true to form. “We’ve got a set of plays, our core belief that we always have which is balance, being powerful, being able to run the ball at our will, not somebody else breaking our will,” Smart said last fall. “That’s always going to be the identity we have.” Further, Smart’s philosophy on building an offense is that the talent will dictate the play calls. “The building of the package is really based on what we have,” Smart said last fall. “What are our strengths? Are we stronger at receiver than running back or are our backs going to be as good and explosive as they were last year?” Georgia is expected to start spring football practice on March 18, with the G-Day spring football game scheduled for April 20. The post Georgia football QB Jake Fromm predicts offensive expansion under James Coley appeared first on DawgNation.
  • UGA stars help celebrate Ric Flair’s 70th birthday You know you’re “big-time” when you get invited with a bunch of A-listers to the surprise 70th birthday party of wrestling legend Ric Flair. The event was Friday night in the Atlanta suburb of Duluth. Who repped UGA at the star-studded event? The first was former Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley, who plays running back for NFL’s Los Angeles Ram. No surprise here, as Gurley is one of the top 10 most recognizable players in pro football. The other UGA attendee? None other the UGA kicker Rodriqo Blankenship. Never underestimate the popularity of Blankenship, who often gets the loudest cheers from the fans when the Bulldogs are introduced before games. The A-listers? Charles Barkley, Dennis Rodman, and Evander Holyfield, along with a host of wrestling stars that include Triple H and Chris Jericho. Maybe “Hot Rod” and Gurley are A-listers, too? What’s the connection between Ric Flair and UGA football? Flair lives in Atlanta, and he’s one of the team’s celebrity fans. He’s attends games, and he even taped a pep talk for the Bulldogs before they played Alabama  in last year’s national championship game. Flair, who evidentially has a daughter-in-law on UGA’s track team, has been known to get on the field to hype up the crowd. The post UGA football stars help celebrate Ric Flair’s 70th birthday appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — The unintended consequences on the Georgia football 2020 schedule have yet to shake out, as it relates to the pending Auburn-Tennessee October-November flip. But the fact Alabama rotates on Bulldogs regular-season schedule in 2020 has some UGA fans losing sleep. Could the Bulldogs play the Tide and Tigers in back-to-back weeks? Extremely unlikely, to the point it would be shocking, and a deeper dive explains why. About the flip On the surface, Georgia’s Auburn-Tennessee schedule flip provides mutual benefits for UGA and the Tigers, to the extent Kirby Smart obviously believes it’s in the best interest of his program. RELATED: Vince Dooley says schedule change benefits Auburn Smart said last May at the SEC Spring Meetings that he was open to changing things up so UGA wasn’t playing road games at Georgia Tech and Auburn in November. WATCH: What Kirby Smart said about Auburn schedule twist But surely, Smart and athletic director Greg McGarity played out the scenario and have some assurances from the SEC office that the Auburn and Alabama games in 2020 won’t occur in back-to-back weeks. “I’d just make the statement that if there are any issues that our staff has, we’d voice that,” UGA athletic director  Greg McGarity told DawgNation. “But I think Kirby will be very comfortable with the schedule that you’ll see in 2020.” Historic trend Still, the relatively limited series history between Georgia and Alabama has led some alarmists to speculate the Bulldogs could be in another scheduling bind. The past two meetings between the Bulldogs and the Tide have been in Atlanta, with the SEC Championship on the line last December, and the national championship at stake in January of 2018. But prior to that, the teams most recent regular season meetings were Oct. 3,   2015 (Athens) and then a 2007-2008 home-and-home in Tuscaloosa (Sept. 27) and Athens (Sept. 27). The good news for Georgia fans is the Bulldogs already have a contracted home game with Louisiana-Monroe for the last Saturday in September, the 26th. More good news is DawgNation sources said earlier this week the 2020 Auburn game will be in October — not September. Circle Sept. 19 The educated guess here is that the 2020 Georgia-Alabama game will be played on Sept. 19 — a week before the contracted non-conference game with Louisiana-Monroe — with the Auburn game played on Oct. 3. It’s worth noting Alabama plays Georgia State on Sept. 12, 2020 and Kent State Sept. 26, 2020 — leaving that Sept. 19 date a prime target for a marquee early-season SEC showdown in Tuscaloosa. But until the schedule comes out, more will speculate and wonder when Georgia will play Alabama in 2020. Regardless of where or when the game is played, the most noteworthy trend that must be reversed is the outcome. The Tide has won five straight against Georgia to snap what had been a three-game Bulldogs win streak in the series dating back to the Bulldogs’ 26-23 overtime win in Tuscaloosa in 2007.     The post Evaluating Georgia football possibility of playing Auburn-Alabama in consecutive 2020 weeks appeared first on DawgNation.