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College Football

    Former University of Georgia running back and now Super Bowl champion Sony Michel joined Jimmy Kimmel last night to talk about the big win in Atlanta.
  • University of Miami head coach Mark Richt abruptly announced his retirement as the Hurricanes ended their football season. Richt was hired for the job at Miami in 2015 after more than a decade as head coach of the University of Georgia Bulldogs football team. He was dismissed from UGA in 2015 and replaced by former University of Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart. >> Read more trending news  Richt issued the following statement Sunday, according to the Hurricanes.  “A few hours ago, I informed UM Director of Athletics Blake James that it is time for me to retire from coaching so I am stepping down as the Head Coach of UM Football. The decision came after a great deal of thought, discussion with my family and prayer. This was my decision. “The University of Miami has been a part of my life for more than three decades. It shaped me as a young man and provided me with the coaching opportunity of a lifetime. My love for The U is simply great. My true desire is for our football program to return to greatness, and while terribly difficult, I feel that stepping down is in the best interests of the program. “I want to express my sincere appreciation to the entire Hurricane Family for welcoming me back home and for supporting the outstanding young men in our program. I only wish that we could have achieved greater things in return. I also want to thank President Frenk and Blake for their incredible support, as well as the outstanding men and women in UM Athletics. Most importantly, I want to thank the incredible coaches, staff, and their families who gave their all to The U each and every day, and our student-athletes, who wore The U jersey with pride and who worked hard towards their degree. “Katharyn and I will be cheering on the Canes in the years to come and The U will never leave our hearts. “Sincerely, Mark Richt” Miami is coming off a 35-3 loss to Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl, a loss school officials called “unacceptable.” Richt went 26-13 in three years at Miami, his alma mater, including 7-6 this season. He led Miami to a 10-3 mark and Orange Bowl berth in 2017 after debuting with a 9-4 record in 2016. At Georgia, Richt went 145-51 in 15 years, including two SEC championships and five East division titles.
  • It’s the bye week for the University of Georgia football team, which typically means it’s a time for polishing any mistakes made up to this point in the season, and sneaking in some good rest and relaxation at times to get healthy.  But after Thursday’s practice, instead of rushing off the field to the training tables or back to their dorms, Bulldog players were greeted by several of their best friends through Extra Special People, a nonprofit serving families and children with special needs in the 26-county area surrounding Watkinsville, Ga., since 1987. ESP’s annual Bulldogs and Buddies event with UGA Football players offers the team a chance to give their support to children with special needs who are huge Dawg fans. More than 150 ESP participants showered the players with hugs, requests for autographs and photos to commemorate the special day. “We appreciate Coach Smart and the UGA Football team taking time for some of their biggest fans. ESP works to provide typical experiences to kids of all abilities, bringing them life’s greatest joys,” said Laura Whitaker, Executive Director of ESP. “However each year, the players and coaches have told us that this event brings them incredible joy. Kids with disabilities have the ability to break down barriers and bringing smiles to all faces. It’s a win-win for everyone who came out today.” In its seventh year, Bulldogs and Buddies offers ESP participants the opportunity to visit with players after practice. Many current and past players including Jake Fromm, Aaron Murray and Lorenzo Carter have gone on to volunteer and advocate for ESP after their positive experience at Bulldawgs and Buddies. All season long, in celebration of Down Syndrome Awareness month, ESP is encouraging UGA fans to “Dress Down for the Dawgs” by dressing casually at the home games and tagging their photos on social media with #DressDownfortheDawgs. ESP aims to bring awareness to Down Syndrome and offer a fun way to support its participants of all abilities. ESP is an organization based in Watkinsville, Ga., that empowers individuals with special needs through eight weeks of annual summer camp, 19 after school enrichment programs, and ongoing family support and counseling. ESP currently serves more than 300 individuals with special needs and their families throughout 26 counties in Georgia, helping these families engage, connect and thrive while never paying more than 25 percent of the cost of any program. To learn more about Extra Special People, visit www.extraspecialpeople.com.   About Extra Special People Extra Special People, Inc., (ESP), a 501 (c)(3) is a nonprofit serving families and children with special needs in the 26-county area surrounding Watkinsville, Ga., since 1987. With ever-expanding after-school programs, weekend clubs, an eight-week long summer camp and family resources, ESP now reaches more than 300 children, with an ongoing dream of reaching every Northeast Georgia family that has a need and a desire to help their special child grow and thrive. Contributing to this dream was the addition of 70 acres in Jackson County in December 2014. Camp Hooray will one day continue the ESP mission by hosting overnight camps, weekend retreats and events for children and families of all abilities.  
  • Touchdowns are always a good thing for any football team, but a recent score on a Massachusetts’ college gridiron had a little extra meaning. >> Read more trending news  A local Nichols College fan, an 11-year-old girl named Alana Inslee, who suffers from acrodysotosis and hydrocephalus, was honored on her birthday with a special moment on her favorite team's field. Acrodysostosis causes growth delays and small hands and feet with fingers and toes that are shorter than usual. Meanwhile, hydrocephalus increases the size of ventricles deep within the brain, putting pressure on the brain and leading to a larger head than usual. While the Nichols College football team battles various opponents throughout the season, Alana battles her disorders, and sticks around as a fan of the team. >> Related: Recruits call Nichols College home after surviving Parkland school shooting In honor of her dedication, the team honored her by letting her score a touchdown at practice, and had everyone sign a jersey as a gift before taking pictures and videos with her. The team tweeted out the special moment, saying, 'We've had some great touchdowns scored this season on the field, but we think this is the best one!
  • ATHENS —— Former Georgia receiver/quarterback Hines Ward was among those selected for the 2018 Southeastern Conference Football Legends class, announced Tuesday by the SEC office. The class will be honored at the 2018 SEC Football “Weekend of Champions” Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in Atlanta, Ga, highlighted by the annual SEC Legends Dinner presented by AT&T on Fri., Nov. 30 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta. The group will also be recognized prior to the SEC Football Championship Game, which will be held at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sat., Dec. 1. Ward will also be recognized as UGA’s legend — as well as his coming induction into the Circle of Honor — his Saturday during the Bulldogs’ football game vs. Vanderbilt. A native of Rex, Ga., and a product of Forest Park High School, Ward earned All-SEC first-team honors after his senior season of 1997, when the Bulldogs went 10-2 and defeated Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl. He saw action primarily as a receiver and caught 55 passes for 715 yards and six touchdowns. He also set the school record for receptions in a bowl game when he pulled in 12 passes for 122 yards against the Badgers. Ward was selected in the third round of the 1997 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He went on to be selected to four Pro Bowls, was a member of two Super Bowl champion teams, and earned MVP honors in Super Bowl 40 in 2006. Ward remains the Steelers' all-time leading receiver with 1,000 catches for 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns. He gained further notoriety in 2011 by winning the “Dancing With The Stars” national television competition. Other members of the 2018 class include: Shaun Alexander (Alabama); Darren McFadden (Arkansas); Ronnie Brown (Auburn); Lawrence Wright (Florida); Rich Brooks (Kentucky); Ronnie Estay (LSU); Jim Miller (Ole Miss); Mardye McDole (Miss. State); Devin West (Missouri); Eric Norwood (South Carolina); Philip Fulmer (Tennessee); Pat Thomas (Texas A&M); and Zac Stacy (Vanderbilt). The SEC Legends program was started in the 1994 season and the following former Bulldogs have been chosen to participate: Charley Trippi (1994), Fran Tarkenton (1995), Bill Stanfill (1996), Terry Hoage (1997), John Rauch (1998), Herschel Walker (1999), Kevin Butler (2000), Tommy Lyons (2001), George Patton (2002), Scott Woerner (2003), Mike Wilson (2004), Zeke Bratkowski (2005), Garrison Hearst (2006), Rex Robinson (2007), Eric Zeier (2008), Matt Stinchcomb (2009), Ben Zambiasi (2010), Boss Bailey (2011), David Greene (2012), Tim Worley (2013), John Little (2014), Richard Seymour (2015), Jon Stinchcomb (2016) and Champ Bailey (2017).
  • The University of Georgia vs. Middle Tennessee State football game on Saturday September, 15th has become the latest event to be impacted by Hurricane Florence, which is on track to effect weather across the Southeast the next several days.  Kickoff was scheduled for 7:15pm on Saturday but has instead been rescheduled for NOON to accommodate travel for those in areas that will be affected by the storm.  The latest track of Florence has it moving into the Carolinas sometime in the next day or so, and then potentially making a turn towards Georgia as the storm weakens over land. While wind gusts are expected, no hurricane force winds are expected in Georgia, but outer rain bands could bring with them several inches of rainfall along with gusty winds at times.  Statement from UGA: “After extensive evaluation involving the uncertainty of weather conditions on the east coast, and consideration of all constituencies involved including fans, support staff, and law enforcement, the Saturday Georgia-Middle Tennessee State game has been moved from 7:15 p.m. to a 12 noon kickoff in Sanford Stadium.”   The game will be televised on ESPN News and will stream live on the ESPN app.   The University of Georgia encourages fans to support disaster relief efforts through the Red Cross by texting “REDCROSS’ to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or going online to   https://www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-florence-donations.html/  
  • If you're traveling to Columbia, Missouri on September 22nd, go ahead and start finalizing those UGA Football tailgate plans.  The No. 3 ranked Georgia Bulldogs will kickoff against the Missouri Tigers in the Show Me State at 12 p.m. ET on Faurot Field. The game will be televised on ESPN.  The Bulldogs have not lost in Columbia since the Tigers joined the SEC in 2012, when Georgia welcomed the newcomers to the conference on their field with a 41-20 victory. The most recent trip resulted in a much closer 28-27 victory which included a fourth down conversion for a TD late in the game in 2016. 
  • ATHENS, GA -- Georgia and Clemson have signed a contract to play football in 2024 as part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game in Atlanta.  The game will take place August 31, 2024 in Mercedes Benz Stadium.  “We’re thrilled to be able to renew a storied rivalry between two historic programs that are within such a close proximity to Atlanta,” said Bob Somers, Peach Bowl, Inc. chairman. “Both Georgia and Clemson are two of the most well-represented fan bases in our city, so we’re expecting an electric atmosphere for this one.” The two programs have been rumored to be in talks for some time about getting each  other back on the football schedule. The rivalry is an historic one with 64 previous meetings, the most recent games played as a home and home series in 2013 and 2014.  “Many of the players on both teams know each other and the proximity of the two schools makes it especially competitive,” said UGA head football coach Kirby Smart. “This is another great opportunity for our team and our fans to play an outstanding team in an extraordinary city and venue. We are appreciative of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game staff for their hard work in putting the game together.” Georgia will be making its fifth appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game. The program recently announced another future appearance in the game against Oregon in 2022. Clemson will be making its third appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. The Tigers fell 34-10 to Alabama in the inaugural Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in 2008, but later defeated Auburn 26-19 in the 2012 game. “It is great to be able to renew our rivalry with Clemson in Mercedes Benz Stadium in 2024,” said UGA J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity. “We know our fans will enjoy another outstanding experience in Atlanta, and will look forward to a great game.” The teams will battle for The Old Leather Helmet Trophy, one of college football’s newest rivalry-style icons. Traditionally, winners of The Old Leather Helmet don the helmet on the field after the game, starting with the head coach and then rotating from player to player as the team celebrates its victory.   The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game averages more than 68,887 fans for each game – higher than 36 bowl games from last year – and an additional 67 million television viewers since 2008. Total team payouts average $5.2 million – higher than 26 bowl games last season – with more than $67 million in payouts over its history.   Past and Future Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game match-ups include:   Year: Match-Up: Winner:  2008 (9) Clemson vs. (24) Alabama Alabama 34-10 2009 (5) Alabama vs. (7) Virginia Tech Alabama 34-24  2010 (16) LSU vs. (18) North Carolina LSU 30-24 2011 (5) Boise State vs. (19) Georgia Boise State 35-21 2012 (25) N.C. State vs. Tennessee Tennessee 35-21 2012 (14) Clemson vs. (24) Auburn Clemson 26-19 2013 (1) Alabama vs. Virginia Tech Alabama 35-10 2014 (18) Ole Miss vs. Boise State Ole Miss 35-13 2014 (2) Alabama vs. West Virginia Alabama 33-23 2015 (25) Louisville vs. (6) Auburn Auburn 31-24 2016 (18) Georgia vs. (22) North Carolina Georgia 33-24 2017 (3) Florida State vs. (1) Alabama Alabama 24-7 2017 (25) Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech Tennessee 42-41 (2 OT) 2018 (6) Washington vs. (9) Auburn 2019 Alabama vs. Duke 2020 West Virginia vs. Florida State 2020 Georgia vs. Virginia 2020 Auburn vs. North Carolina 2021 Alabama vs. Miami 2021 Louisville vs. Ole Miss 2022 Oregon vs. Georgia 2024 Georgia vs. Clemson
  • Athens, Ga --   “War.”  \ ˈwȯr \    Definition:  “A state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations.” On New Year’s Day 1943, Morgan County, Georgia native and All-SEC guard Henry Walter “Chief” Ruark led the University of Georgia football team onto the Rose Bowl field in Pasadena, California to conduct what many would describe as “war” against UCLA.  Ruark, along with future Heisman Trophy winner Frank Sinkwich and UGA legend Charley Trippi would successfully win the proverbial war and bring glory back to Georgia with a 9-0 victory.  Not long after, Ruark, along with many other members of the 1942 National Champion Georgia Bulldogs, would finally understand the true definition of war. Members of “The Greatest Generation,” college football players from around the nation found themselves in foreign lands fighting in World War II. Ruark would enlist in the U.S. Army where he was promoted to Master Sergeant and serve in the 47th Regiment of the Ninth Infantry Division.   On the day after Thanksgiving in Belgium, November 1944, Ruark volunteered to lead a patrol to combat German snipers who were  picking off American troops. He took the lead on the march so that he, not his men, would be the most exposed of the patrol in an effort to protect them. In doing so, Master Sergeant and Georgia Bulldog National Champion Henry Walter “Chief” Ruark was killed by a German bullet that he was seeking to eliminate.  Ruark  left behind his wife Hazel, who was a student at UGA at the time of her husband’s death, and would soon after give birth to their daughter, Pat, who never had the chance to meet her heroic father. The Army would later present Hazel with a Silver Star awarded to her husband for his bravery in the circumstances surrounding his death.  Starting Friday at the UGA Special Collections Library in Athens, you can see Ruark’s Rose Bowl jersey as part of the new ‘Fighting Spirit: Wally Butts and UGA Football, 1939-1950” exhibit, highlighting an era which saw the sport interrupted by WWII. In addition, Ruark’s Fort Benning football jersey will be on display, which he wore as part of a team designed for entertainment and physical training for the boys preparing for war. Ruark’s story is only one of many in this year’s exhibit, open to the public and free of charge to get your UGA football home game weekends started. The exhibit will be on display in the Rotunda Gallery of the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries until May 10th, 2019, and guided tours are being offered on Fridays before home games at 3 p.m. “It’s the story of how coach Wally Butts built the program,” says Jason Hasty with the Special Collections Library, who will be giving the guided tours. “He built it up to where it could win a National Championship at the Rose Bowl in 1943, but then he had to really hold it together as the men in the program went off to war. Then he had to rebuild it when the men came back around 1945.” During the tours, Hasty will be offering the backstory and insights to the exhibit, which go way beyond the materials themselves. The era of college football is considered to be so incredibly unique, as for the first time - and perhaps the only time - the sport consisted of seasoned men in lieu of fresh young boys away from home for the first time.  “You have these G.I.s coming back, that had been in the Service for three or four years, they had been overseas, they had been in combat situations and came back to get their college degrees, and football wasn’t really that intimidating for them,” Hasty said. “So you saw the level of play really in the late 40s elevate as these men, and they really were grown men at that point, coming back into college from the Service.” Patrons of the exhibit will be treated to dozens of photographs and artifacts from the era, including an original program from the 1943 Rose Bowl Game along with an official game ball. Charley Trippi’s All-American sweater and Frank Sinkwich’s 1941 team jersey are displayed, which may catch patrons off guard as they may have never seen them in color. But perhaps the most visually satisfying piece is a pair of the original “silver britches” from the era.  Coach Wally Butts’ original playbook is also part of the exhibit, which are all hand drawn in meticulous detail. A far cry from the iPads coaches and players carry around today.  The Special Collections Libraries building, located at 300 South Hull Street, is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The building is CLOSED on home football game day Saturdays. 
  • The fever pitch is very real as UGA Football is now just 24 days away from blessing the city of Athens with its presence. As fans peel back the days of their desk calendars and begin prepping for all their tailgate goodness, one fan is using his skill behind the camera to help other cope with the longest offseason in all of sports.  Scott Duvall makes videos for his production company JaWaVi Films,  and is the co-host of the WSLSPodcast. Enjoy his work below, and try not to tackle your co-workers or significant other in the process, depending on where you’re watching: