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Entertainment Headlines

    Ariana Grande has released her first single since the 2017 Manchester attack just after her concert. “No Tears Left to Cry,” confronts the emotions the singer, her fan base and others felt after the bombing that killed 22 people and injured more than 59 others. >> Read more trending news  The music video for the song, directed by Dave Meyers, was released overnight Friday, with the song itself available on steaming. The visuals start dark and brighten, similar to the song itself, which is about picking yourself up after a hard time. “Ain’t got no tears left to cry (so don’t cry)/ So I’m pickin’ it up, I’m pickin’ up (oh yeah)/ I’m lovin’, I’m livin’, I’m pickin’ it up,” chorus lyrics say. Watch the music video for “No Tears Left to Cry” below. The song is the lead single from her upcoming, currently untitled fourth studio album. BuzzFeed reported that the end of the video includes a nod to Manchester, with an animated bee buzzing across the screen in the last shot. The worker bee has been symbol of Manchester since the Victorian era and represents the work ethic of those in the city.
  • Actor Rachel Weisz has announced that she and her husband, James Bond actor Daniel Craig, are expecting their first child. The actress revealed the news when she spoke to The New York Times to promote her movie “Disobedience.” >> Read more trending news  “I’ll be showing soon. Daniel and I are so happy,” she told The Times. “We’re going to have a little human. We can’t wait to meet him or her. It’s all such a mystery.” Weisz, 48, and Craig, 50, have been married for seven years and are very private about their personal lives, but Weisz did share that she is happy in her marriage. “I’m very happy being married,” she said, “Very, very happy,” Although Weisz applauds celebrity couples who have made their relationships part of their brand, that’s not the case for her marriage “Daniel and I are really similar. We just literally don’t know how to do that,” Weisz said. “We’re just really crap at talking about our private lives.” This is the second child for each actor. E! News reported that Weisz has an 11-year-old son with director Darren Aronofsky and Craig has a 25-year-old daughter with actress Fiona London.
  • Former USA Gymnastics women's national team coordinator Martha Karolyi and husband Bela tell NBC they were unaware of the abusive behavior by a former national team doctor now serving decades in prison. Martha Karolyi led the national team for 15 years before retiring after the 2016 Rio Olympics. She tells Savannah Guthrie in 'no way' did she suspect Larry Nassar was sexually abusing athletes under the guise of treatment. 'The whole gymnastics community couldn't recognize this,' Martha Karolyi said in an excerpt provided to The Associated Press on Friday by NBC. 'Everybody said, 'Larry Nassar is a good doctor. Larry Nassar is a good guy.'' The Karolyis spoke as part of a Dateline NBC special entitled 'Silent No More' scheduled to air Sunday. The one-hour special, the first prime-time event hosted by Guthrie, takes a look at the fallout from revelations about years of abuse by Nassar involving hundreds of former athletes, including several members of the U.S. Olympic team. 'The whole thing is just like an explosion, a bomb exploding,' Bela Karolyi said. 'Boom.' The Karolyis have been named as co-defendants in several civil lawsuits filed against Nassar and USA Gymnastics. Several victims, including two-time Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney, say they were abused at the Karolyi's Ranch near Houston. The ranch served as the training home for USA Gymnastics during most of Martha Karolyi's highly successful tenure running the national team. Guthrie spent hours with the Karolyis at the ranch after the couple agreed to speak publicly for the first time since Martha Karolyi's retirement following the 2016 Olympics. 'I think they felt like it was time for them to tell their side of the story,' Guthrie said. 'I think they've watched and seen as their reputation has really taken a hit and people have asked a lot of questions about what they knew and just as importantly what they should have known.' Guthrie said she was 'surprised' the Karolyis came forward despite the potential legal fallout. 'They answered every question,' Guthrie said. 'At no time did their lawyer jump in and say 'You can't answer that.'' Nassar spent nearly three decades at USA Gymnastics before being fired in 2015 after complaints about his behavior. He continued to work at Michigan State University through the fall of 2016 before being hit with federal charges. Nassar is now serving decades in prison for molesting women and girls and for possessing child pornography. Nassar was already established in the program when Martha Karolyi took over. He would visit the ranch during national team training sessions and also accompany the team to events around the world. Maroney said she was abused 'hundreds' of times by Nassar. Martha Karolyi denied having any knowledge about Nassar's pattern of abuse. 'I heard during the testimonies (at Nassar's sentencing) that some of the parents were in the therapy room with their own child and Larry Nassar was performing this,' Martha Karolyi told Guthrie. 'And the parent couldn't see. How I could see?
  • On a hot summer day in 1978, as her husband mulled his first presidential run, Barbara Bush headed to Houston's leafy Memorial Park for a jog while she thought about what issues she'd like to focus on should she become first lady. Bush was concerned about stubborn societal problems like crime, the homeless, drugs and hunger. But as she ran, the then-53-year-old came to the realization that teaching more people to read could help decrease the other major problems, which can grow out of lack of literacy and educational opportunity. 'After much thought, I realized everything I worried about would be better if more people could read, write and comprehend,' Bush wrote in her 1994 autobiography, 'Barbara Bush: A Memoir.' It would be another decade before Bush became first lady, but, in the interval, she was active in literacy programs. In March 1989, mere weeks into her husband's presidency, she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. 'We love that story,' said Lauren Sproull, the foundation's spokeswoman. 'It really shows that, from the very beginning, the moment she even thought that she might become first lady one day, she immediately turned her thoughts to, 'How can I do the most good?' 'How can I help the most people?'' The foundation has since raised more than $110 million to create or support literacy programs for men, women and children in all 50 states. Its programs include classes to help teenage mothers who left high school earn GED diplomas in Georgia, and teaching non-English speakers in Alabama the language and how to transfer what they learn to their pre-kindergarten-age children before they start school. One in four American adults can't read above a fifth-grade level, the foundation says. A 2003 study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that nearly 15 percent of Americans lacked basic reading and comprehension skills. It took more than a decade to compile, though, and hasn't been repeated. For years, the foundation offered grants to fund new literacy programs or bolster existing ones, but since 2012 has focused on creating direct models that use technology to reach adults and children, many of whom weren't always able to attend traditional, classroom-style programs. The foundation says it has helped 'easily hundreds of thousands' of people across the country over the years, but doesn't have a full count of everyone enrolled in programs it supported. Bush died Tuesday at her Houston home at the age of 92. To mark her 90th birthday in June 2015, the foundation launched the $7 million adult literacy XPRIZE, a competition in which teams are tasked with creating mobile apps that can improve adult literacy within 12 months. The foundation has announced eight semifinalists whose apps are being field-tested among about 11,000 people in Dallas, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Bush remained active with the foundation until as recently as two months ago, participating via video chat at one of its reading events. Her daughter, Doro Bush Koch, is now the foundation's honorary chairwoman, and it is based in Tallahassee, where her son, Jeb, lived as Florida governor from 1999 until 2007. Bush also wrote two books about her dogs' lives, 1984's 'C. Fred's Story' and 'Millie's Book,' in 1990, and donated the proceeds to family literacy programs. In 2013, her son Neil, and his wife Maria, created the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, which promotes literacy among people of all ages in the country's fourth-largest city. Laura Bush, who was first lady while Barbara's son George W. was president, told Fox Business Network on Wednesday that her mother-in-law believed 'if everyone could read and write, a lot of problems would be solved.
  • She looks like the grandma who has to cook for everyone, but Mary Berry, star of “The Great British Bake Off,” has a dark past. Berry recently recounted the time that airport security detained her for taking bags of powder through airport security, Metro reported. >> Read more trending news  Berry told Graham Norton, “I was arrested 25 years ago. I was going to the US to do some cookery demonstrations and was worried that there might be problems so I weighed out all the ingredients - flour, sugar - and put them all in little plastic bags.” You can imagine what came next. The K-9’s zeroed in on her bags, Independent reported. “Suddenly I was surrounded by uniformed people and my assistant and I were put in separate cells. It was alarming. When I was asked if I was going to make money from the stuff, I said, ‘I do and my fee has already been agreed,’” Berry told Norton. Berry was on “The Graham Norton Show” to promote her new BBC series, “Britain’s Best Home Cook.”
  • An investigation into sexual misconduct allegations at the Swedish body that hands out the coveted Nobel Prize in Literature found Friday that 'unacceptable behavior in the form of unwanted intimacy' has taken place within the ranks of the prestigious institution. The secretive 18-member board has in recent weeks been embroiled in a sex-abuse scandal that investigators concluded was 'not generally known.' It has led to the departure of six of members of the Academy and tarnished the prize's reputation. Sweden's prime minister, the king and the Nobel board have all expressed their concerns over a scandal that has sparked all around outrage in the Scandinavian nation that is known for its promotion of gender equality. On Thursday, thousands gathered outside the Swedish Academy to demand that all of its remaining members resign. The academy commissioned lawyers to investigate sexual misconduct claims from 18 women against Jean-Claude Arnault, a major cultural figure in Sweden who is married to Katarina Frostenson, a poet who is a member of the academy. Frostenson stepped down last week at the same time as another woman — the academy's permanent secretary Sara Danius. The case has exposed bitter divisions within the academy, whose members are appointed for life, and given rise to accusations of patriarchal leanings among some members. The protest has grown out of what began as Sweden's own #MeToo moment in November when the country saw thousands of sexual misconduct allegations surfacing from all walks of life. It hit the academy when 18 women came forward in a Swedish newspaper with accusations against Arnault. He was banned in December by the academy from attending a Nobel banquet after Dagens Nyheter, one of Sweden's largest, published the allegations. He has denied the alleged assaults, which reportedly occurred between 1996 and 2017. Swedish prosecutors said last month that an investigation into reported rape and sexual abuse by Arnault from 2013 to 2015 had been dropped, but a probe into other criminal acts would continue. On the sidelines of the probe, the academy said Friday it found a letter it had received in December 1996, in which the sender drew attention to suspected sexual assault at Arnault's cultural center that had received funding from the academy. It added it 'deeply regrets that the letter was put aside, which meant that no action was taken to investigate,' and distanced itself from sexual harassment and sexual violence 'wherever it occurs.' Arnault who was not named in the academy's press statement, has also been suspected of violating century-old Nobel rules by leaking names of winners of the prestigious award — including 2016 recipient Bob Dylan. He has allegedly leaked winners' names seven times, starting in 1996. It was not clear who the names were disclosed to. The investigators noted 'violations of the academy's secrecy rules have been noted regarding the work of the Nobel Prize in Literature.' It didn't elaborate. The academy said that following what it called 'a serious crisis,' it had decided to hand over the report to relevant judicial authorities.
  • David Copperfield was forced to shatter his most famous illusion. >> Read more trending news The famed magician was ordered in court Tuesday to break the Magicians Oath in court Tuesday, the BBC reported. A judge ordered Copperfield to explain one of his most famous tricks -- the Lucky #13 -- during a trial involving a man who claimed he was injured during the stunt. British tourist Gavin Cox, 58, filed a negligence lawsuit against the illusionist, Time reported. Cox claimed he fell while participating in the Lucky #13 trick at the MGM Grand Resort and Casino in Las Vegas in 2013, the BBC reported. In the trick, Copperfield makes 13 audience members, chosen at random, disappear on stage and then reappear at the back of the room, the BBC reported.  Cox told NBC News that he has suffered chronic pain and brain injury and has spent more than $400,000 on medical bills. Copperfield’s attorney argued that revealing the secret would be financially detrimental, but a Las Vegas district court ruled against the magician A Las Vegas district court rejected Copperfield’s defense, which argued that disclosing the secret behind the trick would be financially detrimental to him. He was ordered to explain how the trick was done. Spoiler alert: Copperfield’s executive producer testified that when the curtain falls, the 13 volunteers are taken through passageways that circle the MGM building. They exit the building and then re-enter at the back of the theater, Time reported. “There was a duty by the defendants to provide a safe environment to the audience participants,” Cox’s lawyer, Benedict Morelli, said in the opening statements.
  • A theater in southern Germany is proceeding with plans to open a satirical play Friday about Adolf Hitler's youth in which some patrons will be wearing swastika armbands, despite objections and legal complaints. The Konstanz Theater's production of George Tabori's 'Mein Kampf ' opens Friday night for a monthlong run. Though named after Hitler's infamous anti-Semitic manifesto, the play tells a fictional story of how a young Hitler is befriended in Vienna by a Jewish man who takes pity on him for his futile pursuit of a career as an artist and puts him on his political path, as well as helping him with his hairstyle. Tabori, who was born into a Jewish family in Budapest in 1914, was known for his avant-garde works that confronted anti-Semitism. He died in 2007. Though Tabori was able to flee the Nazis himself, his father and other family members were killed in the Auschwitz death camp. His dark farce 'Mein Kampf' has been performed many times, and was made into a German-language film a decade ago. But in a twist introduced by the Konstanz Theater, patrons who agree to wear a swastika armband will be given free admittance, while those who purchase tickets will be asked to wear a Jewish Star of David. Theater manager Christoph Nix says the point is to show how easily corruptible people are, and provoke dialogue about racism. 'The theater is the only place where such a discussion can take place immediately,' he told the dpa news agency. The opening of the play is also on Hitler's birthday, which Nix said was a wish of Tabori's, who was a personal friend. The display of the swastika is generally prohibited in Germany, though there are exceptions such as when it's clearly part of an anti-Nazi protest, or where artistic freedom is involved. Multiple people filed complaints with the Konstanz prosecutors over the theater making use of the armbands in its production, but they decided earlier this week that the concept fell under the expression of artistic freedom. Still, the local German-Israeli Society and the Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation have both called for a boycott of the production. The theatre says about four dozen people have signed up to wear the swastika, meaning there will only be a handful at any of the play's 14 performances. The theater is also planning strict security checks at the entrance, and also as people exit to ensure that the armbands are returned.
  • Ariana Grande has released her first song since a 2017 terrorist attack during her concert in the United Kingdom. The 24-year-old posted a video of 'No Tears Left to Cry' on Instagram on Friday. The emotional song includes the lyrics: 'Right now I'm in a state of mind/ I wanna be in like all the time/ Ain't got no tears left to cry/ So I'm pickin' it up, I'm pickin' up.' Grande suspended her Dangerous Woman Tour after a terrorist bombing killed 22 and injured more than 500 at Manchester Arena in May 2017. She returned for the One Love Manchester charity concert weeks later.
  • U.S. actress Natalie Portman, this year's recipient of a prize dubbed the 'Jewish Nobel,' has pulled out of the June awards ceremony in Israel because of extreme distress over recent events in the country, the Genesis Prize Foundation said. The foundation said it was informed by Portman's representative that the Jerusalem-born Oscar winner 'does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel.' Thursday's statement did not refer to specific events that would have prompted Portman's decision. Israel has been criticized for its response to mass protests on the Gaza-Israel border, in which 28 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded by Israeli fire since March 30. Israel says it is defending its border and accuses Gaza's rulers, the Islamic militant Hamas group, of trying to carry out attacks under the guise of protests. The Genesis foundation said it was 'very saddened' by Portman's decision. 'We fear that Ms. Portman's decision will cause our philanthropic initiative to be politicized, something we have worked hard for the past five years to avoid,' it said. The prize was launched in 2013 to recognize Jewish achievement and contributions to humanity. Previous recipients include former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, actor Michael Douglas, violinist Itzhak Perlman and sculptor Anish Kapoor. When Portman was announced late last year as the 2018 recipient, she said in a statement released by organizers at the time that she was 'proud of my Israeli roots and Jewish heritage.' In Thursday's statement, the Genesis foundation quoted a representative for Portman as saying that 'recent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her' and that 'she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.

Local News

  • A firm from China says it will set up shop in Walton County, creating dozens of new payroll positions in a multi-million dollar investment. From the office of Ga Governor Nathan Deal...  Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Top Polymer Enterprise, a Chinese manufacturer of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), will create 70 jobs and invest $15 million in a facility in Social Circle. New jobs will include positions in manufacturing and production.   “Georgia’s manufacturing sector continues to drive statewide investment by attracting industry leaders from around the world,” said Deal. “As the No. 1 state for business, Georgia has the highly skilled workforce, logistics infrastructure and low cost of doing business necessary to provide a strong foundation for Top Polymer’s continued growth. These resources will strengthen the company’s competitive edge in the global market as Top Polymer expands both in the U.S. and abroad. We look forward to this partnership with Top Polymer as the company invests in Social Circle and creates employment opportunities for our citizens.”   The manufacturing plant in Walton County will be Top Polymer’s first facility in the U.S. The first phase of the facility will be approximately 60,000 square feet with three compounding lines.   “This is an exceptional time for Top Polymer Enterprise and we are extremely excited to be part of the Social Circle community,” said Marcus Tsong, president of Top Polymer Holding Company. “We see our Social Circle facility as being the first key step to becoming an internationally recognized manufacturer and supplier of premier TPE system.”   Top Polymer exports to more than 30 countries and regions. The company currently has two production bases in China, located in Dongguan City, Guangdong Province and Liyang City, Jiangsu Province.   Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Project Manager Nikki Yu represented the Global Commerce Division in partnership with GDEcD Director of China Initiatives Stella Xu, GDEcD Managing Director of Chinese Investment John Ling, Georgia Power, the Georgia Department of Labor and the Development Authority of Walton County.    “Walton County and the City of Social Circle are excited to welcome Top Polymer to our community and we are looking forward to a strong partnership with them,” said Shane Short, executive director of the Development Authority of Walton County. “This partnership could not happen without the great support from the team at the Georgia Department of Economic Development.”   “We are excited that Top Polymer chose Georgia for its first U.S. facility,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “This announcement is a testament to our partnership approach to economic development, and I want to congratulate everyone involved.”   About Top Polymer Top Polymer Enterprise Limited (Top Polymer Enterprise) is dedicated to developing and manufacturing thermoplastic elastomer, which are copolymers or a physical mix of polymers that consists of materials with both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. Top Polymer is committed to meeting customers' requirements by supplying the best TPE solutions to customers, offering infinite imagination for design objectives. Hiring and employment searches are being conducted by Human Resource Dimensions (www.hrdracc.com) and Global Recruiters of Wilmington (www.grnwilmington.com).
  • Faculty and staff at the University of Georgia will soon have a few extra dollars in their paychecks: UGA president Jere Morehead says merit-based salary increases will kick in after the first of the year.  From UGA president Jere Morehead... As the FY 2019 budget development process begins, we are pleased to announce a 2.0% merit-based salary increase pool for faculty and staff, with an effective date of January 1, 2019. While FY 2019 state appropriations for the University System of Georgia did not include funding for merit-based pay adjustments, we are able to fund a merit-based salary increase pool of up to 2% using internal resources.   The FY 2019 merit-based salary increases can be provided in the range of 0 to 4.0%. In addition, UGA is directing additional funds in its FY 2019 budget to increase its minimum hiring rate from $24,000 to $24,500 on July 1, 2018.    We are pleased to share this good news and appreciate your continued service to the University of Georgia.
  • An investigation continues in Gainesville, where a man working at the Chattahoochee Golf Course was killed in what appears to have been an accident: David Silcox was 69 years old. He was mowing grass when his riding lawn mower overturned, crushing him to death. It’s the second such accident in recent weeks in northeast Georgia: E.G. Higginbotham was 76 years old. Elberton Police say he was mowing grass at the Elberton County Club when his mower overturned into a pond on March 20, pinning him in the water.  A man was killed Thursday morning while working at the Chattahoochee 
  • The Georgia Bulldogs spring football game, G-Day (4 p.m. Saturday at Sanford Stadium), will offer the first look at the 2018 Georgia Bulldogs.  Here are five Bulldogs to keep a particularly close eye on Saturday:  Elijah Holyfield, RB— Holyfield has been a name on a lot of lips this spring and not just because of his massive guns. Head coach Kirby Smart recently called Holyfield one of his “favorite competitors out there.” With D’Andre Swift (groin) expected to be limited, if he plays at all, expect Holyfield to get plenty of carries and turn a few heads.  Brenton Cox, OLB/DE— Cox, an early enrollee, is a player too talented and versatile to not play as a freshman, whether that be at defensive end or outside linebacker. Smart noted recently that Cox has been getting some work with the first team, so he should get plenty of minutes at both positions at G-Day.  Richard LeCounte, DB— LeCounte, a rising sophomore, was considered by many a shoo-in for the starting safety spot vacated by Dominick Sanders. But Smart has been critical of LeCounte this spring, calling his performance “up and down.” J.J. Holloman, WR— Although Smart has expressed concerns about many positions this spring, he’s been pretty upbeat about the receivers. He singled out Holloman and early enrollee Kearis Jackson — another player to watch — as second-team guys who are “challenging the guys in front of them.” Justin Fields, QB— There is no player whose performance will be more scrutinized and overanalyzed than Fields. He’s one of the highest-rated players the program has ever signed and plays at the most high-profile position on the field. A lot of fans have speculated he could see the field as a change of pace behind center — a la Tim Tebow in his freshman year at Florida — or even beat Jake Fromm outright. While the latter seems highly unlikely, the former is well within the realm of possibility. 

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — Coach Kirby Smart is doing his best to make sure that Georgia’s best and brightest players will all be available to play in the G-Day Game. But there is increasing evidence some key players may have to sit out Saturday’s heavily-promoted intrasquad game at Sanford Stadium. As of Thursday evening, Smart was holding out hope that offensive stars Terry Godwin and D’Andre Swift will be available. Godwin practiced in a limited capacity Thursday but looked a bit gimpy while doing so with groin and knee injuries. Swift was also going through position drills but hasn’t been participating in full-contact work the last week. “Terry’s been banged up a little bit but we expect him to be able to go and to play,” Smart said. “He’s pushing through. He’s been really tough about it. He has some groin soreness and a slight MCL knee (injury). He’s been able to go.” As for Swift, Smart said: “We’ll see how he does. He’s been able to do some things but hasn’t been able to do everything. He hasn’t been live tackling. He’s getting a lot of mental reps and things like that. He’s still kind of a game-time decision.” One player who definitely won’t play Saturday is cornerback Mark Webb. The converted receiver suffered torn cartilage)in his right knee in practice on Tuesday and underwent arthroscopic surgery on Thursday. However, he should be available to compete in preseason camp in August, or earlier. “Mark had a torn meniscus and he won’t be able to play in the spring game,” Smart said after the Bulldogs’ 14th practice. … We’re expecting a full recovery. He should be back.” Webb had been moving up the ranks in the secondary and appeared poised to contend for a starting position at cornerback. Instead, the Bulldogs are down to just 10 defensive backs overall. Georgia is also going to be without freshman early enrollee Divaad Wilson, who suffered an ACL tear the first week of spring practice, and safety Jarvis Wilson, who has a sprained foot. Sophomore William Poole may have to switch back-and-forth between the Red and Black squads on Saturday in order to preserve competitive balance. Godwin is the leading returning receiver from last year. He had 639 yards and scored six touchdowns, including one via a fairly miraculous catch at Notre Dame Stadium. Swift averaged 7.6 yards a carry and scored three touchdowns while playing behind Nick Chubb and Sony Michel as a freshman last season. He finished with 618 yards and was also the Bulldogs’ leading receiver out of the backfield with 17 catches for 153 yards and one score. The post Some key Georgia players may be missing for G-Day appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — New Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean has finally pulled the trigger on naming a second assistant basketball coach. Joe Scott, most recently an assistant coach at Holy Cross, sports 16 seasons of head coaching experience at three Division I schools. He joins Chad Dollar on the Bulldogs’ staff. “I’m excited to welcome Joe, Leah, Ben and Jack to our Georgia Basketball family and the entire UGA community,” Crean said in a statement released by the school. “Joe is known nationally as someone who excels at coaching, teaching and competing. He has tremendous respect of his peers who have gone against him and those who have worked along side him. He will bring many different elements to our program, but overall and he will help our young men get better every day.” Said Scott, also in a statement: “My family and I are extremely excited to be joining the Georgia family. The University of Georgia is a special place. This is a tremendous opportunity to help Coach Crean implement his vision and make Georgia Basketball special. I cannot wait to get started coaching our players to develop and get better every day.” Scott was tabbed one of the nation’s top-20 “Xs & Os” coaches in a survey of his peers by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman in 2013. He was head coach at Air Force for four seasons, Princeton for three campaigns and Denver for nine seasons. He also has served as an assistant coach at Monmouth, Princeton and Holy Cross. All told, Scott sports 27 years of collegiate coaching experience. Before breaking into the head coaching ranks, Scott was an assistant coach at Monmouth during the 1991-92 season and at Princeton from 1992-2000. While at Princeton, Scott helped the Tigers to five consecutive postseason appearances, with trips to the 1996, 1997 and 1998 NCAA Tournaments and the 1999 and 2000 NITs. The Tigers won three Ivy League titles from 1996-98, including perfect 14-0 records in the final two seasons. Princeton upset defending national champion UCLA in the 1996 NCAA Tournament and ranked as high as No. 7 nationally in 1998 en route to earning a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the highest ever for an Ivy League team. The post Georgia’s Tom Crean finally settles on a second assistant coach appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia held their final actual practice of the spring at the Woodruff Practice Complex on Thursday. Under clear skies and relatively cool temperatures, the Bulldogs were working out in shorts and helmets and were scheduled to for about two hours. The next time they get together and play as a team will be during G-Day Saturday at Sanford Stadium (4 p.m., ESPN, News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB). Actually, it will as two teams. UGA on Thursday released its split rosters for the Red and Black squads for Saturday’s intrasquad game. This year, Georgia’s No. 1 offense, led by quarterback Jake Fromm, will be the Red team. The Black Squad will be led by the Bulldogs’ No. 1 defensive unit — and freshman quarterback Justin Fields, of course. Fromm’s Red squad will be protected by the first-string offensive line — which included both Solomon Kindley and Kendall Baker to play left guard. It will also feature juniors Elijah Holyfield and Brian Herrien at tailback and Terry Godwin, Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman at wideout and Isaac Nauta and Charlie Woerner at tight end. Fields’ No. 2 offensive unit will have walkons Prather Hudson and Ian Donald-McIntyre in the backfield and will feature a receiving corps of Ahkil Crumpton, J.J. Holloman, Kearis Jackson, Matt Landers and Tyler Simmons. Of course, the Black team will be hanging its hat on a defensive team led by Tyler Clark, DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle, Jonathan Ledbetter, Julian Rochester and Malik Herring and inside linebackers Juwan Taylor, Tae Crowder and Nate McBride. D’Andre Walker, Robert Beal and Walter Grant will man the outside linebacker positions. The secondary for the Black squad has Deandre Baker and Tyrique McGhee at the corners, William Poole at star and J.R. Reed and Richard LeCounte III at the safeties. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs appeared to be going through normal drill work and play-polish in the early portions of practice on Thursday. Following are a few observations: Senior Terry Godwin was going through regular drill work with the receivers but appeared to be a bit gimpy in doing so. He had a reinforced brace on one knee and a regular sleeve on the other. Cornerback Mark Webb was not practicing after suffering a knee injury of undisclosed severity on Tuesday. Indications are it’s not a “major” injury. D’Andre Swift was going through bag drills with the running backs and did not exhibit noticeable limitations. He is dealing with a groin injury, according to coach Kirby Smart. Defensive tackle Michael Barnett (knee) was not at practice again, assuring that he’ll miss G-Day. Justin Young, who missed practices last week due to a minor knee sprain, has been able to practice and might be able to play. One area lacking depth that has not been much discussed is deep snapper for special teams. The Bulldogs technically have just one on the roster in redshirt freshman Oren Morgan of Toombs County. But senior fullback Nick Moore also snaps to the kickers. Former tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel were watching Thursday’s practice from the sideline and having a good time commenting on what they say. Asked which tailback they expected to be the leading rusher for the G-Day Game on Saturday, they simultaneously said “Prather Hudson.” Hudson is a redshirt sophomore walkon from Columbus. Recently-matriculated receiver Javon Wims was also at practice watching his position group. All of them plan to attend on Saturday, with Chubb conducting an autograph-signing at the bookstore.   The post Practice report: Jake Fromm to lead Red against Justin Field’s Black squad on G-Day appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Welcome to a feature on DawgNation, where our writers answer (or try to answer) the best questions submitted by Georgia fans. If you’d like to submit a question, please e-mail us at ugaquestionoftheday@gmail.com. Look for the Question of the Day every Monday through Friday Dear DawgNation: What is up with Nate McBride? —  James McConnell, Chickamauga What’s up with Nate McBride, you ask? Lots of things are up with the linebacker from Vidalia. First off, he’s up in class. He’s a legitimate sophomore academically, even though he’s still in his first year at UGA. He’s also up in age and experience, as well as strength and size. And while he’s up, he’s also down. Not mentally, but physically. Lee Chomskis (pronounced HOM-skiss), his coach at Vidalia High, said McBride is down to about 218 pounds after playing last season at Georgia at 225 and his senior year at Vidalia at almost 230 pounds. That said, having had a year under his belt with strength and conditioning coach Scott Sinclair, he looks a bit different physically. Not necessarily thinner, but certainly more cut. But reading between the words of your brief, one-line question, I suppose that’s not exactly what you meant by, “what’s up with McBride?” You probably are wondering, like a few folks I’ve heard from, why we aren’t hearing more about him. Why isn’t he creating more buzz and why isn’t he a starting linebacker for Georgia already? That’s what people often wonder when a former blue-chip prospect of McBride’s ilk — he was the No. 2-rated inside linebacker in the country at one point — is not starring by his second year on campus. A couple of points here: McBride is not even all the way to his second year at Georgia yet; two, we don’t fully know exactly what McBride’s role is going to be on the defense in 2018. We do know that he is competing with Monty Rice, Juwan Taylor and Jaden Hunter for the Will linebacker position manned so well last season by Roquan Smith. Though early signs point to Rice leading that competition, nothing is written in stone — or even on paper — and there is a long way to go before that’s decided. We also know that McBride has the size and skills to earn playing time at the Mike, the other inside linebacker spot in Georgia’s defense, and that the Bulldogs desperately need help at both spots in 2018. Regardless of how those competitions turn out, you’re still bound to see a lot of McBride this season, just like we did last season. In fact, while playing on several of Georgia’s special teams units McBride was one of just six true freshmen to play in all 15 of the Bulldogs’ games. The others were Jake Fromm, Andrew Thomas, D’Andre Swift, Walter Grant and Malik Herring. Rice played in 14. So you can bet that the swift-footed McBride will be on the field at least for special teams, if not also in a defensive role. He has one of the traits that coach Kirby Smart covets most — speed — as his four Class AA sprint championships as a high school senior attest. To date, I haven’t had a chance to ask Smart about McBride. But I reached out to Chomkis, who communicates with him on a regular basis, for a little insight. “He played on a team that played for the national championship,” Chomkis said. “That means there’s a lot of talent there at Georgia. He could’ve gone to Vanderbilt or Missouri and started every game, but he wanted to play for championships. I think he’s running with the 2s or 3s right now during the spring, and that’s because he’s still learning the position and having to think a lot. “But I think he’s an outstanding kid and an outstanding football player and I think he’ll play a lot for Georgia before it’s over. He has good size and great speed and that’s why they recruited him, because he can run so well. He can flat fly, and I’m not sure that there’s many that can run with him.” That pretty much sums it up. As Smart and the Bulldogs like to say this year, he “ain’t going nowhere.” Have a question for beat writer Chip Towers? E-mail us at ugaquestionoftheday@gmail.com The post ‘What’s up’ with Georgia linebacker Nate McBride? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Really, we don’t know all that much about Georgia’s Monty Rice. But you have to like what the sophomore linebacker has to say about the enormous challenge that’s before him and the Bulldogs’ entire defense in succeeding Roquan Smith and that star-studded unit of a season ago. “We can’t live off what Roquan did, or Lorenzo [Carter] did, or Dom Sanders did,” said Rice, who is poised to follow Smith at the Will inside linebacker position. “What’s Juwan Taylor gonna do? What’s Nate McBride gonna do? What’s Monty Rice gonna do? We’ve got to live off what we’re going to do. We can’t dwell on last year’s success.” Monty Rice Truer words have not been spoken this spring about Georgia’s defense. The Bulldogs lost a boatload of exceptional football talent off last season’s 13-2, No. 2-ranked team. That fact will be underscored in the NFL draft next week. Most notable among those departures is Smith. The Butkus Award-winning linebacker is expected to be an early first-round draft choice. The battle to replace him is ongoing. But the odds-on favorite to handle that considerable task is Rice, who is really kind of a mystery man. If you don’t follow recruiting closely, you might need a refresher. Rice sort of just showed up at Georgia. Rivals and 247Sports pegged him as a 3-star recruit, but his offer list said otherwise. He had upwards of 20 offers, including pretty much the whole of the SEC. Rice actually committed to LSU (over Auburn and Georgia) in mid-December 2016. It’s something he now says was an act of confused desperation. But, as an early enrollee, he’d long been pursued by Mel Tucker, first at Alabama and then as defensive coordinator at Georgia. In the end, Rice pursued that relationship and simply enrolled at UGA without signing a letter of intent, according to his high school coach. “When he announced that day that he was going to go to LSU, me and everyone else going in thought it was going to be Georgia, just because of his relationship with Coach Tucker and Coach [Kirby] Smart,” said Wade Waldrop, Rice’s coach at James Clemens High School in Madison, Ala. “They already knew him, because he had visited Alabama a number of times throughout his sophomore and junior years, so they were familiar with him. “He came out right away and said, ‘I think I made a mistake.’ I said, ‘That’s all right. You haven’t signed a thing. As long as you let Coach [Dave] Aranda and Coach O [LSU coach Ed Oregeron] know, you do what’s best for you. You’ve got to wake up in that dorm room every day.’ ” Said Rice: “I just followed my heart.” Rice’s arrival in Athens in January 2017 has been a blessing both for the Bulldogs and for Rice. As a freshman last season he played in 14 of Georgia’s 15 games and even got a start against Missouri in the season’s seventh game. He finished with 22 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. The one start came at Mike linebacker alongside Smith after Natrez Patrick was suspended and Reggie Carter was injured. But he primarily as a Will — or weakside linebacker — which happened to be the position manned by Smith. So it was difficult to get on the field much with the defense. His work came mostly at “garbage time” and on special teams. But Rice said last season’s experience was invaluable to him, if for no other reason than getting to know Smith and watching how he worked. “Roquan is not a selfish person,” Rice said. “He was helping me out when I first got here, telling me what calls I had to make, telling me what to do or whatever. So he was real helpful. So was Lorenzo and Davin [Bellamy] and all of those guys.” As for motivation, Rice doesn’t need a lot of help in that department. This is a young man who has had his sights set not only on major college football but the NFL for a long time. That’s what distinguished Rice at James Clemens High. Originally from Huntsville, Ala., he actually lived with another family in Madison while playing there. The reason for that was two-fold. One, he wanted to play high school football at the highest level possible; and, two, he needed to escape the crime and poverty that ravaged the community in which he was raised. That ended up being a move made in heaven. Not only was Rice wildly successful as a player — he recorded 137 tackles, 4 interceptions and 4 touchdowns to lead the Jets to the Class 7A quarterfinals as a senior — but also as a student. “Monty Rice is a football player,” Waldrop said. “He came to school every day — and he had a 3.2, 3.1 GPA — and he did well in school because he wanted to play football. Everything he does is to play football. A lot of people, it’s the other way around. He did what he had to do on a daily basis to be a big-time football player. You didn’t have to hold things over his head to get him to do something. He loves playing football.” It’s not all about money and fame for Rice, either. He hopes football can give him a platform to call attention to a cause that is very personal to him: excessive force used by police, particularly against victims suffering from mental illness. You can read about it yourself from the pinned tweet at the top of Rice’s Twitter account, @RiceMonty. It takes you to a Facebook page dedicated to telling the story of Horaesheo Rice, a cousin eight years Rice’s senior who was killed by police gunfire on Sept. 20, 2017. That was the Wednesday before the Bulldogs would play Mississippi State in Sanford Stadium. Rice has his cousin’s name tattooed on his right forearm as a reminder of what he’s playing for. “I know he’s looking down and smiling about what I’m doing,” Rice said Thursday night after Georgia’s 13th practice of the spring. “We used to live together, so I was real close to him. I’m not a big social media guy, but I don’t want his name to ever be forgotten. I don’t want what happened to be, ah, this is just another killer. I want it to be known what happened to my cousin.” So, yes, Rice is supremely motivated. And apparently he’s a pretty good player, too. At this point there’s still no guarantees that Rice will be the undisputed starter and/or primary player at Georgia’s all-important Will linebacker spot. Among others, he’s competing with senior Juwan Taylor and fellow sophomore Nate McBride, not to mention two freshmen who will join the team in June. But indications are that No. 32 has been making a name for himself at that spot during spring practice. “He’s pretty difficult,” sophomore tackle Andrew Thomas said of trying to block Rice. “He has one speed. He’s, like, full-going all the time and he’s going to hit you. He doesn’t care if you’re bigger than him, he’s going to strike you and try to make a play. He’s making us all better.” That this one-time 3-star prospect is in position to become a full-time starter at a marquee position in his sophomore year may come as a surprise to a lot of people. But not to those in Madison and Huntsville who have known Rice for a while. “I’m absolutely not surprised, because he’s driven,” said Waldrop, who visited with Rice shortly before spring practice began. “He has a purpose. The purpose of just trying to start is probably big for him. He’s got NFL aspirations. He knows if he does the things that Coach Smart and Coach [Glenn] Schumann and those guys tell him to do and he buys into it, he knows he’ll have a shot to one day go get money.” And perhaps draw greater attention to a cause that is dear to him. We’ll have to wait and see how it goes on the football field, but for now we have an idea of what Monty Rice is all about. The post Georgia’s Monty Rice: Linebacker with a cause appeared first on DawgNation.