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Entertainment Headlines

    A recording studio in Detroit that once welcomed artists such as Aretha Franklin and Miles Davis has been listed for $1.5 million after earlier being targeted for demolition. MLive.com reports that there's no stipulation in the sale that the United Sound Systems property must remain an active recording studio. The studio was founded by Italian violinist and recording engineer James 'Jimmie' Siracuse and holds bragging rights over the first single for Tamla Records — the label that would later become Berry Gordy's Motown Records. But it closed in the mid-2000s. The building was targeted for demolition in 2013 under a plan to widen Interstate 94. The state backed off demolition plans and the studio got a historic marker in 2017 following efforts by the nonprofit Detroit Sound Conservancy.
  • Chris Stapleton is joining performers for the 33rd annual Farm Aid in Connecticut. Organizers announced Monday the benefit for farmers will take place Sept. 22 at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford. Stapleton won a Grammy for best country album in February. He'll join Farm Aid regulars Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews. Other performers include Kacey Musgraves, Sturgill Simpson and Margo Price. Farm Aid has raised more than $53 million for grants to aid family farmers and to lobby on their behalf. Tickets will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. EDT through Live Nation and by phone at 800-745-3000. A limited number of pre-sale tickets will be sold beginning at 10 a.m. EDT Tuesday at farmaid.org/festival.
  • Banksy is believed to have taken his message on migration to Paris, which has seen seven works attributed to the provocative British street artist. The works attributed to Banksy have been discovered in recent days, including one near a former center for migrants at the city's northern edge that depicts a child spray-painting wallpaper over a swastika. Nicolas Laugero Lasserre, editor of the Artistikrezo website that broke the story, said he heard a few weeks ago through contacts in the French street art world that Banksy was planning a trip. He said he started looking for the works and came across the one in the northern Porte de la Chappelle neighborhood. The same wallpaper stencil was used in a 2009 exposition at the Bristol Museum, he said, describing it as 'a real signature' of the elusive artist. It didn't take long for others to add — or detract — from Banksy's work. First came the blue tag over the wallpaper. Then on Monday, another artist temporarily covered over Banksy's work with a poster depicting a woman's face, but the paper was quickly pulled off and an art restorer frantically tried to cover the works with a clear plastic. Not all the works directly reference migration. One is a play on the 1801 painting of Napoleon crossing the Alps. Others show rats, including one that appeared to have been altered over the weekend. 'It lands at a key political moment, and for me that's really the genius of Banksy,' Laugero Lasserre said. Banksy's publicist did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
  • Tonight Show' host Jimmy Fallon is clapping back at President Donald Trump's latest Twitter insult with a donation to an organization that helps immigrants and refugees. >> Trump signs executive order ending migrant family separations According to The Associated Press, the pair's social media spat began Sunday when Trump slammed Fallon's recent comments about the then-presidential candidate's appearance on a September 2016 episode of his show. In an article published last week, Fallon told the Hollywood Reporter that he regretted his lighthearted treatment of Trump on the show. 'I made a mistake,' Fallon said. 'I'm sorry if I made anyone mad. And, looking back, I would do it differently.' >> Melania Trump wears ‘I don't really care’ jacket ahead of visit with detained child migrants Trump, apparently referring to Fallon's remarks, took to Twitter to respond. '.@jimmyfallon is now whimpering to all that he did the famous 'hair show' with me (where he seriously messed up my hair), & that he would have now done it differently because it is said to have 'humanized' me-he is taking heat,' Trump tweeted Sunday evening. 'He called & said 'monster ratings.' Be a man Jimmy!' >> See Trump's tweet here >> Read more trending news  A few hours later, Fallon pledged to make a donation in Trump's name to the nonprofit Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, which is working to help reunite immigrant parents and children who have been separated. >> Trump border policy: How to help immigrant children separated from families 'In honor of the President’s tweet I’ll be making a donation to RAICES in his name,' Fallon wrote.  >> See Fallon's tweet here
  • The 2018 BET Awards aired Sunday at from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. >> Read more trending news  DJ Khaled leads the nominations with six, but close behind are Kendrick Lamar with five nominations and SZA and Migos with four nods each. Related: Photos: BET Awards 2018 red carpet All four nominees are performers at the show, which is hosted by Jamie Foxx. Some of the other nominees include Bruno Mars, Beyonce, Cardi B, and Drake. The full list of winners, indicated in bold italics, are listed below. BEST FEMALE R&B/POP ARTIST Beyonce Kehlani H.E.R. Rihanna SZA BEST MALE R&B/POP ARTIST Bruno Mars Chris Brown The Weeknd Khalid Daniel Caesar  VIEWERS’ CHOICE AWARD SZA featuring Travis Scott, “Love Galore” Drake, “God’s Plan” Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow” DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, “Wild Thoughts” Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE.” Migos featuring Cardi B. and Nicki Minaj, “Motorsport” BEST GROUP  Chloe x Halle A Tribe Called Quest N.E.R.D. Migos Rae Sremmurd BEST COLLABORATION  DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, “Wild Thoughts” Bruno Mars featuring Cardi B, “Finesse (Remix)” Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna, “LOYALTY.” DJ Khaled featuring Future, Beyonce and JAY-Z, “Top Off” Cardi B featuring 21 Savage, “Bartier Cardi” French Montana featuring Swae Lee, “Unforgettable” BEST MALE HIP-HOP ARTIST DJ Khaled JAY-Z Drake J. Cole Kendrick Lamar BEST FEMALE HIP-HOP ARTIST Cardi B Rapsody Nicki Minaj Remy Ma Dej Loaf VIDEO OF THE YEAR Bruno Mars featuring Cardi B, “Finesse (Remix)” Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow” Migos featuring Drake, “Walk It Like I Talk It” DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, “Wild Thoughts” Drake, “God’s Plan” Kendrick Lamar, “HUMBLE.” VIDEO DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR Ava DuVernay Chris Brown Director X  Dave Meyers Benny Boom BEST NEW ARTIST GoldLink SZA H.E.R. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie Daniel Caesar BEST ACTRESS Angela Bassett Issa Rae Tiffany Haddish Taraji P. Henson Lupita Nyong’o Letitia Wright BEST ACTOR Chadwick Boseman Denzel Washington Donald Glover Daniel Kaluuya Michael B. Jordan Sterling K. Brown DR. BOBBY JONES BEST GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL AWARD Lecrae featuring Tori Kelly, “I’ll Find You” Snoop Dogg featuring B. Slade, “Words Are Few” Ledisi and Kirk Franklin, “If You Don’t Mind” Marvin Sapp, “Close” Tasha Cobbs Leondard featuring Nicki Minaj, “I’m Getting Ready” YOUNGSTARS AWARD Caleb McLaughlin Lonnie Chavis Jaden Smith Marsai Martin Miles Brown Yara Shahidi Ashton Taylor BEST MOVIE “A Wrinkle In Time” “Black Panther” “Girls Trip” “Mudbound” “Detroit” SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD Elana Meyers Taylor Serena Williams Candace Parker Skylar Diggins-Smith Venus Williams SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD LeBron James Odell Beckam Jr. Stephen Curry Kevin Durant Dwyane Wade BET HER AWARD Janelle Monae, “Django Jane” Lizzo, “Water Me” Mary J. Blige, “Strength of a Woman” Remy Ma featuring Chris Brown, “Melanin Magic (Pretty Brown)” Chloe x Halle, “The Kids Are Alright” Leikeli47, “2nd Fiddle” ALBUM OF THE YEAR DJ Khaled, “Grateful” Migos, “Culture II” SZA, “Ctrl” Kendrick Lamar, “DAMN.” JAY-Z, “4:44” Kendrick Lamar and various artists, “Black Panther” BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT Stormzy (UK) Fally Ipupa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) Davido (Nigeria) Cassper Nyovest (South Africa) Tiwa Savage (Nigeria) Niska (France) Distruction Boyz (South Africa) Stefflon Don (UK) J Hus (UK) Dadju (France) Booba (France) HUMANITARIAN AWARD Naomi Walder Mamoudou Gassama James Shaw Jr. Justin Blackman Anthony Borges Shaun King LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Anita Baker
  • Porn actress Stormy Daniels had been scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their investigation into President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney, but the meeting was abruptly canceled late Sunday after it was reported by news organizations, her attorney said. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was supposed to meet with prosecutors from the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan in preparation for a possible grand jury appearance as they work to assemble a case against Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. But after several news organizations, including The Associated Press, reported on the meeting, two prosecutors called Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, and told him that they were concerned about media attention in the case, he said. 'I was shocked at that response,' Avenatti said. Avenatti offered to move the meeting to another location and reiterated that Daniels — who he says has been cooperating with prosecutors for months — was ready to go forward with the meeting, but they called back to cancel it, he said. The meeting has not been rescheduled and prosecutors offered no other explanation for the cancellation, he said. Daniels has said she had sex with Trump in 2006 when he was married, which Trump has denied. As part of their investigation into Cohen, prosecutors have been examining the $130,000 payment that was made to Daniels as part of a confidentiality agreement days before the 2016 presidential election. 'We believe canceling the meeting because the press has now caught wind of it is ridiculous,' Avenatti wrote in an email to Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos. 'We do not think it was any secret that at some point you were going to meet with my client.' In response, Roos accused Avenatti of leaking the details of the meeting — an allegation that Avenatti was 'patently false' — and said it called into question Avenatti's 'commitment to maintaining the required confidentiality' of what is discussed in the meeting with Daniels. 'Such confidentiality is critical to the diligence, fairness, and integrity of this, and indeed all, investigations conducted by this Office,' Roos wrote. 'This is not our preferred approach, and a step we are only rarely forced to take, but we are left with no choice.' A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan had declined to comment on the meeting earlier Sunday night and did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on the cancellation. Daniels is suing to invalidate the confidentiality agreement that prevents her from discussing the alleged relationship with Trump. She argues the nondisclosure agreement should be invalidated because Cohen, signed it, but the president did not. Daniels and Avenatti have also turned over documents in response to a subpoena from federal prosecutors about the $130,000 that Daniels was paid, a person familiar with the matter said. They weren't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Daniels' interview had been in preparation for a possible grand jury appearance in the federal investigation into Cohen's business dealings, the person familiar with the matter said. If prosecutors bring a case to a grand jury, they could call witnesses to testify under oath and the grand jury would decide whether to bring criminal charges with a written indictment. Daniels was supposed to appear before a grand jury on June 15, but the appearance was canceled after she voluntarily agreed to come in for the interview that had been scheduled for Monday, according to an email from Roos to Avenatti. In April, FBI agents raided Cohen's home, office and hotel room as part of a probe into his business dealings and investigators were seeking records about the nondisclosure agreement that Daniels had signed, among other things. Cohen had said he paid Daniels himself, through a limited liability company known as Essential Consultants, LLC, and that 'neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly.' In May, Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump's attorneys, said the president had repaid Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels, contradicting Trump's prior claims that he didn't know the source of the money. Earlier this month, Trump said he hadn't spoken with Cohen — his longtime fixer and a key power player in the Trump Organization — in 'a long time' and that Cohen is 'not my lawyer anymore.' __ Lucey reported from Washington.
  • Paris Jackson, the only daughter of the late singer Michael Jackson, has commented on reports about the health of her grandfather, Joe Jackson. According to reports, the Jackson family patriarch has terminal cancer. One of his sons, Jermaine Jackson, told the Daily Mail that Joe Jackson is “very, very frail.” >> Read more trending news  “He doesn’t have long,” Jermaine Jackson told the British gossip outlet. Seemingly in response to the reports, Joe Jackson posted a photo and message on Twitter on Sunday. “I have seen more sunsets than I have left to see,” the tweet read. “The sun rises when the time comes and whether you like it or not the sun sets when the time comes.” Related: Joe Jackson tweets after reports of terminal cancer diagnosis: ‘the sun sets when the time comes’ Paris Jackson expressed skepticism at the post, tweeting hours later, “This is a beautiful tweet. Though it upsets me to see whoever is in charge of this account taking advantage of it. My grandfather did not tweet this. I’m not sure if he’s ever used this account.” Prior to that tweet, Paris Jackson said she was “blessed to have a family that comes together the way the Jacksons do.” She ended her comments on her grandfather with a message of gratitude. “Thank you all for the love you’ve sent during this time,” she wrote.
  • The Latest on the investigation into the business interests of Trump's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen (all times local): 8:30 p.m. Stormy Daniels' lawyer says the porn actress' meeting with federal prosecutors in New York who are investigating President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer has been cancelled. Michael Avenatti says he received a call late Sunday night from two prosecutors who said they were concerned about media interest in the interview and cancelled the meeting. A person familiar with the matter had told The Associated Press that the meeting planned for Monday was in anticipation of a possible grand jury appearance. They are investigating the business interests of Trump's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen. The person wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she had sex with Trump in 2006 when he was married. Trump has denied it. ___ 6 p.m. Porn actress Stormy Daniels will meet with federal prosecutors in New York who are investigating President Donald Trump's former personal attorney. That's according to a person familiar to the matter, who said Monday's interview is in preparation for a possible grand jury appearance. The person wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. They said Daniels has also turned over documents in response to a subpoena concerning the $130,000 she was paid when she signed a confidentiality agreement days before the 2016 presidential election. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she had sex with Trump in 2006 when he was married. Trump has denied it. She's suing Trump and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to invalidate the nondisclosure agreement.
  • President Donald Trump is telling 'Tonight Show' host Jimmy Fallon to 'be a man' and stop 'whimpering' about the personal anguish he felt over the backlash he received after messing up Trump's hair during a 2016 campaign appearance on Fallon's late-night talk show. Fallon recently told The Hollywood Reporter that he 'made a mistake' on the Sept. 15, 2016, episode and would do it differently. The comments didn't appear to sit well with Trump. The president tweeted Sunday: '.@jimmyfallon is now whimpering to all that he did the famous 'hair show' with me (where he seriously messed up my hair), & that he would have now done it differently because it is said to have 'humanized' me-he is taking heat. He called & said 'monster ratings.' Be a man Jimmy!' Fallon responded on Twitter with a nod to the plight of young immigrants caught up in administration policies. 'In honor of the President's tweet I'll be making a donation to RAICES in his name,' Fallon said, referring to a nonprofit organization that provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children, families and refugees in Texas.
  • The Latest on the 2018 BET Awards, which are being presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater (all times local): 7:45 p.m. Rapper Meek Mill has performed a new song, 'Stay Woke,' on the BET Awards with a striking performance that touched on police violence against black youth and prison. Mill, who was released from prison earlier this year, wore a hoodie with the image of rapper XXXTentacion, who was gunned down in Florida last week. The play-like performance showed a child being shot in street and showed several people in prison jumpsuits behind bars. Mill is free on bond while he appeals a two-year sentence for probation violation from an old conviction for drug and weapons charges. ___ 7:20 p.m. R&B legend Anita Baker has urged musicians to support each other after accepting the Lifetime Achievement award during the BET Awards. The seven-time Grammy winner was grooving along in the front row on Sunday as host Jamie Foxx, Ledisi, Yolanda Adams and Marsha Ambrosius sang her hits including 'Angel,' ''Caught Up In the Rapture,' ''Sweet Love,' and 'You Bring Me Joy.' Baker asked the veteran performers in the room find new artists to support and encouraged the young artists to reach out to the veterans as well because they 'can't do it alone.' ___ 6:45 p.m. 'Black Panther' is the winner of the best movie award at Sunday's BET Awards. Director Ryan Coogler thanked fans for making the film so popular. The film was referenced repeatedly throughout the show by host Jamie Foxx, beginning with the opening segment when he handed off a black panther stuffed animal to one of the film's stars, Michael B. Jordan. Jordan joined Coogler on stage, but handed the mic over to the director. Coogler said the film was 'trying to capture the experience of being black on this planet.' He said he wanted fans to 'be proud of who we are and where we came from.' The director urged the audience to visit Africa, saying his time there changed his life. ___ 5:50 p.m. BET Awards host Jamie Foxx says he won't make a joke about Childish Gambino's new single, 'This Is America,' but that didn't stop Foxx from bringing Gambino on stage during Sunday's show. Foxx said during the show that everyone begged him to write a joke about the single, but he said that song was not to be joked about, saying the song 'stopped me in my tracks.' He eventually got Gambino, aka 'Atlanta' actor Donald Glover, to come up on stage and sing a few lines with him. Glover praised one of his co-writers on 'Atlanta,' Lena Waithe, and Issa Rae during his time on stage. ___ 5:15 p.m. The BET Awards kicked off on Sunday with a tribute to 'The Black Panther,' during a performance of the song 'Win' by Jay Rock featuring one of the stars of the Marvel film, Michael B. Jordan. Host Jamie Foxx started the show by presenting Jordan with a stuffed panther toy and walked through the crowd greeting other artists like Childish Gambino and LL Cool J as Rock performed. Foxx even persuaded Jordan to come up on stage to recite a line from the film. DJ Khaled is the leading nominee with six at Sunday's show. ___ 7:10 a.m. Legendary singer Anita Baker will be honored at the 2018 BET Awards, which will be hosted by Jamie Foxx and feature performances by Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dogg and Migos. DJ Khaled is the leading nominee with six at Sunday's show, kicking off at 8 p.m. Eastern from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Baker, who dominated the R&B charts from the early '80s to mid-90s with smooth songs like 'Sweet Love' and 'Giving You the Best That I Got,' will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. She has won eight Grammy Awards. Drake and Cardi B, who is pregnant and will not attend the show, are both nominated twice for the top prize, video of the year. Performers include Janelle Monae, J. Cole, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, H.E.R., Miguel, Ella Mae and Daniel Caesar.

Local News

  • Summer is off to a, well, hot start in metro Atlanta, and that is likely to continue through the Fourth of July holiday next week. Monday’s high is expected to hit 92, several degrees above the average for the date, according to Channel 2 Action News. This comes after a Sunday in which heat indexes in metro Atlanta and North Georgia ranged to near 100 degrees in some areas. The pattern should continue, Channel 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan said. Forecasts for the next four days call for highs in the 90s, though the average high for these dates is 88. “It’ll feel like 100 the next couple of days with the humidity,” he said. Expect the same all the way through Independence Day. “The temperature pattern all across the Southeast is for above average temperatures,” Monahan said. Monday also has a 40 percent chance of rain, which could mean some pop-up showers for commuters.
  • The Banks County Sheriff’s Office says there was no fire and there were no injuries when smoke filled a section of the Banks County jail: a malfunctioning air conditioning unit gets the blame.  Two brothers from Stephens County are facing theft charges in Franklin and Hart counties: Nicholas and Matthew Glover are accused in a string of thefts at Victoria Bryant State Park.  There was a dramatic weekend rescue at Panther Creek Falls in Habersham County, with crews extracting a hiker who fell twenty feet: the man was taken by ambulance to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.  From Cherokee County: four workers at a Wendy’s in Canton, fired for dealing methamphetamine from the fast-food restaurant.  Decatur Police say they’ve made an arrest in a possible road rage incident that left a teenager dead. 50 year-old Simmie Reed has been charged with murder and aggravated assault. 17 year-old Janae Owens was shot and killed last Wednesday while sitting at a traffic light with her mother. Reed is in the DeKalb County jail. 
  • It opened in the 1960s: it closes today after more than 50 years in Five Points in Athens. The Waffle House at the corner of Lumpkin and Milledge will serve its last patrons, shutting down because the restaurant operators were unable to reach a lease agreement with the property owners. There is still no word on what will replace the Waffle House in Five Points. 
  • The steering committees that are studying the Atlanta Highway and Lexington Road corridors in Athens convene today: it’s a 4 o’clock session at the Government Building on Dougherty Street.  Madison County Commissioners are meeting this evening, 6 o’clock at the Madison County Government Complex in Danielsville. They’ll look at a plan to hire four more Madison County School Resource Officers.  A Hall County Commission work session is on tap for today: 3 o’clock at the Government Center in Gainesville. Commissioners are scheduled to adopt a new Hall County budget later this week in Gainesville.  There is budget work in Bowman: the Bowman City Council meets tonight at 7 at the City Hall building in that town in Elbert County. 
  • Georgia needs more doctors. In fact, the entire country does. The University of Georgia and Augusta University are working to address this need. In June, 10 residents from the initial class (some pictured above) of the Medical College of Georgia at the Augusta University/ University of Georgia Medical Partnership Internal Residency Program marched in recognition of finishing their three-year residency program. Each was surrounded by their family members, mentors and other physicians who guided them along the way. Several graduates accepted positions in the state. According to a 2017 study by the American Association of Medical Colleges, the U.S. is expected to face a shortage of between 40,800–104,900 doctors by 2030. This is fueled by a growing population, and an increase in the amount of aging Americans and retiring physicians. And in order to meet the national average of 36.6 physicians per 100,000 people, Georgia needs an additional 1,456 graduate medical education positions in various specialties such as family medicine, internal medicine and general surgery. About the program The Internal Medicine Residency Program, a joint effort of the AU/UGA Medical Partnership and St. Mary’s Health Care System, received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in January 2014, becoming Athens’ first medical residency program. This program takes three years to complete and concentrates on producing community-based physicians. Since the inception of the Medical Partnership residency program, an additional internal residency program has been established at Piedmont Athens Regional bringing an additional 15 residents to the Athens community each year. Combining the two programs, the total number of resident positions in Athens is now 85.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — Georgia baseball coach Scott Stricklin just got a contract extension and raise, and he’s not the only “Head Dawg” who is going to make out well in 2018. At least two other UGA head coaches can expect positive adjustments to their current employee agreements going forward. Men’s and women’s track and field coach Petros Kyprianou is expected to receive a contract extension and raise in the coming weeks and softball coach Lu Harris-Champer will have “something done for her, too,” according to Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity. And deservedly so. All three coaches are coming off landmark seasons in the field of play. Kyprianou’s teams won two national championships in the past four months. The men’s team won the NCAA outdoor national championship earlier this month while women’s team won the indoor national title in March and finished second by one point at the outdoor competition two weeks ago. Both titles are incredible achievements considering they came in just the third year of Kyprianou’s tenure. The former UGA assistant was promoted to head coach in 2015 and since then all his teams have finished among the top 10 at nationals. Kyprianou, 40, just completed his third-year of a five-year deal that pays him $335,000 annually. He is expected to earn bonuses for the national championships. He was just named national coach of the year in track and is considered one of the true rising stars in international track and field. For that reason, a considerable extension and commensurate raise is expected. “We’re working through all that right now,” said Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity, who declined to discuss details of ongoing negotiations. “Let’s just say we look forward to having Petros for a long time.” McGarity said there also plans for more facility improvements for track. UGA completed a $1 million complex renovation a year ago that included a complete rebuild of the track just a year ago. Georgia finalized a deal with Stricklin this week that will extend his contract by three years through the 2022 season and include a “modest” pay increase from his previous salary of $575,000 a year. Stricklin’s fifth team is coming off a 39-21 season that saw it land the No. 8 national seed but lose in the finals of the NCAA Athens Regional. That represented the first winning season in Stricklin’s tenure. But the Bulldogs return all the position players and most of the pitching staff for next season, as well as a highly-rated recruiting class that includes one of the top high school pitchers in American. More importantly, Georgia returns its entire coaching staff, with the considerable exception of volunteer coach Pete Hughes (who returned  head coaching job at Kansas State). McGarity said raises are in the works for Stricklin’s staff, including acclaimed pitching coach, Sean Kenny, who was hired before last season. Harris-Champer led her team to the NCAA postseason play for the 17th consecutive season and to the Women’s College World Series for the fifth time this past season. The Lady Bulldogs (48-13) were knocked out of the national championship tournament in two games. “We’ll get around to that eventually,” McGarity said of an extension for Harris-Champer. “We’ve got a lot of stuff going on.” Georgia sure does. Add all that to the tremendous year just logged by the Bulldogs’ football team, which reached the national championship game, and it has been a very good year for UGA. The school finished No. 8 in the Learfield Cup all-sports standings and second only to Florida in the SEC. And that came in relative down years for men’s and women’s tennis and swimming. The financial cost of such athletics excellence is high, hence UGA’s record $143 million budget for 2018. Earlier this year, football coach Kirby Smart received a contract extension and pay raise that nearly doubled his salary to $7 million a year. The Bulldogs 10 on-field assistants in football will earn nearly $10 million more in 2018 than they did last year. That doesn’t include the bonuses earned by the staff for winning the SEC Championship and reaching the finals of the College Football playoffs. Meanwhile, Georgia is wrapping up construction of a $63 million locker room and recruiting lounge addition at Sanford Stadium. That comes on the heels of the $31 million indoor, 1-year-old Payne Indoor Athletic Facility. They’re already building new seating and luxury suites on the East End. All that will be in play this fall. McGarity said they’re not done there. Coming online soon are plans to expand the football complex in a project that “goes way beyond” enlarging the Bulldogs’ weight room and training facility, he said. Beyond football, the athletic board just approved funds to plan the renovation of the Dan Magill Tennis Complex that will cost “at least” $23 million and include the construction of a new indoor facility. They just completed $8 million worth of improvements to Stegeman Coliseum, extensive renovation projects for swimming and volleyball facilities and just approved $1 million for equestrian. “That’s just the cost of doing business nowadays,” McGarity said. The good news is revenue continues to pour in via donations, football ticket sales and television deals. The SEC just paid Georgia a record $42.8 million in its revenue-sharing arrangement, tops among member institutions. McGarity said the Bulldogs continue to focus on doing what they need to do to stay in the front of the pack of the ultra-competitive SEC. He said they have a plan for doing that, whether it means facility improvements, pay raises for coaches or continuing to pour money into the increasingly expensive world of student-athlete wellness and services. “We have a long list of improvements we want to make for the future and the priority is determined by a number of factors,” McGarity said Friday. “But the bottom line is we’ll always be looking to do whatever we need to do to improve and enhance all our sports. At the end of the day we’re going to do what we believe we need to do to be competitive.” If this last year is any indication, 2018-19 could be a very good year. The post UGA vows to do whatever is required to remain at top in the SEC appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Patience paid off for Scott Stricklin. The Georgia baseball coach has agreed to terms for a contract extension and pay increase that will keep him with the Bulldogs at least through the 2022 season. His previous deal was due to expire after next season. “I couldn’t be happier,” said Stricklin, who came to Georgia from Kent State in 2015. “It just gives us stability and shows the confidence that Greg McGarity and Jere Morehead and our administration has in our program. We have been able to have success even with (the previous) contract expiring. But they believed in us, they believed in Georgia and they believed in the program.” Stricklin said he would be receiving a “modest raise” to remain as Georgia’s coach. Financial terms were not disclosed by either side, but Stricklin earned $575,000 annually under his previous agreement. “It’s not about money,” said Stricklin, who was not represented by an agent. “If I had an agent he’d be upset with me because I only want to be at Georgia.” Keeping Stricklin to this point was an anomaly of sorts in this day and age of ultra competitiveness in college athletics. Stricklin just completed his fifth season with the Bulldogs and it was the first year they finished with a winning record and reached NCAA postseason play. Georgia (39-21) was awarded a national seed (8) and had the second-best conference record (18-12) in the SEC. However, the Bulldogs lost to Duke in the finals of the NCAA Athens Regional. After five years as coach, Stricklin’s record at Georgia is 143-140-1 overall and 61-86-1 in SEC play. But UGA’s administration has shown extraordinary patience in giving Stricklin time to execute “a complete rebuild” of the baseball program. McGarity said that was a because of the plan and timeline that Stricklin gave him at the time of his hiring in June of 2013. “When (baseball facilitator) Ted White and I first met Scott, he discussed in detail his plan and vision for this program and he emphasized it was going to take some time,” McGarity said Friday. “At that point, his first two classes had basically already been done. Scott said he was going to honor all those commitments, but he wanted to build through the high school recruiting process. I remember taking notes and he said the plan was we should start seeing some improvement in Year 4 and we should be nationally competitive in Year 5. “That’s what we saw, and I feel comfortable that Scott has followed his plan and I have every confidence that his plan will continue to materialize.” Georgia lost a lot of key pieces from this year’s team to graduation and the professional baseball draft, including all-star senior Keegan McGovern, junior designated hitter Michael Curry and pitcher Kevin Smith. But the Bulldogs also have every position player returning from the 2018 team and saw Cole Wilcox, a right-handed high school pitcher from Ringgold who was considered a Top 20 major league prospect, choose UGA over the pro baseball. Georgia began to show marked improvement at the end of last season when it won the last three SEC series of the season. That continued into this year as they set a school record for fielding percentage, recorded the second-lowest staff ERA in 50 years and clubbed 64 home runs while hitting .282 as a team. Probably the most impressive accomplishment under Stricklin has been his ability to recruit at a high level despite being saddled with a short-term contract. “These recruits know the players we have in front of them,” Stricklin said. “They knew it was just a matter of time before we started winning in a big way. It came up with some of the kids that we were recruiting the last couple of years. But they all had confidence that we were going to get this thing turned around and they wanted to be part of it.” The post Breaking News: Baseball coach Scott Stricklin receives raise, extension from UGA appeared first on DawgNation.
  • RUTLEDGE, Ga. — Driving East out of Atlanta, keep going on until there’s no evidence of civilization, exit onto Newborn Road and head south into the middle of nowhere. Turn left onto Centenniel Road, drive about a mile, then hang a right onto the gravel road known as Keencheefoonee. Proceed through the wooden gate, turn left at the horse stables pull into a dirt parking lot. Then walk downhill along an asphalt path through a shady white oak forest and emerge into sunlight and arrive at the happiest place on Earth. No, you’re not at Disney World. This place is better. You’ve arrived at Camp Twin Lakes, which for this one day at least is known as Camp Sunshine. Georgia coach Kirby Smart puts his arms around linemen Kendall Baker and Lamont Gaillard as the Bulldogs listen to a presentation by a nurse at the infirmary at Lake Twin Lakes on Wednesday. (Chip Towers/DawgNation) Longtime Georgia Bulldogs’ fans know the drill. UGA’s football team has been making this trek an hour and change south of Athens annually for most of the last 35 years. Vince Dooley, along with wife Barbara, was appointed to the Camp Twin Lakes board of directors in 1983 and the Bulldogs have been making a midsummer visit here every year since (well, every year accept for those under coach Jim Donnan, according to camp administrators). For the unenlightened, Camp Twin Lakes is a retreat in which children with cancer and their families can get away to enjoy outdoor recreational activities for the summer. It has air-conditioned cabins for “glamping,” swimming pools, lakes, a farm (complete with miniature cows and alpacas), sports playing fields, a zipline, a gymnasium and much more. All of the available activities are retrofitted to accommodate children battling different forms of cancer. And, of course, there’s an infirmary to attend to any children who might get sick — or just scrape a knee raising their buddy on one of the many trails snaking the expansive property. It’s here that one sees a whole different side of Georgia coach Kirby Smart. He completely drops his guard and relaxes. He back-slaps and jokes with his players. He peels off at the sight of any of the campers or there families. During the hour-long tour, he seems to know somebody personally at every corner and stops to chat, falling behind the tour and then double-timing it catch back up. The familiarity is because Smart has been coming to Camp Twin Lakes a very long time. He first started coming when his older brother Karl was diagnosed with leukemia in the 1990s. His brother has long since been well, but Kirby has kept coming. He came when he was an assistant coach at Valdosta State and when he was the Miami Dolphins and Alabama. “It’s convenient because I have a lake home that’s 30-45 minutes from here (on Lake Oconee),” Smart said Wednesday. “So through the years, when I was with the Dolphins or Alabama, I’d stop by. A couple of those years Karl was still here as a counselor, so being able to stop in here to see him and everybody was good. Now that he’s head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs, he brings his whole team with him, including wife Mary Beth, twins Julia and Weston and little Andrew. Wednesday they had a good time posing with a cardboard cut-out of Kirby and Karl on display in the camp’s courtyard. Andrew kept asking everybody when the dodge-ball game would start, and was front and center and in the middle of everything when it did. “He needs to get smacked around a little bit,” Smart said with a chuckle. “He’s a little too brave for his own good out there. The players are scared to bean him because they know he’s mine.” “Nobody’s like Kirby,” said Mo Thrash, one of the original founders of Camp Sunshine who serves as the Bulldogs’ tour guide and taskmaster each year. “He’s come every year since he’s been out of college. He’d always call me and say, ‘Mo, can I come to camp?’ He show up, spend an hour, hour-and-a-half with me walking around the camp saying hey to kids. No press, nobody around, just being himself. Then he’d leave. He did it every year. Then he became Georgia’s head coach. He’s just very special.” Wednesday was the first of two trips that the Bulldogs will make to Camp Sunshine. In all, Smart said about 70 players signed up to participate. About the other half will come next Wednesday. The first group seemed to include a lot of freshmen and first-year players. Notre Dame transfer Jay Hayes, wearing his new number 97 Georgia jersey, was front-and-center for many of the activities. So was long and tall true freshman Tommy Bush, until they went to alpaca pin. The nearly 6-foot-6 tall receiver, wearing the No. 12, eased to the back of the pack when the group was asked to pet the odd-looking creatures. The many interactions with the campers and staff were entertaining to observe. The players were split into two groups and toured opposite ends of the complex. When being shown the cabins where the campers stay, the girls of Cabin 10 came pouring out and high-fived every player. “Oh my  God, they’re all so tall,” one of the young teens shouted. The residents are not all Georgia fans, either. At the intersection of two paths, a young man named William yelled, “go Gators.” To that the jersey-wearing group responded with a collective, “boo!”, then just laughed it off. In the cafeteria, Smart made a beeline to a young man wearing Alabama gear, including a crimson-and-white cast on his right leg. Colton, who’s 14, said he first met Smart when he was an assistant for the Crimson Tide. “Now he tries to talk me into being a Georgia fan, but he knows I won’t convert,” Colton said. Thrash showed the team the lake and pointed to the zipline and ropes course far across on the other side. “What’s the weight capacity on that?” Smart asked loud enough for everyone to hear. “We’ve got some people here we think can break it “Be sure to keep Fernando off it,” he added, referring to support staffer and former Georgia and NFL offensive lineman Fernando Velasco. At the heart of it all, though, is a serious message. “You guys are heroes to these kids; you’re heroes to me,” Thrash said when he huddled up the team at the outset of the tour. “So go in here, look around the place, see what we do, say hello to the kids, get to know them a little bit and have a good time.” Said Smart: “I want them to appreciated what they have. You look at some of these kids and see how they have to struggle and go through things. Some of them are well now and they come back because they’re the hope for so many other kids who are going through what they did.” For the team, it was a well-earned reprieve. They’ve been working out and doing conditioning every morning for the last two weeks. That includes Wednesday when the players signed up for the trip had to report to the Butts-Mehre football complex at 5:30 a.m. “I don’t know if everybody slept the whole way down because I was asleep as soon as the bus pulled out,” junior tight end Isaac Nauta said. Participants range from players like Nauta and senior center Lamont Gaillard, who have been every year since they arrived on campus, to junior running back Elijah Holyfield, who was making his first trip Wednesday. “My freshman and sophomore years I was kind of trying to do too much,” Holyfield said. “Finally I said I’ve got to go this year because everybody was talking about how much fun it is. I knew I had to do it before I left Georgia and I loved it, so I’ll be back next week as well.” It was especially re-energizing for the freshmen, who have known nothing but regimen and brutal intensity since they arrived on campus May 31. “I think they can finally see that there’s a human side to everybody and you can go out and have fun,” Smart quipped. Camp Sunshine unique to the University of Georgia. Located 51 miles east of downtown Atlanta, the camp is located in the heart of Bulldog Country. No other teams make the pilgrimage to the East Georgia outback. Just the Bulldogs. “It’s only a Georgia thing,” Thrash said. “We’d love for other teams to come in. But it’s always special when the Georgia Bulldogs come in. They’re part of Camp Sunshine.” A happy place indeed. The post Camp Sunshine is strictly a Bulldogs’ thing, and something Kirby Smart loves 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 email us at ugaquestionoftheday@gmail.com. Or you can tweet us here or here. Look for the Question of the Day every Monday through Friday. Previous QODs can be found on our question of the day archives page . What is draft projection for Yante? Sure did hate seeing him leave.  Thank you, John Vaughn, Newnan The fact that your question was submitted using only his first name speaks volumes about how Yante Maten is thought of within the Dawg Nation. He achieved one-name status at UGA, like Herschel or Dominique. It was well-earned as Maten was named 2018 SEC Player of the Year, joining Dominique Wilkins (1981) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (2013) as the third Georgia player to earn the honor. He left the Bulldogs as Georgia’s first three-time All-SEC honoree in more than 25 years and just the sixth in program history. So he did some incredible work at UGA, and it was recognized locally and regionally. Nationally, however, Maten is not as well known. Nonetheless, he certainly has generated a lot of interest from the NBA. That’s not to say he is in line to become a lottery pick come Thursday at the Barclays Center in New York; he definitely won’t be in that group. But there has, and continues to be, considerable intrigue surrounding Georgia’s star power forward. 'I love Atlanta. I went to the University of Georgia. So…this is my backyard.' – @UGABasketball's @YoungMoney__11 pic.twitter.com/GWVxeZ0V5B — Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 8, 2018 To answer your question, I reached out to Austin Walton, Maten’s Atlanta-based sports agent. Walton told me that Maten has been invited to work out for 14 NBA teams. Among them, he worked out for the Atlanta Hawks and the Los Angeles Lakers last week. Maten also worked out for 21 teams at his pro day. And that’s on top of his appearance at the NBA combine and at the all the teams that saw him at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. In summary, every NBA team has gotten a good long look at Maten. “He’s had a lot of exposure,” Walton said. “We had to turn down some things just because we haven’t had enough time. He was seen by every team at least three times and 14 of them much more than that. High exposure, for sure.” And apparently they like what they’re seeing. Maten certainly did his part. Maten led all prospects at the combine with 18 reps of 185 pounds in the bench press. He also had the No. 2 time among big men in the three-quarter sprint and finished in the top 3 in shuttle and lane agility drills. Meanwhile, he measured at 6-foot-8½ and 246 pounds with a 7-1 wingspan and only 8 percent body fat. “He tested well,” Walton said. “He showed them he’s agile enough to play with guards and forwards and strong enough and long enough to play some 4 and maybe small-ball 5. His numbers bear that out. He’s one of the most polished offensive players in the draft. The biggest thing is he can bring that type of effort defensively.” Looking at the many mock drafts that are out there, most are projecting Maten as a second-round selection. Walton guesses his client might go “40 to 60.” “There’s probably some possibility he goes undrafted,” Walton said. “But he’ll sign an NBA contract no matter what, whether he’s drafted or not.” Maten, who hails from Pontiac, Mich., finished his career ranked all over the Georgia record book: No. 2 in points (1,886), No. 4 in rebounds (889), No. 3 in blocks (198), No. 4 in free throws made (518), No. 4 in free throws attempted (686), No. 5 in field goals attempted (1345), No. 6 in field goals made (655), No. 13 in free throw percentage (.755) and No. 15 in field goal percentage (.483). If he is drafted, Maten will become only the fourth Georgia player since 2011 to do so. Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie were each second-round picks in 2011 and Caldwell-Pope was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2013 draft, by the Detroit Pistons. KCP, now with the Lakers, is the only Bulldog currently playing in the NBA. Which is not to say there’s not a lot of Bulldogs playing pro ball. Leslie is playing in Paris, J.J. Frazier played in France and Italy last season, Charles Mann is balling in Luxembourg, Gerald Robinson is in Monaco and Thompkins just won the European championship with Real Madrid in Spain. But most folks are betting that Maten will be able to make a living in the NBA, and maybe for a while. “He’s a very skilled offensive player, one of the most polished post scorers, or mid-post scorers, out there,” Walton said. “His size isn’t traditional, but the way the NBA is going where you’re playing a little bit of position-less basketball, he has a 7-1 wingspan and is strong enough to play inside and shoots the ball well from anywhere on the floor. A lot of teams like him.” Worth tuning into the draft, for sure. Thanks for the query, John. Be sure to send another one our way soon. Have a question for DawgNation reporters Chip Towers and Jeff Sentell? Email us at ugaquestionoftheday@gmail.com. The post What are the NBA draft projections for Georgia’s Yante Maten? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Knowshon Moreno. That’s the name that pops in my mind when I contemplate this new NCAA redshirt rule. I was offline and otherwise occupied last week when news initially broke that the NCAA had passed the rule. Since then, I’ve had a chance to read up on it and learn a little more. Essentially, it gives freshmen four games to play without losing the option of redshirting and thus still having another four years of eligibility for competition. What are my thoughts on it? Mainly, wow. I’m not at all surprised the NCAA adopted this rule or the one regarding transfers. The movement to provide student-athletes with more freedoms and liberties in general has intensified considerably in recent years and has been a long time in coming, frankly. But the extent to which coaches can utilize this new redshirt rule to the team’s advantage — to effectively try out first-year players, or deploy them at opportune times — surprised me. Of course, the question I’ve heard more than any other since the new rule was adopted is what kind of effect will this have at Georgia? Where it could be particularly useful for the Bulldogs is getting an early look at some of these elite signees at positions where there otherwise doesn’t appear much room for impact. And that’s where it takes me back to Moreno’s freshman year. Moreno was famously — or infamously, I should say — redshirted his freshman year at Georgia, even though it eventually became clear he was at least as good and probably better than most of the running backs that were being utilized that season. Making it worse was, after Moreno proved himself to be one of the most special talents in the country in  his redshirt freshman and sophomore seasons with the Bulldogs, he decided to turn pro. That was quite understandable and justifiable considering he was the first running back taken and 12th pick overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. Again, the spirit of this rule is not for the coaches to be able to test out the young talent that they have, necessarily. But this new legislation provides them with more flexibility to insert a player in a game later in the season. That would have been useful for Moreno, who initially was slow in mastering Georgia’s offense in preseason camp and was buried behind three very good tailbacks at the time: Thomas Brown, Kregg Lumpkin and Danny Ware. That explains why there was no mention of Moreno in the “Fall Outlook” portion of Georgia’s 2006 Media Guide. Under the running backs section, it said the position “figures to be a strength for the Bulldogs” and mentioned that the top-3 rushers from the previous year returned in Brown, Ware and Lumpkin, respectively. There was a mention of a junior walk-on named Jason Johnson and fullbacks Brannan Southerland and Des Williams in the preview, but none of Moreno. It’s also important to recall that while Moreno was a big-deal recruit from New Jersey, he wasn’t as big of a deal as a lot of the backs we’ve seen the Bulldogs ink lately. He was ranked the nation’s No. 10 back by Rivals (73rd player overall) and No. 9 by Scout. Georgia’s Zamir White is the consensus No. 1 back in the 2018 class and James Cook is considered the No 3 “all-purpose back” in America and No. 41 overall by 247Sports. So it wasn’t until the Bulldogs got well into the season that they realized what they had in Moreno. In preseason camp, he was taking reps behind the three guys ahead of him. It was actually in scout-team work against the No. 1 defense that Moreno began to distinguish himself. It’s in that role where we got the first reports of Moreno hurdling a defender. That’s something we wouldn’t witness in a game until two years later. And there was a perfect opportunity to execute a make-good of sorts on Moreno. Brown, who ended up being the starter on the 2006 team, suffered an ACL injury against Vanderbilt in the seventh game of the season.Georgia still had Lumpkin and Ware to turn to at that point. But imagine if the Bulldogs would’ve unleashed Moreno at that point. As it was, they lost that game and close games to No. 8 Florida (21-14) and Kentucky (24-20) in subsequent weeks. We know now that there’s no doubt Moreno could’ve made a difference. Coach Mark Richt still refers to not playing Moreno that season as one of the greatest regrets of his career. In Richt’s defense, he didn’t want to give away a whole year of eligibility on Moreno to play what at the outset would’ve looked like a backup role. Had this new rule been in place, that wouldn’t have been a concern. Richt could’ve deployed Moreno for as many as four games. If he wasn’t making an impact, he could’ve sent him to the sidelines. We know now that wouldn’t have happened. Now, coaches have strategies they can employ when it comes to utilizing freshmen. They can plan to give them extensive work against non-FBS opponents, such as Georgia has in Austin Peay and Middle Tennessee State in two of the season’s first three weeks. Or, if there are late developing players or depth issues that materialize as the result of injuries or other attrition late in the year, there will be no reason for hesitancy in turning loose one of the Bulldogs’ previously non-utilized players. It opens new possibilities when it comes to roster management. It’s like having a practice squad from which to execute a call-up whenever the need arises. Only, in Georgia’s case, there’s a good chance there’s a blue-chip prospect waiting in the wings. The flip side of that, for coaches and teams at least, is a player can more readily transfer to another program if he doesn’t like the way he has been utilized. And schools can no longer restrict a player’s options in that regard. That’s certainly a fair exchange, I’d say. If that designation happens to be a major rival that competes in the same division of the same conference, so be it. I understand coaches’ concerns that rampant transferring at the first sign of adversity or discontent could turn college football into the wild, wild west every offseason. But it has been that way in basketball for a while and the system hasn’t collapsed. No, the redshirt rule in particular seems like a win-win on both the side of the student-athlete and of the institution. It hasn’t been often that we’ve been able to say that about any new NCAA legislation. Georgia had 16 true freshmen take the field last season, but only one who could’ve benefited from this rule. William Poole, a defensive back, played sparingly in the Bulldogs’ first three games of the year, then not again until the Kentucky game in Week 13. Georgia also played him against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, but probably wouldn’t have had a full year of eligibility been the cost. As it was, the Bulldogs had already burned it. That’s the difference now. At four games coaches will have to decide whether it’s worthwhile to keep utilizing a player. Conversely, there’s nothing holding back Georgia or any team from giving a freshman a look. Meanwhile, you have to wonder if there might be a Moreno or somebody like him at another position on Georgia’s roster this season. This almost always is the case. The post Imagine if redshirt rule had been in place for Georgia’s Knowshon Moreno in 2006 appeared first on DawgNation.