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UGA Athletic Board meets in Athens

The University of Georgia Athletic Association Board of Directors held its Fall meeting Friday to discuss both financial and athletic matters.

The 90-minute meeting covered a variety of topics, including financial reports, early-season updates on the progress of the UGA teams currently in competition, and reports on current and future facility projects.

A report from J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Josh Brooks took a prominent place on the meeting’s agenda Friday. Among the topics he covered included the following:

• Updates to teams competing in the Fall season, including women’s soccer, volleyball and the top-ranked football team.

• A recognition of the Georgia Bulldog Club efforts that raised an all-time record $86.4 million in the Fiscal year 2022, $45.4 million in major gifts, also a record.

• An update to major improvements on the south side of Sanford Stadium. The first phase of this project, set to begin in December, will double the width of the South 100 Level concourse and add more entry gates, restrooms and concessions areas at Gate 9. The second phase, construction for which is slated for begin in December of 2023, will add 200- and 300-level restrooms and suites, as well as add a new press box on the west end at the 400 and 500 levels.

• An update to projects — both currently in their design phases — that will bring signficant upgrades to the baseball (Foley Field) and softball (Jack Turner Stadium) facilities.

• An update on the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Tennis Facility. Construction is scheduled to start in November, with a date of completion targeted for December of 2023.

• Deputy Athletics Director Will Lawler gave an annual educational session in compliance, intended specifically for Athletics Board members. Lawler also updated the Board on UGA’s activities pertaining to Name, Image and Likeness (NIL). He stated that the Athletic Association has gone through many NIL-related efforts to assist student-athletes during this time.

• An academic report from Faculty Athletics Representative, Prof. David Shipley. Highlights of Shipley’s report included:

> In the 2021-22 academic year, 38 student-athletes posted 4.00 GPAs, 147 were between 3.50 and 3.99, and 341 were at 3.00 or better. The 341 total represented 63 percent of all UGA student-athletes. Shipley noted that not long ago, the Athletic Association strived for 50 percent of its student-athletes to be above the 3.00 mark.
> Women’s cross-country won the Faculty Athletics Rep (FAR) Award for the highest GPA among Bulldog athletic programs with a 3.64 GPA, while their male counterparts posted a 3.37 GPA to lead all men’s teams. 
> Georgia had four student-athletes earn NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships in the 2021-22 year, matching the highest number ever for UGA. The recipients are distance runner Samantha Drop; high jumper Shelby Tyler; swimmer Andrew Abruzzo; and baseball player Ben Anderson.

• Student representatives Jaiden Fields (UGA softball player) and Briana Hayes (non-athlete student rep) also shared reports.

The Board’s Winter meeting is planned for February 7 in Athens.

Comments from J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Josh Brooks

(On the future of the Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville):

“One of the key dominoes in this whole equation is getting our conference schedule set. Then we can look at that. We still have time, so we’ll weigh it out. We’re not in a rush on it right now; we’re locked in through 2023 anyway. But we want to see where we wind up with the conference schedule before we really dig in and see where we’re headed there.”

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