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Ethiopian Airlines crash: Captain reported issues shortly after takeoff
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Ethiopian Airlines crash: Captain reported issues shortly after takeoff

Trump Orders Boeing 737 Max 8, Max 9 Aircraft Grounded After Fatal Ethiopian Airlines Crash

Ethiopian Airlines crash: Captain reported issues shortly after takeoff

Authorities continue to investigate the cause of an Ethiopia Airlines plane crash that claimed the lives of all 157 on board on Sunday.

>> Read more trending news 

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 was en route to Nairobi,  Kenya, when the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board, the airline confirmed. The New York Times reported Thursday that the plane’s captain reported issues three minutes after takeoff Sunday, but it was not immediately clear what caused the crash. 

>> PHOTOS: Ethiopian Airlines crash kills 157, including 8 Americans

Here are the latest updates:

Update 2:40 p.m. EDT March 15: Analysts believe an update for the flight-control software of Boeing 737 Max jets could take as many as six months and cost $500 million, according to reports from Bloomberg News and Crain’s Chicago Business.

The Federal Aviation Authority grounded Boeing 737 Max planes in the wake of Sunday’s deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash out of an abundance of caution. According to Bloomberg, the planes won’t fly again until after Boeing issues an update to the aircraft’s flight-control software.

“Once Boeing identifies the issue on the 737 Max, the most likely scenario, in our view, is that the company will take about three to six months to come up with a fix and certify the fix,” Bank of America analyst Ronald Epstein said Thursday, according to Investor's Business Daily.

Authorities continue to investigate the cause of Sunday’s crash.

Update 1:15 p.m. EDT March 15: After taking to the air Sunday, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accelerated to an unusual speed, according to The New York Times. The newspaper reported the plane’s captain reported an emergency on board three minutes after takeoff and requested permission to land, speaking in a “panicky” voice.

“Break break, request back to home,” the captain told air traffic controllers,  according to the Times. “Request vector for landing.”

Controllers saw the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane “oscillating up and down by hundreds of feet” the Times reported. Within five minutes, communication with the plane was lost, according to the newspaper.

The incident immediately drew comparisons to a similar crash that happened last year and involved the same plane model. Lion Air Flight 610 crashed in October shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board. As a precaution, Boeing 737 Max planes have been grounded by airlines and regulators worldwide.

Authorities continue to investigate the cause of Sunday’s crash, which claimed the lives of all 157 people on board.

Update 11:30 a.m. EDT March 14: Ethiopian Airlines officials said Thursday in a statement that the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder recovered after Sunday’s deadly crash have been flown to Paris for investigation.

An officials with the French air accident investigation authority, known by its French acronym BEA, told The Associated Press the recorders have already arrived in France. The official did not give an estimate of how long it would take to analyze the devices.

Officials continue to investigate.

Update 3:05 p.m. EDT March 13: Boeing officials said Wednesday they continue to have “full confidence in the safety of the 737 Max,” but they added that the company recommended the government ground the aircraft amid an investigation into Sunday’s deadly crash.

The incident was the second involving a Boeing 737 Max airplane since October, when a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Indonesia, killing everyone on board.

“We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution,” Dennis Muilenburg, president of The Boeing Company, said in a statement. “We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.” 

 

Update 2:30 p.m. EDT March 13: President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that an emergency order of prohibition is being issued to ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 flights, “effective immediately.”

“Boeing is an incredible company,” the president said Wednesday. “They are working very, very hard right now and hopefully they’ll very quickly come up with the answer. But until they do, the planes are grounded.”

 

Update 12:15 p.m. EDT March 13: Canadian officials announced Wednesday that the country will no longer allow Boeing 737 Max 8 or Max 9 aircraft in its airspace as officials continue to probe the cause of Sunday’s deadly crash.

“Following advice from Transport Canada Civil Aviation experts, as a precautionary measure, I am issuing a safety notice to address this issue,” Marc Garneau, Canada’s minister of transport, said Wednesday.  “This safety notice is effective immediately, and will remain in place until further notice.”

 

American officials have not grounded the planes as the investigation continues.

Update 11:20 a.m. EDT March 13: Officials are expected to release a software update in the coming months for the flight-control system in the Boeing 737 Max aircraft that was involved in last year’s deadly Lion Air crash in Indonesia, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper reported that the fix was planned before Sunday’s deadly Ethiopia Airlines crash, which also involved a Boeing 737 Max plane. It was expected in in January, the Journal reported, but discussions between Boeing representatives and FAA officials were slowed by disagreements over unspecified technical and engineering issues. The fix was also delayed by the five-week government shutdown sparked in December by President Donald Trump’s demand for funding to build his border wall, according to the Journal.

Authorities from several countries continue to probe the cause of Sunday’s crash. The plane’s black box, which was recovered after the crash, has been sent to Europe to be analyzed.

Several countries have grounded Boeing 737 Max airplanes as the investigation continues, with the exception of the U.S. and Canada, according to CNN.

 

Update 9:30 a.m. EDT March 13: A spokesman for Ethiopian Airlines told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the black box recovered after Sunday’s plane crash will be sent to Europe to be analyzed.

The spokesman, Asrat Begashaw, declined to tell the AP which country would be tasked with reviewing the flight’s voice and data recorders.

“We have a range of options,” he told the AP. “What we can say is we don’t have the capability to probe it here in Ethiopia.”

Since Sunday's crash, officials in several countries and territories, including all of the European Union, Egypt, Thailand and Lebanon, have ordered Boeing 737 Max planes be grounded as authorities continue to probe the cause of the crash.

Update 10 p.m. EDT March 12: New Zealand and Fiji have suspended Boeing 737 Max 8 flights in and out of the two countries and the United Arab Emirates, a key international travel hub, has also barred the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 from its airspace.

The budget carrier FlyDubai, owned by the Dubai government, uses the aircraft as a workhorse of its fleet.

Earlier Tuesday, the union for Air Canada flight attendants said the company is allowing flight attendants who don’t want to fly on Boeing 737 Max airplanes to be reassigned and the union says they want that option to continue.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees issued a statement asking the company to put the safety of passengers and crew first.

Update 6:30 p.m. EDT March 12: According to Bloomberg, the FAA was still monitoring the situation, but was standing by its decision not to ground the Boeing 737 Max.

Acting FAA Administrator, Daniel K. Elwell, released a statement on behalf of the FAA Tuesday evening:

“Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft. Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action.”

  

Update 1:40 p.m. EDT March 12: The European Union Aviation Safety Agency grounded Boeing 737 Max airplanes Tuesday as the investigation into Sunday's crash continues.

Officials suspended Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft "as a precautionary measure" Tuesday, effective at 19:00 UTC. Authorities also suspended "all commercial flights performed by third-country operators into, within or out of the EU” using Boeing Max 8 or Max 9 planes.

“EASA is continuously analyzing the data as it becomes available,” officials said Tuesday in a statement. “The accident investigation is currently ongoing, and it is too early to draw any conclusions as to the cause of the accident.”

The planes have not been grounded in the U.S. Officials continue to investigate.

 

Update 1:35 p.m. EDT March 12: Transportation officials in several countries have grounded Boeing 737 Max aircraft as the investigation into Sunday’s deadly crash continues.

Among the countries to ground the planes were Austria, Poland, Italy and the Netherlands, according to CNN. Earlier Tuesday, officials in the United Kingdom also grounded the planes.

The planes continue to fly in the United States as the investigation into what caused Sunday’s crash continues.

Update 10:35 a.m. EDT March 12: President Donald Trump said Tuesday that "airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly" as investigators continue to probe the cause of Sunday's deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash.

"Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT," Trump wrote, adding that "the complexity creates danger."

   

Authorities have not said what caused Sunday’s crash, although a plane of the same model crashed shortly after takeoff in Indonesia last year, killing all people on board. 

As the investigation continues, several airlines and countries have barred or grounded Boeing 737 Max airplanes, including aviation officials in the United Kingdom, Norwegian Airlines and Brazil's GOL Linhas Aereas.

The planes have not been grounded in the U.S., although at least three lawmakers have called for a temporary ban, according to multiple reports.

     

Federal Aviation Administration officials said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press that a team of U.S. aviation experts arrived Tuesday at the site of the crash. Officials will assist the Ethiopian-led investigation alongside investigators from several other countries.

Update 9:50 a.m. EDT March 12: The United Kingdom's Civil Aviation Authority on Tuesday barred Boeing 737 Max airplanes from flying in the country's airspace as the investigation into the cause of Sunday's deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash continues.

 

The Oman Civil Aviation authority also announced Tuesday that the country was "temporarily suspending operations of Boeing 737 Max aircraft into and out of all Omani airports until further notice."

 

Update 5:10 a.m. EDT March 12: Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority is temporarily suspending “all flights into or out of the country by Boeing 737 Max” jets, The Associated Press reported early Tuesday. Meanwhile, South Korean carrier Eastar Jet said it is suspending operations of the aircraft model and will use Boeing 737-800 planes instead.

The news came just hours after a U.S. team traveled to Ethiopia to help investigate Sunday’s deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Read more here.

Update 11:45 p.m. EDT March 11: More than a dozen airlines and the governments of Indonesia and China have grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 jets after Sunday’s crash in Ethiopia, according to The New York Times.

The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder from the downed airliner were recovered Monday at the crash site just outside Addis Ababa and could help authorities speed up the investigation as Boeing tries to contain the repercussions from two 737 Max 8 crashes in just over four months.

 

A Lion Air 737 Max 8 crashed last October killing all 189 people aboard.

The similarity of the crashes is concerning not only  pilots and flight attendants, but travelers, too.

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are the only two American carriers that use the Boeing 737 Max 8, the Times reported, and they’re still flying the aircraft as are 16 other carriers.

Several lawmakers, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Richard Blumenthal are calling on the Federal Aviation Administration to ground all Boeing 737 Max 8s until the Ethiopian Airlines crash investigation is complete.

 

Update 1 p.m. EDT March 11: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday was “a sad day for many around the word, and for the UN in particular,” after 157 people died in an Ethiopian Airlines flight out of Addis Ababa.

At least 21 UN workers were among those killed, officials said.

“A global tragedy has hit close to home, and the United Nations is united in grief,” Guterres said. “Our colleagues were women and men, junior professionals and seasoned officials, hailing from all corners of the globe and with a wide range of expertise. ... They all had one thing in common. A spirit to serve the people of the world and make it a better place overall.” 

Authorities continue to investigate the crash.

 

Update 11:20 a.m. EDT March 11: Boeing officials said the company has no plans to issue new guidance to operators in the wake of Sunday’s deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash.

“Safety is our number one priority and we are taking every measure to fully understand all aspects of this accident, working closely with the investigating team and all regulatory authorities involved,” Charlie Miller, Bowing’s vice president of communications, said in a statement obtained by CNN. “The investigation is in its early stages, but at this point, based on the information available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators.”

Sunday’s crash was the second fatal accident since October involving a Boeing 737 Max 8. Last year, 189 people died when a Lion Air model of the same plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Indonesia.

Update 11 a.m. EDT March 11: Boeing stock prices tumbled in early trading Monday in the wake of Sunday’s deadly Ethiopia Airlines crash.

Shares of Boeing stock were down more than 12 percent shortly after trading opened Monday, according to The New York Times.

 

Sunday’s crash was the second fatal accident since October involving a Boeing 737 Max 8. Last year, 189 people died when a Lion Air model of the same plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Indonesia.

Update 10 a.m. EDT March 11: A six-member team of U.S. aviation experts was en route to Ethiopia on Monday, according to Ethiopia’s state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate.

Ambassador Michael Raynor told the broadcaster that experts with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to arrive Tuesday at the crash site. Boeing and Interpol officials are also investigating the crash.

Update 9:30 a.m EDT March 11: Officials with the Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services identified four of its staff members killed in Sunday's Ethiopia Airlines crash. Officials said Sara Chalachew, Getnet Alemayehu, Sintayehu Aymeku and Mulusew Alemu were traveling to Nairobi to attend a training. Officials said the four, who were Ethiopian nationals, worked in finance, logistics and procurement.

“Although we are in mourning, we celebrate the lives of these colleagues and the selfless contributions they made to our mission, despite the risks and sacrifices that humanitarian work can often entail,” Catholic Relief Services officials said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and all of those who lost loved ones as a result of this tragedy.”

 

Update 8:35 a.m. EDT March 11: Pope Francis has sent his condolences to the victims of Sunday morning’s deadly Ethiopian Airlines flight crash.

The Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said in a statement released Monday that the pope was sad to learn of the crash, which officials said killed all 157 people on board shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa.

“His Holiness Pope Francis offers prayers for the deceased from various countries and commends their souls to the mercy of Almighty God,” Parolin said. “Pope Francis sends heartfelt condolences to their families, and upon all who mourn this tragic loss he invokes the divine blessings of consolation and strength.”

Update 6:34 a.m. EDT March 11: Ethiopian state-run TV is reporting that crews have recovered the black box from the plane that crashed Sunday, according to The Associated Press. Meanwhile, Indonesia announced it is grounding Boeing 737 Max 8 jets in the wake of Sunday’s crash, the AP reported Monday.

Update 5:37 a.m. EDT March 11: An Ethiopian Airlines spokesman said the carrier grounded its Boeing 737 Max 8 jets in the wake of Sunday’s deadly crash, The Associated Press reported Monday. Chinese airlines and the Caribbean’s Cayman Airways also temporarily stopped using the planes.

Update 6:30 p.m. EDT March 10: United Nations employees and other humanitarian workers are among the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines crash Sunday morning near Bishoftu.

The U.N. was trying to confirm with the Ethiopian government the identities of its workers, who were heading to Nairobi for a session of the United Nations Environment Assembly, “described as the world’s highest decision-making body on the environment,” according to the New York Times

Members of another U.N. agency, the World Food Program, were also among the dead, the program’s chief confirmed in a tweet.

 

Other U.N. aides and members of Catholic Relief Services and other organizations were also killed in the crash, the Times reported.

The disaster is eerily similar to a Lion Air crash in Indonesia last October that killed all 189 people on board. The Lion Air crash also involved a Boeing 737 Max 8 that went down shortly after takeoff.

It’s unclear why the Ethiopian plane went down and the airline’s CEO cautioned against jumping to any conclusions.

"Ethiopian Airlines is one of the safest airlines in the world. At this stage we cannot rule out anything," CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said, according to The Associated Press.

Update 11:20 a.m. EDT March 10: The Associated Press has published a list of nationalities of 150 of the 157 people believed to have been on board the Ethiopian Airlines plane. Eight Americans were killed in the flight.

Kenya: 32

Canada: 18

Ethiopia: 9

China: 8

Italy: 8

United States: 8

France: 7

UK: 7

Egypt: 6

Germany: 5

India: 4

Slovakia: 4

Austria: 3

Russia: 3

Sweden: 3

Spain: 2

Israel: 2

Morocco: 2

Poland: 2

Belgium: 1

Djibouti: 1

Indonesia: 1

Ireland: 1

Mozambique: 1

Norway: 1

Rwanda: 1

Saudi Arabia: 1

Sudan: 1

Somalia: 1

Serbia: 1

Togo: 1

Uganda: 1

Yemen: 1

Nepal: 1

Nigeria: 1

U.N. passport: 1

Original report:

According to the BBC, eight crew members and 149 passengers were on the Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 when it crashed about 8:44 a.m. Ethiopian time near Bishoftu, the airline said. 

The victims included people from 35 countries, including 32 Kenyans and 17 Ethiopians, The Associated Press reported.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office issued the following statement about the incident: 

“The Office of the PM, on behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express its deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning,” the statement read.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read More

Local News

  • Researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered two new drug targets to treat Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ARDS, a life-threatening lung condition that makes breathing difficult or impossible.   Their findings were published in a recent issue of Pharmacological Research.   ARDS is a rapidly progressing disease with mortality rate between 35% and 50%, and it typically occurs in critically ill hospital patients, such as those in intensive care units on ventilators. Fluid accumulates in the lungs of patients, depriving the body of oxygen. There is no cure for ARDS, and current treatments consist of supportive care.   Somanath P.R. Shenoy, professor and director of the Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics Program at the UGA College of Pharmacy’s Augusta campus. “There are currently no good treatment options for people with this disease, but the drug targets we have identified could help change that,” said Somanath P.R. Shenoy, professor and director of the Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics Program at the UGA College of Pharmacy’s Augusta campus.   Shenoy and his colleagues found that by controlling the expression of an enzyme and a protein in the lungs, they could reduce the inflammation and fluid accumulation associated with the disease. They tested the treatment on human lung cells and in a mouse model that mimicked the effects of ARDS.   “We were able to completely reverse the accumulation of fluid in the lungs of mice used in our tests,” Shenoy said. “If we could create drugs that target the accumulation of fluids in human lungs, we may be able to develop a new and desperately needed treatment for ARDS.”   The study also showed a correlation between the levels of the enzyme in blood and the development of ARDS, so the enzyme could be used as a diagnostic marker for the disease.   A recent study conducted by G. Bellani and an international team of collaborators, as part of LUNGSAFE, under the auspices of the ESICM Trial Group, concludes that ARDS is underdiagnosed and undertreated, not only in the U.S. but worldwide.   Because ARDS is often undiagnosed or diagnosis comes late, a reliable diagnostic marker could help improve the prognosis for ARDS in hospital patients. However, Shenoy cautions that further studies in human ARDS patient samples are needed to confirm the effectiveness of the enzyme as a diagnostic marker.
  • The Georgia Bulldogs will host SMU at Stegeman Coliseum this December as the first game of home-and-home series with the Mustangs, head coach Tom Crean announced on Wednesday.   Georgia and SMU will meet in Athens this season on Friday, Dec. 20. The following year, the Bulldogs will venture to Dallas to return the contest on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020.   “We’re excited about the matchup with SMU,” Crean said. “This not only adds a quality opponent to our home schedule for this season, it also gives us a chance to play in Dallas next season, where the University of Georgia has an extremely large and loyal alumni base.”   The series will be the first meetings between UGA and SMU in men’s basketball. Georgia is 30-19 all-time against teams currently competing with the Mustangs in the American Athletic Conference.   SMU has compiled a 71-38 record in three seasons under current head coach Tim Jankovich, including a program-record 30 victories in 2016-17. The Mustangs won the American Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles in 2017.   Deposits for season tickets to the Bulldogs’ 2019-20 home schedule are only $50 and can be made by calling 706-542-1231 or by visiting georgiadogs.com/tickets. Last season, Crean’s first season at Georgia, the Bulldogs broke their all-time total attendance record by more than 9,000 fans.   This season, Crean will welcome a top-5 recruiting class to Athens. The Bulldogs have signed five of the nation’s top-100 prospects in the Class of 2019, more than any other SEC program.
  • Legion Pool at the University of Georgia will open on May 23 for the summer season. Hours of operation are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through July 31 and 3-7 p.m. Aug. 1-8. Use of Legion Pool is limited to students with valid UGACards who pay activity fees on the Athens campus; faculty and staff with valid UGACards; guests of students, faculty and staff; and Friends of Campus Life members. All guests must be accompanied by the UGACard holder. Admission is $3 for students, $4 for faculty and staff, $3 for children ages 3-15 (who must be accompanied by an adult) and $5 for guests and members of Friends of Campus Life. Friends of Campus Life memberships are available for a minimum $40 donation at the pool. Membership dues help to support the student programs and services offered by the Tate Student Center. An open house will be held on May 22 from 1-6 p.m.; swimming will not be permitted, but passes will be sold at the pool concession window. Legion Pool is administered by the Tate Student Center within UGA’s Division of Student Affairs.
  • There is talk in Jackson County about filing ethics complaints against Hoschton Mayor Theresa Kenerly and Hoschton City Councilman Jim Cleveland. Both have heard calls to resign after making what are said to have been racist remarks. Kenerly denies not hiring a black city administrator because of his race, while Cleveland, who is Hoschton’s Mayor Pro Tem has been quoted speaking out against interracial marriage.    The Atlanta Journal Constitution filed an open records request for dozens of emails and a handful of Facebook messages directed at Hoschton before the city took down both its website and Facebook page following the AJC’s May 6 story. Without exception, the messages were critical of officials’ racially charged comments, with many calling on the mayor and a longtime councilman to resign.
  • The Athens-Clarke County Water Conservation Office’s annual Roll Out the Barrels event is set for 6 o’clock this evening at the Foundry in downtown Athens: 16 custom-painted rain barrels will be on the auction block, with proceeds going to the County’s Green Schools Program. From the Athens-Clarke County Government website…   Roll Out the Barrels is a free, family-friendly event is open to the public and aims to raise awareness of water pollution and water conservation. Bid on 16 unique rain barrels painted by local artists as you enjoy music and appetizers. All proceeds benefit the Athens-Clarke County Green School Program, which is designed to assist schools with environmental education and improvement efforts that focus on conservation, preservation, and beautification of our environment. Visit rolloutthebarrels.org for more information and a list of participating artists.

Bulldog News

  • ST. SIMONS ISLAND — Georgia football is way ahead of the game when it comes to bringing in money for 2019. The Bulldogs already had collected $33 million in ticket revenue as of April this year as compared to $21.4 million by the same time last year, according to the 2019 treasurer’s report. That report was given to the Georgia Athletic Association’s board of directors at the annual end-of-year retreat, which is being held this year here at the King & Prince Resort. That increase is attributed to having a seventh home game this season as well as last year’s ticket price increases, according to board treasurer Ryan Nesbit. Georgia reports $29.6 million in actual ticket contributions, which exceeded the budgeted amount of $28.5 million. Expenses will also be up slightly to $5.3 because of the extra game and an ever-expanding support base. “When you have home games with Notre Dame and Texas A&M, that helps,” UGA President Jere Morehead said. “Our athletic fundraising has been exceptional this year, so I want to commend Greg McGarity and (director of development) Matt Borman and everybody involved,” President Jere Morehead said told the board during his report to open the meeting. Georgia did not reveal its budget for the coming fiscal year, but it is expected to set another record. That has been the case in each year since the advent of the SEC Network bolstered the league’s revenue distribution program. League members received an average of $43.1 million from the SEC in the revenue distribution, which divides profits equally between the 14 members plus the conference headquarters in Birmingham. Last year, the board raised Georgia’s average football ticket price from $50 to an average of $66.42 per game, on a two-tiered system. Games against Tier 1 opponents such as SEC and Power 5 opponents cost $75 per game. Games against Tier 2 opponents are $55 per game. That does not include the required donation for the right to purchase those tickets. Georgia’s budget was more than $143 million last year. It’s expected to approach $150 million this year when it is presented to the board for approval during Friday’s meeting. The Bulldogs approved the architects for its football facility expansion but provided few details beyond it will be started as soon as possible. Morehead used a portion of his opening marks to congratulate McGarity, Georgia’s athletic director, and his administration “for a fantastic year whether it be fundraising or on the competitive field of play.” “We’re continuing to see a great deal of success and accomplishment on and off the field,” Morehead said. The board responded with applause, which is unusual for these proceedings. Seventeen out of UGA’s 21 sports competed in NCAA postseason play this year. That includes baseball, men’s golf and track and field, which are currently active in postseason play. McGarity received a $25,000 raise last year to a salary of $700,000. He has chosen to work on year-to-year contracts going forward. Fifty-six percent of 511 student-athletes recorded a GPA of 3.0 or better in spring semester, according to faculty athletics rep Craig Shipley. That’s below the athletic department’s stated goal of 65 percent but above the national average. Twenty-seven athletes recorded a perfect 4.0 GPA. Men’s cross country led all sports with a 3.44 GPA. Georgia Athletic Association’s is called to order moments before conducting its final meeting of the 2019 Academic Year in the Retreat Room at the King & Prince Resort on St. Simons Island. (Chip Towers/DawgNation)   The post Georgia football is raking in revenue at record rate for 2019 season appeared first on DawgNation.
  • MACON — As the marquee outside the Hargray Capitol Theatre boldly stated to passers by on Second Street, it was the Kirby Smart and Tom Crean Show here on Monday. The Georgia Bulldogs Club’s annual Coaches Caravan made its first stop here in Central Georgia Monday night and it was a quick one. Smart spoke for 7½ minutes and Crean for about twice that before a gathering of a couple or few hundred fans. There was no question-and-answer opportunity for the fans, which typically produces the most entertaining exchanges. No salvos were sent back Florida’s way. Before the program, the coaches did give the local press and team beat writers about 10 minutes for a Q&A backstage. After that, the coaches and an entourage of officers from UGA’s development office led by director Matt Borman adjourned for a private dinner with donors. The group will repeat the process Tuesday night in Augusta. Then that will be it for a while. There was very little in the way of hard news that came out of the session. The most pertinent was that all Bulldogs, current and incoming, are expected to meet academic eligibility requirements. That’s particularly refreshing considering Georgia had “a number of guys” who were sweating out spring semester grades, according to Smart. Other nuggets to come out of the 90-minute affair: Smart said no players other than linebacker Jaden Hunter are currently in the transfer portal. “None that I can think of,” Smart said. Smart congratulated Vince Dooley and praised the university for naming the field after him. “Who better to do it for than for a man who gave his life to the university and did a great job,” Smart said. We’re probably not going to see a lot more of outside linebacker Walter Grant at running back. “A lot of it will depend on the freshmen coming in, Kenny (McIntosh), and other guys at the position and how we feel, and outside ‘backer depth, too,” Smart said. “It was an insurance policy at best. It was kind of a research project to see what he can do.” Crean said he remains in constant contact with sophomore Nicolas Claxton as he works out for NBA scouts and he attended all his events at the NBA combine last week. He interjected that Claxton “could be a lottery pick” if he returned. Crean also said that he expects to sign another player before next season. Headlines from Coaches Caravan QB Jake Fromm will have more ‘offensive input’ in 2019 Kirby Smart expects all players, incoming and otherwise, to be eligible RB Zamir White on pace to be cleared for preseason camp Georgia fans flock to Macon landmark to hear from Kirby Smart           The post VIDEO: Kirby Smart, Tom Crean update fans on Georgia Bulldogs during ‘Coaches Caravan’ appeared first on DawgNation.
  • CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Incoming Miami grad-transfer receiver Lawrence Cager had the unique experience of getting to know both Kirby Smart and Mark Richt as head coaches the past few years. Smart has elevated Georgia football into an annual national championship contender in his three years leading the program. RELATED: Kirby Smart ‘proud’ to have worked for Mark Richt The Bulldogs played in the College Football Playoff Championship Game after he 2017 season, and narrowly missed making the CFP last season in controversial fashion. Smart coached a season under Richt at Georgia in 2005 and inherited a program on solid footing in 2016. WATCH: Mark Richt praised by rivals Saban, Spurrier, Fulmer Richt was was 145-51 over his 15 seasons at Georgia, his .740 winning percentage second only to Smart’s .762 (32-10). The differences in the disposition of Richt and Smart, Cager indicted, are like fire and ice. “Kirby was an All-SEC performer, so he can relate to you and he’s a player’s coach, he’s a guy you want to play under,” Cager said. “He gets fired up, just like coach (James) Coley.” Coley is the offensive coordinator at Georgia under Smart. But on the front end of Cager’s career, he recruited against his current boss, back when Smart was the defensive coordinator at Alabama. Cager began his career at Miami in 2015 with Coley calling the plays under then-Hurricanes’ head coach Al Golden. But then Golden was fired midway through the season, and Richt took over the Miami after being let go from Georgia following he 2015 season and returned to his alma mater to coach the Hurricanes from 2016-2018. Cager said Richt was much more reserved than what he’s seen from Smart. “With Coach Richt it was like, ‘We’re here to do this and that and handle business,’ ” Cager said. “It wasn’t like, ‘Let’s turn it up!’ Kirby will say ‘Let’s turn it up on them!’ “Coach Richt was more like, ‘Look, we are coming here, it’s Florida State, we know what we have to do, we need to line up and beat them.” Cager said the 43-year-old Smart is personable and comes across as being more invested emotionally than the 59-year-old Richt, who delivered messages in businesslike, matter-of-fact tone. Miami hired Richt to replace Golden after Cager’s freshman season. Cager said most of the players on the Miami football team had a pretty good idea Richt would be the Hurricanes next head coach. “Once Georgia let go of Coach Richt, this is his alma mater and his name kept coming up so we all thought we will hire him,” Cager said. “Once we heard it was us or Virginia, we knew for sure.” Richt changed the culture immediately, Cager said. “Golden came in here from Temple, he was more laid back,” Cager said. “Richt changed everything. We used to wear anything we wanted to practice, but then Coach Richt came in and wanted everyone uniform. It was old school, everyone would look the same, no earrings, the little stuff. “It helped a lot of people in the end. He’s a great guy. We were focused on winning championships, but his mentality was we are here to bring the swag back and it’s all about business.” Now it’s Cager who is all about business. The 6-foot-5, 218-pound receiver is expected to challenge for a starting spot immediately in the Bulldogs’ young receiving corps. DawgNation in South Florida Kenny McIntosh draws comparisons to Sony Michel, Jordan Scarlett Lawrence Cager eager for Georgia touch down ’The Blueprint,’ championship plans for South Florida star The post Fire and ice: Incoming Miami transfer compares Kirby Smart to Mark Richt appeared first on DawgNation.
  • MACON — Jake Fromm grew up and played high school ball 19 miles from the famous Hargray Capitol Theatre in downtown Macon where Kirby Smart was Monday. Fromm’s mother, Lee, works as a nurse in the Coliseum Medical Center, just a mile away across the Ocmulgee River. The Fromm’s family hunting lease is just 19 miles the other side of the hospital over in Plum Creek. So Jake Fromm is a big deal around. Then again, Fromm is pretty much a big deal everywhere these days. So Smart, here to speak at a small gathering of Georgia fans and Georgia Bulldogs Club members, dutifully acknowledged his quarterback and the many other Central Georgia players who dot the Bulldogs’ roster. “We’ve gotten a lot good players from here,” Smart said at the opening of his brief remarks before a crowd of a few hundred. “The guy who takes a snap from center and the guy who snaps it.” Fromm, obviously, is the player who takes the snaps. Trey Hill, who was Fromm’s teammate at Houston County High in Warner Robins, is the center snapping the ball to him. Hill played left tackle most of the time in high school, but did have occasion to snap to Fromm every once in a while. But now he’s the one replacement on Georgia’s heralded offensive line. He must replace graduated senior and NFL draft pick Lamont Gaillard. About that, there’s some question. About Fromm, there is none. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound junior is considered a All-America candidate and Heisman Trophy as the Bulldogs head into their fourth season under Smart, once again as a Top 5 team. Fromm does so having played in every game, starting all but one and in position to set the school’s all-time record for completion percentage. This year, Fromm will be operating under a new offensive coordinator. James Coley succeeded Jim Chaney in the role after taking over as quarterbacks coach last year. Smart thinks that is a good thing. “I think we’ve got some more quarterback guys around him with Coley working with him and he’s excited about that,” Smart said. “For him, it’s been a transition through the coordinator position where he’s kind of a sponge, he’s got more of an opinion now. He understands what we’re trying to do offensively.” Fromm has completed 64.8 percent of his passes for 5,364 yards with 54 touchdowns and 13 interceptions at this point. The thought is the Bulldogs will throw the ball more under Coley, who did that as coordinator at Miami and Florida State. Smart believes Fromm can handle whatever Coley can dish out, and will also have a say-so on what the Bulldogs do as well. “Any time you’ve got a three-year starter,he can give you input on things he likes about the offense, things he dislikes and things he thinks he can be successful,” Smart said. “That input is helpful, it’s always helpful.” The post Kirby Smart expects QB Jake Fromm to have more ‘offensive input’ in 2019 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • MACON —  The biggest applause Kirby Smart got during his 7½-minute speech to a couple of hundred Georgia fans on Monday was when he said that every player slated to return for the Bulldogs had retained their academic eligibility. Smart had said essentially the same thing backstage earlier with regard to the 10 signees in the Class of 2019 that have yet to report to campus. Specifically, there has been a lot of concern and chatter about 5-star wide receiver George Pickens. But while the Georgia coach didn’t address Pickens specifically, he did say he expected all who signed to show up and be eligible when they arrive this summer. Most are expected to arrive at the end of this month and enroll for summer semester, which begins in early June. “We’ve got full expectations that everybody will be there in the summer to practice, to compete,” Smart said. “All of those guys are finishing up, right now they’re in their finals depending on what state they’re in or where they are. I know they’re looking forward to getting into our place and start working.” As for the returning players, Smart acknowledged that the Bulldogs were sweating out the spring semester grades of a more than a few. But, again, he said, there were no academic casualties. “And that’s an accomplishment,” Smart said as applause nearly drowned out his remarks. “As everybody in this room knows, academically at Georgia, it’s an unbelievable place. It’s unbelievably competitive. When you look at the average student coming in with a 32 ACT, a 1,300 SAT, a 4.1 GPA, you know when you walk into the classroom you’ve got to be at the top of your game. And that goes for our players, too.”   The post Kirby Smart says all returning players, all incoming recruits have made the grades to play appeared first on DawgNation.