Dawgs Arrive Safe in Orlando
Mark Richt
Mark Richt
Dawgpost.com
Posted Dec 27, 2003


ORLANDO, Fla. - Georgia won't play a football game here until Thursday, but the Bulldogs got the trip's first victory Friday evening when all the players made it to the Capital One Bowl site safe and sound.

"You worry about it," Coach Mark Richt said. "I guess there's always concern, but we've been fortunate so far."

The NCAA allows schools to give their players mileage money for bowl trips, prompting this frank explanation from Richt: "As much cash as we can put in their pocket within the rules, we want to do that."

The mileage check (at 28 cents per mile) from Athens meant at least $270 for each player. If a player lives further away than Athens, that player could calculate the mileage from his home. That meant more than $1,000 for tailback Albert Hollis, who hails from Sacramento, Calif. In addition to mileage money, the players receive a per diem to pay for meals and incidentals.

The players, as college kids often do, are trying to squeeze every ounce of value out of their money. All-America defensive end David Pollack said "about six or seven of us" rode to Orlando on Thursday in an SUV owned by offensive lineman Bartley Miller's father. The system makes sense to Pollack, he said.

"We haven't had any problems yet," he said.

Once all the players arrived, Georgia (10-3) had its first on-site practice at 8 p.m. on a field adjacent to the Citrus Bowl, where the No. 11 Bulldogs will play No. 12 Purdue (9-3) next week.

The Boilermakers arrived in Orlando on Tuesday, but Richt said he isn't concerned with trying to catch up on missed time.

"We've got our own schedule," he said.

The remainder of Georgia's practices will be in the morning to give the players the afternoon to enjoy the many trips planned by the Capital One Bowl organizers. The team has many choices for entertainment, including Disney World, Sea World and Universal Studies. Cornerback Bruce Thornton said the seniors will have some say in what the team does.

"When it's practice time, we work hard. After practice, we want them to enjoy themselves as much as they can within the parameters we've given them," Richt said. "For some of these guys, it's the trip of the lifetime."

NOTES: Peach County's A.J. Bryant arrived in Orlando on Thursday for his first workout with the Bulldogs. ... Thornton said he and defensive lineman Ken Veal spent Christmas Day in Jacksonville, Fla., with former Georgia linebacker and Macon native Tony Gilbert, who plays for the Jaguars.


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