“You’ll see a little more involvement from me in that regard,” Damon Evans said. “I do think there are times when the AD needs to step in.”
It was obvious Saturday at the annual spring meeting of the Georgia
Athletic Association’s board of directors that the football teams recent
run of off-field incidents has embarrassed some of the school’s alumni.
“From the outside, it looks like Georgia may have lost control,” said
Happy Dicks, a member of the board and a UGA football letterman. “Mark Richt is trying to really educate them, but it still doesn’t seem like
it’s had an affect.”
Evans also told the board that former Georgia standout offensive
lineman Bernard Williams recently came back to address members of the
football team. Williams had a promising career in the NFL cut short due
to issues involving drug use.
ROLLING IN IT: Georgia announced another record budget for 2005-2006,
projecting it will take in $61,458,000 for the fiscal year. It expects
operating expenses of $45,499,427 for the same time period. (By
comparison, the association’s revenue in 1998 totaled $28 million.)
One reason for the spike in revenue is a huge increase in donations to
the GEEF (Georgia Educational Endowment Fund). That total increased from
$16 million to $22 million due mostly to a new ticket priority system.
The board of directors approved capital projects totaling around $3.8
Most of that cost covers $1.08 million for new
baseball lights and $1.2 million for new Stegeman Coliseum seating.
SALARY MATTERS: Gymnastics coach Suzanne Yoculan, who is coming off
another NCAA Championship is in line for a raise, according to associate
athletic director Frank Crumley. Yoculan’s salary could be bumped up
$35,000 or more. She currently makes $141,000.
Several assistant football coaches also received slight raises this
year. Offensive coordinator Neil Callaway went from $156,000 to
$180,000, putting him on equal footing with defensive coordinator Willie Martinez and defensive line coach Rodney Garner, although Martinez and
Garner also receive large supplements.
Defensive ends coach Jon Fabris
went from $135,000 to $150,000; wide receivers coach John Eason went
from $140,000 to $155,000; quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo went from
$105,000 to $130,000 and tight ends coach David Johnson went from
$114,000 to $130,000.
STADIUM ISSUES: Board member William Barstow put forth a motion
Saturday for a comprehensive study of overcrowding issues involving the
Sanford Stadium walkways, concession stands and restrooms. However,
Evans indicated that major changes like the Gate 6 project are not in
current plans for financial reasons.
HERE WE GO AGAIN: A new contract for the Georgia-Florida football game
probably will be discussed by the end of the year, Evans said, but he
did not indicate what the future of the game might be. Board member Bob
Bishop raised the issue Saturday of moving the game from Jacksonville,
Fla., to a home-and-home series.
“It’s a hot potato,” Evans said. “It’s probably been the hottest topic
since July 1 when I took over.”
The schools have a signed contract to keep the game in Jacksonville
this year and in 2006.