What We Are Hearing: Dawgs Back at UGA in June?

May 17, 2020

ATHENS - SEC Officials are gearing up for the return of football players by the middle of June at the latest. 

Reporting from the Baton Rouge Advocate last week shined a light on the SEC’s movement to get going this summer in preparation for the fall. LSU Executive Deputy Athletic Director Verge Ausberry was quoted in the outlet saying the conference was trying to get players back as early as June 1st. 

“The presidents are going to take a vote in the SEC,” Ausberry said. “Do we come back? Do we bring the students back on June 1 or June 15?”

It’s looking more like June 1st than June 15th. Several SEC officials are concerned that players trying to work out in their hometowns could be doing so facilities that are not clean or up to the standard you would get in an SEC facility. 

“The prohibition's in place for the SEC for us not to use facilities until May 31. When that prohibition comes up, which hopefully won't be extended, and, if it is, we'll be read for that too. But I ‘ see some time in June our student-athletes getting back to campus and us taking care of them,” LSU AD Scott Woodward added in the article. 

UGA has already indicated that it is moving forward with things as close to what has been normal in the past as possible. In-person classes are set to start in the fall. UGA has also announced that it will have a graduation in October to replace the commencement that would have taken place in May for the spring semester. 

UGA, it seems clear, is moving forward with an eye on starting school and playing in the fall as usual. Playing is one thing - but few officials are willing to speculate on the appearance of fans in the stands this fall. They simply don’t know right now - which is being repeated. 

“No one knowns,” is the familiar refrain. 

While the State of Georgia is open, most of Athens’ businesses remains either closed or open in a modified way. The bulk of restaurants and shops in downtown Athens are fully closed. Then again, in a normal year this would be the least busy time in Athens during the entire year.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s opponent for the opening game of the 2020 season, Virginia, is tiptoeing towards the fall. 

“Our hope, obviously, is that there’s a football season this fall,” UVA president Jim Ryan told CBS’s Face the Nation last Sunday. “I don’t imagine it will look like normal football seasons just like I don’t imagine, even if we have all students back on grounds, it will look like a normal semester. It will not be a normal semester next fall.”

Georgia is guaranteed a minimum payout of $4.25 million for its appearance in the kickoff game in Atlanta in September. The term sheet for that game stipulates that UGA “concludes sales (of tickets) by no later than June 14, 2020. 

Will players be on campus by then? The smart money is that, yes, they will be. 

On the recruiting front, Brock Vandagriff‍ continues to recruit hard for the Bulldogs, using social media to get his message out to TE Brock Bowers‍, LB Smael Mondon‍ and OT Amarius Mims‍.

As for Bowers, Dawg Post continues to feel good about Georgia’s chances with the four-star TE and believe the Bulldogs are in the drivers seat for the Napa (CA) product. He plans to make a decision before his senior season.

5-star linebacker Smael Mondon hinted on social media recently that he could be making his decision in June. While sources feel the Tennessee Vols have made the biggest move lately in his recruitment, Dawg Post still feels the Bulldogs are the team out in front behind the scenes.

4-star TE target Moliki Matavao is set to make his commitment on May 27th, and while the Bulldogs made his top group, Dawg Post expects Matavao to choose Washington later this month.

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