“I would’ve picked a better place to put it, let’s put it that way.”

Nothing like a “he said, he said” story, when one of the “he”s is Greg McGarity.

A lot of folks in Elberton are hopping mad at Georgia. A lot of folks.

No doubt, everybody here has seen or knows about the big granite statue of the bulldog that has sat in place of prominence behind the east end zone at Sanford Stadium. Well, it’s not in a place of prominence anymore.

In fact, sitting in your seats inside Sanford Stadium this football season you won’t be able to see it at all. And that doesn’t sit well with the good folks of Elberton, and a subset of them who happen to be very passionate about the Bulldogs and that statue in particular.

Chief among them would be Tom Oglesby and other longtime members of the Elbert County Bulldog Club. Oglesby donated the 4,820-pound statue to UGA and Athletic Director Vince Dooley in 1992 on the occasion of the 100-year celebration of Georgia football. Created by master sculptor Steve Mooney, the statue has overlooked the East End Zone ever since then.

But UGA says it had to move it in order to install new premium, field-level suites between the hedges and the east grandstand. It was part of a $63 million renovation that included moving the team’s locker room from underneath the east stands into the new building on the west end.

The statue moved with the team, but it ended up out of view underneath the bridge in the northwest corner of the stadium and no longer a part of pregame proceedings.

… Here’s where the story gets a little cloudy. Georgia officials said Oglesby was informed of exactly where the statue would be relocated in a meeting back in February and that it had been designated for that spot since construction plans were finalized last December.

“The location has never changed from where it was on the original drawings and Tom knows that,” Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity said Thursday. “I’m not sure where there was confusion about that, but I’ve talked to Tom about it and he understands why we did what we did.”

Oglesby said he didn’t realize where the statue was going to end up until he came to Sanford Stadium this past Friday to oversee the crews charged with resetting the massive work of art. He said it was only then that he realized the statue would be out of view during the Bulldogs’ games.

“They showed me another place, which they deny now,” Oglesby said. “But it’s not where I thought it’d be. We just set it where they said to set it, but I wasn’t happy about it. I’m concerned it’s not going to be on TV. I’m worried it’s going to get vandalized. Where it is now, there’s nothing stopping a Tech fan from dropping a bottle of paint on it from the bridge and just keep walking.”

Sure, Greg, Tom sounds real understanding about it.  Makes you wonder why he’s complaining about it publicly now and not when you showed it to him in the original drawings.

At least you didn’t blow him off with a “it’s only a statue, dude” defense.  I guess that counts as improved PR.

Tom, if you’re looking for real sympathy, next time, write a bigger check.  That’s the only language that resonates at Butts-Mehre these days.

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76 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

76 responses to ““I would’ve picked a better place to put it, let’s put it that way.”

  1. 202dawg

    As an Elbertonian I am, shall we say, less than pleased with this outcome. There HAS to be a place to IN Sanford where they can relocate the statue.

    Like

  2. As a South Georgian by birth, I’m really agnostic on this issue. I understand why folks from Elbert County are pi$$ed about this. I guess there aren’t many Magill Society members in greater Elberton.

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    • CPark58

      I mean I could see the statue from my seats but I have the same feeling. However, as a South Georgian also, if it builds an alliance with the Elbertonians should the talk of moving the Jacksonville game comes up again then I say, THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! MOVE IT BACK NOW!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Keese

    I think it’s pretty cool. Can they not find somewhere at one of the gate entrances or field tunnel to put it?

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  4. Aladawg

    Offer him 100k and he’ll put it back in sight………for a year. This balloon is gonna bust.

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  5. 79Dawg

    Anyone have pics of what these field level suites look like? And how much worse is it going to make trying to get into the East End Zone before the game?

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    • I have no idea why anyone would want to pay those prices for that location. You might as well stay home and watch the game on TV if those suites are where I think they are and the viewing angle they are going to have. When the play is on the west end, you won’t see anything.

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      • stoopnagle

        It’s the new thing. I thought the same until I experienced the field level “lounge” at MBS for AtlUtd. You’re right that you can’t follow the game as well, but it’s a worthwhile experience on it’s own level to be that close to the athletes and action.

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        • For someone who likes to watch the action unfold outside what the TV camera gives, I wouldn’t care for it.

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        • 79Dawg

          There were hedges along the East End Zone, although there were cuts in them on each side so the teams could get to the locker rooms and in the middle so the team could run out of the tunnel – did they totally remove them so the “field suites” are actually at field level?

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      • Noonan

        These are the same people who go to the Masters and hang out at Berckman House instead of actually going on the golf course. It’s all about being seen with the right people and showing everyone how much money you have. I much prefer the old railroad track crowd.

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  6. Some how these words from Mcgarity:
    “No, because the whole emphasis was to include it in the new interactive area for our fans,” he said. “People were always wanting to sneak in there on game day and have their picture taken with it but we wouldn’t let them because it was a non-ticketed area. Our thought all along was to have it where people could have their picture taken with a beautiful monument.”
    leave me doubting these words:
    McGarity said “proximity of the West grandstands to the back of the end zone and the width of the tunnel where players will enter prevented UGA from placing the statue next to the field as it had been on the other end.”

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  7. Biggus Rickus

    But I mean, it IS only a statue.

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  8. Bright Idea

    It is obvious that there was no thought put into this in the original planning of this project. Also creating a luxury area in the east end may have been an afterthought so the Bulldog was then in the way. I can see why Elberton is upset but as issues go this is more of a PR blunder than a catastrophe. UGA should have told Elberton about this a year ago.

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    • Not sure how they could have done it, but just widening the area where the team will come on the field would have solved the problem in the plan. Why a UGAAA person or an architect didn’t suggest that during the design phase is beyond me.

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      • tbia

        Because you realize that for every 3 feet wider that tunnel is, that is 40 or so less seats they can sell.

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        • I understand that. By the way, every one of those would have been student tickets. I’m not advocating for anything (see my comment above). I’m agnostic about the bulldog statue. My POV is that once they decided to build the field-level suites, the statue became expendable … once again, be honest about it rather than to pi$$ on Elbert County fans’ legs and tell them it’s raining.

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  9. illini84

    This is nothing compared to changing the name of the Medical College of Georgia!

    Liked by 2 people

    • stoopnagle

      Augusta “University”

      But we can’t have a “University of Georgia School of Medicine.”

      All you can do is shrug at Augusta’s low self-esteem.

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      • Get Smarter

        I completely understand Augusta’s concern. After all, if UGA had it’s own medical school, who in their right mind would choose to live in Augusta over Athens?

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        • I think a lot of students would, not to mention the medical professionals. Augusta not only has Augusta University (MCG), but also top rated University Hospital (confusing, I know), two different VA centers, Doctors Hospital (known for it’s burn unit), and Trinity Hospital. Lots of jobs. There is a walkway bridge between the college and VA hospital and from my understanding, the college uses the VA to teach.

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    • DT

      It’ll always be “MCG” to my nurse wife!

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      • The Dawg abides

        My sister graduated from there and whenever she gets a call from Augusta University looking for donations, she tells them ” thank you, but that’s not where I went to school”. My neurosurgeon BIL tells them the same thing, but not as nicely. But he has a shit ton of Hartman fund points and I’m not complaining.

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    • saildawg

      I graduated with my MD from MCG
      I completed my intern year of medicine at Georgia Health Sciences University
      I completed my residency at Georgia Regents University, and I am now an alumni of Augusta University
      I didn’t change addresses once. Talk about an idiotic approach to branding. Augusta is a great place to train as a physician because there are not a lot of distractions. I would not of made it living in Athens during the fall. I now practice in Athens, and the clinical educational experience in Augusta is far superior due to the multitude of hospitals. Athens is obviously superior in almost every other way.

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      • I do some work at the old MCG these days and I’ve always told folks there that the most secure position on staff is the guy who worksin the sign shop. Talk about a secure position….

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  10. Bigshot

    That statue was a jinx. UGA’s record plummeted after it was put in in 92.

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    • stoopnagle

      Well, now, there’s a take worth consideration.

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    • PTC DAWG

      I have a friend who has called it that since it was installed…

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      • Well said. I was trying to wonder about that. You need some luck for the ball to bounce in your favor and for the officials to choke when calling penalties against the Dawgs. A natty this year then.

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    • 69Dawg

      Count me as one of the people who thought that statue was jinked. I guess it didn’t help that Goff was the coach, followed by Donnan and his bad luck. That damn statute was the downfall of Mark, except in the beginning but it was just waiting until the bad luck would tear our hearts out.

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  11. stoopnagle

    I am not from Elberton. I do, though, think having Elberton’s Granite Bulldog as part of the Sanford Stadium aesthetic a good and joyful thing. Not being an architect, I may be wrong, but it seems like if you know you have a feature of importance to your constituencies a way can be found to incorporate it into the new design. But what do I know?

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  12. Pingback: Morning Reads for Friday, August 3, 2018 - GeorgiaPol

  13. Go Dawgs!

    The University of Georgia is the reigning SEC Champion and national runner-up. We have just completed construction of a new recruiting center that will, hopefully, be useful in the construction of another #1 recruiting class.

    And we’re mad about a statue?

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  14. ChiliDawg

    Tom seems more upset the statue won’t be on TV than anything else. Look, the statue is cool, but nobody was paying attention to it on TV before it moved.

    This is much ado about nothing. We’ve got bigger fish to fry.

    Like

  15. The Dawg abides

    Put it on the new plaza at the base of the scoreboard facing the field. Plenty of room there now and people can still “interact” with it.

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  16. AusDawg85

    If UGA’s ancestors owned slaves then the statue had to go.

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  17. Thorn Dawg

    Put it somewhere elevated near the West End Zone Bridge, facing in or out of the stadium.

    Hell, I don’t care one bit about this. I often forgot that thing was even there. Even when I did see, it never wowed me.

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    • Ricky McDurden

      They moved it to below the bridge. It’s in the stadium, it’s just not viewable from seats or TV cameras.

      Like

  18. Mike Cooley

    Who cares about those rednecks in Elberton? They aren’t from anywhere near Atlanta. Right chili?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Is there any reason that it won’t work in the West End Zone?

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    • Because Greg No Urgency McGarity doesn’t pay attention to detail, large or small. So when the plans for the new West Endzone were laid out, and the entrance from the locker room to the field wound up being a fairly skinny tunnel, nothing inside McGarity’s mind would ask himself, “Hmm, that tunnel is too small for all the players to exit AND keep our traditional bulldog statue.”

      Because this is who Greg McGarity is.

      And then instead of handling his own lack of attention to detail with a deft hand in PR crisis management, he makes the situation worse by lying to the donor from Elberton, then acting like it’s NBD when called on the lie, even calling the donor a liar in the process.

      Because THIS is who Greg McGarity IS.

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  20. Debby Balcer

    It was part of tradition and set aside with no foresight. Par for the course for McGarity. Keeping both the regular fan happy and the $$$ fans happy is not impossible it just takes paying attention.

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  21. watcher16

    Very indifferent on this. A 4 foot statute that has only been a part of the field for like 25 years? We have many more traditions that span longer times that we can celebrate. Yes, they should do something to protect it from vandalism but I see the argument that fans wanted a picture with it and couldn’t previously, but now they can–Is BM finally starting to think of fans first?!

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  22. Bulldog Joe

    Can’t wait for the season to get started.

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  23. Red Cup

    Some of us here have been giving money to UGA for a long time and while most of us are not the Leeburn type, it adds up. This will be my 38th year as a season ticket holder and donor. I expect to be given some consideration by the AD and staff. I was very pissed with the way they doled out the ND tickets last year and I see they are doing the same with LUS this year. I also happen to know Tom O and if he said McG and co were not completely truthful then I believe him. He is an honest man. The point is not that this statute is part of 100 year history of Dawg lore so it is not that big of a deal, but that the AD thinks so little of little things and treats the avg fan like shit and has NO PR skills and fucks up just about every time he opens his mouth. Tom and the rest of Dawg nation deserve better. You better bet they would not get rid of that damn rock in Clemmins.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Dawg19

    Maybe Kirby has another 5-star statue committed to replace it.

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  25. 209

    Put it in front of the tunnel that the opposing team has to use. Make them run past a granite Bulldog to get on the field. Give them something to get their minds off of the game, even if for only a few moments. I will take any help we can get..

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  26. 69Dawg

    It really is the Dawg Daze of of summer. WGAS about a statue being moved except football starved people on the internet. I hate McGoofy as much as most but this is a tempest in a tea pot. Tom is pissed, I get it, why the AD Dooley put it there was always a wonder to me. Clemson pats a rock so we needed a dog ass to pat LMAO. Now if it had been a statute of #34 that would have been a whole different thing.

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