Daily Archives: March 13, 2020

My Corona

Today at lunch, with ESPN on in the background, I was joking with someone that all Mickey will be able to run for the next couple of months will be its usual speculation tied relentlessly to the coronavirus — “How Will The Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry Be Affected By The Coronavirus Shutdown?”, “How Will The Coronavirus Shutdown Impact LeBron’s Legacy?”, etc.

You can add this one to the mix.

It’s gonna be a long summer.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Taking a break from a break

It’s a good thing the football program is shut down for the time being.

The University of Georgia recently sent out a memo to its faculty and staff regarding a new policy for anyone who traveled outside of the United States over UGA’s spring break. It outlines a mandatory self-quarantine procedure upon returning, regardless of health status. This policy applies to students as well

This memo was forwarded to Georgia Bulldogs coaches and staff.

The memo reads in part:

“If you have traveled anywhere outside of the United States over Spring Break, you MUST NOT return to a UGA campus or facility.”

“Anyone who has traveled internationally in the past 14 days MUST self-quarantine until you have been asymptomatic for a period of 14 days from the date of entering/re-entering the United States.”

According to social media posts, it is believed that Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, a few of his assistant coaches, and a number of Georgia Bulldogs players spent part of Spring Break outside the United States. It appears they will now have to self-quarantine.

Smart is believed to have traveled to Costa Rica during his Spring Break, per photos posted to Instagram by his wife Mary Beth Smart.

Maybe he can join The Portal Master™ for some R & R.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Leveling the playing field

Ain’t nobody getting ahead on the recruiting front.

As somebody joked in the comments yesterday, your Daily Gator will have to wait that much longer on that Zach Evans’ visit.

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Filed under Recruiting

What makes spring practice different?

Current SEC policy:

After canceling the Southeastern Conference men’s basketball tournament Thursday morning, league commissioner Greg Sankey held a news conference Thursday afternoon inside Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena and firmly announced the cancellations of the upcoming SEC gymnastics and equestrian championships.

So where does SEC spring football stand in this world of shuttered sporting events from professional to high school levels due to concerns regarding the novel coronavirus?

As of Thursday night, it was still in existence while every spring sport within the league has been suspended until March 30 and had its NCAA championship canceled. Tennessee held a closed workout Thursday afternoon, its second practice of the spring, and Alabama is scheduled to begin its 14th spring under Nick Saban on Friday.

“What we’ve said is that the presidents/chancellors level will delegate authority to our athletic directors to make some of these operational decisions,” Sankey said. “We’re not all at the destinations at this time, and we may not govern every one of those elements. In fact, the NCAA may need to engage and quickly govern some of those elements.”

Auburn and Florida were scheduled to start spring practice Monday, but Auburn announced Thursday night that it will postpone its start. Georgia is set to begin Tuesday.

Spring football not only involves the 15 practices allotted by the NCAA but spring games that have grown in stature since Saban took over in Tuscaloosa. The SEC announced Wednesday night that the basketball tournament and spring sports would have restricted attendance before those plans were revised, but the league has yet to implement a strategy for spring football games.

Georgia’s first G-Day contest under Kirby Smart in 2016 set a league record with 93,000 fans.

“We’ve limited the size, clearly, of on-campus events, and our campuses are doing that individually,” Sankey said. “I don’t have a prescriptive list right now around what’s going to happen with spring practice and spring football.”

The SEC has taken the stance of suspending all on-campus and off-campus football recruiting for the remainder of March.

In other words, all sports related activities, including recruiting, have been shut down — except for spring practice.  Which is kind of interesting, no?

Georgia is leaving this up to its head coach.

While the spread of the coronavirus in the United States is having a major affect on sports all over the country, it’s not hampering Georgia football as of now. According to J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity, who spoke with Dawgs247 via telephone, the Bulldogs are permitted to resume on-campus practices as usual. That means that as of right now, UGA will begin spring football practice on March 17.

McGarity says the decision is ultimately up to Kirby Smart on whether he wants to suspend the start of spring drills or not and the two have not yet spoken or come to a decision on that.

Now, that was said before the school reversed course and announced classes would be closed until month’s end, so I don’t know if that would change the calculus behind spring practice or not.  But if the powers that be find it prudent to keep students away from Athens for the time being, what’s the rationale for spring practice?  Here’s a quote from McGarity ($$) about that:

“Some of the discussion centered around it may provide a more quarantined environment if you’ve got these individuals together,” McGarity said. “So there’s different levels of concern. I know all the medical staffs on each campus are certainly in tune with this issue, and they’ll be monitoring like they have been. So I think all these things come into play. But right now schools are able to practice as they desire.”

How that’s any different from, say, letting basketball teams play a tournament inside an empty arena, is something I can’t explain.  Nor does it sound like something Sankey or McGarity can, either.  But there it is.

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UPDATE:  Things changed.

I’ve got to say that, as a sports fan, this has been the most “life comes at you fast” week of my life.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

TFW life goes on

Saw this news this morning and it got me to wondering:  in sports, is there a more random act of optimism right now than a kid putting his name in the transfer portal?

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Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

TFW you know, but you don’t know

Greg McGarity’s statement regarding the SEC’s reaction to the coronavirus threat can be read here.  Money graf (literally):

Screenshot_2020-03-13 Georgia Athletics

It’s the right thing to do, of course, and I give him credit for being straightforward about it.

But it’s the reason why I don’t expect to hear anything about the start of the football season until very late in the game, regardless of how serious the problem appears to be in late summer.  Can’t say I blame him for that, either.  There’s just too much outside his control.

Let’s hope he gets his sunny day.

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Filed under Georgia Football