A.B.C. Always. Be. Closing.

Never one to miss an opportunity, here’s a little something the Georgia Bulldog Club sent out:

From: The Georgia Bulldog Club <gadawgs@sports.uga.edu>
Date: Fri, Dec 15, 2017 at 2:36 PM
Subject: Important TGBC Notice: Proposed Tax Legislation
To: 


Dear Valued Bulldog Club Member,

Thank you for your generous investment in the success of UGA’s student-athletes through your financial contributions to The Georgia Bulldog Club (TGBC). Your support provides more than 600 student-athletes with opportunities to succeed in the classroom, excel in competition, and serve in the community.

We would like to inform you about some impending legislation that could impact the tax deductibility for future ticket-related per-seat contributions. As you are likely aware, Congress is currently considering changes to the tax code that could be signed into law in the next couple weeks. While much is left to be determined, the proposed changes may have a direct impact on your ticket-related per-seat giving. For example, current IRS tax code allows donations to be 80% deductible if paying such amount provides the right to purchase tickets for seating at university athletics events. While still subject to revision, under a current federal tax proposal, annual contributions required for season ticket purchases, including club seats and sky suites, would no longer be deductible beginning in 2018.

While the priority giving deadline for the 2018 Hartman Fund is February 15, 2018, we wanted you to be aware of this legislation as the 2017 tax year comes to an end. Due to the uncertainty regarding the potential changes in tax code and future tax-deductibility of ticket-related per-seat donations, along with other potential adjustments to tax credits and deductions, it may be to your advantage to make annual, ticket-related per-seat contributions for 2018 and future years prior to December 31, 2017 to guarantee tax-deductibility under current tax law. If it benefits you to donate appreciated securities, this giving option is available and our staff is happy to discuss it with you prior to the end of the year.

Please keep in mind that the proposed legislation is subject to change, including the effective date of any changes to existing tax provisions. We advise you to consult with your own tax advisors to determine whether this opportunity is of value to you.

We will provide any updates as we know more about how this legislation may impact TGBC members who purchase season tickets. Please note, per-seat donations and premiums will still be required for all football season tickets and for select seating areas for basketball, baseball, and gymnastics for the 2018-19 seasons. Click here to review some of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to this matter.

The Georgia Bulldog Club staff is happy to personally assist you with making a gift or answer any questions you may have related to your ongoing generous support of UGA Athletics. TGBC office is open from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.Monday-Friday, excluding December 25 and 26, and can be contacted at 877-GA-DAWGS whereas online giving is available 24/7 by visiting TheGeorgiaBulldogClub.com.

All of us here at UGA Athletics are thankful for the commitments that you make to our student-athletes, and we wish you and your family all the best this holiday season. Go Dawgs!

Sincerely,

Matt Borman

Executive Associate Athletics Director

Executive Director of The Bulldog Club

This is not intended as legal or tax advice. We advise you to consult with your professional tax advisor before making any tax-based decisions on determining whether giving before the end of the calendar year is of value to you.

The Georgia Way’s just trying to help, y’all.

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14 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Political Wankery

Delete your account.

It appears yesterday’s post about Natrez Patrick’s arrest related issues turned out to be a classic case of irrational exuberance.

Georgia linebacker Natrez Patrick has a court date for a probation violation in January after an arrest in another county triggered a government drug test that came up positive, Athens-Clarke County solicitor C.R. Chisholm said on Friday.

The test was administered after Patrick, on probation for an October misdemeanor marijuana arrest in Athens, was arrested in Barrow County on Dec. 2 for misdemeanor marijuana possession. That charge was dismissed on Thursday, and Patrick’s lawyer says Patrick passed a UGA-administered drug test within hours of the Dec. 2 arrest.

The Barrow County arrest triggered a probation violation in Athens-Clarke County, and Chisholm said the subsequent drug test was standard in such situations.

Never underestimate the power of Mudcat’s car.  Damn it.

42 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

The Process 1, Michael Adams 0

If Kirby Smart never accomplishes another thing during his time as Georgia’s head coach, he still deserves a commemorative plaque mounted somewhere in Athens for having a hand in this:

There are changes in store to the University of Georgia Athletic Association Substance Abuse Policy.

In a summary obtained by 11Alive, the new policy appears to remove the former stipulation that any arrest regardless of the outcome in court automatically counted as a violation of the Substance Abuse Policy.

According to the 15-page document dated Sept. 1, there are now two levels of violations which now apply to student-athletes attending school at UGA.

They are:

Level 1 — “Defined as possession, use, or facilitating the possession/use of alcohol.”

Level 2 — “Includes, but is not limited to, any violation involving the operation of a motor vehicle after consumption of alcohol and/or the use of drugs, acts of violence while using alcohol or drugs, destruction of property, disorderly conduct, or intoxication level that requires medical treatment or results in medical being called, even if treatment is refused, and any drug violation.”

Any violations of the Level 2 variety are considered violations of the Substance Abuse Policy.

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity deferred comment when reached by UGASports until the complete UGA student-athlete handbook could be obtained via open records.

News of the changes came to light following the Dec. 4 arrest of Bulldog linebacker Natrez Patrick and wide receiver Jayson Stanley.

In my wildest dreams, never did I think this was a possibility.  I would love to have heard the Come-to-Jesus meeting somebody had with Morehead about UGA’s substance abuse policy.  (I’d settle for somebody getting a quote from Adams about having one of his perceived major accomplishments watered down, though.  I guess Georgia’s done with lobbying for drug policy at the SEC Spring Meetings.)  There’s nothing like a national semi-final game to make bureaucrats focus.

What’s that?  Oh, hells yeah, they’re playing.

50 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

Meanwhile, at one of America’s most beloved institutions…

It sounds like things are already rolling in Knoxville.

Arizona State’s athletic director was highly complimentary of the new football regime.

“The athletic department there is perceived there as a cluster,” Anderson told Dodd. “Their athletic director, now Phil Fulmer, in the athletic director’s world is a pariah. It is not a good situation.”

Anderson is the guy who just made the bizarre decision to hire Herm Edwards as his new head coach, so when he talks about clusters, he knows a little something from where he speaks.

Jeremy Pruitt’s only been on the job for about a week, but it sounds like he’s looking for some of that sweet pariah action, too.

Tampa Bay Tech coach Jayson Roberts has a difficult time believing Phillip Fulmer could have been involved in the process of pulling a scholarship offer from his quarterback, Michael Penix.

Roberts has never met Fulmer, but he knows the Tennessee athletic director had a sterling reputation during his Hall of Fame coaching career with the Volunteers. His impression from afar is that Fulmer is a man of integrity who did the right things in recruiting.

“I know that as an athletic director he has a lot to oversee,” Roberts said Thursday. “I can’t imagine he had a hand in how Tennessee’s new staff dealt with this.”

Fulmer is indeed a beloved figure in the Volunteer State, and a man the Tennessee fan base has rallied around since he took over as athletic director on Dec. 1. Thus, Roberts and others remain stunned at the awkward and uncharacteristic nature with which the new Tennessee staff cut ties to Penix, a well-respected 3-star recruit.

Penix, who had been committed to the Vols since April, stuck with Tennessee through Butch Jones’ Nov. 12 firing, a 26-day coaching search and the hiring of new coach Jeremy Pruitt.

It’s Pruitt’s first time as a college head coach, and calling the 11 players who were committed to Tennessee at the time was almost certainly one of the first things on his to-do list. Sure enough, Pruitt called Penix last week to tell the quarterback he was honoring his commitment.

That changed Wednesday, when Penix received a text asking him to call the UT football office. Penix said that when he made the call, new offensive coordinator Ty Helton told him not to come on the official visit to Knoxville that had been planned months earlier.

Apparently, the Vols had another pro-style quarterback they were bringing in to visit.

That’s nice.  Apparently, somebody in Knoxville has decided the time for mockery is past.  They’re going straight for active dislike.  Just like the good ole days!

59 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

“It’s Herschel Walker. I don’t have to play him, so it’s all right.”

If you’re expecting Baker Mayfield to provide bulletin board material for the Rose Bowl, I’m afraid you’re gonna be disappointed.

That exchange offered a nice glimpse into the persona of Oklahoma’s record-setting quarterback. The dude knows how to work a room and is quite comfortable at a lectern. And he knows how to butter-up an opponent.

Mayfield insists he wasn’t just trying to endear himself to the Bulldog Nation by offering effusive praise about their greatest player of all time. But one started to wonder when he began to gush about the Georgia defense he’ll face when No. 2 Oklahoma faces No. 3 Bulldogs in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.

Mayfield was asked if the Sooners’ had faced a comparable defense to Georgia’s this season

“They’re the best defense; you can’t compare them to anybody,” he said. “They’re in a league of their own and that’s the reason they’re in the playoffs. They follow behind that defense. You can’t compare them to other people because they’re so talented and they play so well together. To say they’re like anybody else would be downplaying how good they are.”

And so it went. If there is going to be any trash-talking in the first-ever meeting between these two powerhouse programs, it wasn’t coming out of the Red Room on Thursday.

Trying to get on our good side, eh?  Sneaky bastid…

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Mickey’s big score

You may have heard that Disney is buying part of the Fox empire for a major chunk o’ change.  What’s the game plan with that?  Welp, sure sounds like sports to me.

But buried within the release is the announcement that Disney will be acquiring Fox Sports Regional Networks, a collection of cable channels that are broadcast to local subscribers across the country. (Fox Sports, the FS1 and FS2 networks and the Big Ten Network will remain with Fox.) Assuming the deal passes federal antitrust muster, this portion of the pact could have a seismic impact on Disney-owned ESPN, rearranging a business model that until recently was thought to be the cause of the network’s well-documented financial problems.

For starters, ESPN will be acquiring a massive amount of new content, as Fox Sports’ 22 regional sports networks (RSNs from here on out) control the local cable rights to the following professional teams:

NBA (17): Suns, Hornets, Pistons, Magic, Pacers, Pelicans, Timberwolves, Cavaliers, Thunder, Hawks, Grizzlies, Mavericks, Spurs, Heat, Clippers, Bucks, Nets.

MLB (15): Diamondbacks, Tigers, Rays, Royals, Cardinals, Twins, Reds, Padres, Braves, Rangers, Marlins, Angels, Brewers, Indians, Yankees.

NHL (12): Coyotes, Hurricanes, Red Wings, Panthers, Blues, Wild, Blue Jackets, Predators, Stars, Lightning, Kings, Ducks.

That doesn’t even include college football and basketball, plus Major League Soccer and the WNBA…

ESPN will certainly slap its name on all of those networks, but this goes far beyond mere branding. Cable companies can charge customers top dollar for the right to have RSNs in their cable lineup, with monthly costs that approach the more than $9 ESPN gets monthly from each customer who has ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and the SEC Network in their package. The price is so high because cable subscribers view RSNs as essential: According to a 2016 Neilsen survey of 1,500 pay-TV subscribers, the local RSN ranked as the fifth-most-important cable channel in their lineups, ahead of any other cable channel (including ESPN). In some markets such as St. Louis and Detroit — both of which are served by Fox Sports RSNs — the local RSN ranked higher in importance to cable customers than broadcast networks such as NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox.

ESPN’s financial woes have stemmed from cord-cutting cable customers who have balked at the high prices cable companies are charging, with the network losing more than 13 million subscribers from its peak of 100.13 million households in 2011. Those losses, combined with steadily escalating rising sports-rights fees, led the network to lay off around 550 employees over the past two years, with the most recent round of job cuts coming late last month.

But customers might think twice about dropping their cable packages if it meant losing access to games played by their local teams. Those games — and the money cable customers pay to watch them — will now be under the ESPN domain.  [Emphasis added.]

Complain about the political leanings of their faces, or cord-cutting, or whatever else suits you, but there is still one essential truth underlying everything:  content is king.  The manner in which we receive our sports will always be secondary to the subject of the broadcast itself.   All ESPN is really fighting about is the access fee.  That’s the bet the WWL is making.  The more it holds, the stronger its leverage.

16 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

Bullet dodged.

Well, now, it really is turning into a magical season.

The district attorney’s office in Winder, Georgia, has dismissed criminal charges against Georgia linebacker Natrez Patrick, his attorney told ESPN on Thursday. Patrick was one of two Bulldogs players arrested on misdemeanor marijuana charges on Dec. 3.

These were some serious charges, too.

Patrick’s attorney, William Healan III of Winder, told ESPN that officers arrested Patrick after discovering a loose leaf of marijuana in the passenger’s seat of Stanley’s car. Healan said the leaf was smaller than a penny.

“When you get into someone’s car, you’re not going to search it to see if there’s marijuana in the car,” Healan said. “My client didn’t know the marijuana was there. If you’re sitting on a little piece of marijuana that you didn’t know was there, you’re not knowingly in possession of it.”

On a scale of withholding your middle name to emerging from an alley, that fits right in.  So while you may think a dismissal under these circumstances is no big deal, remember whom we’re talking about here and how things usually go in our little part of the world.

***************************************************************************

UPDATE:  You can’t put a street value on this bust.

90 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football