Posted: 5:04 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
By Chip Towers
ATHENS – Georgia will spend $3 million for improvements of the Woodruff Practice Fields and is more than halfway toward its fundraising goal for renovating Foley Field.
That was two of the more newsworthy items coming out of the quarterly meeting Friday of the UGA Athletic Association’s board of directors.
The board approved the funds it will need to resurface both artificial turf practice fields, replace the concrete wall the surrounds three-quarters of the practice area and erect three permanent filming towards around the fields. Georgia currently uses hydraulic lifts for its crew of videographers to record practices.
“It was a very productive meeting,” said Greg McGarity, Georgia’s athletic director. “It was good to move forward with the practice fields and to get on projects at Foley Field and the equestrian facility. We’re appreciative of the board for providing funds from our reserves.”
The concrete wall that surrounds the football fields has been there for decades and was used by former coach Vince Dooley as a disciplinary tool. Players that had been caught breaking team rules had to paint concrete blocks white. Now it will be replaced by black, wrought-iron fencing similar to that already on the premises and throughout campus.
In previous actions, the board had approved a $10 million renovation of the Foley Field basesball complex. However, it was stipulated that half of those funds would have to be raised privately before construction could begin. McGarity said they have raised “in the ballpark of” $3.5 million so far. One million of that was donated by the family of the late Judge Frank Foley, for whom the complex is named.
UGA President Jere Morehead lauded UGA’s student-athletes for their recent successes in the classroom. Twenty-eight percent recorded grade-points averages 3.5 or better and 56 percent achieved GPAs of 3.00 or higher.
The board presented Morehead with game ball from the South Carolina game to mark the football team’s first victory his tenure. The ball featured a special white panel that include the score, date and opponent.