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    There will be a new policy in place for football fans who go to games at Sanford Stadium later this year. The University of Georgia says it will be following Southeastern Conference guidelines and requiring fans to bring items into the Stadium and other athletic venues in clear plastic bags. UGA says the policy will be in place for the April 22 G-Day spring football game.  From the University of Georgia…   In the interest of public safety and to expedite entry into its venues, the UGA Athletic Association will begin to implement the Southeastern Conference Clear Bag Policy in 2017. This policy will be in effect at the annual G-Day intrasquad football game on April 22. It will go into effect permanently for the 2017-18 competition season and will include all UGA venues that host ticketed events: Sanford Stadium (football), Stegeman Coliseum (men’s & women’s basketball, gymnastics) and Foley Field (baseball). Following are the basics concerning the Clear Bag Policy: > These bags will be permitted inside UGA athletic events: Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and do not exceed 12”x6”x12”. One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags. Small clutch bags, with or without a handle or strap, that do not exceed 4.5” x 6.5”. Bags that contain necessary medical items, which must be inspected and approved at a designated gate. > Each ticket holder is allowed one large clear bag such as a one-gallon Ziploc style bag or clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bag that does not exceed 12” x 6” x 12”, plus a small clutch purse > Prohibited bags include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, briefcases, backpacks, cinch bags, fanny packs that are not clear and/or exceed the size restriction, luggage, computer bags/cases, camera bags/cases, binocular bags/cases, or any bag larger than the permissible size. > Several SEC schools began implementing this policy in the 2016 school year. All SEC schools will have this policy in place by the 2017-18 school year. > Fans can still carry items such as binoculars, smart phones, tablets and cameras (with lenses shorter than four inches), so long as they are not in a bag or carrying case. > Seat cushions -- without arms or pockets -- will still be permitted into the venues. Fans may also bring in blankets during cold weather events, provided they carry them in over an arm or shoulder to allow for easy screening upon entry. > More information on this new policy can be found at the following website: http://georgiadogs.com/clear-bag-policy/
  • As his Georgia Bulldogs continue the spring practice sessions that began Tuesday, coach Kirby Smart prepares to host a coaching clinic. Coaches from the NFL, college, and high school levels will keynote the annual UGA Coaches Clinic hosted by Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart and his staff scheduled for March 30, 31 and April 1.   The UGA Coaches Clinic is a comprehensive, three-day clinic that will feature presentations from outstanding coaches representing all levels of the industry. This annual clinic is an ideal setting for middle school and high school coaches to socialize, “talk ball,” and share ideas with college and NFL coaches.   Featured NFL coaches on the program include Tampa Bay Bucaneers head coach Dirk Koetter, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher, New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, and Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong. North Dakota State head coach Chris Klieman, who led his team to the 2014 and 2015 national FCS championships, is also on the schedule along with former College Football Hall of Fame kicker Kevin Butler.   Georgia 2016 state championship coaches scheduled include Jonathan Gess, Eagles Landing Christian Academy; Danny Britt, Benedictine Military School; Jermaine Smith, Cedar Grove High School; Joey King, Cartersville High School; John Reid, Rome High School; Alan Rodemaker, Valdosta High School; and Jeff Herron, Grayson High School (now at T.L. Hanna High in Anderson, SC). In addition, Adrian Snow, West Forsyth High School, Cemmons, NC, and Gabe Infante, St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia, PA, are on the clinic program.   Attendees will have the opportunity to attend breakout sessions, participate with the UGA coaching staff during chalk talks and enjoy great food and fellowship at the clinic socials. Participants will enhance their knowledge of all aspects of the game through break-out sessions with guest speakers covering philosophy and scheme and by participating in the chalk talks led by each member of the UGA staff.   The 2017 clinic also offers the unique opportunity to join the UGA staff on the field for two spring practice sessions. Attendees can get an up-close look at on-field demonstrations, position-specific drills and overall practice scripting and format.   The entire UGA coaching staff — as well as the Directors of Strength & Conditioning, Recruiting Operations, Sports Medicine and Player Development — will be available to answer questions.
  • By Seth Emerson, AJC DawgNation  The Georgia Bulldog’s disappointing season, and J.J. Frazier’s spectacular career, went away quietly on Wednesday night. As two of its starters sat watching on the bench injured, Georgia was undone by a barrage of 3s from visiting Belmont in the first round of the NIT, 78-69. Frazier, in the final game of his career, tried to rally his team. But with the team’s other star, Yante Maten, out with a sprained knee, and fellow starter Juwan Parker also out, the Bulldogs came up well short. After a season that began with NCAA hopes, Georgia (19-14) instead finished with its least wins since the 2012-13 season. – Player of the game: Even after a sllow start – his first points didn’t come until more than nine minutes into the game – Frazier finished with 29 points. He finishes his career seventh on Georgia’s all-time scoring list with 1,628. – Stat line of the game: Belmont started the game 13-for-25 beyond the arc, scoring 39 of its first 57 points that way. Georgia knew it was coming. Under head coach Rick Byrd, Belmont has made its name as a 3-point shooting team, the team notes saying that since it moved from NAIA in 1996 it has made the second-most 3s in the nation, behind only Duke. – Turning point: Belmont began the second half going 6-for-6 beyond the arc, scoring on seven of its first nine possessions, and taking a 57-45 lead. Once again, Belmont was expert at driving and passing out to set up 3s, while Georgia’s ability to stop it was nonexistent. All told, the visitors from Nashville made 10 of their first 15 shots in the second half. – What’s next: Frazier moves on to whatever awaits him next, along with sernior reserves Houston Kessler and Kenny Paul Geno. The rest of the team awaits long-term injury status for Maten and Parker, and the arrival of highly-touted recruit Rayshuan Hammonds, as well as Nicolas Claxton and Teshaun Hightower.
  • The Georgia Bulldog basketball team learns its postseason fate: coach Mark Fox’s team will not be going to the NCAA Tournament. The Dogs will instead face Belmont in the opening round of the NIT Wednesday in Stegeman Coliseum. If the Dogs and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets both win their opening round games, they would face each other in the second round of the NIT here in Athens. The Jackets face the Indiana Hoosiers in their first-round contest.
  • Devon Gales and Marshall Morgan will forever be linked together by one fateful play in 2015. And their friendship produced a really cool moment over the weekend. In September 2015, Morgan and Gales collided when Georgia and Southern were playing each other. On the play, Gales ended up fracturing his C6 vertebrae and has been confined since to a wheelchair. Gales’ story and comeback since the hit has been inspiring. Over the weekend, Morgan got married, and he invited Gales to the wedding. Gales’ mother posted a touching message on her Facebook page, along with some photos from the wedding. In February, the University of Georgia announced that it was starting a fundraiser to help build Gales and his family a home. Former UGA tight end Benjamin Watson has donated over $10,000 to the cause.  
  • Greg McGarity wants to convey this to Georgia fans: Yes, he cares about the fan experience at football games. And yes, something is being done about it. A couple weeks ago, UGA announced a $63 million project to help the team’s gameday and recruiting experience, by building new locker rooms and a recruiting area. But the reaction from many fans was essentially: Great, but what about us? The state of the bathrooms has been criticized, as well as long concession lines and other areas of complaint. McGarity, whose initial response when that was brought up two weeks ago didn’t please some fans, made clear Thursday that he hears them. “It’s important to us.,” he said “We’ve made strides. Have we made enough strides, no. Is it important to us, yes. And I think the message that we’d like to convey is that it’s a huge deal for us.” What strides have been made? McGarity said the bathrooms have been renovated over the past few years in “roughly half” of the stadium. And part of the West End project includes building four new bathrooms and newer concession areas. But more work to other areas of the stadium needs to be done, and McGarity said that’s coming after G-Day. “We have addressed certain areas of the stadium every year, and we still plan to do that,” McGarity said. “And what we would do is at the appropriate time, whether it’s around our next board meeting, or some point at time before that, we would let our people know what’s going on. But we usually do that kind of before the season starts, as far as what’s new at Sanford Stadium. Do we need to talk about it more? Probably so. Now that it’s become an issue for a number of people. What are our plans. Can we communicate that better, absolutely.” McGarity pointed to some other work that’s been done for fan experience: Ceiling fans in the first-level concourses, to alleviate complaints that it was too hot in those areas. The ability to use credit cards at all concession stands, and a “grab and go” process at those concession stands, which would hopefully speed up the lines. Doing work on the south side of the stadium is tough because of where it’s located, adjacent to other buildings. “That’s been a challenge to us,” McGarity said. “We’ve not been able to figure that out, but what we’ve tried to do is speed up the process. And we’re always looking at ways to make it better. Is it directing people to certain areas? Those are all things that we’ll be looking at in the future.”
  • Former Georgia Bulldog tight end Benjamin Watson has donated a significant amount to UGA’s Devon Gales fundraiser, and he wants other former Bulldogs players to do the same. On Monday, Watson tweeted a screenshot from his family fund that showed a $10,000 donation to help build Gales a new home. Gales fractured his C6 vertebrae when Georgia played Southern in 2015. Georgia announced the campaign to raise funds to help build the home Saturday. Watson wasn’t satisfied with his personal donation, though. He wants others former Georgia players to join in the effort. Watson, now a member of the Baltimore Ravens, tweeted to former players such as A.J. Green, Todd Gurley, Malcolm Mitchell and Geno Atkins, among others, and urged them to contribute to the campaign. This is a cool move by Watson, and it would be great if other former Georgia players sent money as well. Watson had 852 yards receiving with 6 touchdowns for the Bulldogs from 2001-03.   *** You can donate $5 to the fund by texting the name 'Devon' to (706) 204-1707. Text as many times as you want, and the charges will show up on your phone bill. 
  • Sunday was a dedication day in Gainesville, where the road that had been known as Touchdown Drive is now Deshaun Watson Way. The street near the Gainesville High School football stadium is named in honor of the former Red Elephant star who led the Clemson Tigers to this past season’s national championship.
  • by Seth Emerson, AJC's Dawg Nation... It appears that if Georgia gets its best player back this season, it won’t be until the SEC Tournament. Star power forward Yante Maten has a “very significant” sprain, head coach Mark Fox clarified on Monday, and the odds are “very slim” he will make it back during the final two weeks of the regular season. “It is a very significant sprain, so it’s a serious injury and I don’t think our medical people or myself have any expectation of Yante returning during the regular season. The odds of that are very slim,” Fox said Monday during the SEC teleconference. Georgia (15-12 overall, 6-8 in the SEC) plays at Alabama on Thursday, followed by home games against LSU and Auburn, and a trip to Arkansas. Maten was diagnosed with a knee sprain, the team announced Sunday, after he left Saturday’s game against Kentucky. While Maten left just 95 seconds into the game, his team still played well enough to hold a two-point lead with 55 seconds left, before falling 82-77. A junior, Maten leads Georgia in points and is second in rebounds, and is among the SEC leaders in those categories too. He’s averaging 18.7 points and 6.9 rebounds, even accounting for the Kentucky game, in which he didn’t record any stats before the injury. Fox, speaking of Maten’s loss, mentioned the Bulldogs having to “re-invent” themselves. “We’ve obviously played fairly well without him the other night. We’ve played pretty well in the short stretch at Tennessee without him. So it can be done,” Fox said, alluding to the victory at Tennessee on Feb. 11 when Maten fouled out with several minutes left. “But obviously he’s been the most consistent player on our team, so we’re going to have to probably look at some things for the rotation, obviously, and how we play to compensate for the fact that he’s going to be out. Because we’re a different team without him. I think if you went into any game this year, one of the keys for the opponent would be to stop Maten. Well that obviously is not an issue anymore because he’s not playing. We’ll have to get creative in how we play and try to give ourselves chances to win.”
  • by Seth Emerson, AJC's Dawg Nation... Quentin Moses, a first-team All-SEC defensive end on Georgia’s SEC championship team in 2005, passed away along with two others in a house fire on Sunday morning. Moses, 33, was found unconscious at the scene of the house fire in Monroe, according to this report, then pronounced dead later at a hospital.  Andria Godard, 31, and her 10-year-old daughter Jasmine Godard were found dead inside the house. Monroe is about 20 miles from Athens, where Moses grew up.  Moses played at Georgia from 2003-06, and had a spectacular year in 2005. He racked up 11.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss, and was named first-team All-SEC by both the AP and SEC coaches. A year later as a senior he had 4.5 sacks and 12 tackles-for-loss. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, who was an assistant coach on the Bulldogs’ team in 2005, reacted on Twitter shortly after the news came out. “Very saddened to learn of the tragic death this morning of Quentin Moses,” Smart said. “Thoughts and prayers go out to his family in this difficult time.” Moses attended Cedar Shoals High School. He redshirted his first year at Georgia, 2002, then came off the bench the next two years before being elevated to a starting spot in his redshirt junior year. Moses also played in 3 games for Jim Harrick’s last team in 2003. He had been a star basketball player in high school before concentrating on football. The Oakland Raiders drafted Moses with the first pick of the third round in the 2006 draft. They cut him before the season began. One season later Moses landed with the Miami Dolphins, where he recorded his first career sack on Monday Night Football, bringing down Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Moses would be with the Dolphins until 2010, recording two more sacks in a reserve role. Since then Moses had become a coach, serving as an assistant at Reinhardt University since 2011, according to the school’s web site. Reinhardt is an NAIA school located in Waleska, about an hour north of Atlanta. Moses’ bio on Reinhardt’s page has a quote from Mark Richt, his head coach at Georgia: “Quentin was one of the top 10 pass rushers in the history of Georgia football with a total of 25 sacks.  And he was also exactly what you are looking for in a student-athlete on and off the field.”