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Friday, May 29, 2009

SEC Notes: UGA Closing in on Deal

Georgia is closing in on a new deal for its marketing and media rights with ISP Sports, and an agreement could be reached within the next few weeks, associate athletics director Alan Thomas said.

The deal was first reported in March and could be worth up to $10 million annually. Georgia's current contracts with multiple rights holders expire June 30. Georgia's current contracts generate about $8.3 million annually, according to the Sports Business Journal.

"We're moving right down the track," athletics director Damon Evans said. "We don't have a signed deal with them yet, but it's imminent."

Evans said he didn't anticipate the new contract would create significant changes for the school, but it would allow Georgia to increase its media presence in multiple platforms.

"Same dimensions, just a different rights holder," Evans said. "Now there will be some new twists from a multimedia rights to get ourselves more exposure. I don't know all the details, but one thing is we're trying to brand ourselves better and get more people to see the University of Georgia."


A team gets 80 scholarships for its football players and the NCAA considers 25 players a complete recruiting class, but that didn't stop plenty of schools from inking more than 30 players on signing day in February. With that in mind, the topic of a firm limit on the number of players a school could sign became a popular topic of debate Tuesday, but its one Mark Richt thinks should be tabled for the time being.

"I wouldn't change that rule," Richt said. "A lot of things happen between February and August, and if you hit your number (of 25) on the head, you may end up with 79 (scholarships) when the season starts. But like anything, things can be abused and then someone has to pay for it, and I don't want to do it at the expense of a young man who is already on our team and say, ‘You know what? We found a guy better than you.' I don't want to do that."


After more than a year of fighting his way back onto the field, wide receiver Tony Wilson's Georgia career ended abruptly this month with the news that he had received a medical disqualification and had been found in violation of team rules.

The parting ways with Wilson, who would have been a fourth-year junior in 2009, won't have a significant affect on the team in terms of production -- he had just one catch last year -- but he had long been one of the more vocal players in the locker room and had spent significant time working with the coaching staff last season has he recovered from an ankle injury.

Richt refused to comment on Wilson's future beyond the medical disqualification, but said there was no hard feelings on his part.

"He's still one of my very good friends, and he's going to stay that way." Richt said.

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