McGarity and Fox speak prior to UGA Day

semerson@macon.comJuly 23, 2012 

ATLANTA - I'm here for the big UGA Day event, where all the luminaries will speak. Before the festivities began, we had a chance to sit down with UGA athletics director Greg McGarity and men's basketball coach Mark Fox.

Here are a few early notes:

- Let's get this out of the way: McGarity doesn't know if his football program will pursue any of the Penn State players.

"I'm sure there's some young men that probably were recruited by Georgia, as well as every other school in the country. So I'm sure it'll be active probably both ways, with institutions and these young men that may or may not want to stay," McGarity said. "Of course, it hasn't even been 24 hours. So for them to basically make a decision that quickly. That's a pretty big decision to make. It may be jumping the gun to assuming anything is gonna happen."

- McGarity and Fox also had extensive comments on the Penn State situation, including the lessons Georgia can take. I'll have that in a story in Tuesday's papers.

McGarity did say he didn't think Georgia had a mind-set of "sports are king," as NCAA president Mark Emmert said on Monday had plagued Penn State.

"No, I don't think so. Especially in our building," McGarity said. "I think there may be an element of our society that thinks that's more important than our university. But I can assure you that within our building and on our campus that is not the case."

- On another note, the canceled Georgia-Ohio State series may not be dead yet.

The reason for canceling it had been that Ohio State didn't have room on its future schedules because of the planned scheduling agreement between the Pac-12 and Big Ten. But that was canceled last week.

McGarity said he planned to place a call to Ohio State to renew talks.

"I may call them on the way home," McGarity said.

- The basketball team leaves next week for Italy. They have had five practices already this summer, which the NCAA allows for teams taking a foreign trip. Fox's take on his squad for 2012-13?

"We're gonna have a lot of competition for playing time, I can tell you that," he said.

- Marcus Thornton, who had knee surgery in the spring, will make the trip to Italy, but will not play.

- Junior forward Donte' Williams, who was arrested for marijuana possession last month, will have any discipline announced next week, according to Fox. (According to UGA policy, a misdemeanor arrest would automatically trigger a three-game suspension for a basketball player, because it calls for 10 percent of the regular season.) Fox did say that Willams will make the trip to Italy.

- Finally, Fox said he expects Jay Rome to play basketball again this season. Rome, who will play tight end for the football team this season, was redshirting last year, so he played hoops from the start of the season. Fox is aware he won't get Rome until later this time.

"We won't get him till ... what day is the BCS championship?" Fox said, smiling.

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