Bulldogs Blog

Some off-field recognition for UGA figures

ATHENS - Note: The following list is going to come off like I work in the public relations office at UGA. I do not. But apparently everyone got together and decided to make Monday the day that UGA received a bunch of off-field awards. So here you go.

(And if I did work in P.R. for UGA, I'd make them each a separate post, thus pushing to the second and third pages the stories on, say, drug-testing and coaches getting the boot.)

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Former Georgia football player Bryant Gantt, who now works at the athletics department, is receiving an award from the Western Circuit Bar Association.

The Liberty Bell Award is described as going to "those whom the organization believes to promote a better understanding of the rule of law, encourages a greater respect for law and the courts, stimulates a sense of civic responsibility and contributes to a good government and community."

Gantt, who played for the Bulldogs from 1988-90, is now a player development coordinator at UGA, with a concentration in life skills for athletes. He was in the news last year, when he helped negotiate the surrender of accused cop killer Jamie Hood.

Also of note in this release is that Gantt's godfather is Ed Tolley, the Athens-based lawyer who has represented UGA in a number of athletics-related cases.

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The SEC is now giving out a professor of the year award - and the first winner is from UGA. Dr. Loch K. Johnson is a faculty member in the School of Public and International Affairs.

Johnson is a national security expert who has written more than 20 books. He will receive a $20,000 honorarium from the SEC, which claims to be the first NCAA Division I conference to bestow a non-athletic annual award on a faculty member.

(For the future, there are many deserving professor candidates at UGA. And I hereby promise not to lobby for my soon-to-be-wife. Even if Mike Slive personally asks me. And it means sleeping on the couch the rest of my life.)

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Finally, Georgia's sports information department, led by Claude Felton, has once again been recognized by the Football Writers Association of America. The FWAA announced its Super 11, the top sports info departments this past season, and included Georgia, Auburn and Georgia Tech.

The others are Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma, San Diego State, Southern California, Syracuse, Utah State and Western Kentucky.

The sports information department is charged with providing stats and notes, securing interviews, and basically acting as the liaison between the football team and the public. They play a very key role in shaping the news.

This is the third straight year Georgia has been named a Super 11 by the FWAA. Felton and his crew consistently win awards for their efforts.

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