Plans Reveal More About President Morehead Than Georgia Indoor Practice Facility


We have one chance to get it right, and we do not want to compromise – Greg McGarity

More from Georgia Football

It’s a new world, Bulldog Nation.

Your President gets it.

When Mark Richt arrived at the University of Georgia, the Georgia indoor practice facility was moving from the planning stage to the building stage. Coach Richt asked instead that the Georgia locker room received an upgrade. Since that time, Coach Richt and the University have danced the Indoor Practice Field Dance of Seduction.

The original Indoor Practice Field plans called for a facility attached to the Butts-Mehre Building, but the size of the planned Indoor Practice Field building made that impossible. Another possibility was to relocate Foley Field and build the facility on the site of the current baseball field.

The easiest Indoor Practice Field plan, and what would be the path of least resistance, was to build a facility near the women’s athletic fields several miles away.

Coach Richt’s grander vision of an attractive multi-use facility adjacent the McWhorter Practice Field and the lack of interest from the University administration stalled progress from opposite ends of the Indoor Practice Field political ship for fifteen years. Something changed to throw the Indoor Practice Field throttle full speed ahead toward a grand, multi – sport palace in the heart of the University campus.

Raising the athletic profile of the University of Georgia only furthers the University’s greater mission.

After weeks of speculation regarding the location, the Georgia Athletic Board, Athletic Director Greg McGarity and University President Jere Morehead, revealed that the Athletic Department will pursue the use of land adjacent to the McWhorter Practice Fields.

Part of the building site is state owned University property located off S. Lumpkin Street and includes the Hoke Smith Annex, which houses the Cooperative Extension Service, and parking

“It’s not within our fence line,” McGarity told Marc Weiszer of “That complicates things.”

The use of University land or the purchase of land from the University – and a building – involving the transfer of University programs and staff requires an exceptional commitment to athletics. The process is complex. Stakeholders are numerous. There will be dissent from the academic community and the Athens community gallery. Such a purchase or transfer of use was unthinkable during the administration of prior University President Michael Adams.

By embracing a palatial athletic indoor facility in the heart of campus, President Morehead signals to the Bulldog Nation where he stands with University of Georgia athletics – not behind, but shoulder to shoulder.

Make no mistake, this project will bring complaints from many corners of the University Campus. There will be political grand standing. Editorials will ring  condemning the “athletic first – academic second” University and its pirate president.

But with athletic excellence, fundraising and state funding increase, the state population connects with the often far away Athens campus, and Georgia’s sons and daughters flock in even greater number to compete for a precious University of Georgia acceptance.

Raising the athletic profile of the University of Georgia only furthers the University’s greater mission.

Mark Richt danced the Indoor Practice Field Rumba for fifteen years.

Now Jere Morehead is rocking the IPF.

This President gets it.

Next: Grading the Bulldog Football Coaching Hires