Tag Archives: Loni Gibson

Athletic & Academic Spending

It may be obvious to some that most large conference athletic associations operate on large budgets. However, what might not be as obvious are the total athletic operating expenses (including scholarship) in comparison to the full time student costs at larger institutions.

Academic spending is defined as the direct and indirect costs of educating students. The spending related to other university services and activities is not included. Athletic operating costs are defined as all athletic operating costs including scholarship, per unduplicated athlete.

At Georgia the academic spending has risen 23 percent in just six years. In 2005 the median average full time student cost was $8,891 and rose to $10,980 in 2011. Seems steep, right? Well, the athletic operating expenses at this state university rose 78 percent from $84,302 in 2005 to nearly $150,000 ($149,832, to be exact) in 2011. The most interesting portion of Georgia’s athletic and academic spending may be the fact that the institution allocates and spends 4 percent of the general fund, state or government support, student fees, or indirect facilities and administrative support. The four percent that is spent is divided and spent per unduplicated athlete.

It may also be obvious to assume that a smaller school in say, the Sun Belt conference, lacks the large spending that Georgia, or a larger school may have. That would also be a correct assumption.

Middle Tennessee State University, a school in the Sun Belt, does in deed lack the funds, but more so in athletics rather than academics.

At Middle Tennesse the academic spending has risen a mere 3 percent in six years, from $8,844 in 2005 to $9,138 in 2011. Athletics did see a larger 44 percent rise in athletics, but the rise was only from $43,072 in 2005 to $62,062 in 2013. In comparison the the 4 percent that Georgia allocates from the general fund, Middle Tennessee allocates 47 percent. This 47 percent that Middle Tennessee allocates is clearly a much larger amount than Georgia’s 4 percent. Middle Tennessee may allocate more money because they are a smaller school that relies less heavily on private donations.

Loni Gibson’s sports story

As a young girl sitting in the Georgia Dome with her father every Sunday, Loni Gibson experienced a culture of passion and a world full of stories. But Gibson never imagined she would be the one to tell those stories.

Gibson’s father Reuben -who had a short stint as a running back with the Falcons in 1977- instilled a love of sport into her at a young age.

“Attending Atlanta Falcons games with my Dad as a child is one of my favorite pastimes,” she said.

But, originally, the allure of the television spotlight drove Gibson’s career plans.

“I always knew that I wanted to be on TV,” she said, “Yet, I knew I didn’t want to be an actress. That’s when I found broadcast journalism.”

However, the direction for her television career would later be shaped by her father and her fond childhood memories of Sunday afternoons in the Dome.

“My Dad helped me find my love of sports,” Gibson said, “I think that’s what made [sports] a thing for me, because it was our Sunday thing.”

As a student in the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism, Gibson has found plenty of compelling stories to be told, particularly those involving the passion of college athletes.

“I feel like when you’re talking to college athletes there’s a little more passion in it than [with professionals],” she said “Because they’re trying to get to that next level, and they know that this is what it depends on.”

The human element, specifically the zeal of sports fans, particularly engages Gibson. And makes for entertaining stories.

“[Sports] allows people to interact with something that’s their favorite pastime,” Gibson said, “It truly evokes passion through fans. It helps people tell their own story. I think that’s what reporting is all about — the people, and that’s what makes sports my thing.”

Gibson also enjoys exploring the physical and emotional journey of the athlete.

“I like knowing how people feel,” she said. “I’m more interested in seeing [situations] like: ‘Oh, she just made her first point as a Lady Dog, and it was a three point shot. How does that make her feel? What do her teammates think? She’s a freshman and her first shot was a three point; what does the team think about her?’”

And her love of sports even overcomes her love of the spotlight.

“Sports is what I really wanna do,” Gibson said, “Obviously, if someone wanted me to anchor their show, I wouldn’t say no, but I want to sideline report college sports.”

Austin Vaughn’s sports story

Five years ago Austin Vaughn would have never pictured himself reporting sports.

“I wanted to be one of those guys that writes for Rolling Stone,” Vaughn said. “The one who gets the album before everybody else gets it and write about it.”

Vaughn a student at the University of Georgia said outside being raised a Georgia Tech and Carolina Panthers fan he did not care about sports. Before transferring to Georgia, Vaughn attended Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Connecticut. While in Connecticut, he wrote for the Housatonic Horizons, the student paper at HCC, but covered new stories. Despite covering news, writing for the Housatonic Horizons is where he found his passion for sports.

“Baseball is really just crazy, big up there. Being around that passion for baseball got me into baseball. That was the first time I really cared about baseball.”

Aside from finding a new love of baseball, Vaughn said that living in New England helped to cement his love of sports. Actually, his future covering baseball may have been foreshadowed during his first trip to Turner Field.

“When I first visited Turner Field, I was five years old, so I wasn’t thinking too much about baseball,” Vaughn said. “The spectacle of the whole thing. Seeing the big lights. This giant field, the people running all around. I was swept up in something that was bigger than myself, I just wasn’t quite sure what it was.”

Despite his vivid memories of visiting Turner Field, Vaughn doesn’t believe that his first visit to Turner Field solidified his love of baseball. However, he does believe that it was a big starting point.

“I don’t think it took hold how important that was until I was in Connecticut,” Vaughn said. “I do think that’s a starting point and that’s a big starting point. I don’t think baseball would have even been in my mind had that not happened.”

Auburn QB Nick Marshall emerges

On a day when most thought they would easily be able to pick winners in SEC matchups, the SEC was shaken up.  Vanderbilt beat Georgia. Missouri beat Florida.  Ole Miss beat LSU. Tennessee beat South Carolina. Auburn beat Texas A&M. In this remarkable SEC shake up a new quarterback star emerged at Auburn. Auburn’s junior quarterback Nick Marshall who was formally a defensive back at Georgia, was 11-for-23 for 236 yards, had two passing touchdowns rushed for 100 yards and had two rushing touchdowns as well.

I enjoyed this article because it took a look into Nick Marshall, removed from his troubles at Georgia. Barrett Sallee also was aware at the fact that Marshall still needs improvement, yet he applauds his confidence and preserverence. It wouldn’t be a far cry for Sallee to say that Marshall is key to Auburn’s turn around from last season, but he doesn’t place the quarterback on such a stage.

The value of Quayvon Hicks

In last week’s press luncheon, Georgia head coach Mark Richt expressed how impressed he was with fullback Quayvon Hicks this season.

“With Quayvon, we saw it in the spring. We felt like he was taking the job over in the spring. We saw it as a freshman that he had it physically, but he just didn’t know his assignments well enough to overtake Merritt [Hall],” said Richt. “So it wasn’t a total surprise to us because we saw it happening before it happened in the games. We saw it happening in practice.”

And Richt was right. Hicks rushed for 38 yards on three carries against Clemson, 28 yards on four carries against South Carolina and just a single yard on one carry against North Texas.

Quayvon has also been effective at blocking this season, opening several holes for Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. Hicks being able to open holes, as well as run the ball could polish Georgia’s top-ranked offense.

Quayvon Hicks is a sophomore out of Blackshear, Ga.

SEC and Sun Belt Advances

SEC Advance:

Bleacher Report brought the idea of Georgia’s biggest surprises as an advance. However, it is not in a typical format. Bleacher Report placed what may be deemed as surprises in a slideshow, something that they do a lot of on their website. It mentions the value of Quayvon Hicks all the way to the leadership that Amarlo Herrera and Ramik Wilson have brought to the defense.

Sun Belt Advance:

This advance isn’t as recent as an upcoming weekend game, however, I do believe that is a quality advance, as it takes a look at the entire season. Former Arkansas coach, Bobby Petrino, is now coaching at Western Kentucky and according to this advance they will beat an SEC team.