ATHENS, GA – OCTOBER 14: Head Coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs shouts instructions to his team during the game against the Missouri Tigers at Sanford Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)Georgia football didn’t make it back to the College Football Playoff, but it was still a pretty impressive season for the Bulldogs.The Dawgs fell just short of knocking off Alabama in the SEC Championship after winning the East for the second year in a row.The loss to Texas in the Sugar Bowl had to disappoint fans, but the program has clearly positioned itself as a national championship caliber squad.With that success, comes plenty of early departures.Alabama knows it all too well, but reloads every year. Clemson’s ability to retain defensive stars, on the other hand, was a major contributor to the Tigers’ national title win.We’ll have to wait until the fall to see how Kirby Smart’s team reacts, but the losses are heavy for UGA once again, especially on offense.ESPN identified Georgia football as a “loser” of today’s NFL Draft early declaration deadline.From Adam Rittenberg:Georgia: The Bulldogs had four offensive skill players declare as underclassmen, including their top three pass-catchers, wideouts Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman and tight end Isaac Nauta. None is rated among Kiper’s top prospects at their respective positions. Would they have left if Georgia passed the ball more? We’ll never know. Quarterback Jake Fromm will have a largely new group of targets in 2019. Running back Elijah Holyfield’s departure made sense as D’Andre Swift remains in Athens and Zamir White returns from injury.Recruiting remains at an elite level, so Smart’s program should be fine. If the Dawgs want to compete for a return to the CFP, they’ll need some of their young guys to step up, alongside star quarterback Jake Fromm and running back D’Andre Swift, both of whom are on early Heisman lists.[ESPN]
Organizers of the 2021 Canada Games have reached into the academic ranks at Brock University to find their new Chief Executive Officer.Barry Wright, an associate professor who has also served as Interim Dean in Brock’s Goodman School of Business, will officially move into the CEO role on May 1.An announcement from Doug Hamilton, who is Chair of the 2021 Canada Games Host Society, said Wright will oversee a range of key organizational activities that include human resources, volunteer programming, finance, and sport and athlete services.Wright will take a secondment from his Brock duties in order to concentrate on the Games, which will take place in the Niagara region in the summer of 2021.As a scholar and researcher, Wright has focused on operational disciplines including leadership, planning and organizational performance. He has been a faculty member at Brock since 2003, was voted Professor of the Year by Business students in 2009, and has authored or co-authored multiple books, book chapters, peer-reviewed journal articles, conference submissions and other publications.Wright is the latest member of the Brock community to formally join the central organizing structure for the 2021 Games. University President Gervan Fearon sits on the 2021 Canada Games Board of Directors, as do Tom Arkell, who is Brock’s Special Advisor to the Vice-President, Administration, and Michelle-Elise Burnett and Mary De Sousa, who are members of the University’s Board of Trustees.“This is a wonderful opportunity that will bring all of Niagara together as we welcome athletes, parents and spectators from across Canada,” said Wright. “Hosting the Canada Games will be a special moment in the history of Niagara, and it is an honour to be invited to work alongside the other members of this group.”Hamilton said organizers are excited to have someone of Wright’s experience and qualities take on this key role.“Barry’s leadership and connection with the Niagara community will be invaluable to the success of the Games,” said Hamilton. “We thank Brock University for allowing Barry to join our team.”Greg Finn, the University’s Provost and Vice-President, Academic, applauded the appointment.“Barry has extensive administrative experience and expertise in sports management at senior levels,” said Finn. “We are very pleased to see him in this role in support of the 2021 Canada Summer Games event.”University President Fearon said Brock is committed to supporting its community partners as Niagara prepares for the national spotlight in 2021.“We look forward to working with the 2021 Canada Games Host Committee on building the facilities and supporting the Games that will leave a lasting legacy and foundation for years to come in Ontario and the Niagara region,” said Fearon.