ATHENS — One of Georgia’s most famous former football stars is giving back to his old program.
A.J. Green, the Cincinnati Bengal star receiver, announced Monday that he is endowing two scholarships to UGA. One will go to the football program, another to “need-based” UGA students, with preference given to someone from Green’s native South Carolina, and then someone from the greater Atlanta area. The recipients will be chosen by the UGA financial aid office.
”I’m very excited and very thankful that we were in the position to give back to the University of Georgia,” Green said in a statement released by UGA. ”My time at UGA is still close to my heart. It was definitely important for me to give back while I’m still playing professionally and I’m fortunate that we are able to do that.”
The endowment of the football scholarship basically means that one of the 85 annual scholarships is named after Green, using money donated by Green and his wife, Miranda. For instance, in Georgia’s media guide current receiver Malcolm Mitchell is listed as a recipient of the Neel Family Scholarship in 2012 and 2013.
Now, going forward, a Georgia player will be listed as a recipient of the A.J. Green Family Scholarship.
Green will be at Saturday’s game against Kentucky and will be recognized for his gift.
”We are deeply appreciative of A.J. and his wife Miranda for this wonderful gift,” Georgia head football coach Mark Richt said. ”With this gift, they are creating a tremendous legacy — of giving back and helping the next young person fulfill his or her dreams. Their generosity will endure for years to come.
”A.J. continues to be a great ambassador for Georgia. We see him on Sundays in the NFL with tremendous pride, knowing that he’s still a big part of our UGA family. He’s now in position to serve as a role model for all of our players from the present, past and future.”