ATHENS — It was Jeremy Pruitt who, less than a year ago, caused some waves at Georgia with some post-practice comments about the school’s lack of an indoor practice facility. The subject came up again on Wednesday night, but this time it was all happy talk.
Georgia finalized plans Monday to build the long-awaited facility, which has an estimated cost of $30.2 million and will adjoin the team’s current office complex.
“I know as a staff we’re excited about it,” Pruitt said. “I know our players are excited about it. It’s gonna help us in recruiting, it’s gonna help us develop football players. And we’re fired up. We’ve got an administration that’s behind us 100 percent. And we’re excited about that.
“So when it gets up we’ll be using it as much as we can.”
Last November, after Georgia was forced to hold an abbreviated practice in their smaller indoor facility because of weather, Pruitt addressed the media to say that other schools used UGA’s lack of an indoor facility against the Bulldogs in recruiting, but vowed that “this is gonna be the last football team at Georgia that’s gonna have days where they don’t get better because of not having an indoor facility. Because I know our folks upstairs are gonna get it done.”
That was actually getting ahead of UGA’s schedule, and the plan approved Monday means the team won’t be able to use a new facility until 2017 at the earliest.
But the promise of one was apparently enough for Pruitt, and for coach Mark Richt too.
“It’s good to know it’s coming, and it’s exciting to know it’s coming,” Richt said. “It’s gonna be different than most, because of where it is. It’s connected to our building, it’s in the middle of our campus.”
The downside is that the team will be displaced from its normal practice location next year. Richt said he couldn’t divulge the site yet, but acknowledged it will require bussing there.
“We will, but I think we’re gonna be in a good spot,” Richt said. “The spot that we’re at, other than having to travel to get there, will give us plenty of grass space and privacy, and just the things we need. It’ll be very functional once we get there. It’s just getting there.”