The Dawgs likely won’t see a major roster overhaul from the spring transfer portal.

Until the 15-day portal closes on April 30, players are free to transfer, though athletes at SEC schools can’t transfer within the conference during the spring portal without sitting out a year.

So far, three Georgia players have entered the portal — from which they can withdraw, if they choose — with the only mild surprise being running back Andrew Paul, who had a good G-Day game but apparently wants to improve on the third-string status he had with the Dawgs. Receivers Braxton Hicks and Tyler Williams also are in the portal, but neither was expected to have major playing time for the Dawgs this season.

Running back Andrew Paul, here gaining yardage during the G-Day game, has entered the transfer portal. (Curtis Compton/AJC) (Curtis Compton/Dawgnation)

Georgia hasn’t pulled any new talent out of the portal so far, but they might do so. Kirby Smart has made it clear that he’d like to have a fourth quarterback on scholarship this coming season, and there’s been a lot of speculation about Jaden Rashada of Arizona State, who has entered the portal. Rashada was at one time signed to Florida, before leaving after a Gators donor collective failed to come up with the name-image-and-likeness money they had promised him.

As Smart said of Georgia’s quarterbacks after the G-Day game, “our goal is to have four and a really good walk-on. … We’ll see what happens. I can’t predict the portal; I won’t even try to. I’m worried about our guys and the retention of our players.”

Other than more depth at QB, the Dawgs don’t have any clear-cut needs right now, though it wouldn’t be surprising for them to sign another running back to replace Paul, and they’re always interested in talented defensive linemen.

Kirby Smart, seen with Carson Beck on G-Day, would like a fourth scholarship quarterback on the roster. (Curtis Compton/AJC) (Curtis Compton/Dawgnation)

But Georgia is believed to have entered the post G-Day period several players over the 85-scholarship limit, so any additions will have to be matched by subtractions.

At his press conference following the spring intrasquad game, Smart seemed to view the portal with a shrug of resignation, saying: “Can I control it? I can’t. If I concern myself with things I can’t control, I won’t live long.”

But, as he mentioned, he is concerned with maintaining the players he already has during portal season.

Talking to the media, Smart characterized the situation as “really one of those things of, ‘Do you want to be here? Or do you not?’ Because they know how we do things by now. They all know. … [If] guys want to be somewhere else, I have no control over that.”

But away from the microphone and cameras, Smart probably wasn’t quite as sanguine. Although it’s not considered likely, the Dawgs could lose anyone on the roster to the portal, and word on the grapevine is that Georgia’s head coach has been something of an activist, telling big boosters that a team needs $1 million in NIL money per victory, so an undefeated national championship season would cost $15 million.

Dawgs fans have been encouraged to join a collective to help raise NIL money for players. (Madison Keel/UGA) (Madison Keel/Dawgnation)

I don’t know how reliable those numbers are — though they’re pretty much in line with the $13 million that Ohio State’s Ryan Day said it would take to maintain his roster back in 2022 — but I do know that the Bulldog Club recently sent out an email from Athletic Director Josh Brooks, saying “we need every member of Bulldog Nation to join the Classic City Collective’s 21 Club,” named after UGA’s 21 scholarship sports. Donations are needed, he said, in order to attract top-tier talent to Athens and help the coaches retain their rosters.

Among the collective’s options for donors is the Varsity Club (requiring a donation of $21 per month), the Silver Britches Club ($42 per month) and the Hunker Down Club ($100 per month). All three levels offer various membership perks, ranging from a sticker and a koozie to chances of winning tickets to two nonconference home games.

One thing’s for sure: The wide-open portal and its wild-eyed cousin, NIL, definitely make the job of head football coach at an elite program trickier these days, but that’s one of the reasons those coaches make bigger bucks than ever before.

One of these days, we might see college sports move to collective bargaining and employment contracts with players, which might sound awful to tradition-bound fans, but would at least end this everyone’s-a-free-agent anarchy.

Until then, kids growing up as college football fans will have to just get used to the idea that today’s home team hero might be next year’s opponent.

Gymnastics coach Courtney Kupets Carter won’t be returning for another season. (University of Georgia) (University of Georgia/Dawgnation)


The UGA Athletic Association finally made a move Friday that had been anticipated for at least a couple of years: Former GymDog superstar Courtney Kupets Carter will not return as head coach of the Bulldogs’ gymnastics program.

Kupets Carter, who as a GymDog had one of the most illustrious careers in NCAA gymnastics history, was head coach for seven years and reportedly had a year left on a contract that paid her $207,000 annually.

Frankly, it was past time for a change to be made. For a long time, Georgia’s women’s gymnastics program was the best in the nation, but it has fallen on hard times in recent years, not even matching the performance of Kupets Carter’s predecessor as coach, Danna Durante.

UGA hasn’t been to the NCAA national tournament since 2019 and finished dead last in this year’s SEC tournament — eighth out of eight teams competing! That was the third consecutive year the GymDogs had finished last (and they didn’t compete in the 2021 SEC tournament because of positive COVID-19 tests).

The 2024 conference championship was won by the current SEC gymnastics power, LSU, which is coached by Jay Clark, who was Georgia’s coach 2009-2012, after the retirement of the legendary Suzanne Yoculan.

Since Clark left Georgia, the GymDogs have seen numerous programs move past them in gymnastics — quite a steep fall from the heights reached under Yoculan, when they won 10 NCAA titles, including a run of five consecutive national championships.

For GymDogs fans, it has been especially tough watching programs like Mizzou, Kentucky, Arkansas and Auburn grow and have success while former powerhouse Georgia struggled.

Job 1 for whoever is named to replace Kupets Carter will be to retain the GymDogs’ current top star, Lily Smith, who, in her freshman year, earned four All-America honors while competing as an individual at the NCAA Gymnastics National Championship Semifinal this past week.

UGA football great Bob McWhorter’s varsity letter is one of the artifacts that the Hargrett Library is sending on tour. (Hargrett Library) (Hargrett Library/Dawgnation)


Jason Hasty, the Hargrett Library’s UGA athletics history specialist, will take to the road with some of the school’s sports treasures again this summer.

The UGA Athletics in Your Town tour brings artifacts from the athletic association’s archives to public libraries around Georgia.

This year, the tour will hit the Cedartown Public Library, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 20; the Dalton Whitfield County Library in Dalton, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 21; the Columbia County Library in Evans, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 31; the Ocee Library in Johns Creek, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. June 12; the Pickens County Library in Jasper, 11 a.m.-3p.m. June 14; the Rabun County Library in Clayton, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. June 28; the Screven County Library in Sylvania, noon-5 p.m. Aug. 1; and the Brunswick-Glynn County Library in Brunswick, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 2.

I asked Jason for a preview of what he’s taking out on the road. “I’ll have a variety of things on display this summer,” he said. “My goal is to bring out some items that haven’t been on display before. There’s so much in the Athletic Association archive that I know we have things that people haven’t seen. I’ll mix in a few highlights, though, as well as a case of artifacts from the current era of Georgia football. I’m going to Cedartown, so I’ll definitely have the cleats that Nick Chubb wore in the Rose Bowl!”

And, he added, “Since Georgia’s baseball team is doing so well, I’ll have a case of baseball artifacts, including a jersey from the 1910s.”

Also, since this is an Olympics year, Jason said, he’ll have a few items long to represent Bulldog Olympians. And, he added, his fall exhibit at the Hargrett Library in Athens “will be focused on our Olympians.”

As for specific items Dawgs fans might see on the library tour, Jason said: “One thing that I’m particularly excited about is Bob McWhorter’s letter from 1913. Someone, at some point, cut it off of his letterman’s sweater and framed it. It’s a beautiful artifact and has the four stars for the four years (1910-1913) he lettered in football. I doubt anyone has seen this!”

Also hitting the road will be “one of Kirby’s visors; game day football programs from the ‘30s (one that I’ve pulled is Georgia vs. NYU in Sanford Stadium in 1933); the 1908 sheet music to the ‘Red and Black March,’ which is our first ever fight song; and a leather football helmet from the ‘30s.”

He said he’s still putting the display together, “but the exhibit will have around 50-55 artifacts total when everything is put together.”

Jason’s exhibitions always are well done, so if you’re in the vicinity of one of these stops, I highly recommend you check it out.


I’ll dip into the Junkyard Mail next week, and I’d like to hear what your expectations are for the Dawgs this coming season and any concerns you might have. Also, feel free to ask questions — or share your views on anything related to UGA athletics. You can post in the comments below or email me at