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FBI: Don't fly drones in downtown Atlanta through championship game day

As the country turns its eyes to Atlanta for the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, the FBI is pushing one important message: Keep those drones away.

>> Visit AJC.com for complete coverage of the national championship game

Any aircraft, drones included, are prohibited from flying near the venues used during the championship weekend and game day, including Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Centennial Olympic Park and the Georgia World Congress Center.

>> More coverage from DawgNation.com

Violators would face prosecution under federal law for “flying drones in restricted space,” FBI spokesman Kevin Rowson said Sunday. “Temporary flight restrictions” are in effect.

>> Visit WSBTV.com for more Georgia Bulldogs news

>> Best of the best: The history of college football’s national championship game

Despite previous publicity about the law, officials spotted drones over some venues on Saturday, Rowson said.

>> Read more trending news 

President Donald Trump is expected to attend the game, leading to an increase in security, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms promised a "safe, smooth and secure" event for the more than 100,000 attendees, and police urged people to leave any firearms at home.

Beloved sports broadcasting legend Dick Enberg dies

Beloved Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Dick Enberg, whose exuberant “Oh my!” calls resonated with fans, died Thursday, his wife and daughter confirmed to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

He was 82.

Enberg was a versatile broadcaster, covering 10 Super Bowls, 28 Wimbledon tennis tournaments and eight NCAA basketball title games when he was the play-by-play voice of UCLA during its dynasty in the 1960s and ’70s, the Union Tribune reported.

His last full-time job was as the television voice of baseball’s San Diego Padres. He retired from that position in 2016 after calling games for seven years. He also called games on radio for the California Angels and the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams.

Enberg worked for NBC, CBS and ESPN, and his “Oh, my!” call became a legendary punctuation mark after a dramatic play.

He won the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award (2015), the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Rozelle Award (1999) and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Gowdy Award (1995).

Enberg's daughter, Nicole, said the family became concerned when he didn't arrive on his flight to Boston on Thursday, ESPN reported. 

Enberg was found dead at his home in La Jolla, a San Diego neighborhood, with his bags packed. The family said it believes he had a heart attack, but is awaiting official word, ESPN reported.

“I’m heartbroken,” former Padres broadcast booth partner Mark Grant told the Union-Tribune. “It’s so sad. I thought Dick was the type of guy who was going to live until he was 100, going on the circuit, talking to everybody about baseball and football and tennis.”

Enberg joined NBC Sports in 1975 and worked for the network for 25 years. He was paired for many years with former Los Angeles Rams football star Merlin Olsen. He is the only person to win Emmy Awards as a sportscaster, a writer and a producer, ESPN reported.

Enberg also was a game show host, working as the emcee for the sports-oriented “Sports Challenge” from 1971 to 1979. The show pitted athletes from different teams in a quiz show format.

Recently, Enberg began hosting a podcast called “Sound of Success,” interviewing stars such as Billie Jean King, Bill Walton, Johnny Bench and Steve Kerr.

He told the Union-Tribune earlier this week that he hoped to lure NBA legend Magic Johnson, quarterback Colin Kaepernick and actor Jack Nicholson to his online show.

“At the very top of the list,” he said, “is Serena Williams.”

Poll reveals racial divide over whether college athletes should be paid

Should college athletes be paid beyond their full scholarship? The results of an August poll by the Washington Post and the University of Massachusetts Lowell show a racial divide in the answer to that question.

>> Read more trending news

When coaches are being paid millions, and sports facilities cost tens of millions, some say athletes should also be compensated.

Although 52 percent of Americans believe a scholarship is enough, 54 percent of black Americans said they believe athletes should be paid based on the revenue they generate. 

"The schools are making an awful lot of money, and the coaches are making millions and millions of dollars, and they're (the players) the ones bringing in the money, really," one black respondent said.

But whites see things differently. 

"The whole reason they go to college is to get an education, and a scholarship should be enough," a white nurse said. "They shouldn't be paid to play football."

The majority of whites who took the poll agreed with her.

Take an in-depth look at what some economists and labor lawyers call a critical problem with college sports on myajc.com

UGA baseball midsummer update

From UGA Sports Communications

ATHENS----- Georgia outfielder Logan Moody along with pitchers Trevor Tinder and Blake Cairnes (pronounced KARENS) have posted sterling summer performances that resulted in All-Star recognition.

Moody, a member of the Savannah (Ga.) Bananas, earned the starting first baseman spot for the West Team in the Coastal Plain League (CPL) All-Star game held last week in Fayetteville, N.C. Although he went 2-for-2 in the contest, the West team lost 4-3. For the summer, he is batting .372 with 16 RBI and eight stolen bases for the Bananas who are averaging more than 3,600 fans per game.

Tinder, who is playing for the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs, struck out the side in his only inning of work in the Florida Collegiate Summer League (FCSL) All-Star game in Sanford, Fla. For the summer, he’s 3-2 with a 3.50 ERA in seven starts. He has struck out 43 and issued just five walks in 36 innings.

Cairnes, a member of the Newport Gulls in the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL), pitched one inning during Monday’s All-Star game in Newport, R.I. For the summer, Cairnes is 1-0 with four saves and a 0.00 ERA in 12.2 innings. He has not allowed an earned run in 11 relief outings with six walks and 18 strikeouts. Bulldog teammate Andrew Gist is 3-2 with a 3.37 ERA in six games for the Gulls including five starts. In 32 innings, Gist has only six walks with 34 strikeouts. Patrick Sullivan is a member of the Keene Swamp Bats in the NECBL, and he’s seen action at first base in 21 games, batting .143 with a home run and three RBI. 

Along with Moody, there are three other Bulldogs on the Bananas roster. Logan’s older brother, Drew, a pitcher, is 3-2 with a 3.57 ERA and one complete game in six starts over a span of 40.1 innings. Also, Addison Albright has appeared in six games with two starts, going 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in 12 innings. Adam Goodman is 1-0 with an 8.10 ERA in eight relief appearances covering 13.1 innings. First baseman Adam Sasser is playing in the CPL for the Lexington County Blowfish. He is batting .190 with six RBI in 23 games.

In the Cape Cod League, Bulldog teammates Keegan McGovern and Kevin Smith are part of the Orleans Firebirds. Smith has appeared in 11 games and registered a 3-2 mark with a 2.65 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 20.1 innings. In 25 games, McGovern is batting .161 with three doubles, three home runs and seven RBI.

Catcher Michael Curry is in Virginia with the Strasburg Express of the Valley League (VL). He is batting .283 with seven doubles, one home run and nine RBI in 23 games. Also in the VL, third baseman Mitchell Webb is a member of the Charlottesville TomSox. Webb is hitting .264 with three doubles, one home run and eight RBI in 25 games.

In the Southern Collegiate League, infielder Trey Logan is batting .240 with three doubles, 20 RBI and eight stolen bases in 35 games for the Piedmont (S.C.) Pride. Second baseman LJ Talley is playing for a summer league squad in his hometown of Folkston, and team statistics are unavailable.

All six Bulldogs from the 2016 squad that were selected in the Major League Baseball draft this past June have signed and four (Heath Holder, Bo Tucker, Skyler Weber and Stephen Wrenn) have made their professional debut. The two exceptions are pitchers Connor Jones (New York Yankees) and Robert Tyler (Colorado Rockies). Tyler is with the Boise (Idaho) Hawks in the Northwest League while Jones has not been assigned to a team after coming to terms earlier this month. Wrenn has enjoyed the most sizzling start among the latest professional Bulldogs, leading the New York-Penn League in home runs (8), runs scored (26) and RBI (24) while batting .305 in 29 games for the Tri-City ValleyCats.

Robert Tyler drafted by Colorado Rockies

From UGA Sports Communications

ATHENS-----Georgia pitcher Robert Tyler became the 10th Bulldog in school history to be a first round selection when the Colorado Rockies drafted him Thursday with the 38th overall pick of the 2016 MLB Draft.

A 6-4, 226-pound right-hander from Cordele, Ga., Tyler went 3-5 with a 4.10 ERA in 14 starts for the Bulldogs in 2016, registering 89 strikeouts in 74.2 innings. He ranked third in the Southeastern Conference in holding opponents to a .200 batting average. He earned Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week honors after tossing a one-hitter in beating No. 21 Alabama 7-1 on April 1. He carried a no-hitter for 8.2 innings against Alabama until allowing a pinch-hit solo home run. In that start against the Crimson Tide, he had a perfect game through 6.1 innings. He got a no decision against No. 2 Florida when he limited the Gators to one run through 8.1 innings with nine strikeouts in Gainesville. In his career, Tyler is 10-10 with a 3.62 ERA and 182 strikeouts in 179 innings.

Tyler went in the “Lottery Round A” that is at the end of the first round. Before Tyler, the last Bulldog pitcher to be selected in the first round was right-hander Josh Fields in 2008, 20th overall to Seattle. Currently, Fields pitches in the Houston Astros organization. Tyler was a strong Bulldog commitment out of Crisp County High School in 2013 when the Baltimore Orioles drafted him in the 28th round.  Three years later, he adds his name to the list of Bulldog first round selections. Prior to Tyler, Georgia’s last first round selection was outfielder Zach Cone in 2011, 37th overall by Texas.

Annually, the Bulldogs have a handful of players and signees who will have a decision to make regarding their baseball future. Georgia has a string of 43 straight seasons with a least one player signing a professional contract. In 2015, seven Bulldogs were drafted and began their professional career. 

The first two rounds of the draft are being televised live on MLB Network Thursday. Day two of the draft starts at 1 p.m. on Friday and will cover rounds three-10. Saturday marks the final day of the draft, and it will begin at noon and will include rounds 11-40. All the selections can be followed on MLB.com.

The signing deadline for underclassmen and high school seniors selected in the 2016 First-Year Player draft is July 15.

Bulldogs prepare for MLB Draft

From UGA Sports Communications

ATHENS-----A handful of Georgia Bulldogs along with members of the most recent recruiting class are turning their attention to the 2016 Major League Baseball (MLB) First-Year Player draft, slated for June 9-11.Annually, the Bulldogs have a handful of players and signees who will have a decision to make regarding their baseball future. Georgia has a string of 43 straight seasons with a least one player signing a professional contract. In 2015, seven Bulldogs were drafted and began their professional career.Georgia junior right-hander Robert Tyler is ranked No. 25 among the top 100 prospects for the draft, according to MLB.com. Tyler was a strong Bulldog commitment out of Crisp County High School in Cordele in 2013 when the Baltimore Orioles drafted him in the 28th round. After three seasons at Georgia, the 6-4, 226-pounder now is projected to be a first round selection. Tyler went 3-5 with a 4.10 ERA in 14 starts for the Bulldogs in 2016, registering 89 strikeouts in 74.2 innings. In his career, he is 10-10 with a 3.62 ERA and 182 strikeouts in 179 innings. The last Bulldog pitcher to be selected in the first round was right-hander Josh Fields in 2008, 20th overall to Seattle. Currently, Fields pitches in the Houston Astros organization.Offensively, Georgia’s highest rated professional prospect for the 2016 MLB draft is junior outfielder and three-year starter Stephen Wrenn. A native of Marietta and product of Walton High School, the 6-2, 185-pound right-handed hitter is projected to go in the first three to five rounds as the No. 132 player on the MLB.com list. Wrenn was a 28th round selection of the Atlanta Braves in 2013, and like Tyler, has developed during his three seasons of wearing the red and black. He has started 162 games in centerfield for the Bulldogs and posted a .292 career batting average with 13 doubles, eight triples, 13 home runs, 74 RBI and 56 stolen bases. He has tallied 463 putouts, 10 assists and only three errors for a career fielding percentage of .994.The first round of the draft will be televised live on MLB Network starting Thursday at 7 p.m. The first night will feature the first two rounds, and the supplemental rounds that follow. The second day of the draft starts at 1 p.m. on Friday and will cover rounds three-10, and Saturday's final day will begin at noon and will include rounds 11-40. All the selections can be followed on MLB.com. The signing deadline for underclassmen and high school seniors selected in the First-Year Player draft is July 15.

UGA baseball ends season with loss to Ole Miss

From UGA Sports Communications

HOOVER, ALA.-----Georgia dropped a 5-1 decision to 10th-ranked Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament Tuesday at the Hoover Met that ended the 2016 season for the Bulldogs. 

Georgia (27-30) got a solo home run from junior Stephen Wrenn in the first for an early lead. It was the fifth of the year for the Bulldog centerfielder. Georgia maintained its lead until the Rebels (41-16) batted around in the fourth, scoring four runs on three hits to chase senior right-hander Heath Holder. All-SEC centerfielder J.B. Woodman delivered a go-ahead two-run triple and two batters later, third baseman Colby Bortles capped the scoring with a two-run double to make it 4-1.

In the fifth, Woodman struck again for an RBI-double, this one off freshman lefthander Kevin Smith, and a 5-1 advantage. It ended a streak of 14.1 scoreless innings by Smith covering a span of six relief appearances. Later in the frame with two on and one out, Georgia went to the bullpen again as Bo Tucker came on for Smith. He got the Bulldogs out of further trouble. Tucker provided a solid relief effort, blanking the Rebels over the final 3.2 innings with four strikeouts.

Ole Miss junior Brady Bramlett, who was on a pitch count, started for the Rebels and went four innings before giving way to the Rebels bullpen. Right-hander Brady Feigl tossed three scoreless innings with three strikeouts while Will Stokes and Wyatt Short pitched an inning apiece. With the predetermined staff day, Bramlett still got the win to move his mark to 8-3. Holder allowed four runs on four hits in 3.2 innings with a walk and three strikeouts to drop to 4-5.

“We had a chance for a big inning in the first after Stephen’s home run, we loaded the bases but Brady got out of it and that was big,” Georgia’s Ike Cousins baseball coach Scott Stricklin said. “Heath looked really good early; he had a closer’s mentality those first three innings, and then they got to him in the fourth. Ole Miss has a good lineup, and we saw how good their bullpen was again today. They are a top 10 team. Bo Tucker did a nice job for us taking care of the last few innings, but we weren’t able to get anything going against their bullpen.”

Georgia outhit the Rebels seven to six. Bulldog senior designated hitter Daniel Nichols went 2-for-4 while Wrenn, Nick King, Skyler Weber, Keegan McGovern and LJ Talley each had one hit in front of a Hoover Met crowd of 4,612.

Up next, Georgia will see how the Major League Baseball Draft unfolds from June 9-11. The Bulldogs have a string of 43 straight seasons with at least one player signing a professional contract. In 2015, seven Bulldogs were drafted and began their professional career.

Bulldogs earn spot in SEC Tournament with win over Vols

From UGA Sports Communications

ATHENS-----Georgia registered a 10-8 win over Tennessee Thursday at Foley Field to clinch a spot in the SEC Tournament.

Bulldog sophomore left fielder Keegan McGovern enjoyed a career night, going 5-for-5 with a home run and four RBI while Daniel Nichols and Stephen Wrenn added three hits apiece to lead a 15-hit attack. Georgia improved to 27-27 overall and 11-17 in the SEC while Tennessee dropped to 27-27 (7-21 SEC).

McGovern became the first Bulldog since Johnathan Taylor in 2010 to go 5-for-5 in a game. Volunteer first baseman Jordan Rodgers went 4-for-5 while left fielder Vincent Jackson drove in four runs to highlight Tennessee’s offense.

Georgia erased an early 2-1 deficit in the third when Nichols tied the game with a two-out RBI-single and then surged ahead 4-2 on a two-run home run from McGovern. The Bulldogs broke open the contest with a five-run outburst in the fourth. Nichols and McGovern had run scoring doubles to key the rally as the Bulldogs built a 9-2 advantage.

However in the fifth, Tennessee responded with a four-run rally to close the gap to 9-6 and chase Bulldog starter Bo Tucker. He allowed five runs on five hits in 4.1 innings and gave way to junior Drew Moody. Georgia got a run back in the sixth on an RBI-single by Wrenn.  Moody (2-3) went 1.2 innings for the victory while UT starter Will Neely allowed four runs on seven hits to fall to 1-3. Bulldog senior Heath Holder notched his first career save when he took care of the ninth.

                                                               “Every game is important for us down the stretch,” Georgia’s Ike Cousins baseball coach Scott Stricklin said. “Every win is going to count.  Clinching the SEC Tournament is nice, but we still have our sights set on the NCAA Tournament. We need to get over .500 and these next two games are huge. We were going to do everything we could to win tonight. We brought Heath Holder in there to close. Blakely Brown was a huge key. Keegan McGovern had a great night. For us, Brown being able to shut things down in the seventh and eighth innings, when they were swinging it really well, was a big key to that win.”“This win was huge,” McGovern added. “It was nice locking up the SEC Tournament, and now we have to try and lock up these next two and hopefully give us a chance to get on to the NCAA’s.”

Game two of the series will be Friday at 3 p.m. Please note the new start time as it has been moved up due to the possibility of inclement weather. Saturday’s game remains a noon start.

Trevor Kieboom named to SEC Community Service Team

From UGA Sports Communications

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. –Georgia first baseman Trevor Kieboom has been named to the 2016 Southeastern Conference Community Service Team, the league announced Wednesday.  

Kieboom’s efforts including serving as a volunteer for “Home Runs For Hometown Rivals,” a fundraiser to benefit Athens-Clarke County Special Olympics that features a game at Foley Field between Special Olympic players. He has been a volunteer for Salvation Army activities, made elementary school visits including for a Halloween Party and Reading Days. During his career at UGA, Clemson and Chattahoochee Valley Community College, the redshirt junior from Marietta, Ga., has participated in Feed the Hungry projects during the holiday season at local churches, served on a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, various Special Olympic Community events and been a volunteer coach for Little League Baseball. Also of note, Kieboom has earned a degree in management from UGA.

The SEC Community Service Team looks to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to his community in superior service efforts. 

Georgia wraps up the regular season with a home series versus Tennessee.  The Bulldogs who are closing in on securing a spot in the SEC Tournament, battle the Vols on Thursday 7 p.m. ET at Foley Field.  Friday’s game is also slated for a 7 pmstart time, while the series finale will be held on Saturday at noon.

Tech outlasts UGA at Turner Field

From UGA Sports Communications

ATLANTA-----Senior Matt Gonzalez’s two-run home run lifted No. 22 Georgia Tech past Georgia 6-3 in 10 innings  Tuesday in front of a crowd of 19,286 at the 14th annual Spring Baseball Classic at Turner Field.

In the first, Bulldog senior Nick King reached on a leadoff single and made his way around the bases including stealing third and scoring on a two-out base hit by freshman Michael Curry. Tech jumped ahead 3-1 in the third, getting an RBI-single by Kel Johnson and a two-run double from Tristan English. In the fifth, Georgia made it a one-contest as Skyler Weber picked up an RBI on a groundout. Georgia had runners at second and third with nobody out in the frame thanks to a leadoff single by Kegan McGovern and a double off the left field wall by Mitchell Webb, but freshman Keyton Gibson pitched out of trouble. In the sixth, McGovern tied the game with a two-out RBI-single, scoring Curry who had led off the frame with a single and took second on an error by Gonzalez. 

The contest remained tied at 3-all until Gonzalez’ one-out shot in the 10th off sophomore Blake Cairnes. Then, Johnson followed with his 11th home run for the final. With the win, Tech improved to 34-18 while Georgia dropped to 26-27. Tech reliever Ben Parr pitched the final 3.2 innings for a win to move his record to 3-2. Cairnes fell to 0-1.

With Tuesday’s victory, Tech salvaged the final game of the series after Georgia had won the two on-campus meetings earlier this year, 3-1 in Atlanta and 13-5 in Athens. Georgia got another stellar relief outing from freshman Kevin Smith who tossed four scoreless innings to extend his streak to 11 shutout  frames. He had missed a month due to tendonitis.

“It’s a disappointing loss; they made a few more plays and pitches then we did and had some better at bats in key situations,” Georgia baseball coach Scott Stricklin said. “We have to turn the page and get ready for Tennessee now, and everything is still in front of us.”

Tuesday’s crowd was the largest at a college baseball game this season, eclipsing the previous best of 15,078 that watched Texas A&M beat Mississippi State 10-6 in Starkville on April 16.

The Bulldogs return to action Thursday for the final SEC series of the regular season as they face Tennessee. First pitch will be at 7:04 p.m. and be available on SEC Network+ and the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG.

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