Pruitt: Indoor Facility Will "Get Done"

ATHENS - Georgia’s football team practiced Tuesday indoors, except the way defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt sees it, it wasn’t much of a practice at all.

Cold weather conditions as temperatures dropped near freezing forced the Bulldogs inside into a 20-yard by 60-yard indoor turf field in its multi-purpose room.

That prompted Pruitt to make his first appearance after practice since September because he said he wanted to send a message to recruits.

“The reason I came up here is because I know that we’re fixing to take care of that and this is going to be the last football team at Georgia that is going to have days that they don’t get better because of not having an indoor facility,” Pruitt said, “because I know our folks upstairs are going to get it done.”

UGA’s athletic board in September approved $400,000 to design and determine a location for an indoor practice facility and was to get a report  from athletic director Greg McGarity in February.

“They got it done in seven months at Florida State,” said Pruitt, defensive coordinator for the 2013 season there. “The first day I took the job on Jan. 7, they broke ground and it was done the first day of practice.”

That’s not expected to happen at Georgia.

McGarity said Tuesday night that the school recently selected an architect.

“That’s the first part of the process,” he said. “It’s just impossible for it to be done next year. We’re not sure how long it’s going to take. We don’t know where it’s going. We don’t know how long it will take. …All we know is we’re moving forward as quickly as possible.”

Pruitt spoke days after his defense had probably its best performance of the season in a 34-7 win against Auburn.

He said other schools are negatively recruiting against Georgia about its lack of an indoor facility.

“What they say is, how important is football at Georgia because they don’t have an indoor practice facility?” he said. “As a football player, you aren’t going to get better if you aren’t practicing every day and bowl practice and offseason and all that. Hopefully this is the last class that will ever have to not get better. Y’all can print that.”

In the meantime, Georgia practiced Tuesday in a facility where the media is served lunch before coach Mark Richt’s weekly news conference and team functions are held.

“It’s kind of like I told them before we went out there, you know how you used to play football in a living room?” Pruitt said. “You knew not to run over to the coffee table where it had pointed edges.”

Pruitt said practicing with wind chills of 20 degrees is hard to be productive, but he figured only three or four days this fall has weather been a factor.

“November and December and bowl practices sometimes are brutal,” said offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, on his 14th year on staff. “The big picture, the offseason, the summer pass skels the kids do, there’s a lot of things these kids can do to enhance their ability to perform on Saturday.”

Pruitt said he wasn’t being negative about the lack of an indoor facility, but was being positive.

“We’re going in the right direction,” he said.


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