Friday Face-off: Best Non-Revenue Sport

ATHENS - Dean Legge and Fletcher Page talk about the top non-revenue sport at Georgia.

Dean Legge

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This is a no brainer - Men’s Tennis.

Manuel Diaz’s program is to tennis in the SEC what Kentucky is to basketball - the premier and dominant program. Men’s tennis at Georgia was once even more interesting because of the NCAA Tournament, which those communists insist on rotating everywhere in the country.

Instead of playing in Athens in front of thousands of fans, the NCAA has moved its tournaments to places like Tulsa and College Station where dozens watch champions be crowned.

But I digress, that Georgia hosted the NCAAs every year from 1977 to 2003 with few exceptions only slightly captures what I am trying to say. If you like high-level athletics, the men’s tennis team is as close to professional sport as it gets on a man-to-man basis on campus.

These guys are really, really good. And they guys they play are really, really good. The shotmaking skill of many of the player - particularly those playing No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 - is amazing.

Also, how many sports in college are one-on-one? Not many? If you like watching players battling not just their opponents, but also themselves then tennis is the sport for you. I’ve seen SEC tennis matches at other venues, and the skill is outstanding. But there’s something about watching this sport at the Dan Magill Tennis Center. It is a special place where there are very few (if any) bad seats.

If you’ve ever watched tennis at Georgia you know what I am trying to say.

Fletcher Page

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The answer is pretty simple, if we go by the basic measure — winning. The Gym Dogs have 10 national titles to their credit, so this isn’t much of a discussion. 

But was at Augusta National last week and covering a little-known event called the Masters. And gymnastics team has fallen off in recent years. 

With all that’s going on around me, I’m taking the Georgia men’s golf program. And here’s why… 

Those dudes win. First in college. And later professionally. 

Coach Chris Haack has guided his boys to two national titles and seven Southeastern Conference crowns. That’s great for Georgia. 

But check this. A Georgia golfer, Bubba Watson, has won two of the four Masters. Further, six former Georgia golfers won on the PGA Tour in 2014. Six! Eight former Georgia golfers qualified for the Fed-Ex Cup Series. Eight! I think that's even better for Georgia. 

You say the tennis team is the Kentucky basketball of the SEC. But it's the golf team that recruits stars, develops stars and sees it's stars move on to winning at higher levels. I think it's the golf team that has generated a Wildcats basketball-like program. 

Succeed and proceed, son. 


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