"You worry about it," Coach Mark Richt said. "I guess there's always concern, but we've been fortunate so far."
The NCAA allows schools to give their players mileage money for bowl
trips, prompting this frank explanation from Richt: "As much cash as we
can put in their pocket within the rules, we want to do that."
The mileage check (at 28 cents per mile) from Athens meant at least
$270 for each player. If a player lives further away than Athens, that
player could calculate the mileage from his home. That meant more than
$1,000 for tailback Albert Hollis, who hails from Sacramento, Calif. In
addition to mileage money, the players receive a per diem to pay for
meals and incidentals.
The players, as college kids often do, are trying to squeeze every
ounce of value out of their money. All-America defensive end David Pollack said "about six or seven of us" rode to Orlando on Thursday in
an SUV owned by offensive lineman Bartley Miller's father. The system
makes sense to Pollack, he said.
"We haven't had any problems yet," he said.
Once all the players arrived, Georgia (10-3) had its first on-site
practice at 8 p.m. on a field adjacent to the Citrus Bowl, where the No.
11 Bulldogs will play No. 12 Purdue (9-3) next week.
The Boilermakers arrived in Orlando on Tuesday, but Richt said he
isn't concerned with trying to catch up on missed time.
"We've got our own schedule," he said.
The remainder of Georgia's practices will be in the morning to give
the players the afternoon to enjoy the many trips planned by the Capital
One Bowl organizers. The team has many choices for entertainment,
including Disney World, Sea World and Universal Studies. Cornerback
Bruce Thornton said the seniors will have some say in what the team
"When it's practice time, we work hard. After practice, we want them
to enjoy themselves as much as they can within the parameters we've
given them," Richt said. "For some of these guys, it's the trip of the
NOTES: Peach County's A.J. Bryant arrived in Orlando on Thursday for
his first workout with the Bulldogs. ... Thornton said he and defensive
lineman Ken Veal spent Christmas Day in Jacksonville, Fla., with former
Georgia linebacker and Macon native Tony Gilbert, who plays for the
Dawgs Arrive Safe in Orlando
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