Friday, October 8, 2004

In one Athens, Bulldog gets grief

UGa. wins annoy Tenn. hometown

The Associated Press

ATHENS, Ga. - Andy Bailey has to be careful in which Athens he wears certain T-shirts.

The one that shows off the score of last year's Georgia-Tennessee game - "Georgia 41, Tennessee 14" - isn't such a big hit in his hometown of Athens, Tenn.

"Not too many people like that," the Bulldogs kicker said with a grin this week.

Bailey, a redshirt freshman, shares the Southeastern Conference scoring lead with 36 points through four games for No. 3 Georgia (4-0 overall, 2-0 Southeastern Conference), which hosts No. 17 Tennessee (3-1, 1-1) Saturday.

Bailey has made seven of his first nine field-goal attempts and each of his 15 extra-point tries. Though he is 0-for-2 on field goals attempts from beyond 40 yards, he has not yet had a crucial miss.

Bailey was wide right on a try from 47 yards against Southern Cal, and he missed a 45-yarder against Marshall.

In last week's 45-16 rout of Louisiana State, Bailey was kept busy on extra points but had to try only one field goal - a successful 32-yarder.

Coach Mark Richt says it's good that Bailey has had a fairly easy break-in period as the successor to Billy Bennett, Georgia's kicker the last four seasons.

"We really haven't gotten him into a situation where he has run into adversity," Richt said. "He missed a couple of longer kicks that basically didn't make a difference in the ballgame."

But Richt says all kickers have to deal with pressure situations and eventually have to prove they can come back after a crucial miss.

"I'm sure one day there will come a situation where he will miss a kick that makes a difference in a ballgame, and we'll see how he reacts to that," Richt said. "Or maybe early in a game he misses a crucial kick and will have another chance to kick it later on in the game, and we'll see how he does."

If that opportunity comes Saturday, Bailey knows friends and family members in his hometown will be paying attention.

"When I went home for the bye weekend, somebody said 'I hope Tennessee kicks your butt,' " Bailey said.

MARSHALL: Running back Ahmad Bradshaw is expected to play Saturday against Ohio University after missing the Thundering Herd's last two games because of a high ankle strain.

Bradshaw, who was injured in a 24-21 loss to Ohio State Sept. 11 and spent much of that month on crutches and then in an orthopedic boot, is eager to play.

"I have a brace now, so it's helping out a lot," Bradshaw said.

ARIZONA STATE: The school is investigating whether the payment of a utility bill for suspended running back Loren Wade violated NCAA rules. School officials then will send a report to the Pacific-10 Conference, which would recommend any punishment to the NCAA.

Wade was suspended from the team two weeks ago when athletic department officials discovered that an assistant in the school's compliance and recruitment department put her name on a line of credit to allow the running back to pay an overdue utility bill, said a source close to the investigation, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The money was to be repaid, the source said. The Arizona Republic reported Thursday that Wade also is said to have borrowed the compliance officer's car.

The employee, Wendy Adams, was fired after the utility bill incident was discovered and confirmed. Unless a more widespread problem is discovered, athletic department officials do not believe the case will result in the forfeit of games or other major penalty.

ARKANSAS: Wide receiver Carlos Ousley quit the team after being benched by coach Houston Nutt.

Ousley, a junior, had nine receptions for 102 yards and played in all five games this season. He also lost 1 yard returning three punts and threw a 34-yard touchdown pass against No. 5 Texas on a trick play.

Nutt said Ousley asked for and was granted a release from his scholarship. Ousley would be able to play one more year of college football, but he would be limited to a transfer to an NCAA Division I-AA or Division II school to play next season.

"He's not making a very smart move," Nutt said. "But that's up to him."

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