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Blog: Florida sets UGA ticket prices through 2017; Richt on kickers on scholarship; Crowell’s introduction

Georgia’s athletic board last month in St. Simons raised ticket prices for the Florida game starting in 2012, but opted not to hike them even more in additional years.

Florida’s board went ahead and did just that on Wednesday, according to the Gainesville Sun.

It approved raising the regular ticket price for Gators fans in 2012 from $40 to $60—just like Georgia did—but also upped the price for the game in Jacksonville to $70 in 2014 and $75 in 2017.

Georgia’s board tabled those additional increases because some were reluctant to set the price years in advance in case they had a different view later about what the price should be.

Club seats are also going up next year from $70 to $100 at both schools. Florida also approved those seats rising to $120 in 2017.

“The game right now, for a game of that stature compared to other rivalry games, is underpriced,” Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said.

Offering scholarships to kicker Blair Walsh and punter Drew Butler out of high school, Georgia coach Mark Richt says, has “turned out beautifully.”

The Bulldogs get what could be the best kicking tandem in the country for one more season.

Georgia has secured commitments from kicker Marshall Morgan from Florida and punter Collin Barber from Cartersville in its 2012 class, showing Richt isn’t shy about offering scholarships to targeted specialists.

“(Brandon) Coutu was probably the last walk-on to win the job, but even then we had (Andy) Bailey on scholarship,” Richt said.

Some would prefer not using a scholarship on specialists.

Coutu and Billy Bennett were standout kickers who came to Georgia as walk-ons.

“If you can find guys that have incredible talent and the consistency that it takes to be great, you might as well give them a scholarship,” Richt said. “Until the kickoff rule changes, you better have someone that can kick it high and deep and punting is so huge. You just think about the return men in our league. If every time you punt the ball, you’ve got to hold your breath because some guy has a chance to take it to the house, that’s a scary thought. But if you’ve got a guy that can boom it high and deep and let your gunners get down there and stand there and force a guy to fair catch, they can’t beat you if they’re fair catching the ball. It’s worth it.”

–When I spoke to Georgia linebacker Christian Robinson on Tuesday in Macon at the Peach State Pigskin preview, he talked about several incoming freshmen going through 7-on-7 drills on Monday.

No mention of running back Isaiah Crowell being there.

Robinson said that Crowell got “kind of sick” after a hard morning workout.

“He’s been at everything we’ve asked him to do,” Robinson said. “He’s been working hard. I know everybody’s excited to see him. I’m hoping he’ll do everything everybody’s expecting him to do.”

–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer