Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gantt and Felton to receive awards

During a slow Monday there was some welcome news to a few UGA figures that work mostly behind the scenes. Among them was Bryant Gantt, whom many will recognize as a former player, current program coordinator, as well as also a key figure in helping to bring a peaceful ending to the Jamie Hood cop killer saga last year.
The Western Circuit Bar Association today will honor the University of Georgia Athletic Department’s program coordinator for helping bring the hunt for an accused cop-killer last year to a peaceful end.
Jamie Hood shot and killed Senior Police Officer Elmer “Buddy” Christian and wounded SPO Tony Howard on March 22, 2011, and three days later Bryant Gantt helped negotiate Hood’s surrender from a house where authorities say the suspect held eight people hostage.
“It’s always an honor when someone is recognizing you for doing something, whatever it is, because you feel like you must be going something right,” Gantt said.
The local bar association each year presents the Liberty Bell Award to a person who embodies respect for law and the courts and engenders a sense of civic responsibility, among other positive attributes.
Gantt, a former UGA football player and lifelong Athenian, is respected by police and civilians alike. He’s worked for a local bail bondsman and as an investigator for a defense attorney, and people who run afoul of the law know that he’s a man of his word.
Gantt was familiar with Hood and had been friends with Howard for years, so the day of the shooting he posted an offer on Facebook to help bring in Hood peacefully.
Also being recognized once again for their work as liaison between the sports department and the public is UGA's Sports Information Department. Claude Felton is widely recognized as one of the best SID's in the business.
Georgia's sports information department, led by Claude Felton, has once again been recognized by the Football Writers Association of America. The FWAA announced its Super 11, the top sports info departments this past season, and included Georgia, Auburn and Georgia Tech.
The others are Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma, San Diego State, Southern California, Syracuse, Utah State and Western Kentucky.
The sports information department is charged with providing stats and notes, securing interviews, and basically acting as the liaison between the football team and the public. They play a very key role in shaping the news.
This is the third consecutive year Felton and his team has been recognized and named to the Super 11. Also...I'm assuming Tech was named solely for their stellar efforts of keeping the AJCs news hounds at bay despite arrests and NCAA violations going on behind the scenes.