Augusta State's champion golfers displeased with Georgia Regents decision

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Carter Newman and his former Jaguars teammates who helped lead Augusta State to back-to-back national golf championships say their legacy is about to be erased.

The Augusta State men's golf team assistant coach Kevin McPherson (clockwise from left), Carter Newman, head coach Josh Gregory, Henrik Norlander, Olle Bengtsson, Mitchell Krywulyc and Patrick Reed posed for a photo with the championship trophy after the team match final of the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship in 2011. Newman, Jake Amos, Krywulycz and Norlander are upset over the change to Georgia Regents University.   NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN/FILE
NATE BILLINGS/THE OKLAHOMAN/FILE
The Augusta State men's golf team assistant coach Kevin McPherson (clockwise from left), Carter Newman, head coach Josh Gregory, Henrik Norlander, Olle Bengtsson, Mitchell Krywulyc and Patrick Reed posed for a photo with the championship trophy after the team match final of the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship in 2011. Newman, Jake Amos, Krywulycz and Norlander are upset over the change to Georgia Regents University.

When the University System of Georgia Board of Regents selected Georgia Regents University for the consolidated Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities, the body disregarded the rich Jaguars golf tradition by omitting the word “Augusta,” Newman said.

“I’m so mad about it because we feel that the history is erased,” he said. “It’s just a shame to take the name ‘Augusta’ out. They could’ve named it ‘Wal-Mart Augusta University,’ and I’d be OK with it.

“I didn’t really think they were going to name it Georgia Regents. I didn’t think it would be anything without Augusta in it. Honestly, it’s heartbreaking.”

Newman is not alone in his dissatisfaction. Former Jaguars golfers Jake Amos, Mitch Krywulycz and Henrik Norlander – all members of Augusta State’s national championship run – are also upset over the name change.

European Tour golfer Oliver Wilson, a three-time All-American for Augusta State, tweeted his disapproval.

“Is it true that Augusta State University is being renamed to Georgia Regents Uni?” Wilson wrote. “I really hope not; sounds awful.”

Norlander, who left the school with the lowest four-year scoring average, shared Wilson’s sentiment.

“No one I’ve talked to has said, ‘Yeah, this is a good name.’ It’s disappointing,” he said. “I can imagine how the employees feel, but they can’t say anything.”

Golf began at Augusta State in the late 1950s. The program became synonymous with premier golf, and its location mere miles from Augusta National Golf Club helped in recruiting. In 2010 and 2011, the Jaguars cemented their legacy as an elite golf program, winning back-to-back NCAA Division I national championships – a feat no school had accomplished since the 1980s.

Now the name in the record books will change to Georgia Regents. That’s tough to swallow for the golfers, who also are losing the ‘A’ logo, seen on hats, shirts and golf bags throughout the area. Amos, a senior on the 2010 team who now plays professionally, said he has the logo on his golf bag and doesn’t plan on changing to a Georgia Regents bag.

The Englishman said golf coach Kevin McPherson will have a more difficult time recruiting international players. He’ll have to explain what happened to Augusta State and why it fell out of the rankings. Then he’ll have to explain the school’s new name.

“He’s going to have to recruit with the old name, because people aren’t going to know Georgia Regents,” he said.

When Amos was 17, he received 15 to 20 recruiting e-mails from schools including Arizona, Virginia and Augusta State. The only one he responded to: Augusta State. He knew where Augusta was, and he knew all about the Masters Tournament.

“With Augusta in the name, you’ve got that lure as a golfer,” Amos said. “Georgia Regents is so uninspirational, it’s unbelievable. I don’t think academics will change much. From a sports perspective, it’s disastrous.”

For Krywulycz, the difficult part to accept is how the process worked with the Board of Regents. He said when he attended Augusta State, students were told what they did mattered.

“At the end of the day, this nullifies that. With the naming process, you feel like you’ve been lied to,” he said. “I think it’s embarrassing it’s going to be changed to GRU. It’s something that was done behind our backs.

“I don’t expect them to care about athletics, and obviously they don’t. If they cared about athletics, they wouldn’t have chosen that name. They’re going to lose so many recruits because of Georgia Regents. It sounds like you play for an online school.”

For Newman, who drained three of the biggest putts in Augusta State history during his 2011 national semifinal match against Oklahoma State, representing Augusta carried a lot of weight. He said GHSU president Ricardo Azziz doesn’t fully understand the sentiments of the many golfers who have played for the Jaguars.

“This guy we don’t know anything about merges the university and wipes out the name Augusta. It’s frustrating,” said Newman, who grew up in Evans. “I’ve always held Augusta close to my heart. This guy, Azziz, doesn’t realize what it means to me.”

Krywulycz hopes Georgia Regents doesn’t stick. In­stead, he’d prefer the school to be renamed the University of Augusta.

“I think that’s a great name for the university,” he said. “I really hope it works out.”

FORUMS SET

Georgia Health Sciences University President Ricardo Azziz and Dr. Shirley Strum Kenny, Augusta State University’s interim president, will hold two open forums on the merger of the schools on Aug. 16: one at noon at ASU’s Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, the other at 3 p.m. in the Lee Auditorium at GHSU.

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Riverman1
87155
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Riverman1 08/09/12 - 08:10 pm
3
0
I don't know how we can

I don't know how we can possibly make ourselves clearer. The famous alumni are united with us against the change.

Riverman1
87155
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Riverman1 08/09/12 - 11:21 am
3
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Since all public colleges in

Since all public colleges in GA are governed by the regents why can't we just use that umbrella term here and keep ASU and GHSU under the bigger regents name? That would be satisfactory to everyone and no one would have to back down from anything.

JRE
62
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JRE 08/09/12 - 11:46 am
7
0
ASU

All of the complaints have had no effect on the Regents. The only way to get their attention is if the alumni withhold their donations until this terrible name is changed.

americafirst
966
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americafirst 08/09/12 - 12:02 pm
2
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To the contrary, JRE, I

To the contrary, JRE, I beleive the complaints about the name before the final selection emboldened the Board and made them even more determined to name the school GRU. It was their way of saying that they are in charge and they don't give a rip what the people of Augusta or the students think.

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 08/09/12 - 12:06 pm
1
1
At least students and alumni

At least students and alumni are free to speak their mind. I feel for the staff and faculty. Keep their feet to the fire Jags!

Sweet son
10753
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Sweet son 08/09/12 - 12:21 pm
3
0
The Regents don't give a .....................!

The Regents and the transplanted outsider MCG administrators don't care about the Augustans who have supported both universities for the history of their existences. We all are smart enough to know that we have two jewels in our community but are mad as hell that that little Clark Kent looking fellow is building "his" empire on our backs and with our money. Others commented that he didn't even know the definition of "regent" and they were right. He used the only word that he knows, "power" as the definition. We all know by his past actions and his ignorance about the definiton of the word regent that he has one thing and only one thing on his mind. "His empire!" I will continue to post my comments of dissatisfaction with the name and the direction of the Universities but I think we all know we have lost already.

CryoCyberTronics
392
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CryoCyberTronics 08/09/12 - 08:06 pm
1
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Can The Grouth And Status Of An University Be Impeded?

What we have here is a failure to communicate! A line from the movie "Cool Hand Luke". The Georgia BOR is making it clear what our State Capital is all about. It's about the "Money" nothing but the "Money". ASU gained a lot of national attention and notoriety in the last few years with it's NCAA Division 1 National Golf Championships. As a result ASU's budget from the State deserved an increase in funds. With the consolidation of ASU with GHSU it would seem that the merged University would have gained an increase in status. But when you look at it, the status is only superficial and cosmetic, and deceptive. Now only time and money will tell if GRU will stay as the State of Georgia #'s Three University or not. Nathan, Forrest, Author, Norbit, Neno, Neal and Pee Wee, Tony says "Say Hello To My Little Friends"! 

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 08/09/12 - 02:10 pm
0
1
The Regents traded 45 million

The Regents traded 45 million dollars to buy the naming rights to the school. Was it worth it? Some are going to argue it is and I can see that side of it also. That is alot of cash to inject. Whether you argue for or against is irrelevant. The BoR didn't involve the public in their aspiration to rename the college. They sought to do it, put a price on it, and did it. So it really comes down to pay-offs

By my count that comes to about 100-110 dollars per person currently living in the CSRA. This does not take into account all the people who have passed on who supported ASU/MCG, nor does it account for all the graduates that have walked since 1783. The amount per person is less than a dollar after all figures are applied.

Less than a dollar. That is my worth. What is yours?

iwaspregnantin1993
27
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iwaspregnantin1993 08/09/12 - 02:06 pm
2
0
ASU name change

Augusta Junior College. Augusta College. Augusta State University. Helloooo, Regents. Do you see a pattern???

CryoCyberTronics
392
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CryoCyberTronics 08/09/12 - 08:11 pm
1
0
One of the Nations top Universities in America is the plan!

A top 50 University in the U.S. means no less than a top 3 University statue in the State of Georgia. Got to make sure The Georgia BOR and the president of the University are held to their word no matter what GRU is called for now or after a possible name change in the future.

hotsaucemom
164
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hotsaucemom 08/09/12 - 08:20 pm
2
0
A 'boycott' will hurt,

A 'boycott' will hurt, withdraw and go to another school. You know something wrong with politicans in Atlanta and they showed no love for Augustans.

crackertroy
540
Points
crackertroy 08/09/12 - 10:00 pm
2
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Dr. Azziz (Phone:
Unpublished

Dr. Azziz (Phone: 706-721-2301; email: president@georgiahealth.edu)

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 08/09/12 - 10:31 pm
1
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"Displeased" represents...

a better choice of words than did "denounce" used in earlier postings.

boomhauer
650
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boomhauer 08/10/12 - 08:38 am
2
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Ok, I'm sorry I seem to have
Unpublished

Ok, I'm sorry I seem to have forgotten but lets go back to the beginning...why were these two schools merged to begin with?

scamp1
103
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scamp1 08/10/12 - 07:06 pm
1
0
Money

Last January when the six Georgia schools were merged into three, the BOR developed a list of principals they claimed to follow in selecting which institutions to merge - one of which was to save money. The price tag for the name changes alone in Augusta is in the millions, and the price of the GHSU/ASU merger is in the $20 million category. Of course, those costs, and Azziz's master plan to put six 8-story buildings on the Walton Way campus are being kept very quiet.

boomhauer
650
Points
boomhauer 08/12/12 - 06:22 pm
0
0
Thanks for the info.
Unpublished

Thanks for the info.

frknapp3
6
Points
frknapp3 08/14/12 - 11:12 am
0
0
Name Change

I have a question concerning the name change for the new school resulting from the merger of ASU and MCG. .Why does the new school even need a new name?

Think about it. Everyone in our area loves the name Augusta State University. Not only has ASU now gained the national recognition it deserves, we all love the acronym ASU, The Jaguars,etc.

In my opinion, leaving the name unchanged would have many advantages. The only signage changes would be on the MCG campus, saving millions. The Golf and Basketball teams would retain the championships they have earned. The present student body would not have to choose from several names on their diplomas and alumni will still be proud of the name on theirs. Dr. Azziz has already stated there will be no name change for the medical College. The name Augusta State University already contains two important words, “Augusta” and “University”. Why change it?

Personally, I believe it would be much easier to convince The Board of Regents to keep the name "as is" rather than argue over what new name would be acceptable or even needed!

I also feel this plan would satisfy all involved, retain the donations that are being reconsidered and even restore some of the public’s respect for Dr. Azziz.
I am very surprised this compromise has not been mentioned as a solution and I sincerely believe this option would be satisfactory to all concerned.

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