Arena officials clash over fight

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Members of the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority nearly came to blows Saturday night while attending the Extreme Fight Night event at the Bell Auditorium.

On Sunday night, board member Richard Isdell spoke about what he described as an "embarrassing" incident that occurred in front of patrons attending the fight.

Mr. Isdell said he and fellow board members Jack Usry and Harry Moore were in the lobby when he noticed Mr. Usry and Mr. Moore having heated words, he said.

Mr. Isdell said the disagreement centered on a recent announcement that Augusta boxer Rayonta Whitfield's Aug. 1 fight will be held at the Bell Auditorium and broadcast live on ESPN.

Mr. Isdell said Mr. Usry was disappointed that he and other board members weren't told about the agreement with ESPN. But Mr. Moore said that he, coliseum General Manager Robert "Flash" Gordon and Mr. Isdell were contacted by Mayor Deke Copenhaver and City Administrator Fred Russell about the opportunity to broadcast the event in Augusta.

Mr. Isdell said the mayor and Mr. Russell said a quick decision was required because fight promoters were considering taking the fight to a Mississippi or New Orleans venue. Mr. Isdell said a short window of about "45 minutes" was available to make a decision.

As board chairman, Mr. Moore said he and Mr. Gordon have the authority to make such decisions.

Mr. Isdell said he, Mr. Gordon and Mr. Moore all were assured by city officials that the fight would be a win-win opportunity for Augusta.

When contacted at home Sunday night, Mr. Usry refused to comment about the incident.

Mr. Moore said he's certain the disagreement occurred because Mr. Usry feels he should have been notified about the decision to hold the boxing match.

"There's no way I could've called Jack, and I'm sure that's what he wanted," Mr. Moore said Sunday night. He said the decision was made Wednesday afternoon in the midst of a powerful thunderstorm that resulted in an Augusta man being killed by a fallen tree.

Mr. Moore, a Georgia Power engineer, said he was handling several emergency calls and was unable to make additional calls outside of his work duties.

He has no regrets, he said.

"If I were faced with the same situation all over again, I'd handle it in the same fashion," he said.

Had there not been a storm, he said, he would've contacted Mr. Usry along with assistant board Chairman Janice Jenkins.

Mr. Isdell and Mr. Moore said they are confident the board will not lose revenue by staging the fight in Augusta.

"This is a big deal. Nationally televised on ESPN? This is big. Ray is a local kid and this is our way to support him," Mr. Isdell said. "The mayor and Mr. Russell said they'll try to offset any costs we incur. They said they'll try and help us."

Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or tim.cox@augustachronicle.com.

WHAT'S NEXT

A special called Coliseum Authority meeting could be held this morning at James Brown Arena. Members might discuss the Aug. 1 boxing date.

Comments (38) Add comment
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Khaaaaaan
2
Points
Khaaaaaan 07/16/07 - 12:38 am
0
0
Good Lord people...grow the

Good Lord people...grow the **** up.

As It Is
2
Points
As It Is 07/16/07 - 01:20 am
0
0
Based on recent articles and

Based on recent articles and a local survey regarding our elected and appointed officials in Augusta 9 out of 10 have the education and demanor of an 8th grader. Our commissioners, board members, the arena authority, etc. are deplorable. We have a good mayor and a few good elected officials who are working hard for this community but unfortunately, so many others are bringing them down and hurting our entire community. A bunch of silly kids!!!!

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 07/16/07 - 04:18 am
0
0
The whole problem was about

The whole problem was about hurt feelings? Why are so many members necessary for the coliseum authority?

Da Voice Inside Your Head
7
Points
Da Voice Inside Your Head 07/16/07 - 05:05 am
0
0
The correct answer is why do

The correct answer is why do we need a Collesum Authority anyway? Let the Mayor and the Board of Idiots run it. They can't do much worse than this bunch of idiots. These people need to get a life. What we need is a through examination and cut out all these extra layers of government. The more idiots involved the worse it gets.

justus4
103
Points
justus4 07/16/07 - 06:34 am
0
0
There is more to this story
Unpublished

There is more to this story than is being printed. Another example of poor choice and insight by the ac.

redapples
660
Points
redapples 07/16/07 - 07:01 am
0
0
No wonder Augusta/Richmond

No wonder Augusta/Richmond County has so many issues among its residents. Look at the behavior of its "leaders." Mr. Usry, and other poor performing Augusta leaders, check yourself or check out of the position you hold! We don't need people like you in positions of any authority.

halffull
0
Points
halffull 07/16/07 - 07:33 am
0
0
Does every member of the

Does every member of the board feel like Jack. I thought the board was policy makers not day by day managers. If that were true nothing would ever get done, now we know. Come on Jack!!

The Godfather
43
Points
The Godfather 07/16/07 - 07:39 am
0
0
People in position to lead

People in position to lead should check their ego at the door.The coliseum authority should be reviewed and a group of citizens that have Augusta's best interest should be representing US!! Enough of the negativity--children. We should put the members on the undercard, pick numbers and let them have it out! The losers would be kicked off the board. This would sell a lot of tickets.Maybe we could get jumpin' joe and ol'marion on the ticket, too.

luckie
2
Points
luckie 07/16/07 - 07:42 am
0
0
Don't worry. Be happy. As the

Don't worry. Be happy. As the song goes. This is a big event for Augusta and all should be proud instead of acting like a bunch of cry babies. Mr. Usry - get over it and quit embarrassing Augusta. Anything our government has to make a decision on someone else has to blow it out of proportion. The Mayor gave the approval so no questions should be asked. And as an elected official you should maintain professionalism at all times. I know we have an undeducated group of leaders in many areas but they need to get the ghetto out of them and behave like they have some sense.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 07/16/07 - 08:00 am
0
0
Flash is doing a good job,

Flash is doing a good job, having a FIGHT at the Bell, there are better things to come under him. Keep up the good work Flash.

J.W.
2
Points
J.W. 07/16/07 - 08:14 am
0
0
Why do we have this Board

Why do we have this Board anyway? All they have ever done is act like little kids. The members are appointed by our elected officials which normally translates into a "payback" rather than the right person. As POGO said: We have met the enemy and he is us! Fire them all, dissolve the Board, let the manager do his job.

nowinna
1
Points
nowinna 07/16/07 - 08:51 am
0
0
Standby I'm trying to get

Standby I'm trying to get WOODY on the phone now ,he can get things moving in the right direction.
PS
WOODY is on the way!

kudzunroses
2
Points
kudzunroses 07/16/07 - 09:31 am
0
0
Way to go Mayor !!!!!!!I like

Way to go Mayor !!!!!!!I like your style.........the less mouths to run the more you can get done !!!!!!! Good Job.....mabe you can use this method again,in dealing with other mouthes that want to bog things down????..... Maybe the deal some people made with a certain unhappy mayoral canidate to make sure you looked bad at all cost will be thwarted.

kudzunroses
2
Points
kudzunroses 07/16/07 - 09:45 am
0
0
why can't we edit??? It that

why can't we edit??? It that feature really sooooo hrd to fix??

Evans Ga.
0
Points
Evans Ga. 07/16/07 - 09:51 am
0
0
No wonder Augusta is in the

No wonder Augusta is in the shape it is now. How embarrassing for the officals of the city to be fighting like a bunch of children. I'm proud to live in the CSRA, NOT!

TellTheLordThankYou
9
Points
TellTheLordThankYou 07/16/07 - 09:52 am
0
0
Remember too that we have a

Remember too that we have a world champion amongst us by the name of Paul Williams. He upset reigning champion Antonio Margarito for the welter weight crown this past weekend on HBO. Remember world class boxer Vernon Forrest? We have MAJOR professional atheletes here who I believe would love to have the home town advantage when they perform. Let's make win-win decisions that showcase them right here in Augusta. Augusta officials, remember too that there is now another local venues that can and will do just that.

Iceman
0
Points
Iceman 07/16/07 - 09:58 am
0
0
The solution is to dissolve

The solution is to dissolve the Coliseum Authority, which are just unqualified political appointees, and turn oversight over to the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Those are the folks who have a vested interest in promoting Augusta. The current system just allows the likes of Marion Williams to keep their finger in the pie through their proxy appointee. We know how well that works vis a vis the Commission don't we?

Iceman
0
Points
Iceman 07/16/07 - 09:58 am
0
0
n/a

onehotdog
0
Points
onehotdog 07/16/07 - 10:09 am
0
0
Jack Usry and Harry Moore

Jack Usry and Harry Moore should be put on the fight card for Augusta 1st.

misscj0123
1
Points
misscj0123 07/16/07 - 10:13 am
0
0
I agree onehotdog

I agree onehotdog

Native Augustan
12
Points
Native Augustan 07/16/07 - 10:39 am
0
0
I agree with

I agree with outsidelookingin, get rid of these Bozos and we can maybe sell the free tickets they hand out to friends and relatives to make some money down there. If you look at he AC you can see who appointed who. Apples do not fall far from the tree.

WarEagle
0
Points
WarEagle 07/16/07 - 11:11 am
0
0
i have had past dealings with

i have had past dealings with mr. moore and other members of the coliseum authority.....all are poor excuses of richmond county government.

CoastalDawg
125
Points
CoastalDawg 07/16/07 - 11:27 am
0
0
This is to those with "hurt"

This is to those with "hurt" feelings: is it more important to the community as a whole to make the deal with ESPN or to preserve your "feelings"? Think of all the POSITIVE publicity that will come out of this broadcast as compared to missing out because someone did not have the opportunity to call you within a time period set by the network for a decision. If you want to serve on an "authority" that serves the community as a whole is it not incumbent on YOU to remember that government is OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people? Put your own personal feelings aside or leave the group if this is one isolated incident. If there is a pattern of being left out of discussions such as this, try to resolve it like an adult, not as an add on to an extreme fighting card. In the end who actually benefits from the decision to go forward with the event? I would say that it is Augusta and the local fighters.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 07/16/07 - 01:02 pm
0
0
I most def will be watching

I most def will be watching the FIGHT...

coco rubio
53
Points
coco rubio 07/16/07 - 02:06 pm
0
0
a cage match among the

a cage match among the colesium authority board would be quite entertaining.......only one could win.......and then he/she would be asked to retire and maybe we could then do without this useless board......this is the only way to move forward.....best wishes to FLASH!!!!

misscj0123
1
Points
misscj0123 07/16/07 - 02:12 pm
0
0
Cage match? Sounds

Cage match? Sounds appropriate.

aikshop1
0
Points
aikshop1 07/16/07 - 02:22 pm
0
0
They need to have a fight at

They need to have a fight at the James Brown Arena in which the public can box city officials. I know two dozen I would like to punch in the face. Augusta the garbage city.

misscj0123
1
Points
misscj0123 07/16/07 - 02:23 pm
0
0
I think that a boxing match

I think that a boxing match shown on ESPN from Augusta is good publicity for our city. We need more big events in out city and we have to start somewhere. I am glad to see something positive.

NEone
6
Points
NEone 07/16/07 - 02:45 pm
0
0
I hope it's good publicity.

I hope it's good publicity. The way our "leaders" have been acting lately, it might be more embarrassing than anything. I heard on WGAC this morning that Marion Williams' stupidity with the hard drive has made it to the national news. Way to go.

misscj0123
1
Points
misscj0123 07/16/07 - 02:47 pm
0
0
omg...how did it make the

omg...how did it make the national news????

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