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Names In The Game

March 23, 1996

ATLANTA (AP) _ A new drawing of the University of Georgia mascot is designed to attract younger buyers of licensed products, its designers say. And traditionalists shouldn’t worry: It won’t bump the old bulldog out of the spotlight he’s occupied for more than 30 years.

The Georgia athletic association ``is trying to generate new royalty revenues,″ said Kit Walsh, retail marketing director for Collegiate Licensing Co., which acts as middleman between the school and manufacturers.

``By having additional logos, they’ve got something new to work with, something that consumers can find new, appealing and fresh,″ he said Friday.

Although it doesn’t look as menacing as the old bulldog, the new one isn’t intended to be kinder and gentler.

He ``is supposed to be a determined, proud and strong bulldog, but not out of control emotionally,″ said Ed O’Hara, a partner with Sean Michael Edwards, the New York design firm that designed the new logo. ``The logo for the (NHL’s) Florida Panthers is in your face, it wants to rip your heart out. This one is controlled.″

Walsh said the new dog is for kids who care more for fashion than won-lost records. Cory Moss, Collegiate Licensing’s Georgia representative, said sales for Georgia merchandise bearing the old logo were down, but just slightly. He declined to release figures.

The new bulldog is done in red and gray. His cap has an oval ``G,″ similar to those on the football team’s helmets.

The old bulldog dates from the early 1960s. And this is the first change since the middle of that decade, the school said.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Maybe it was the rippled physique, maybe it was the risque pose. But a pinup poster of West Coast bodybuilder Rhonda Jorgenson has been an inspiration to the West High boys soccer team.

The Runnin’ Rebels had won only two games in five years before coach David Gohn sent them to the weight room for some offseason conditioning last year.

There they found a thong-clad Rhonda gripping a weight bar on the flip side of a two-page ``Flex″ magazine foldout.

Slowly, Rhonda became part of the team. They started calling their workouts ``Rhondas.″ They used to end each practice with a simultaneous shout, ``1-2-3-Pride.″ Now they added, ``1-2-3-Rhonda.″

Then they took it out onto the playing field.

``Nobody in the stands _ the very few that we had _ knew who Rhonda was. Mommas and daddies didn’t know who Rhonda was or what it was about,″ Gohn said. ``But they started yelling, `Put Rhonda in’ and `Go Rhonda.‴

And before long, the Runnin’ Rebels were 9-0. ``And we kept winning,″ Gohn said.

The Runnin’ Rebs finished the season 13-4, strengthened by the weight-training and united by what started as a team secret. So far this season they’re 3-0-1.

And on Friday, they met Rhonda Jorgenson in person. She came to the 1,400-student campus at the invitation of the team and on the tab of Flex. She was honored by school and local officials and feted at that night’s game.

``It is amazing,″ Jorgenson said. ``I am overwhelmed. It is a little bit more like a dream to me. I have competed and I have posed all over the world, but this, like, tops it.″

The 5-foot-3 Jorgenson, newly married and recently retired from bodybuilding at 30, said she doesn’t know much about soccer. But the financial planner from Irvine, Calif., delights in being a role model.

``If one sport can transcend into another sport _ in terms of making their record better or getting them as a team or individually inspired _ then I am all for it.″


FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ Nolan Ryan was ejected for apparently only the second time in his career Friday night when an umpire gave him the heave-ho for protesting a called strike in the ninth inning of the Rice-Texas Christian game.

The former major league star, now a pitching coach for TCU, complained from the dugout in the ninth inning when Tim Henderson called a strike on Ryan Dunn on a pitch that appeared to be outside.

The entire TCU dugout began yelling, but Henderson singled Ryan out for ejection. Ryan walked to the plate with TCU manager Lance Brown and told Henderson he needed to be more consistent.

Trailing 8-7, the Horned Frogs then rallied to tie the game and beat Rice 9-8 on a bases-loaded walk in the 10th.

In his 27-year major league career, Ryan said after the game, he could remember being ejected only once. He said he couldn’t remember the details of that one.

Ryan’s son, Reese, is a pitcher for the Horned Frogs.


BALTIMORE (AP) _ President Clinton will throw out the first ball at Camden Yards on April 1 when the Baltimore Orioles open the season against Kansas City.

The visit will be the president’s third to Camden Yards and his second to the pitcher’s mound.

The left-hander threw out the first ball in 1993 and was in the stands when shortstop Cal Ripken played in his 2,131st consecutive game last year, breaking Lou Gehrig’s record.

It will be the 13th time a U.S. president has attended an Orioles game. The team is 5-7 with a president attending.


ERIE, Pa. (AP) _ Nostalgic for his days as a college basketball coach, Rollie Massimino spent Friday at Division II Gannon University to interview for the opening.

``It’s just very preliminary,″ said Massimino of his talks with the school’s administration on Thursday.

Gannon spokesman Bob Shreve confirmed Friday that Massimino was the first candidate to interview for the coach’s job.

``Our intentions are to bring in other candidates after him,″ Shreve said.

Massimino won a national title in 1985 at Villanova and also coached at UNLV.

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