Back in April of this year, we told you about the logic-defying move of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that took life-long sportswriter Chip Towers off of the University of Georgia beat and out of sports entirely. Well change has again happened and Chip is back in sports.
Sports Department gives an enthusiastic press-box thumbs up
before the Oklahoma State - University of Georgia football
game in September 2007.
Photograph Copyright 2007-2009 by Eye on Sports Media/
The Cayuga Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Here is a what happened last April:
The University of Georgia is located in Athens, Georgia. During peak traffic times, it can take anything from 2-3 hours to get from downtown Atlanta to Athens. Tim Tucker lives and works from Atlanta. Chip Towers lives and works from Bogart, GA, which is just outside of Athens. He has been covering the Georgia beat for 12 years or so (I forget exactly when he left the Athens Banner-Herald to head to the AJC).
So what does Ms. Wallace do? Among other head scratching reassignments, she cuts the UGA beat to one reporter, giving the beat to Tim Tucker (who covered the beat with Towers) moves Chip to "General Assignment Online."
This means if a big story breaks in Atlanta, Towers will have to haul arse down to Atlanta to cover it even though Tim Tucker lives and works there. And when news breaks out at the University of Georgia Athletic Association (which happens a lot), Tucker will have at haul arse over to Athens to cover that. This, of course, is in addition to having to drive both ways to cover Georgia football and basketball games, even though Chip is "write" here.
Well the change was short lived. I ran into Chip and his lovely wife outside the historic Morton Theater here in Athens this past Saturday night, and confirmed that he is indeed back in sports. After a few months of covering breaking stories here in Athens, including his outstanding coverage of the triple-murder plus suicide over at the Town and Gown Theater group, Chip is now the recruiting blogger at the AJC.
The change is effective as of last Monday, and it is now his full-time job. Chip said he will not be at many games during the season, as his efforts will be focused on the recruiting trail for all of the major sports at UGA, Georgia Tech, and colleges nationwide.
As I told him Saturday, maybe he will become the Phil Steele of the South.
Great to see you back where you belong Chip!