Free GSU Student Parking Available at Georgia Dome

The construction at the Georgia Dome this year will cause some notable parking changes for the upcoming football season. Everyone will be affected, but for Georgia State students, parking just got a little easier. The Brown Lot, which was popular among students for the previous four seasons, is no longer there. Thankfully for the student body of Georgia State, the Student Government Association (SGA) was able to step in and help.

It has teamed up with the athletic department to provide more than 150 FREE parking spots for students this season. These spots are located right across the street from Gate B of the Georgia Dome at the corner of Northside Drive and Magnolia Street.

“The last few years during election time we have heard the students want a more unified gameday atmosphere. We feel like this centralized tailgating area will help fulfill those needs,” SGA President Lanier Henson said.

The parking spots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, and students must have their Panther card with them. The lot will open four (4) hours before kickoff. For the games against Abilene Christian, Air Force, and Georgia Southern, Spotlight Programs Board and SGA will be teaming up to provide a tailgate party in the student lots. These parties will begin two (2) hours before kickoff.

The student parking lot was paid for through the Panther Pride Initiative Fund, which was created to help build school spirit.

“We were concerned with the Brown Lot closing that student parking costs could double. With this new lot, students don’t have to worry about that,” Henson said. “Free shuttles, free parking, free ticket – there is no longer an excuse (not to go).”

For more information about the 2014 football season, visit

–  Parker Hendricks, Assistant Director of Marketing


Posted in football, Georgia Dome, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Tailgating | Leave a comment

Inside Facilities: The Seasons Are Upon Us

Times are changing- Fall is here! Football, soccer, and volleyball seasons are upon us and we couldn’t be more excited. Grass is being mowed, lines are being painted, and court volleyball tape is being applied. Camps are underway and we are excited to have the student-athletes back in our facilities.

It’s been a long summer and it was nice to have some time off from hosting events. We’ve spent the past few months completing tasks to prepare our facilities for preseason practices and our first games. We have worked on painting, cleaning, and completing other small projects around the Sports Arena, Panthersville, and our football practice facility. As someone looking in from the outside, you might not realize all that goes into preparing a facility for competition. We take great pride in presenting our facilities the best way we can to fans, officials, and visiting teams. In addition to appearance, safety is another aspect that we pay close attention to when managing facilities and events. Anything that we notice that has the potential to create a safety issue is addressed ahead of time so there are no problems during the events.

We have sent out our Visiting Team Guides to every team that we will be hosting this fall. It is important for us to share all necessary information to all visiting teams so they are aware of all parking, locker room, local area restaurants, etc. Our goal is for this guide to answer all possible questions or concerns visiting teams may have.

Preparing for our upcoming football season has been a big focus recently. Since the area surrounding the Georgia Dome is under construction, there is a necessity for different entrances on game days. Changes in entrances create the need for new signage being placed both inside and outside the Dome, as well as a new internal operations strategy all together. We are doing our best to create the most effective strategy that works with our football team, fans, students, and staff.  Needless to say, we are eager to have the first CFB game under our belts.

Check back next month to see how the first few weeks of our fall seasons have unfolded.

See you at the game!

–Gina Knutson

Posted in Facilities, Georgia Dome, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Panther Walk, Panthersville, Sun Belt Conference | Leave a comment

Logos, Logos, Oh and a Few Other Things from Our Annual August All-Staff Meeting

Once a month on a Monday, the sports communications office will give a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on around its area and the department. Today’s look was actually from the Aug. 18, 2014, all-staff meeting held at Speaker’s Auditorium from 3-4:30 p.m. Here is a little of what was talked about:

It’s crazy how fast the summer goes but luckily we have a lot of great staff members who are on the ball, getting things prepped so we can make an easy transition into a new season. And in case you didn’t hear (and I’m not sure how you didn’t), it will also help ease the transition with our new leadership with Charlie Cobb taking over as athletic director. Most of the staff was able to get a few minutes with him on Friday after a potluck lunch that interim AD Bharath Parthasarathy set up, and which everyone greatly enjoyed.

All the great ideas and plans that were put in motion over the past several months (some even stretching back to last fall) were talked about Monday afternoon at our annual all-staff fall orientation meeting. The lineup included comments from Parthasarathy and GSU President Mark Becker, as well as many senior staff members. Some highlights:

  • Facilities: There will be a new van in the rotation for teams to use, which is a big boost as some of the older vans need a little love, let’s say. Being able to purchase and add this new van came partially from funding through the Women, Sports & Power Luncheon in the spring that supports women’s athletic teams. There were also potential designs for new facilities (most seen already on and some other updates as to potential improvements when funding becomes available.
  • PAC: The #PAC2K initiative is under way and off to a strong start. Membership was up 21 percent in 2013-14 with more than $2.17 million raised ($500,000 through annual giving). Some other great numbers are also available in the 2013-14 athletic department annual report, which highlights the successes of the past year.
  • Business Operations: There was also a lot of business office stuff that pertained to coaches travel, recruiting and other items like that. I will just say they are necessary procedures that we must go through, but don’t I think you’ll keep reading much more of this if I list them all out.
  • Communications: We rolled out a social media policy that helps give the athletic department more connection to and ownership of a team’s page(s), but does not change the way the teams communicate through social media.

And finally, let’s get to the meat of the meeting … or at least what you’re really still reading this for.

  • Licensing: Logos.

We had a committee that started meeting last winter to discuss logos on uniforms for all sports. We came to an agreement there were too many logos in use (and for more than just team uniforms), and many of them were not visually appealing or did not reproduce well.

What came out of the meetings in the spring was a recommendation to cut out the logos that had poor visual representation, add the full set of football helmet logos that are possible to use, and to officially add the Panther head as a logo for vendors to utilize. There were also a couple of redundant marks that were removed. And we added a white-only mark that can be used by our teams for practice gear to help save on screen printing costs.

Now, you’ll ask, “What will I see going forward?”

Great question. You will see that as soon as teams begin to buy new uniforms, the logos will fall into what we have on the new logo sheet.  It will NOT mean that we’re throwing out old uniforms this week and buying new ones just so every logo is updated. We do not have the financial ability to do that and that’d be wasteful. But, all coaches and staff are informed and on board with using only the newly approved logos for any new purchases going forward, whether it be next week, next month or next season.

The logo sheet was condensed from two pages to one, and several marks were removed for both internal (team) use as well as external vendors (product sales items, etc.).

The logo sheet was condensed from two pages to one, and several marks were removed for both internal (team) use as well as external vendors (product sales items, etc.).

Going forward from right now, vendors will only be able to produce items with logos on the new sheet, including the Panther head that we have heard many people really like (personally, I think it’s the best non-word mark we have).

Through our marketing and licensing areas (which are driving the whole logo cleanup both internally as well as externally), we will push the Georgia State primary and word mark as the main logos for uniforms going forward so fans home and away know our proper name. And we’ll also use Georgia State primary or word mark for printed materials as much as possible. There will still be a use for the GSU mark(s), but in a more limited capacity.

It’s a great start to hopefully a great year of Panther Athletics. I hope you’ll join us many times during the season at games and events. If you have any questions, always feel free to contact me at

–  Jerry Trickie, Associate AD for Strategic Communications/PR

Posted in Apparell, Communications, Facilities, football, Georgia Dome, Georgia State Athletics, Logos, Marketing, Panther Athletic Club (PAC), PantherVision, Social Media, Sports, Sun Belt Conference, Turner Field | 2 Comments

ICYMI: Georgia State Athletics in the News, Aug. 12-18

Each week on Monday, we take a quick look back at the past seven days to review some of the highlights of stories in the media for Georgia State student-athletes, coaches, administrators and, like you’ll see this week, occasionally our university leadership. Enjoy a few minutes today catching up on the headlines you might have missed during your lunchtime.

And always feel free to tweet us @GSUPanthers with headlines you’ve seen around the nation that highlight the Panthers. We’re all one big team, and the few of us here in 125 Decatur don’t always see every article, or hear every interview, that’s posted out there. If you think there’s something we’ve missed, shoot it our way.

  1. Atlanta Journal-Constitution – Georgia State Hires Charlie Cobb as Athletic Director
    Charlie Cobb is a builder. He wanted to be an architect when he enrolled at NC State, but football got in the way of afternoon labs. So, he majored in business administration and has been building prodcuts, not buildings, since.Read more
  1. Norwalk Reflector – Norwalk Grad Giving Away Shoes and Playing in Four-Game Exhibition Tour in Costa Rica
    The Georgia State men’s basketball team is on an eight-day trip in Costa Rica with three goals to accomplish. The first is to give away more than 5,000 shoes to needy children as part of coach Ron Hunter’s work with the charity Samaritan’s Feet. Read more
  1. College Football Playoff: Who’s In? Commercial

Check out the new college football playoff commercial that includes Georgia State in its first year at the FBS level (Panthers make an appearance around the 55-second mark. Read more



Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Costa Rica, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Men's Basketball, national stories, Samaritan's Feet | Leave a comment

Men’s Basketball in Costa Rica – Day 8 Photo Blog

Georgia State enjoyed its final day in Costa Rica on Thursday as the Panthers will fly back to Atlanta on Friday.

The team enjoyed one more day of team-bonding. Several members rented ATVs, while others sat by the pool. Several members of the staff went and hit the golf course.

I think everyone in the group would agree that it has been a great trip. The biggest thing to come out of it was being able to distribute shoes and hope to so many children. At the end of the day, it is a trip that no one will soon forget and we hope is the start of a great 2014-15 season.

Enjoy a few last images from Thursday. Atlanta, here we come!


Several members of the staff enjoyed a friendly round of golf in Los Suenos on Thursday.


Wildlife can be found everywhere in Costa Rica.


La Iguana Golf Club


Left to Right: Tyrone Burke, Ron Hunter, Claude Pardue, Mike Holmes and Darryl LaBarrie


Several members of the team enjoyed a hike down the beach.


Nate Summers led a crew on an ATV tour.


The team found a waterfall in the middle of their ATV tour.


Claude Pardue


R.J. Hunter


T.J. Shipes and Carter Cagle


The sun sets on the Panthers final night in Costa Rica.

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Costa Rica, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Men's Basketball | Leave a comment

Men’s Basketball in Costa Rica – Day 7 Photo Blog

Georgia State enjoyed its first full day of team bonding in Los Suenos on Wednesday. The team went to Jaco Beach, a small beach town that most of the locals from San Jose go to. The team enjoy some time in the surf, took ATV rides and did a little shopping.

Several members of the team also enjoyed another traditional Costa Rican meal before returning to the hotel for some team volleyball.

One more full day before the Panthers return to Atlanta.


The gorgeous view from the Panthers hotel in Los Suenos.


The team will spend Thursday with several more team-bonding activities in Los Suenos.


On the way to Jaco Beach


The waves were crashing at about 10-feet on Wednesday.


Rashaad Richardson


The team is never shy about posing for the camera.


The team enjoy about four hours at Jaco Beach on Wednesday.


Some members of the team talking with one of the locals about horseback riding.


Several members of the travel party enjoyed lunch at Restaurante Jaco Rustico on the beach in Jaco.

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Costa Rica, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Men's Basketball | Leave a comment

Inside Compliance: NCAA approval process for receiving a scholarship

Over the course of every month, each athletic unit will commonly be featured on our blog at least once. Today, we have a member of the Georgia State compliance staff to give InsideGSUSports an inside look at how things work in that area.  

To participate in Division I athletics or receive an athletics scholarship during the first year of college, a student-athlete must be approved by the NCAA in two separate regards: academically and with respects to his or her amateurism status.

Student-athletes qualify academically by fulfilling the requirements of the NCAA’s Division I Sliding Scale.  The scale weighs a student’s standardized test scores and high school core-course grade point average (GPA) in order to determine his or her preparedness for the academic rigors of college.  A lower test score necessitates a higher GPA and vice versa.  For example, a prospective student-athlete that earned a 2.2 GPA must score at least 940 on the SAT to achieve qualifier status, while a 3.0 GPA would require only a 620 SAT score for NCAA eligibility purposes.

Furthermore, all incoming student-athletes, including international students, must adhere to NCAA amateurism requirements in order to preserve their eligibility for intercollegiate athletics.  The NCAA certifies individuals as amateurs in their respective sports through an online registration process that must be completed by all future Division I college-bound student-athletes.  The process includes a questionnaire relating to the student’s amateur status.  For the staff at the NCAA to certify amateur status, incoming student-athletes must provide information related to, among other areas, the following pre-collegiate enrollment activities:

  • Contracts with professional teams
  • Salary for participating in athletics
  • Prize money
  • Play with professionals
  • Tryouts, practice or competition with a professional team
  • Benefits from an agent or prospective agent
  • Agreement to be represented by an agent
  • Delayed initial collegiate enrollment to participate in organized sports competition

The academic and amateurism certification processes can often be quite lengthy.  Prospective student-athletes must gather and submit transcripts (often from multiple institutions) and standardized test scores, and the NCAA staff must sift through thousands of academic records, documents and questionnaires in order to render an accurate determination of academic qualifier and amateurism status.  Because this process can sometimes take a significant amount of time, the NCAA instituted a grace period that allows incoming student-athletes to participate in practice activities while awaiting their certification to be processed.

Pursuant to Bylaw, a student-athlete who reports for athletics participation before his or her qualification status has been certified may practice, but not compete, for 45 days.  After the 45-day period, the student must have established the minimum requirements (as certified by the NCAA) to continue practicing or to compete and receive athletically-related financial aid.  Institutions are not permitted to provide athletically-related financial aid to the student during the 45-day temporary certification period.  However, student-athletes may receive room and board expenses incidental to athletics participation and may have pre-enrollment arrangements made to reserve classes prior to the beginning of the first day of classes.

– William Winter, Compliance Coordinator of Eligibility

Posted in Basketball, Compliance, football, iPad, iPhone, Men's Basketball, NCAA, NIT, Recruiting, Referrals, SAAC, Scholarships, Signing Day, Social Media, Sun Belt Conference, Women's Basketball | Leave a comment

Men’s Basketball in Costa Rica – Day 6 Photo Blog

Following four games in four days, the Georgia State men’s basketball team took a day off on Tuesday in Costa Rica for some fun and team building. The group went on a zip-line tour in the mountains at Colinas del Poas.

After the adventure, the group enjoyed a typical Costa Rican style lunch at Freddo Fresas (Freddie’s Strawberrys) before heading out to the Pacific Coast where the group will stay until heading home on Friday.

Enjoy today’s photo blog!


Freshman Carter Cagle got the day off to a perfect start with a great Hawaiian shirt.


The view on the way up the mountains to where the Panthers went zip-lining.


Getting prepared for the adventure.


Poas Canopy Tour


Head coach Ron Hunter getting ready. He wore helmet No. 22, his number in college and son R.J.’s jersey number now.


The Panthers are always up for a photo-op.


Kevin Ware led things off


T.J. Shipes


Head coach Ron Hunter getting strapped in.


Zip-lining selfie feature Jeff Diepenbrock, Mike Holmes, Tyrone Burke and Nate Summers.


Strawberry and water is a favorite drink in Costa Rica.


The Panthers ate a typical Costa Rican type meal that include a salad, rice, pork, chicken and fried fish.


Freddo Fresas

Posted in Costa Rica, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Men's Basketball | Leave a comment

Men’s Basketball in Costa Rica – Day 5 Photo Blog

The Georgia State men’s basketball team took part in its second shoe distribution with Samaritan’s Feet on Monday morning. The Panthers traveled to the town of Guarari, which is a “shanty town” inhabited mainly by immigrants from Nicaragua.

Georgia State will be back in action for its final game of the eight-day trip on Monday night, facing San Ramon at 10 p.m. ET.

Make sure to check out the photo blogs from the first four days of the trip as well.


The Panthers are delivering a lot more than just shoes to children in Costa Rica, they are also delivering hope.


The Panthers get ready for the distribution after a few words from the leader of the school.


Head coach Ron Hunter talks to the children before they receive shoes.


Ryann Green


Dexter Davis


Rashaad Richardson and Isaiah Dennis


Associate head coach Darryl LaBarrie


T.J. Shipes


Head coach Ron Hunter


Kevin Ware


The playground at the school where Georgia State did its shoe distribution on Monday morning.


Kevin Ware


The school where the Panthers distributed shoes with Samaritan’s Feet on Monday morning.


Jeff Thomas


Curtis Washington and his new friend show off his new pair of shoes.


Ryann Green


Georgia State traveled with 30 people to Costa Rica for the eight-day trip.


These “little” guys wanted a photo with the “big” basketball players.


R.J. Hunter


Assistant coach Everick Sullivan


Ryann Green


Ryann Green


One of the students showing off his latest homework assignment to the players.


Corey Tobin and Jeff Diepenbrock


Jalen Brown


The Panthers were able to leave some extra shoes for another group of children that were going to come in during the afternoon.


Some of the players interacted with kids on the playground before returning to San Jose.


One of the “shanty towns” just outside the school


Another of the “shanty towns” just outside the school


The ladies on the trip got a chance to pose with the littlest children in attendance on Monday.

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Costa Rica, InsideGSUSports, Men's Basketball, Samaritan's Feet | Leave a comment

ICYMI: Georgia State Athletics in the News, Aug. 4-11

Each week on Monday, we take a quick look back at the past seven days to review some of the highlights of stories in the media for Georgia State student-athletes, coaches, administrators and, like you’ll see this week, occasionally our university leadership. Enjoy a few minutes today catching up on the headlines you might have missed during your lunchtime.

And always feel free to tweet us @GSUPanthers with headlines you’ve seen around the nation that highlight the Panthers. We’re all one big team, and the few of us here in 125 Decatur don’t always see every article, or hear every interview, that’s posted out there. If you think there’s something we’ve missed, shoot it our way.

  1. Atlanta All Day – R.J. Hunter projected as an NBA first-round pick
    It’s football season, no question, but with the high level of play on the basketball court last year, Georgia State is getting it’s fair share of off-season press. And with the play of R.J. Hunter this summer around the country, he’s getting some great individual pub, like this one saying he could have some serious things to consider next spring. Read more
  2. CBS Sports Radio – Kevin Ware: ‘Taking Something You Love Away From You’
    Few people can understand what NBA star Paul George was going through after a horrible injury when he broke his leg two weeks ago. Georgia State’s Kevin Ware, however, may be the best person in the world to relate to George. Read more
  3. New York Times – 99-Page Ruling in O’Bannon Case is Missing Something: Clarity
    There are a lot of changes going on in college athletics at the highest levels right now — and a lot of uncertainty. Georgia State president Mark Becker was quoted for a NYT article on the O’Bannon case and it’s ramifications for universities and student-athletes.  Read more
  4. Atlanta Journal-Constitution – Benson says Sun Belt will move forward in wake of “Power Five” Change
    On a more local level, the Sun Belt Conference still needs to determine what some of the NCAA changes — whether choices of its own or mandated from courts — will mean in the future. AJC reporter Doug Roberson had the info from the NCAA’s changes for the Power 5 regarding autonomy.  Read more
  5. Atlanta Journal-Constitution – Defense shines in scrimmage
    We’d like to say it’s still early, but is it? The football season starts in 16 days, on Aug. 27. Check out how the team is progressing through about 10 days of practice, and then come see us at the Dome.  Read more
Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, football, Georgia Dome, Georgia State Athletics, leadership, Men's Basketball, national stories, NCAA, Paul George, Sun Belt Conference, Trent Miles, Turner Field | Leave a comment