Inside PantherVision: From One Season to Another

On the fourth Wednesday of every month, a member of the PantherVision staff will give a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on around its area and the department. Over the course of every month, each department will be featured at least once. Coming next Monday: Academics

Hello Panther Family! I must say it has been a hectic month since we last talked, but I hope that you have enjoyed all of the latest video footage on As I mentioned in my last blog, this is my first year at Georgia State, so I am getting to see first-hand how certain sport-seasons overlap and the challenges (and rewards) that come from each.

Our fall sports are all in conference season and looking for Sun Belt championships. It is excited to be working with those teams and having the opportunity to watch them improve over the course of the year. Hopefully some (or all) of them can bring home conference championships and make NCAA tournament appearances. I am also starting to work with the women’s basketball team and making preparations for everything that we will show off to our fans in the coming weeks.

What does that all mean right now…a lot of overlap and time management. We have had several days with multiple events and we hope that you have been able to follow along at all of them.

This will be my first season working with the women’s basketball team and I look forward to seeing what it entails. Coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener has a great group of young women who I think are going to have a great season. I know some of you may wonder what kind of preparation goes into making these games such an excellent experience for you from a video content side. Believe it or not, it’s a lot, but these are the challenges that make my job fun.

It begins with quite a few meetings to go over the design elements we want and what type of elements we are going to include during the season. Wade Johnston and I started developing elements for both basketball programs more than a month ago so that a unique look could be created for each team.

We do all this while making sure we keep our fans up to date with all the current sports in a small time frame. As teams enter conference championships, we want to make sure we can give our fans as much behind-the-scenes content as possible. We also need to continue wrapping up design content for basketball and move into shooting and editing intro and promo videos.

In just the last few weeks, we have already shot head shots and promotional pieces for women’s basketball and will look to finish up shooting and editing of the intro video in the coming days.

I chose to write about this because I know some people love what we do and always wonder what takes to make it happen. We have a lot in store for our basketball fans this winter and hope that when you come out to the Sports Arena, you keep your eyes on the court (and video board of course) as you just never know the surprises we will show you.

Thanks for reading and I will talk you this time next month!

–Sherik Hodge

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Gameday, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, NCAA, PantherVision, Women's Basketball | Leave a comment

GS vs. GSU: One Letter Means A Lot

I’m going on a limb here and making a bold statement right off the bat: this is a big week for GSU athletics.

Ok, so it’s not that bold considering the huge schedule we have ahead, but it’s a true statement for sure. (What, did you think I’d actually give you a prediction for a game? Come on, man! We can’t do that. NCAA rules, you know.)

Anyway, the home games start Tuesday and continue through Sunday: men’s soccer (twice), women’s soccer (twice), volleyball, a basketball event, and, oh yeah, that one game in the Georgia Dome. That last one is going to take up most of the talk, and rightfully so as we have a projected crowd of about 20,000 heading to our home field.

Considering who we are playing in football, for some (both fans and media alike), talking about the game could be confusing. Georgia Southern University versus Georgia State University. Some may want to say GSU vs. GSU but that’s not the case and we want to dispel any thoughts of it right now.

Georgia State is GSU.

The Panthers, located in downtown Atlanta, are the GSU in the state of Georgia. As our Athletic Director Charlie Cobb likes to point out, our email address is so we must be the ones who have the right to use it. And our university’s primary website is, too.

Georgia Southern is GS.

The Eagles, located in Statesboro, Ga., have chosen to go by GS. As one fan recently pointed out (and we’ll let you assume he was a GSU fan), Georgia Southern has gone so far as to include it in its university identification standards guide that the “abbreviation “GSU” MUST NOT be used in publications, ads, Web sites [sic], or other media;”.

I believe, and we all do here in the athletic department, that we need to continue to strengthen the Georgia State brand. When we can use the words Georgia State, we should. But when we use an abbreviation, we are going to do so smartly and in accordance with who we are. That will become more pronounced as we move forward and continue what we expect will be a good rivalry series across all sports with our friends down the road.

We cannot control what others put out, but we can control what we provide. So on Saturday, you will see GS vs. GSU on the scoreboard in the Georgia Dome.

We will also ask the media to use GSU if they cannot spell out all of Georgia State. We cannot control what they use, but like our logo, which we have asked – and continue to ask – to only use the blue/white versions, we will try to remind media as we go.

To make it easy internally, we have made a standard guide for abbreviations for all conference teams that we will use (note: the conference office does not provide this; it’s left up to a school to choose how it refers to any other team). That list looks like this:

Arkansas State = A-ST
Appalachian State = APP
Georgia State = GSU
Georgia Southern = GS
UL Lafayette = ULL
UL Monroe = ULM
South Alabama = USA
Troy = TROY
UT Arlington = UTA
Texas State = TXST

That’s just a little insight in the communications office for this month. As always, if you have a question about anything, feel free to shoot me a note at or catch me at the Dome on Saturday working in the GSU press box.

Jerry Trickie
Associate AD/Communications


Posted in academics, Apparell, Basketball, Bleed Blue Rewards, BlueMan, Charlie Cobb, Communications, Digital advertising, Digital app, ESPN, Facilities, football, Gameday, Gear, Georgia Dome, Georgia State Athletics, leadership, Marketing, Men's Basketball, Recruiting, Social Media, Sports, Student-Athlete, Sun Belt Conference, Tailgating | 10 Comments

ICYMI: Georgia State Athletics in the News, Oct. 14-20

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.

NBC Sports – 2014-2015 Season Preview: Mid-Major Power Rankings

The Panthers back court is absolutely loaded. Ryan Harrow, R.J. Hunter and Kevin Ware are as talented as any group of guards that you’ll find at the Division I level. There should be no drop-off from last season’s team, the one that went 17-1 in Sun Belt play, particularly if Ron Hunter can find someone to help Curtis Washington on the interior. Read more

Fox Sports – Reid Forgrave’s Top 25; Georgia State Just Outside Top 25
Ron Hunter’s team might boast a top-five backcourt: his son, sharp-shooting NBA prospect R.J. Hunter, is joined by Ryan Harrow – the Kentucky transfer who scored 17.8 points per game last season – as well as former Louisville guard Kevin Ware, whose famous leg is now healthy. The Panthers ought to win the Sun Belt and could make a run in March, when good guard play dominates. Read more

Sports Illustrated – How Lefty Driesell started Midnight Madness with a midnight run in 1971
Did you know Midnight Madness started with a midnight run? It’s true. Happened on Oct. 15, 1971. Byrd Stadium, University of Maryland, College Park. At three minutes after midnight (to make sure they were not starting too early in violation of NCAA rules), the members of the school’s basketball team began a mandatory one-mile run on the track. Read more - Season preview: CHD interviews Georgia State RJ Hunter
To prepare for the tip-off of another great year of college basketball, CHD is reaching out to coaches and players around the country to get the inside scoop on what we can expect this time around. Jon Teitel continues our season preview series by chatting with Georgia State SG RJ Hunter about making 12 3-point shots in a game last season. Read more – First Person: Georgia State’s Wil Lutz
Here’s something I did earlier this week with Georgia State placekicker Wil Lutz. It’s a first-person look at what Lutz sees when he kicks field goals. It’s about four minutes and shows his view as he kicks field goals from various spots on the field.  Read more

–Mike Holmes

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

Gameday Poll: Which Remaining Road Game Are You Most Interested?

It’s Gameday! Georgia State returns to the road to face South Alabama for the fourth time in the five-year history of the program on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN3. If you can’t make the trip to Mobile, Ala., we hope that you will watch or listen to the call on 1340 The Fan 3.

Thank you to all who have been voting in our Gameday Polls and if this is your first time voting, we hope that you will come back to our blog and vote during every game.

The first half of the season has seen the Panthers play four of six games at home. The second half of the season will reverse that starting tonight as Georgia State will play four of its final six games on the road.

Our Gameday Poll takes a look at those four remaining road games: Which Remaining Road Game Are You Most Interested In?

Thanks for voting and hope to see you in the Georgia Dome next weekend as the Panthers take on in-state foe Georgia Southern.

–Mike Holmes

Posted in football, Gameday, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Sun Belt Conference | Leave a comment

From One Family to Another

After graduating from Georgia State, former football player Kam Cheatham took to the road again, this time with a different group of teammates. Following his return to campus for Homecoming last weekend, he put pen to paper (digitally of course) and sent along some photos to talk about his new family. 

As I finished up my high school career at Louisville Male High School, I had no idea where life would take me much less where I wanted it to take me.  Then began the rollercoaster ride of finding the right fit for me collegiately.   My family has been diehard Kentucky fans my entire life and to say we know all about Bill Curry is an understatement.  As soon as I found out he was returning to coaching at Georgia State, I knew that was the place for me.  So I packed my bags and headed to Atlanta.  Georgia State was not only the best place for me, it was the place I had dreamed of.  Playing for the Panthers was a dream come true and a blessing I could have never imagined.  I met some lifelong friends and learned so much about who I am along the way.

Fast forward a few years and as with most people who attend college, we are faced with another huge decision, only this time its not where to go to school but what to do with the rest of our lives!  While I was in college my older brother had gotten a job with Kenny Chesney and had moved on to George Strait and Taylor Swift.  I didn’t know where I wanted to be or what I wanted to do, but the allure of traveling not only the country but the world and working in such a rewarding industry immediately caught my attention. Upon graduation a job had just opened up within the Taylor Swift Merchandise Department, and it just so happened that I knew someone who could help get my foot in the door.  Being on the Red Tour took me to places I could only imagine from stadium shows in New York to the Fargo Dome to Los Angeles, from Winnipeg, Canada to stadium shows in Sydney, Australia.  Some people complain about the long hours we work on the road or the travel, but I am cherishing every moment and every sight I get to see from Mt. Rushmore to the Sydney Opera House.

While on the Red Tour one of the opening acts was Brett Eldredge. As luck would have it he was looking for a Merchandise Manager shortly following the end of the Red Tour, and because of relationships forged on the road I was offered the position.  Working with Brett has been a blessing, everyday is different than the next and we have so much fun traveling – from salmon fishing in Alaska, to feeding giraffes in Philadelphia, to a show on the beach in Florida.  I’m often asked what my job is like or if I ever get to do anything cool on the road, and I can say without hesitation, Yes!  Brett recently was rewarded with his second No. 1 single, “Beat of the Music.”  When it went No. 1, we celebrated all night with Brett and the touring family. It was truly an experience I will never forget; it’s the same feeling you get when you win the big game.  The reason I loved football so much is the reason why I love touring…FAMILY.  On the road we become extremely close with those we are with and it creates an atmosphere that is unique to the career I have chosen.

Everyone says, “It’s not what you know it’s who you know,”  which is true, but I believe it is also extremely dependent on your values as a person and the person you are. You can easily know the right people, but if you can,t convince them you can do the job, they won’t even consider you.  Georgia State University, the Panther Football Team, and Coach Curry helped mold not only my values but who I am as a person and prepared me for this amazingly exciting career, and as such, I will always be a Georgia State Panther!

–Kam Cheatham


Salmon finishing in Alaska


Mount Rushmore


Hanging out with his parents and Brett Eldredge


Feeding giraffes at the Philadelphia Zoo


Traveling with his brother in Australia


His tour family

Posted in Brett Eldredge, football, Georgia State Athletics, Homecoming, InsideGSUSports | 1 Comment

Inside Operations: Getting the Grass Green

On the third Wednesday of every month (pushed back a day this month), a member of the Facilities and Operations staff will give a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on around its area and the department. Over the course of every month, each department will be featured at least once. Coming next Monday: Communications


Cooler temperatures signal time to transition to rye grass.  Our fields are Twifway 419 Bermuda, which is a “warm season grass” that thrives during Atlanta summers, but slows as temperatures drop and goes dormant during winter.   For playability and aesthetics we overseed with rye grass, which is a “cool season grass” that thrives when the Bermuda declines but struggles in the heat.  Overseeding occurs between the second week in September and the second week in October.  Once the low temperature drops below 60, we look at the ten day forecast and make sure the high isn’t going to get above 80.  We like to schedule around rain to help keep the seed moist and save on irrigation water.

We overseed baseball and softball different than football and soccer.  For baseball and softball we use a blend of Perennial Rye grass at a rate 650 lb per acre.  This gives us good strong coverage and aesthetics late into the season.  This year we need the rye to last two weeks longer than last year as we end the season with a big home series against Georgia Southern.  Last season we were on the road the last two weekends.  For soccer and football we use Annual Rye grass at 300 lb per acre.  The lesser rate gives the color we need but allows for a quicker transition back to Bermuda.  The Annual Rye is a lighter shade of green but can be seeded at cooler temperatures. We let the teams play most of their seasons on Bermuda.  Especially for soccer, rye grass is a slicker surface and plays different than Bermuda.  We overseed at the end of October so we have color for late season games.  The Annual Rye dies off quickly in the heat.  Football and soccer end spring practice in mid-April, so the Annual Rye dies soon after allowing for maximum time for the Bermuda to heal.

The key to seeding is “seed to soil contact”.  This is difficult because the Bermuda is tight and it’s hard to get seed down past the canopy and thatch.  For baseball and softball we lower the height of cut from 5/8” to ½” and then drive a drag across the grass to stand it up and allow the seed to get past the canopy.  The lower height of cut causes some scalping and discoloring but the benefit is worth getting the seed into the soil.  We use a drop spreader for the borders and broadcast spreader for the rest of the field.  We spread in three directions to get even coverage.  Since we are seeding in the middle of football and soccer season we don’t lower the height of cut so we rely on the teams “cleating” the seed into the soil during practice and games.

This year we had germination in two days and after four days we had seedlings standing up everywhere.  We resumed mowing at 5/8” a week after seeding.  Once the Bermuda starts to brown out (November) we raise the height of cut to ¾” to help hide the dormant grass.  When the Bermuda regains color (March) we will go back to 5/8” to allow the Bermuda to get sunlight and start growing.  After the season we spray out the Perennial Rye, this helps to eliminate the competition for the Bermuda.  The process of transitioning to rye is time consuming and stressful but it’s an exciting time for the crew.  Rye grass “strips” better than Bermuda and allows us to be creative with mowing patterns.  Safety and playability is our top priority but mowing patterns allow us to put our own unique signature on the field and is something the crew takes pride in.  In a later blog we will explain the process of mowing patterns.

See you at the game!

-Kyle Slaton, CSFM
Director of Sports Turf and Grounds


Posted in Baseball, Facilities, football, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Men's Soccer, Panthersville, Soccer, Softball | Leave a comment

Olivova Competes at International Level

Junior Sara Olivova is coming off a spring season in which she posted a 23-9 record for Georgia State’s sand volleyball team with partner Jansen Button. She was also selected to compete for Czech Republic at the CEV U22 European Beach Volleyball Championship in September. The event, held in Fethiye, Turkey, lasted four days and featured 32 pairs from all over Europe including France, Italy, Russia, Norway, Sweden and Austria. Olivova and her partner, Marketa Bendikova, were one of two teams from Czech Republic.


Olivova (right) and her partner arrive in Turkey for the CEV U22 Euro Championships. To get there, Olivova flew from Atlanta to Paris where she missed her connecting flight. From Paris, she took a plane to Czech Republic where she met up with Bendikova to train. Olivova’s luggage took almost four days before it finally found its way to Prague.


The participating teams all stayed at a resort during the competition. Olivova and Bendikova took a break away from the sand courts to enjoy some waves at the real beach.


One of the views from the resorts that competitors were housed at during the competition. Olivova said that the resort would serve Turkish food, but would also have options for less daring players.


Fethiye, Turkey, the host of the tournament, is on the southern coast of Turkey and sits on the Mediterranean Sea.

For the full story, read here.

Posted in Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, volleyball | Leave a comment

ICYMI: GSU Athletics Headlines from Oct. 13-19

Each week on Monday, we take a quick look back at the past seven days to highlight stories in the media for Georgia State student-athletes, coaches, administrators and more. 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. – Top Non-Conference Games to Watch (Men’s Basketball)
Terrence Payne goes in depth on the top 15 non-conference basketball games to watch this season, and then adds another 10 to set the DVR so you don’t miss it. Find out where the Panthers lie in his mind. Click here to read more – Preseason Sun Belt All-Conference Teams (Men’s Basketball)
The staff on this sports site came up with its preseason all-conference picks and we like the way they think. There were three Panthers on the first team, but one of them may surprise you. Click here to read more – Midseason Award Watch List Announced
Junior tight end Joel Ruiz was among the 31 players named to the John Mackey Award Watch List on Monday, becoming the first Panther to be named to a major FBS award watch list. He’s among the top receiving tight ends in the nation. Click here to read more


Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, ESPN, Facilities, Gameday, Georgia State Athletics, Kevin Ware, Men's Basketball, NCAA, NFL, Samaritan's Feet, Sun Belt Conference, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Inside Ticketing: Basketball Ticket Scanning

On the second Monday of every month, a member of the Ticket staff will give a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on around its area and the department. Over the course of every month, each department will be featured at least once. Coming next Wednesday: Operations

New for the 2014-15 men’s and women’s basketball seasons all tickets will be scanned upon entry to the Sports Arena. This will improve security at the Sports Arena by authenticating all barcoded tickets, including print-at-home and mobile tickets.

Fans who need their ticket(s) reprinted can visit the Sports Arena Box Office which opens two hours prior to tipoff. All reprints will be free of charge.

Georgia State students will gain entry via their PantherCard.

Children 2 years of age and under may enter without a ticket. A child who enters without a ticket must sit in a guardian’s lap, and may not interfere with the sightlines of other guests.

Fans wishing to sit in the lower reserved section are encourage to purchase season tickets. We are anticipating a sellout of the lower reserved section before the season begins as we are now less than 100 tickets from a lower reserved sell-out. To purchase season tickets call 866-GA-STATE or click here.

–Tyler Wilcher

Posted in Basketball, Basketball News, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports, Marketing, Tickets | Leave a comment

Gameday Poll: Who Will Score the First Touchdown?

It’s Gameday! Georgia State returns home to face Arkansas State in the annual Homecoming Game. There will be many extra activities going on around the game today and we hope that you will make it out to the Georgia Dome for the 2 p.m. kick.

Thank you to all who have been voting in our Gameday Polls and if this is your first time voting, we hope that you will come back to our blog and vote during every game (and visit during the week as well).

We hope our Panthers score a lot of touchdowns this week (as we do every week). For this week’s question we ask who will score the first touchdown of the game?

Quarterback Nick Arbuckle has been distributing the ball to a lot of really good receivers, but he has also rushed for two touchdowns this year. Lynquez Blair, Joel Ruiz and Donovan Harden are among the many receivers who have stepped up this year, while Marcus Caffey ran for three touchdowns in just his first game as a running back last week. It’s great to have so many weapons on offense!

We hope that you will vote, tell your friends to vote and then show up in the Georgia Dome again in two weeks as the Panthers take on Georgia Southern. And a reminder that next Saturday’s game against South Alabama will air live at 7:30 p.m. ET from Mobile.

–Mike Holmes

Posted in football, Gameday, Georgia Dome, Georgia State Athletics, InsideGSUSports | 1 Comment