When the Georgia Bulldogs begin their 2020 college football season, there will be a noticeable absence from the sidelines.
According to the Athens Banner-Herald, Georgia mascot Uga X will not be on the sidelines for football games. Speaking to the publication, Uga X’s owner and handler Charles Seiler explained that the SEC and NCAA are only allowing “essential” personnel on the sidelines for games.
“It’s my understanding the SEC and NCAA consider the field a ‘bubble,’ and the only people allowed in the bubble are essential,” Seiler said. “As of now, no dog on the field. The whole idea is to have not people to congregate and if you know anything about the dog he’s kind of a magnet and he draws people and they’re trying to avoid that.”
Uga X’s absence will mark the first time since 2009 that the Georgia live mascot won’t be on the sideline for a game. And that was only due to Uga VII passing away two days earlier.
'As of now, no dog on the field': UGA football mascot won't be at games amid COVID-19 https://t.co/vMDyv2VH3m
— Athens Banner-Herald (@onlineathens) September 9, 2020
But while the beloved Bulldog won’t be led around on his leash and enjoying the game in-person (or in-dog), he might still be a part of gameday.
Seiler said that Uga X may be a virtual participant thanks to the magic of Zoom or the like.
“I have a feeling that as the season rolls around, typically the networks figure out what games are happening and what they want and do they need some color or some filler,” Seiler said. “If we’re not in Athens, we’ll do it virtually or Zoom.”
It was already going to be an unusual season for Georgia football. But this is really going to twist the knife for some fans.