Georgia Regents University Criticized for Altering Photos
ATLANTA (AP) — “Augusta State” was removed from photos of golfers and other athletes in a marketing publication to promote a new school created when Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences University merged.
Officials at the new school, Georgia Regents University, said Thursday the altered photos were an “error in judgment.”
One of the altered photos showed Augusta State golfers when they won the NCAA Division I men’s championship in 2011, but the athletes appear in plain blue golf shirts and white visors. The school name and logos had been erased.
The Augusta Chronicle first reported the existence of the photos.
“It makes me mad that they want to use us to show that we won back-to-back national championships but not who we played for,” Carter Newman, a player on the championship golf team, told the newspaper.
“They’re taking advantage of us,” Newman said. “That’s something we worked for. We represented Augusta.”
Another photo showed basketball players celebrating their NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Tournament championship in 2010. The numbers on the jerseys are still there, but the school’s name across their chests was missing.
Ben Madgen, the all-time leading scorer in Augusta State basketball history, told the newspaper that “to see those photos of great memories be photoshopped to promote another school is really heart-breaking.”
About 5,000 copies of the publication were printed during an initial press run, school spokeswoman Christen Carter said. They were sent to high school guidance counselors, parents and other people throughout the state, she said.
Carter said it was not the school’s intention “to take away from the accomplishments of the athletic teams nor the players who played for those teams.”
In January, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved the merger of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences. Some alumni and community members criticized the name choice Georgia Regents University because they wanted Augusta to be part of the new name.
The teams are continuing to compete as the Augusta State Jaguars through this year before the Georgia Regents name takes effect for athletic programs.
The 12-page publication with the altered photos was produced by the school’s division of enrollment management in conjunction with an outside agency based in North Carolina, Carter said. She declined to name the agency, which partners with the school on marketing efforts.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.