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SEC NOTEBOOK: UGA mascot diagnosed with lymphoma; Bulldogs OL Sturdivant returning; Bama gives Bainbridge's Smart raise, new contract but lose four stars to NFL

Photo by John Bazemore

Photo by John Bazemore

ATHENS -- Georgia mascot Uga VIII has a more serious medical condition than first believed.

The school said Friday that the white English bulldog has been diagnosed with lymphoma, but is responding well to treatment. The dog took over as the team's mascot for Georgia's Oct. 16 game against Vanderbilt.

Uga VIII is expected to continue appearances at athletic events as his health allows.

He missed Georgia's Liberty Bowl loss to Central Florida with what was believed to be a gastrointestinal condition. Further tests revealed the more serious condition.

Georgia says Russ, Uga VII's half brother who filled in as mascot in 2009 and early in 2010, would again fill in for Uga VIII when necessary.

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STRUDIVANT DECIDES NOT TO TURN PRO, WILL RETURN TO UGA:

ATHENS -- Georgia offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant said Friday he will return for his senior season and won't enter the NFL Draft.

Sturdivant started as a true freshman in 2007 and was regarded as Georgia's rising star on the offensive line before he missed the 2008 and 2009 seasons with knee injuries. He returned to win a starting job in the second half of the 2010 season.

Sturdivant says he wants to help Georgia become a contender again after a 6-7 finish this season.

He says he also believes he can improve his draft status by playing his senior season.

Other Georgia juniors, including receiver A.J. Green and outside linebacker Justin Houston, could enter the draft.

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TIDE SHOW BAINBRIDGE'S SMART THE MONEY:

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama gave defensive coordinator and Bainbridge native Kirby Smart a $100,000 raise and one-year contract extension.

Smart will make $850,000 annually through Feb. 28, 2014.

Smart had his salary more than doubled last year after winning the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach and helping the Crimson Tide to a national title.