GREENSBORO, NC – For those who haven’t seen it posted on Tech’s website or received it by e-mail, I thought I’d share these comments from athletic director Dan Radakovich about Tech basketball today. To me, it’s similar to what he said in response to a query from two reporters on Tuesday, including my colleague Mark Bradley, that he wouldn’t evaluate the basketball program while there are still “signifiant games to be played and goals to be met” and encouraging fans to rally around the Yellow Jackets. Tech needs to beat North Carolina in the first round of the ACC tournament tonight to keep NCAA tourney hopes alive and deflect some of the pressure on Tech coach Paul Hewitt.
My presumption is that if Tech makes the NCAA tournament, Hewitt’s job is safe and there’s a good chance it’s safe anyway, in part because of the $7.1 million required to buy Hewitt out of his contract. Radakovich alluded to the financial side of things, and took his comments a little further than the e-mail he released to reporters Tuesday, at least in what I read between the lines when Radakovich wrote: “There are many parts to any discussion, issues which are visible and not so visible. By now I’m sure you know that there are factors which make our men’s basketball situation unique.”
But I’ll let you read it in full and make your own interpretation.
From Dan Radakovich’s “GOOD WORD” posted today, March 11
Men’s Basketball Discussion
“I want to take a moment in this week’s Good Word to comment on the increasing discussion on men’s basketball. As has always been the case since I came to Georgia Tech, I will not get into a discussion regarding the evaluation of a program while there are still significant games to be played and goals to be reached. As you read this, I am in Greensboro preparing to cheer like crazy for our basketball team to advance in the ACC Tournament. I will do likewise for as long as we are competing this season. I would encourage all of our fans who care about Georgia Tech to rally around these student-athletes and their coaches and to encourage their efforts throughout post-season play. There is still much to be gained. Any discussion beyond that will take place after the season concludes.”
“Please understand that I hear all of the comments and opinions about our men’s basketball program just as I do with all of our 17 sports. Believe me, people are passionate about their particular area of interest and are not shy about expressing an opinion. There are many parts to any discussion, issues which are visible and not so visible. By now I’m sure you know that there are factors which make our men’s basketball situation unique. However one thing is clear, the student athletes and coaches who represent Georgia Tech are doing the best that they can. There is not a fiber of quit in them. It is imperative that we continue to support them and the school they represent!”
OK, analyze away. Your turn to read through the lines.