Georgia Tech’s appeal hopes appear dim


For those of you pinning your hopes on a successful appeal by Georgia Tech to the NCAA of its sanctions, I’m going to tell you that it doesn’t look good. I hope  to develop this a little more for a story, but at the very least, the numbers are against president G.P.BudPeterson and athletic director Dan Radakovich.

Since the NCAA changed its appeals process in 2008, the appeals committee has heard 13 cases and overturned just one of them. And that’s only the schools that decided to take a crack at an appeal. As of Monday, Tech had not made a decision on an appeal It has until July 28.

The NCAA considers four standards for overturning a decision.

  • The ruling by the Committee on Infractions was clearly contrary to the evidence.
  • The individual or school did not actually break NCAA rules.
  • There was a procedural error that caused the Committee on Infractions to find a violation of NCAA rules.
  • The penalty was excessive and is an abuse of discretion.

Most appeals, it appears, try to use the last standard, but it’s become more difficult since the NCAA changed its bylaws in 2008. Previously, an appeal could be won if the appeals committee determined the penalty was inappropriate based on evidence and circumstance. Concluding a penalty is inappropriate is one thing. Finding that the infractions committee was “abusive” in its discretion is something different. (Interesting to note: Tech’s successful appeal in 2005 was reportedly part of the reason why the bylaws changed.)

Another reason is the weight the NCAA gives to cooperation. One report, a denial of a Florida State appeal, cited a precedent that institutional cooperation must be “a significant factor and given substantial weight in determining penalties.”

You might think that taking away an ACC title over $312 worth of clothes is excessive, but that’s not the way the NCAA sees it. It took away the title because of the cooperation violations, which it termed “extremely serious violations” that warranted “stringent penalties.”

It’s possible the appeals committee might see things Georgia Tech’s way regarding its attempt to cooperate, but Radakovich and Peterson both acknowledged they could have done things differently and Radakovich’s decision to tell coach Paul Johnson about the NCAA’s intention to interview Morgan Burnett in defiance of NCAA orders is incontrovertible. (We can debate how fair or wise the order was, but I don’t think the appeals committee will take it into consideration.)

In short – cooperating (in the way that the NCAA wants to be cooperated with) is important, and Georgia Tech didn’t toe the line, and that is not good news for an appeal.

It could be argued that Demaryius Thomas didn’t actually break NCAA rules, which is one of the other standards for appeal. He was hardly definitive about where he got the clothes. However, the appeals committee’s role is not to try the case again, so I don’t think it matters in this situation.

Tech has another strike against it because it’s a repeat violator. It’s another reason that the penalty was as harsh as it was. I’m going to talk shortly with an attorney who led the only successful appeal of an NCAA case since 2008. We’ll see what he has to say.

Thanks for reading. Please follow on Facebook and Twitter!

P.S. Sorry for the break in the position breakdowns. They’ll resume Wednesday.

Ken Sugiura, AJC

113 comments Add your comment


July 19th, 2011
11:15 am

Based on what I’ve read, I’d say GT has grounds for three of the four reasons listed.


July 19th, 2011
11:16 am

Enter your comments here, you cheating NERDS!!!


July 19th, 2011
11:27 am

Shouldn’t you be searching for an eligible running back DawgTard.


July 19th, 2011
11:32 am

What do we have to lose with an appeal? I think you could argue on all 4 of the criteria.


July 19th, 2011
11:44 am

Let`s see Boise State 66 DAwgs 0, South Carolina 33 Dawgs 6.

Appeal. The NCAA has no intergrity or brains. They will never catch me.


July 19th, 2011
11:52 am


July 19th, 2011
11:27 am

Shouldn’t you be searching for an eligible running back DawgTard.

What UGA has left beats the hell out of any running back GT has on campus.


July 19th, 2011
11:52 am


July 19th, 2011
11:54 am

MC…not a chance! Your top guy is a former RB turned LB turned RB…funny thought, though!


July 19th, 2011
11:56 am

I doubt that MC but thanks for the laugh


July 19th, 2011
12:21 pm

GT kept this investigation quieter than any NCAA investigation ever. How can the NCAA possibly say that they violated the orders not to discuss this issue with anyone.

Ken Sugiura

July 19th, 2011
12:28 pm

JM – they discussed it with the subject of the investigation. that was enough.
if i had to guess, i’d think they’d appeal for jwyant’s logic – nothing to lose. the only downside, aside from the cost, is that, tech’s probationary period would start after the appeal rather than last week.


July 19th, 2011
12:31 pm

•The penalty was very excessive.


July 19th, 2011
12:37 pm

The punisment does not fit the crime period. The NCAA wasted its time to the tune of $100,000. So it got that money back. But in the end what is the only thing you could have done had Tech players been giulty. The exact same thing. It does not make sense and I doubt if the NCAA has any friends at Tech.


July 19th, 2011
12:46 pm

Let’s see now:

1. From what I understand, the investigator was a UNC grad, who thus had a conflict of interest appearance.

2. From what I understand, Tech apparently asked the NCAA and the ACC if Thomas could play and was not told no.

3. If Tech does not play, what were the players and fans to suspect.

Tech was not given due process. APPEAL TO THE SUPREME COURT IF NEED BE!!!


July 19th, 2011
12:53 pm

1.6: That was the nielsen rating for the 2009 ACC Chumpionship Game. If it were a sitcom (arguably it is), ABC/ESPN would have cancelled it at halftime.


July 19th, 2011
12:59 pm

It doesn’t matter how righteous the appeal might be, it’s not going to prevail. The NCAA is a dictatorship more interested in protecting it’s power and pocketbook than anything else. It’s a sham. It has a monopoly on Major College Athletics and can get away with anything it wants.


July 19th, 2011
1:02 pm

Tech needs to move on and forget about this.

Your AD didn’t cooperate and was not forthcoming in giving information.

The NCAA blows but you need to put this one in the rear view mirror. It will get it out of the papers and then the coaches and players can concentrate on football.

GT Jason

July 19th, 2011
1:12 pm

Dear Dawg fans,

We understand SEC football is better than ACC football and it’s not even a question: the talent and national championships prove it. That being said, if the SEC was the NFL UGA would be the Detroit Lions. Draft (recruit) tons of good players and never do anything with them. You can ride the whole better conference just as much as we ride on academics but realize when you do you’re pointing out that you’re consistently not a contender in said conference. When we point out academics it’s because credible outside organizations have named us a top school. You guys are using some fantasy world where you didn’t have a losing season last year to say you’re the best. Just know without GT you would have never made a bowl game last year. Enjoy losing to the potato farmers (thats an Idaho joke dawg fans- which is where Boise is)


July 19th, 2011
1:20 pm

Pretty sure the Detroit Lions haven’t won their own division lately yet UGA has-3 times and 2 SEC crowns.

And we will beat Boise

BTW, Detroit has a shot this year because of a former UGA QB

Student Athlete

July 19th, 2011
1:21 pm

Is there any president for the players, team, to file suit against the NCAA?


July 19th, 2011
1:33 pm

RAD didn’t play step’n'fetchit for the ncaa and so they dropped a bomb on us. please don’t try to convince me that any other AD wouldn’t go straight to the head coach and give him a heads up. this is just the ncaa playin’ fast and loose with their own rules. you don’t think so??? then tell me how ugag fb players LIVE on the Athens police blotter, and the school has yet to be investigated for SA behavior?


July 19th, 2011
1:37 pm

dawginlex…you can’t SERIOUSLY be talking about fatford?? he’ll be out before the 6th game with another injury. that kid needs a giant roll of duct tape to hold him together. in case you forget, the lions don’t play Vandy or middle tennessee state.

GT Fan...

July 19th, 2011
1:37 pm

Am I understanding this correctly?

1. The NCAA investigates for 20 months, at a cost of $100,000.
2. Comes to conclusion that the 2 players in question were not ineligible.
3. Tells DRAD to tell NOONE they [NCAA] are “interviewing” players.
4. Is so offended that DRAD informed his HC of the “interviews” they take the 2009 ACC trophy plus add 4 years prob.
5. Then, to covers its cost over the prevoius 20 months, the NCAA fines GT $100,000??

Pretty “WOW” I’d say.

A kinda “we wasted 20 months ‘interviewing/investigating’ GT over $312 in clothing and a cell phone…we be damned if we’re going to come away with nothing” attitude. “And while we’re at it, let’s get our $100,000 back … Fine’em $100,000 too!”.


July 19th, 2011
1:40 pm

1/2 correct,DawginLex, Detroit has a shot this year because of that UGA quarterback and his GT receiver – both have developed well after great college careers. Detroit’s not a team so much as two sate of Georgia stars and a defense. At this point they’re like Atlanta’s other NFL team.

@GT Jason

July 19th, 2011
1:42 pm

You are delusional , UGA has 6 top 10 finishes in past 10 years, only LSU with 3 SEC titles leads UGA over the same time frame. 7-3 in bowl games with 3 BCS appearances , your comparison with a team that hasn’t had winning record in years is ignorant at best.Perhaps your envy blinds you to the facts.One losing season doesn’t tarnish whats been accomplished. Compared to Tech 3 top 10 finishes over the past 54 years and zero conference titles since 1990.

Dawg in Columbus

July 19th, 2011
1:44 pm

Dawginlex you’re right about moving on and wrong about boise state.
The ncaa is like the irs, they care far more about their perceived power than about justice. I would challenge Tech and Auburn (If the ncaa can’t investigate in 12 months, then shut up and stop, I don’t want to hear in 2009 that USC didn’t win the 2003 NC) to hire private investigators to investigate the ncaa (or maybe rupert murdoch or mark cuban should do it), the sooner the ncaa is gotten rid of the better for everyone. AJ can’t sell a jersey that belongs to him? Really?


July 19th, 2011
1:46 pm

Student Athlete, are you Kyle Jackson, the inside linebacker who tweeted to Sean Bedford that after lawschool yall would go sue the NCAA together? If so, I disagree with your extremist stance on student athletes being in a system akin to slavery. Ask any student who’s on any other type of scholarship they have to work their tail off for – they’re thankful for free college. Now you guys get to go be on TV, clothes from sponsors, a consistent healthy diet, health benefits and personal trainers, have your name made famous (if you’re good enough) by ESPN and want money ON TOP of that?! I say no. I say you guys maybe should get some cost of living stuff, but not anything like a salary. How many people besides D-1.

If you’re not Kyle Jackson then sorry for the rant, but you’re asking a question raised by him online one time already so I kinda wondered.

And I have no idea if there is “precedent” for SA’s to sue the NCAA.

Ken Sugiura

July 19th, 2011
1:50 pm

student-athlete – i don’t know, but my guess would be that there isn’t a precedent.
i agree with the general tenor of the comments – the NCAA makes the rules, schools have no choice but to follow even if the rules might be a little kooky.


July 19th, 2011
1:53 pm

* That sentence was supposed to be “How many people besides D-1 basketball and football players
would even think to ask for something like that?”


July 19th, 2011
1:58 pm

Hey doucheinlex, the Lions will have a chance in spite of a uga(y) QB. He has missed more games than he has played. HA! What a bust!

repeat offenders

July 19th, 2011
1:59 pm

Keep telling yourselves it was over $312.00 and your repeat offender status will jump up and bite you again.

tar and feathers party

July 19th, 2011
2:03 pm

Tech should organize an exit from the ncaa by the top 50 – 100 football schools to a new athletic association, free of the cry baby rules and the sissy boy investigators. Make it so…..

Old Blind Dawg

July 19th, 2011
2:09 pm

September can’t get here soon enough. Obama has the entire country split into rabid partisan groups and the NCAA is doing the same thing to college athletics. Ignore them and you will feel much better.


July 19th, 2011
2:18 pm

Stafford’s gonna have a big year because of the defense being a ton better. Calvin has always been good

Get back to World of Warcraft, nerd

July 19th, 2011
2:18 pm

That being said, if the SEC was the NFL UGA would be the Detroit Lions. Draft (recruit) tons of good players and never do anything with them.


All time SEC Chamionships

Alabama 22
Tenn 13
UGA 12
LSU 10

UGA won 90 games last decade in the SEC. 2nd only to LSU (91)

UGA is one of the “elite” program in the SEC

Someone with a brain

July 19th, 2011
2:22 pm

The NCAA’s request was illogical and impossible. (1) PJ has had no history of NCAA violations in 32 years. There was no reason to suspect he would cover up evidence, (2) there is no evidence that GT hindered the investigation. The NCAA should just come out and say, “We told them not to tell the coach. They told the coach. Therefore, our penalties are what they are.”

The NCAA has no evidence of the issue at hand: Whether GT hindered the investigation? If they had evidence we encouraged our players to lie or covered up evidence, then their punishment wasn’t tough enough.

Student Athlete

July 19th, 2011
2:28 pm

Not Kyle,

hope you feel better after the rant.

Get back to World of Warcraft, nerd

July 19th, 2011
2:28 pm

PJ has had no history of NCAA violations in 32 years

He does now

A statistical fact

July 19th, 2011
3:13 pm

CPJ after three full years has nothing to show for it. Yes, his Wishbone O churns up tons and tons and tons and tons and tons ( did I say tons?) of useless yards.
He has never won a bowl at GT and he is 1-2 vs possibly an outgoing UGA HC.
UGA has been well below their usual 9 or 10 game season ( based on past 12-14 years) and CPJ has done nothing. No wimpy ACC title or nothing. Goose eggs!!

Another hard fact ………….. over the last 43 or 44 or 45 years, GT has hired a new football coah about every +/-5 years. List the coaches names and do the math. Wow! They have had Dodd, Fulmer, Carson, Rogers, Curry, Ross, O’Leary and his phony resume (and now we know were he learned to cheat) and Bill Lewis and CPJ and such. Wow!! I am sure that I ham leaving two more coaches off of this GT coaching wall of shame.

CPJ is next to go after this season unless GT can muster a 5 or 6 win season ………their 40+ year average. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


July 19th, 2011
3:15 pm

The NCAA is mad because Georgia Tech didn’t shake with fear – most colleges dont, but they do expect it from smaller schools. ESPN immediately stated, “if Tech gets this punishment – what will Ohio get?” Probably nothing, as one of the NCAA officials is probably a Ohio fan. It is evident that the NCAA picks and chooses who they wish to penalize. No one respects the NCAA and who really cares what they come up with???

DAWG time

July 19th, 2011
3:17 pm

GT, you can’t win with a group like the NCAA. It seems the punishment depends on whether they need to make a point or not. Why else did they not make a big deal out of the Cam Newton situation when it seems much more disturbing than what Tech did. It certainly seems they are out to get some schools and other schools get a pass. It was hard to take last season with the AJ Green situation when it seemed there were bigger fish to fry. You don’t deserve this punishment but it’s best to move on.


July 19th, 2011
3:21 pm

As a Tech fan, I agree with the NCAA’s ruling and punishments – except for the removal of the ACC championship. If we go into the appeal process and only look for restitution of the championship, then we should have a strong case. Based on the criteria above:

The ruling by the Committee on Infractions was clearly contrary to the evidence:
-DT was not ineligible, hence wins should not have to be vacated.
The individual or school did not actually break NCAA rules:
-DT was given clothes by his cousin. That is not a violation of rules.
There was a procedural error that caused the Committee on Infractions to find a violation of NCAA rules.
-We asked the NCAA if DT was eligible. They said yes. So now they rule he wasn’t?
The penalty was excessive and is an abuse of discretion.
-Only in the case of the championship.


July 19th, 2011
3:24 pm

I’d like to enter my fist into you snout! By the way, do you work at the tattoo parlor near the Varsity?

Vince Lombardi

July 19th, 2011
3:38 pm

Tech gets slapped with major football violations all because a 29 year old UNC preppy lawyer punk got his feelings hurt; no rules were broken (football).


July 19th, 2011
3:45 pm

OK, here’s a refresher course put all this in PROPER perspective.

Here’s what ESPN wrote on Friday, December 3, 2010, the day before the SEC Championship:

“Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is eligible to play in the SEC title game this weekend,
though the NCAA says his father broke rules by shopping his son to another school.”

“The NCAA released its finding in a statement on Wednesday, December 1, 2010. The college sports governing body had concluded on Monday, November 29, 2010 that a violation of Newton’s amateur status had occurred. Auburn declared Newton ineligible Tuesday and requested his eligibility be reinstated.”

“Newton has been cleared by the NCAA to compete without conditions.”

“Based on the information available to the reinstatement staff at this time, we do not have sufficient evidence that Cam Newton or anyone from Auburn was aware of this activity, which led to his reinstatement,” said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president for academic and membership affairs. “From a student-athlete reinstatement perspective, Auburn University met its obligation. … Under this threshold, the student-athlete has not participated while ineligible.”

OK. Here it is:

MAJOR MAJOR……….MAJOR violation had occurred involving an estimated $180,000 in a
BLATANT pay-for-play set-up.

The NCAA was ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that Cam Newton had violated his Amateur status
and was not an eligibe NCAA player. Auburn declared Newton ineligible.

And yet, the NCAA cleared Cam Newton… less than 24 hours… play in the SEC Championship Game and a likely future BCS Bowl game.

So now the NCAA has seen fit to slap probation on GT, for a “supposed offense”
without ANY DOCUMENTED PROOF and much circumstantial evidence
over WHO gave WHAT. And yet, the NCAA is angered by GT lack of cooperation??

So again, the NCAA…..HAD CONFIRMED PROOF OF A MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR violation, and yet because the Auburn staff appeared “cooperative” by declaring Newton ineligible, the NCAA was kind enough to turn around and in LESS THAN 24 HOURS, and reinstates Newton.

And here, we have a $312 “issue”…..for which the NCAA has produced…..NO DOCUMENTED PROOF WHATSOEVER, and yet supposedly because the NCAA didnt think GT was (ahem) “cooperative” (aka kissing the NCAA’s azz) the NCAA slaps on 4 years of probation, $100,000 fine, and strips the ACC title.

This simple comparison between the cases of Cam Newton and GT prove beyond a

So, here it the dubious standard that the NCAA has established:

1. Commit a DOCUMENTED MAJOR offense and appear “cooperative”

2. Supposedly commit an UNPROVEN, MINOR offense and appear “uncooperative”

And yet, the AJC, ESPN, CBS Sports, etc. have seen fit to wantonly ripped GT
without ANY consideration, comparison or review of these RECENT

I hope CPJ punches the NCAA guy in the face.

Old Blind Dawg

July 19th, 2011
3:47 pm

NCAA = Big $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for a select few.

Supersize that order, mutt

July 19th, 2011
3:57 pm

@Get back to World of Warcraft, nerd, it might interest you to know that prior to Tech’s leaving the SEC, the Jackets had 5 SEC championships to THUGa’s 4. There is no way of knowing how Tech might have fared over the past 40+ years had we remained in the SEC, but I would certainly think the level of coaching and of results would have been higher than it unfortunately has been. And I am sure we would have been more competitive against the mutts than we have been. That is 20-20 hindsight and totally worthless assuming, I know, but it makes as much sense as most of the claims being made in here by those ignorant mutts who continue to say the same things over and over. Apologies to the classy dawgs who rise above the rivalry to post intelligent comments.

Vince Lombardi

July 19th, 2011
3:58 pm

[NCAA investigator] Marvin Wilson needs a pacifier.

Go Jackets

July 19th, 2011
4:02 pm

What is truly amazing is that this is the most minor of infractions. UGA people that think that their house is clean probably need to check out the parking lot at the practice facility. There’s likely lots of new cars with chrome and big wheels. In UGA’s program, where multiple players get arrested every year, and where the coach purposefully breaks rules by lining recruits up in mock game situations while wearing a jersey, there is bound to be major transgressions. To UGA and pretty much everyone else in the SEC and ACC, you better hope that the NCAA does not knock on your door. The NCAA is like the Feds, if they want to put you in jail, they will come up with a reason to.


July 19th, 2011
4:09 pm

I think they have a case on appeal. Here’s why:

Dan Radakovich cited previous experience with investigators as one reason he did not feel compelled to keep the investigation from Head Coach Paul Johnson. He said that in previous instances that standard (keeping the investigation a secret) was up to the investigator’s discretion.

So to me it sounds like GT is only in violation of the cooperation statute in the sense that this particular investigator decided he wanted the investigation kept a secret. It sounds like the NCAA has some inconsistencies in their process, leaving discretion up to investigators in areas that can lead to violations. The NCAA needs to take away that discretion and make it a rule if that’s how they want these investigations to be conducted, especially if they plan to penalize member institutions for violating it.