Tech’s appeal, NFL signees and more


Hope you’re well. Hard to believe there’s just five more days until Georgia Tech will open fall practice. A few things to cover from a week I figured might be a little quiet.

1. Appeal notification sent. Tech will have until Aug. 27 to send in its written appeal, which will be followed by a response from the infractions committee and then a rebuttal from Tech and possibly input from the enforcement staff and another response from Tech, and then an in-person hearing. It could last until early 2012.

Tech indicated it will appeal the findings of failure to cooperate and failure to meet obligations and conditions of membership on the grounds that the infraction’s findings were contrary to the evidence presented. They’ll appeal the vacated ACC title and will have to prove the ruling was excessive and an abusive of discretion.

One thing I found of note was that, at least in its notice, Tech did not choose to appeal the “preferential treatment” violation of Demaryius Thomas, which would seem like a tacit acknowledgement of wrongdoing (or possibly a decision to pick battles). I am quite confident I’m missing something, but you could make the argument that if Tech concedes that Thomas indeed received preferential treatment, then it played an ineligible player in the ACC championship game.

I’d be curious to know which part of the appeal – the findings of impeding the investigation or the vacated title – means more to Tech officials, and to you, for that matter. School president G.P.BudPeterson and AD Dan Radakovich, among others at the school, believe they and Tech have been unfairly characterized and I wonder if having the school’s name cleared is of greater consequence than the restoration of the title. (which I’m not judging, but just wondering.)

2. Todd Spencer suspension. This was a pretty odd deal. As associate AD Wayne Hogan said, coaches had a mistaken understanding of NCAA rules about phone calls and believed they were complying by them when, in fact, they weren’t.

I think this episode was not an insignificant reason why former assistant AD Paul Parker, who was in charge of compliance and offered his resignation in February, is no longer at the school. I wish Parker, whom I found to be a good guy and who was always helpful in my dealings with him, could offer his version of what happened, as every story has (at least) two sides. However, Auburn (where he is now in employ) has chosen to not make him available.

3. NFL signees. The list, as far as I’m aware: Cornerback Mario Butler with the Cowboys, running back Lucas Cox with the Falcons, linebacker Brad Jefferson and quarterback Joshua Nesbitt with the Bills and safety Jerrard Tarrant with the Giants.

It’ll be a tough challenge for each. First, unlike non-lockout years, rookies haven’t had all offseason to learn teams’ systems. Second, because of the compacted schedule, coaches will be far more focused on getting veterans ready than coaching up rookies with a minimal chance of helping the team. Third, the NFL expanded camp rosters to 90 from 80, decreasing the chances of making the roster. For most, if not all, the best hope might be to make their teams’ practice squads.

That said, there’s always a chance, which calls to mind of one of my favorite movies of all-time. The list of players who’ve made NFL rosters in recent years as undrafted rookies is not short, including Mike Cox, J.P. Foschi, Gary Guyton, James Butler, Andrew Economos and Cord Howard.

(I know pointing out inconsistencies in “Dumb and Dumber” is something like pointing out the lack of car-chase scenes in “Citizen Kane,” but you’d think that Lauren Holly’s character would have explained that her husband/significant other had been kidnapped.)

4. More information than you might want about Nesbitt’s situation. The Bills, you’ll remember, are coached by former Tech coach Chan Gailey, who signed and kept former Tech guard Cord Howard as an undrafted rookie last year. Former defensive line coach Giff Smith is also on the staff. The Bills’ website lists Nesbitt as a quarterback and strong safety. Since the lockout ended, Bills have signed New York Jets wide receiver Brad Smith, who played quarterback at Missouri, to a four-year, $15 million deal, and Miami quarterback Tyler Thigpen, another athletic quarterback who played for Gailey at Kansas City.

“The Jets were great with Brad, but he was intrigued with how the Bills want to use him,” Mark Bartelstein, Smith’s agent, told the New York Times, which is itself an intriguing comment.

It would appear that Gailey has Wildcat-type ideas he wants to implement, which would seem to bode well for Nesbitt, though having at least two hybrid-type players ahead of him isn’t great news. Gailey, of course, coached in Pittsburgh and turned Kordell Stewart into “Slash.”

5. Albert Rocker. I spoke with the former Tech linebacker Wednesday evening for a story that is scheduled to run in Sunday’s paper. Rocker, as I mentioned in a previous blog, decided to forego his senior season to take a job with Microsoft. This is not entirely related to it, but here’s a story I imagine that will have Tech folks salivating. Rocker got offers from Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee and other schools coming out of high school. He told me that during his recruitment, Steve Spurrier came to his school to offer him a scholarship and ask him to come to South Carolina. Rocker told him thanks, but no thanks.

Though he had yet to commit to Tech – he hadn’t earned the necessary test scores, “I said, ‘I already know where I want to go.’”

More to come as we count down to the start of fall practice.

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77 comments Add your comment


July 29th, 2011
9:16 am


July 29th, 2011
9:40 am

glad fall practice is FINALLY almost here. need to start getting the offense some reps…we were half-a-step out of sync all last season. GO JACKETS!


July 29th, 2011
9:44 am

You did the crime gtu, do the time. CHEATERS!!

UGA OWNS gtu!!!
Always have, always will.


July 29th, 2011
9:52 am

Nerds Nerds Nerds whatvever. Finish changing the oil in my car and get back to work Jethro. I wish some UGA owned a valid drivers license.


July 29th, 2011
10:01 am

Nerds,Nerds,Nerds…sad to say that you are speaking for my beloved school. We may own GT in football (the same way that UF seems to own us) but you can’t argue about Tech’s success in getting its football players prime jobs after football. Rocker is just one example of how GT seems to offer much better career opportunities than Georgia. I know that most of our players major in Parks & Recreation or Housing. Neither of which is exactly “ideal” career choices. My best wishes go out to Rocker for representing what a student athlete should be about.

Old Gold and White in my veins

July 29th, 2011
10:02 am

Damn straight it’s great to be a Jacket! Congrats to all the NFL signees, now get after it and make an impression.

GT Jason

July 29th, 2011
10:22 am

Thomas received preferential treatment but was never ruled ineligible because the treatment was not from an agent. It was a minor violation. The reason the ncaa is taking those games away from us is that he should have been held out by the school due to the query.

Bill Donaldson

July 29th, 2011
10:27 am

Who is RG “Bud” Peterson, and do you people even try?


July 29th, 2011
10:30 am

GT Jason: Then why didn’t Auburn have to put Cam Newton on the sidelines during that investigation/inquiry period?

Ken Sugiura

July 29th, 2011
10:36 am

bill – thanks.


July 29th, 2011
10:37 am

@GTJason If that’s true about bey bey, then why didn’t OSU have to sit 5 of their starters for the rose bowl?


July 29th, 2011
10:39 am

The story notes: “I am quite confident I’m missing something, but you could make the argument that if Tech concedes that Thomas indeed received preferential treatment, then it played an ineligible player in the ACC championship game.”

Before any games were played, Thomas had already returned the clothes. According to the NCAA’s reinstatement division (when asked directly by GT at the time), that should have been all that was necessary for him to be eligible again, even if the violation had occured and he had been ruled ineligible. The fine and probation seem to make some sense for GT’s failure to rule him ineligible and ask for reinstatement, but to also vacate the champioship would seem to be punishing them twice for the same thing.


July 29th, 2011
10:40 am

1990, 1980…I see why you’re mad, now stay the @#$% off of GT blogs! Wait another 30 years to see if you become relevant again.

GT Letterman

July 29th, 2011
10:43 am

I am with Ron…if the NCAA has told Tech to bench him, we would have. They did not, so we played him. (and we remember we are talking about clothes he mostly did not wear). The NCAA’s punishment was instead based upon the fact that our AD told our coach and our coach talked to the player. In the end, it did not alter the fact the violation was discovered, but the NCAA is angry, nonetheless.

It is illogical that the Governing Body tasked with holding its member schools in line on one hand is also tasked with generating revenue from the performance of those same schools on the other hand. How is watching the NCAA to see that the penalties passed down to the current top-performing schools are in line? It seems Oregon, Auburn, LSU, and Ohio State all receive little punishment…could it be that the NCAA would not want to jeopardize the cash flow into the system that exist off of?


July 29th, 2011
10:51 am

I wonder how many UGA football players have ever left before their senior season because they were offered a position with a company like Microsoft.

Bill Donaldson

July 29th, 2011
10:52 am

@GT Letterman – And that is why if GT doesn’t win their appeal this should be added the boiling anti-trust issues.

Bill Donaldson

July 29th, 2011
10:52 am

*added TO the


July 29th, 2011
11:02 am

@GTBob Why do you have to bring UGA up in a GT blog? Stay on topic here. No wonder UGA fans think all Tech fans are obsessed with UGA.

Alabama Jack

July 29th, 2011
11:26 am

What is a UGA?

Vince Lombardi

July 29th, 2011
11:32 am

All of you mutts crying about us getting busted by the NCAA need to watch out. I hear that Jarvis Jones story is heating up to include UGA now and some of your Columbus recruits.


July 29th, 2011
11:38 am

What is gtu?


July 29th, 2011
11:54 am

To Nerds,nerds,nerds etc.
You are showing your ignorance.Georgia Tech is not and has not ever been GTU.It is the Georgia Institute of Technology.It is the only
Institute in the University system where UGA is one of many universities.


July 29th, 2011
11:56 am

I enjoy your work, Ken. Looking for GT to run the table. We’ll see. Great team spirit this year. Will make a big difference over last year. ” GO JACKETS “

Hayseed Dixie

July 29th, 2011
12:11 pm

We’ll always want more information about The Nesbott.

If,say, Tim Tebow had made that play (the taking back of the fumble) against FSU, ESPN would never, ever, ever stop running that clip. You know this is true.

Again, thorough coverage and a great job, Ken. I can’t wait for the season!

Just deny it

July 29th, 2011
12:13 pm



No respect for that.



July 29th, 2011
12:24 pm

GTBob – I know 1 UGA B-Ball player who had so many post grad medical scholarships that he almost turn down playing in NBA after being drafted in the 1st round. Alec Kessler. Was very smart, micro-biology major, 4.0, Nations top academic athlete for all sports.

Can happen, but CPJ has created a career fair specifically for his players, where reps from verious Corps come out and meet the players. Rocker was a result of the this, shows CPJ cares more for his players then just football. Great coach, Rocker did make a great choice in going to Tech.

Hayseed Dixie

July 29th, 2011
12:31 pm

Ken, has there been any talk of a login system for comments??

Or is the amount of ‘clicks’ the AJC gets without having one too tempting?


July 29th, 2011
12:44 pm

we didn’t cheat-the clothes were not given to him by tech–worry about third place in the east!

Team Dream

July 29th, 2011
1:10 pm

@”just deny it” … quite hysterical that a Canes fan is passing judgment. Here’s a little history lesson for you:

“In 1994, Tony Russell, a former UM academic advisor, pleaded guilty to helping more than 80 student athletes, 57 of whom were football players, falsify Pell Grant applications in exchange for kickbacks from the players themselves. The scandal dated all the way back to 1989 and secured more than $220,000 in federal grant money. Federal officials later said that Russell had engineered ‘perhaps the largest centralized fraud … ever committed’ in the history of the Pell Grant program.

In late 1995, the NCAA concluded that, in addition to the fraudulent Pell Grants facilitated by Russell, the university had also provided or allowed over $400,000 worth of other, improper payments to Miami football players. The NCAA also found that the university had failed to wholly implement its drug testing program, and permitted three football student-athletes to compete without being subject to the required disciplinary measures specified in the policy. Finally, the NCAA concluded, the university had lost institutional control over the football program. Miami docked itself seven scholarships as part of a self-imposed sanction in 1995, and the NCAA took away another 24 scholarships over the next two years. As a result of the scandal, Sports Illustrated’s Alexander Wolff wrote a cover story that Miami should at least temporarily shut down its football program. Further, On June 21, 1996, Miami football players broke into the apartment of the captain of Miami’s track team and struck him repeatedly. In response, Davis suspended three key players for the coming 1996 season. Davis also suspended two other players who were involved in separate violent incidents.”


July 29th, 2011
1:12 pm

NERDS<NERDS<and CHEATERS, etc. I must admit it is awful to be owned by an idiot.

Old Gold and White in my veins

July 29th, 2011
1:13 pm

Great memory indeed, Hayseed. Same can be said for the ot touchdown run against Wake. Will never forget that explosion of emotion from the end zone when he threw his arms up and slung the ball. Great camera work as well. All the more impressive if you believe the accounts that CPJ left the decision to go for it on 4th up to Nesbitt. Great player, great memories.

Ken Sugiura

July 29th, 2011
1:18 pm

hayseed – i don’t know the answer to that. clicks could be part of it.


July 29th, 2011
1:26 pm

Comments to me: I agree he didn’t have to be sat out, I’m saying that’s why tech isn’t appealing the ruling of impermissible benefits. There’s nothing to appeal, he was eligible…

Tokyo jacket

July 29th, 2011
1:33 pm

GTfan is asking the right question. sounds capricious and abusive to me!

just the truth

July 29th, 2011
3:25 pm

@ nerds nerds nerds, congratulation UGA ………… he’s one of yours !!

GT BBall

July 29th, 2011
3:29 pm

Who is gtu? And why do those 3 letters make you soooo angry?


July 29th, 2011
3:33 pm

Hey, you played the title game with 1 (or 2) ineligible players…ya knew this ahead of time, but gambled and caught! Action meet Reaction, Negligence meet Consequences! If everyone else has the same exact rules, why should Tech be an exception?! We’re all going through this crap right now, so quit whinning and deal!

Hayseed Dixie

July 29th, 2011
3:34 pm

“All the more impressive if you believe the accounts that CPJ left the decision to go for it on 4th up to Nesbitt.”

Yep, as far as CPJ is concerned, that’s respect. And I imagine the man doesn’t give it lightly, if at all.

No wonder Chan got him.


July 29th, 2011
3:39 pm

You want more NCAA nonsense?

The University of Kentucky had arranged for a game to be played between the Dominican Republic National Team(Coached by Calipari) and a group of former UK players-The UK Legends(Coached by 82 year old former UK head coach Joe B Hall)

The NCAA has ruled:

1.)Can’t call the team the UK Legends
2.)Joe Hall can’t coach the team because he coached UK-27 years ago!!

You can’t make this stuff up

The NCAA is a freaking joke

GT Girl

July 29th, 2011
3:54 pm

Good luck to Joshua! Hope he can make it in the pros!


July 29th, 2011
4:42 pm

Awww, happy for Nesbitt!


July 29th, 2011
4:46 pm

The only reason UGA even “thinks” they own us is because they can’t even win in their sorry little SEC conference.

Higher and Higher

July 29th, 2011
5:08 pm

I wonder how many UGA football players have ever left before their senior season because they were offered a position with a company like Microsoft.

Answer: None. Who would hire one of UGA’s illiterate morons.

Well, maybe as a janitor. That’s about as high as one of Mark Richt’s goons can aspire. :-)

Light Bulbs?

July 29th, 2011
5:16 pm

Q: How many UGA football players does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: One, but he gets 5 credit hours for it. And a pat on the back from his remedial studies professor.


July 29th, 2011
5:29 pm


Care to tell anybody where your inside information on Jarvis Jones came from, not that you can? The only new revelations coming out from Columbus are still not UGA’s problem other than the fact that he is now with UGA on the team. All of the money actions took place while he was either a Trojan, or before he signed with UGA. The report and subsequent investigation are based largely on what the Police have uncovered, before Jarvis Jones was even on scholarship, at UGA. You guys with insider information amuse me, with the self importance you place on your own words, knowing that most people do not even bother to call you out .


July 29th, 2011
5:37 pm

@RedandBlackDawg I agree almost completely with you on JJ. Only thing I disagree with you about is the fact that it is UGAs problem. I say that because he’s now with UGA. That means UGA is going to suffer by not being able to play him and we all know that y’all are looking thin at lb already. Besides that though you are right with it being USCs problem. And just as long as nothing else comes out from any other UGA players from Columbus.


July 29th, 2011
5:39 pm

By the way, thanks Ken for all the good reporting that you are doing. Much happier to have you doing the Tech beats now than Doug.

Delbert D.

July 29th, 2011
5:50 pm

Former Georgia QB Andy Johnson made it as a running back for the Patriots. He was selected for one of the Teams of the Decade honors. Did Nesbitt play defense in high school?

Old Blind Dawg

July 29th, 2011
5:58 pm

Yak yak yak…………forget about the NCAA and the loss of your only championship in what 20 or 30 years move on September is just around the corner.

Good luck to the GT players that are trying to make it at the next level.

Tech '10

July 29th, 2011
6:18 pm

DawginLex: The less I hear about the NCAA and its ludicrous behavior, the happier I am! haha. That being said, intersting tidbit of info.