Archive for July, 2011

Distant replay: Tech’s take on their 2005 probation

The AJC story by Mike Knobler on June 8, 2005 when Tech explained their view of their NCAA trouble:

Frank Roper arrived at Georgia Tech as a student in 1956, stayed until his retirement as registrar in 2000 and still buys season tickets to football and men’s basketball games.

More than 30 years of Tech alumni have Roper’s name on their diplomas.

Now, the man a Tech provost once described as “an institution” is being described in another way – as one of the main people the school blames for rules violations that could lead to the first NCAA probation in Tech history.

As registrar, Roper certified the academic eligibility of Yellow Jackets athletes. The school says it played 17 athletes in four sports who should have been ruled academically ineligible. Although 13 of those 17 violations occurred after Roper retired, the school still blames him in its report to the NCAA infractions committee.

Its rationale: Not only did Roper make mistakes in certifying athletes’ academic …

Continue reading Distant replay: Tech’s take on their 2005 probation »

Distant replay: Why the NCAA cracked down on Tech in 2005

A look back at the AJC story by Mike Knobler on Nov. 18, 2005 when the NCAA cracked down on Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech self-imposed the first NCAA probation in its history.

It cut scholarships, too.

But when the NCAA infractions committee announced Wednesday it was wiping six seasons of Tech football off the record books and imposing new scholarship cuts that extend through 2007, Tech cried foul.

“I think it’s a little bit much, ” school President Wayne Clough said.

Enough that the Yellow Jackets might appeal.

“We’re going to take the weekend to think about it, ” athletics director Dave Braine said. “We’ll make a decision early next week.”

Tech admits to playing 17 athletes in four sports whom it should have ruled academically ineligible. The infractions committee admits Tech’s mistake was inadvertent. But there was substantial disagreement on how serious that mistake was and how severe the penalties should be.

Tech self-imposed a one-year probation. The NCAA doubled it.

Continue reading Distant replay: Why the NCAA cracked down on Tech in 2005 »

Distant replay: When Tech came off 2007 probation

Here’s the AJC story by Mike Knobler on Nov. 16, 2007, when Georgia Tech came off its most recent NCAA probation:

Today is the final day of  Georgia Tech’s two-year NCAA probation.

The significance is mostly symbolic. Tech’s football team doesn’t suddenly regain the six scholarships it has had to do without this season and in 2006. That doesn’t happen until August 2008.

The end of probation means it’s time for Tech President Wayne Clough to write a letter to the infractions committee stating that Tech has established policies to ensure it follows NCAA rules.

Then, if everything goes right, life simply goes on.

Asked the effects of Tech coming off probation, athletics director Dan Radakovich referred a reporter to his online letter to Yellow Jackets alumni and fans. The letter says the effects of the football scholarship limits will continue to be felt for years. Players who redshirted from the sanctions-limited 2007 signing class will be seniors in 2011.

There’s one other …

Continue reading Distant replay: When Tech came off 2007 probation »

Step-by-step guide to NCAA investigations

As the NCAA prepares to issue the results of an investigation into alleged violations committed by Georgia Tech’s football program, I thought you might be interested to know how the process works.

Luckily, the NCAA offers this on its website:

A step-by-step guide.

Please keep checking back for news.

– Doug Roberson, AJC

Continue reading Step-by-step guide to NCAA investigations »

NCAA will announce Tech findings at 3 p.m.; Cooperation an issue; Thomas, Burnett deny involvement

The NCAA will announce the results of an investigation into alleged violations committed by Georgia Tech’s football program at 3 p.m. today.

The alleged violations occurred within the past several years. The NCAA considers the violations, which included improper benefits, minor. However, Tech allegedly didn’t cooperate with the investigators as enthusiastically as the NCAA would have liked. A phone conference is scheduled with Dennis Thomas, the chair of the NCAA’s infractions committee, at 3 p.m. Georgia Tech President Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson and Athletic Director Dan Radakovich will hold a press conference at 4:30 p.m.

At issue for Tech is that after receiving penalties for the 2005 and ‘06 seasons for infractions that occurred in the 1990s, the NCAA said that if Tech commits another major infraction before Nov. 17, 2010, it will be subject to added penalties as a repeat violator. Colleague Mark Bradley (@markbradleyajc) just tweeted, “I’m told nobody is getting fired, but …

Continue reading NCAA will announce Tech findings at 3 p.m.; Cooperation an issue; Thomas, Burnett deny involvement »

Improving linebackers bear watching for Tech

The sixth in a series of position group breakdowns of the 2011 Georgia Tech football team:

Julian Burnett is small for a linebacker but could be Tech's best player.

Julian Burnett is small for a linebacker but could be Tech's best player.

Projected starters: OLBs Jeremiah Attaochu (So. 6-3, 233), Steven Sylvester (Sr., 6-2, 238), ILBs Julian Burnett (Jr., 5-10, 222), Daniel Drummond (So., 6-3, 236)

Others to watch: ILB Quayshawn Nealy was a star of the spring game and could be hard to keep off the field. OLB Brandon Watts moved from the inside and looks ready to take a step forward. OLB Malcolm Munroe and ILB Albert Rocker will also push for time, but will have to fend off a huge signing class. Tech brings in seven linebackers, including Jabari Hunt-Days, brother of Tech quarterback Synjyn Days.

Key losses: ILB Brad Jefferson had 84 tackles, second most on the team behind Burnett, and 7.5 tackles for loss. OLB Anthony Egbuniwe’s 61 tackles were fifth on the team. They made a combined 51 starts for Tech. The Jackets also lost backups Anthony Barnes

Continue reading Improving linebackers bear watching for Tech »

Improvement expected from experienced defensive line

The fifth in a series of position group breakdowns of the 2011 Georgia Tech football team:

An impressive performer in the spring, defensive tackle Jason Peters hopes to keep his coach's mood light this fall.

An impressive performer in the spring, defensive tackle Jason Peters hopes to keep his coach's mood light this fall.

Projected starters: DE Jason Peters (Sr., 6-4, 271), DT Logan Walls (Sr., 6-2, 295), DE Izaan Cross (6-4, 292).

Others to watch: Ends Christopher Crenshaw, Emmanuel Dieke and Euclid Cummings and tackle T.J. Barnes should get extensive playing time, and possibly end Anthony Williams, as well. Barnes played considerably last year behind Walls. Dieke and Cummings played smaller backup roles.

Key losses: The line lost two backups, end Robert Hall and tackle Ben Anderson, who combined for 14 tackles.

Key fact: The line returns all three starters and is the only position group with two returning senior starters, Peters and Walls. Both are team-leader types with a combined 40 starts and 66 games played. Given the offseason talk about a renewed sense of …

Continue reading Improvement expected from experienced defensive line »

Bedford on 2010: ‘People started to look for excuses’

Here’s the second part of an interview with former Georgia Tech center Sean Bedford, who returned last week from a six-month stay in Europe, mostly spent playing football in a league in Spain (link from an excellent story by colleague Doug Roberson).

Here’s the link to Monday’s blog, in which he spoke highly of his successor Jay Finch. Some other notes from Bedford:

1. He said he felt optimistic going into the 2010 season because of the talent level and the hard work that had been put in over the summer. However, he said, “I think there may have been some sense of entitlement that came with what we accomplished [in 2009]. A lot of guys felt that maybe because they played a certain role the year before, that was something they were entitled to retain. I don’t know that the team attitude was there quite as much as it should have been.”

As a result, the team didn’t handle itself well in the face of trial.

“Two years ago, when the breaks went against us, we didn’t look for …

Continue reading Bedford on 2010: ‘People started to look for excuses’ »

Washington heads into fall as Tech’s No. 1

Projected starter: Tevin Washington (Jr., 6-0, 205)

Others to watch: Synjyn Days redshirted last season and stayed No. 2 through behind Washington in spring practice. He often struggled with ball security, though he acquitted himself well in the spring game. Vad Lee is an anticipated incoming freshman who has fans atwitter with his passing ability. Demond Smith is another freshman who will get a look.

Key losses: Joshua Nesbitt was a three-year starter and the heart of Georgia Tech’s 2009 ACC championship team. Including the game in which he sustained a season-ending broken arm, the Yellow Jackets finished the season 1-4.

Key fact: Coach Paul Johnson has made it clear that Washington is the starter going into fall camp. It could change once practice begins, but Washington did enough last season and in spring practice to maintain a lead on Days.

Key fact II: Washington had two 100-yard rushing games in his four starts and averaged 105 yards in those games. Nesbitt didn’t get …

Continue reading Washington heads into fall as Tech’s No. 1 »

Bedford on Finch: ‘Infinitely more talented’

He has an optimistic bent and is perhaps a little biased, but former Georgia Tech center Sean Bedford gives a recommendation to the Yellow Jackets offensive line and his replacement in particular.

“With Jay Finch rolling in at center, he’s infinitely more talented than I ever was,” Bedford said by phone last Friday. “He’s bigger, faster, stronger and he’s just going to need the experience.”

Of his other former cohorts, Bedford said, “I think (guards) Will Jackson and Omoregie Uzzi are phenomenally talented. (Tackle) Phil Smith has the potential to be great, and there’s a lot of guys who have the potential to make things happen. A lot of it is avoiding injuries and getting on the field. The raw materials are there to make it happen. It’s up to them to go out and do it.”

Finch is slated to step in for Bedford, a two-time All-ACC center and the winner of the inaugural Burlsworth Trophy, given to the country’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on. A junior …

Continue reading Bedford on Finch: ‘Infinitely more talented’ »