Archive for November, 2012

UPDATED: Tech denies Big Ten rumors

Amidst rumors and reports that Georgia Tech has applied and been approved for membership into the Big Ten, the school denied their veracity.

“There is no truth to the rumors,” Institute spokesman Matt Nagel said in an e-mail Friday afternoon.

In his conversations with school president G.P. “Bud” Peterson, acting athletic director Paul Griffin said that Peterson “has told me there’s been no communication (with the Big Ten), nor does he expect any.”

Griffin spoke from Charlotte, N.C., where Tech will play Florida State for the ACC football championship Saturday. Griffin said in addition he was not aware of any communications between Tech leadership and the Big Ten or any other conference.

Wednesday, on a teleconference with news media following the ACC accepting Louisville as a member, commissioner John Swofford said that the nature of conversations he had had with Peterson in the past 10 days regarding Tech’s future “has been emphatic in terms of their commitment to the ACC and …

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NCAA statement on Tech bowl waiver

The NCAA released a statement Friday acknowledging that Georgia Tech has been granted its bowl-eligibility waiver. It clears the Yellow Jackets to play in a bowl game even if they lose to Florida State Saturday in the ACC title game in Charlotte, N.C. The news was broken Thursday night by cbssports.com.

The statement:

“After reviewing the request from Georgia Tech, the NCAA staff granted the waiver based on the totality of circumstances. The waiver allows Georgia Tech to be considered for selection along with the other bowl-eligible teams.  In consideration of the waiver request, staff noted that Georgia Tech finished the regular season with a 6-6 record, which would make the team bowl-eligible before being obligated to play in the conference championship game. This decision is consistent with the waiver provided to UCLA last year under similar conditions.”

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

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Notes: Smith doubtful, Finch probable

1. Georgia Tech A-back Orwin Smith was listed as doubtful on the injury report Thursday in advance of the ACC Championship game against Florida State on Saturday. Center Jay Finch was assigned a “probable” status.

Smith did not practice again Thursday due to an ankle injury suffered in Tech’s Nov. 17 win over Duke. Coach Paul Johnson said Wednesday that if Smith didn’t practice Thursday, he wouldn’t play against Florida State. Finch practiced Thursday after suffering an undisclosed injury in Tuesday’s practice and then missing Wednesday’s practice.

Smith’s likely absence is a considerable disadvantage for the Yellow Jackets, as it would keep their most potent offensive player on the sidelines. Smith had struck a hopeful tone Monday, saying that he thought he would play in Saturday’s game. Without Smith, Johnson will likely move up Synjyn Days, Deon Hill and B.J. Bostic in the A-back rotation alongside starter Robbie Godhigh.

Finch’s availability, meanwhile, would provide …

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Report: Tech to be granted bowl waiver

Georgia Tech will receive a bowl-eligibility waiver from the NCAA even if it loses the ACC Championship game to finish at 6-7, according to a cbssports.com report.

The story cited two unnamed sources. Tech, ACC and bowl officials could not confirm the report. Without directly commenting on the news, acting athletic director Paul Griffin reaffirmed his confidence in Tech’s situation, reiterating a comment made Monday.

“We’ll be playing in an ACC bowl game between the 27th of December and the first of January,” he said. “We’re going to make sure we do everything we can to make sure that it’s the Orange Bowl.”

With a new NCAA rule in place addressing bowl eligibility, concerns arose that Tech might not be bowl eligible if it lost to Florida State to drop below .500, a standard to receive a bowl invite, even though UCLA received a waiver last year in a similar situation. If the Yellow Jackets were not granted a waiver, it would have put them in a situation of needing to win the …

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Ankle sprain for Udofia

Georgia Tech guard Mfon Udofia sprained his ankle in Wednesday night’s 75-62 loss to Illinois in Champaign, Ill. It is not believed to be serious. Tech’s next game is Tuesday against Georgia at McCamish Pavilion.

Udofia suffered the injury with about 3:30 remaining in the game. He was replaced by Pierre Jordan.

In the game, Tech led by as many as six points in the first half and as many as four in the second half against the undefeated Illini. However, a 10-0 run starting with 6:26 remaining in the game vaulted Illinois from a 58-54 deficit to a 64-58 lead and put the Yellow Jackets away over the final four minutes of the game.

Tech was outrebounded 36-30 and allowed the hot-shooting Illini to shoot 47.4 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range. Tech shot 44.2 percent from the field. Forward Kammeon Holsey led the team in scoring with 14 points off the bench.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

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Tech notes: Smith, Finch held out again

1. The prognosis for Georgia Tech A-back Orwin Smith is unclear for Saturday’s ACC title game against Florida State. Smith was held out of practice again Wednesday because of his ankle injury suffered in the Duke game Nov. 17.

He was joined by center Jay Finch, also held out after leaving Tuesday’s practice with an undisclosed injury.

“I think Finch will (play),” coach Paul Johnson said after Wednesday’s practice. “I don’t know about Orwin.”

Smith has 14 plays from scrimmage of 20 or more yards, most of any running back or receiver on the team, on 92 touches on offense. Finch has started every game and been an integral member of the offensive line, which has improved over the season as it’s kept the same starting five for the past five games.

“We’ll know (Thursday),” Johnson said about Smith. “If he doesn’t practice (Thursday), he won’t play.”

2. Outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu said he will seek an evaluation from the NFL draft advisory board to get feedback on where he …

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Swofford: Tech committed to ACC

ACC commissioner John Swofford does not anticipate any member schools leaving the conference. That includes Georgia Tech.

On a teleconference with media members to discuss the addition of Louisville to the league, Swofford was asked about the possibility of schools leaving the ACC, as has been rumored.

“I do not envision that at all,” Swofford said. “In fact, just the opposite, based on the conversations among our Council of Presidents over the last 10 days.”

Swofford was asked specifically about conversations with Georgia Tech president G.P. “Bud” Peterson. The school has been the subject of rumors that it could be headed for the Big Ten.

Said Swofford, “The nature of our conversations has been emphatic in terms of their commitment to the ACC and Georgia Tech’s future.”

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

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Homecoming for MaChelle Joseph

Georgia Tech women’s basketball coach MaChelle Joseph suspects her team doesn’t have a clear idea of what kind of player she was.

“It’s just something that’s so long ago,” Joseph said. “They know I went to Purdue.”

Tech plays Purdue Wednesday night in West Lafayette, Ind., as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

“I guess they’ll know when they see my jersey hanging in the arena,” Joseph said. “They’ll figure it out.”

Joseph’s tone was more bemused than boastful. Anyone who finishes her career as the Big Ten’s all-time leading scorer, men’s or women’s, doesn’t need to brag. Joseph has been back to Mackey Arena as an assistant coach with Tech, but played Virginia Tech in an NCAA tournament game. She faced the Boilermakers as a head coach in the NCAA tournament in Minneapolis. Wednesday will be the first time she has brought her own team to Mackey to face Purdue.

“I have so many great memories of Purdue, there’s no doubt,” Joseph said. “It was a very special time in my life being …

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Louisville joins ACC

Update, 11 a.m. The ACC announced that Louisville has been voted in as a member.

“With its aggressive approach to excellence in every respect, the University of Louisville will enhance our league’s culture and commitment to the cornerstones we were founded on 60 years ago,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “The University of Louisville is an outstanding addition to the Atlantic Coast Conference and I commend the Council of Presidents for continuing to position our league for the long-term future. If you look at what has been done over the last 15 months, the ACC has only gotten stronger with the additions of Louisville, Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse.”

Louisville replaces Maryland as the 14th member of the ACC as the conference realignment version of musical chairs continues. Maryland left the conference it helped found for the Big Ten last week.

Louisville will add a successful and tradition-bound basketball program and a football team that has improved in …

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Tech vs. Illinois in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Georgia Tech basketball coach Brian Gregory didn’t plan to play Cal, Saint Mary’s and Illinois in succession. And perhaps given the opportunity to face teams that have played in three of the past four NCAA tournaments (Cal), two of the past three (Saint Mary’s) or are undefeated and ranked No. 22 (Illinois), he might have declined.

But, through the draw at the DirecTV Classic in Anaheim, Calif., and their pairing in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, that’s the Yellow Jackets’ lot. Tech plays the Illini Wednesday in Champaign, Ill., at 9 p.m. in a game televised on ESPN2.

“If you looked at it, you would say that would be a little overambitious in your scheduling at this part of the year,” Gregory said, “but I think it’s been good for us.”

After taking third at the DirecTV Classic, where they beat Rice and Saint Mary’s and lost to Cal, the Jackets face their biggest challenge of the season. Illinois won the eight-team Maui Invitational, defeating Butler 78-61 in the final and is …

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