Update: Georgia Tech announced Sunday that three more players — defensive Anthony Egbuniwe and defensive backs Michael Peterson and Louis Young — has been suspended for the first half of Monday’s Independence Bowl. They broke curfew in Shreveport, which I believe trumps John Dewberry’s curfew-breaking in Birmingham in 1985 for sheer ingenuity.
It’s that festive time of the year when Georgia Tech lets us know which of its players won’t be playing in a bowl game. The Jackets arrived in scenic Shreveport on Thursday, just in time to offer the following release:
Shreveport, La. – Georgia Tech announced today that four football players, including two who have already earned their undergraduate degrees, will not play in Monday’s AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl because of various academic issues.
Senior defensive end Robert Hall and senior linebacker Anthony Barnes are ineligible to compete in the game against Air Force under NCAA academic guidelines. Sophomore wide receiver Stephen Hill and senior safety Mario Edwards are both ineligible for not meeting Georgia Tech academic requirements.
Of the four players, Edwards and Hill were listed as starters on the Yellow Jackets’ most recent depth chart.
A few questions: How can you earn your degree and still be academically ineligible? Has any Jacket had a more disappointing season than Hill, who was touted as the next Demaryius Thomas but who hasn’t played well and now won’t play in the bowl game at all?
There’s a time-honored Jacket tradition of players getting docked for the postseason. Usually it’s the quarterback: John Dewberry was suspended for the All-American Bowl in 1985 for breaking curfew in Birmingham, which is tough to do, and in 2006 Reggie Ball was declared ineligible for the Gator Bowl, which brought a strange career to its inevitably strange end.
These latest suspensions constitute just another installment in an ongoing Tech saga. On the bright side, the Tech Four won’t be remembered as the most egregious college football development of Dec. 23, 2010. That dishonor belongs to five Ohio State Buckeyes, chief among them quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who were suspended for five games of the 2011 season — though not for the Sugar Bowl — for NCAA violations that include receiving improper benefits from …
A tattoo parlor. Seriously.
By Mark Bradley