Heat Check: Tech makes NCAA see red; Donnan’s in the red

"Do you know who invented the tunnel screen? Guy named Ponzi." (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

"Know who invented the tunnel screen? Guy named Ponzi." (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

The Monday Heat Check begins with a cold case that got hot 20 months later. I believe you get the drift.

Georgia Tech: Its defenders insist the punishment doesn’t match the (admittedly small) violation and that the NCAA chose to make an example of Tech. In both cases the defenders are correct, and in both cases they miss the point. The Jackets failed to do what an NCAA member institution is expected to do. There are a lot of silly ways to wind up on four years’ probation, but this might be the silliest. Heat Index: When you have to give back the only outright ACC football championship your program has won in two decades, you might as well change your nickname to the Polar Bears.

Georgia Tech’s legal advisers: Not exactly the Dream Team, eh? Surely there’s someone in Atlanta capable of doing as Ed (The Terminator) Tolley keeps doing for the Georgia Bulldogs, which is to take a ticklish situation and disarm it. Heat Index: Tech’s attorneys were as cold as Tolley, who never loses, is hot. Speaking of whom …

Jim Donnan: Tolley is representing the former Bulldog coach, who seems in need of representation. In the past 10 days Donnan has filed for bankruptcy and been accused of making money off a Ponzi scheme. Not that The Terminator needs my layman’s legal advice, but here are two tips. First, if former SEC ref Al Ford is a member of the jury pool, don’t select him. Second, I would try to ascribe the whole thing to a misunderstanding. “My client simply misheard, your honor,” Tolley could argue. “When someone said, ‘Ponzi scheme,’ Mr. Donnan heard, ‘Tunnel screen,’ and shouted, ‘Oh, I love those! Count me in!’ ” Heat Index: The heat is on the Old Coach, but he has the right man on his side.

Dwight Howard: The Atlanta native told George Henry of the Associated Press he might go play overseas if the NBA lockout lasts, which seems the thing to do. But while everybody else (Deron Williams, Zaza Paculia) seems bound for Turkey, Howard mentioned China as a destination. Heat Index: Getting warmer. Doesn’t Michael Gearon Jr., one of the Hawks’ many owners, have business interests in Asia? Could this be the opening the local NBA franchise has long sought?

Gene Chizik: It was revealed by the New York Times that the Auburn coach availed himself of a presentation at the SEC meetings by NCAA director of enforcement Julie Roe Lach to wonder why the NCAA hadn’t announced the closing of its investigation into the recruitment of Cam Newton, the quarterback from Atlanta. Roe Lach said, according to witnesses: “You’ll know when we’re finished, and we’re not finished.” Heat Index: It’s always a winning strategy to make the NCAA hot under the collar. (See above.)

The Braves: They scored 22 runs last week, which is even more impressive when you consider they only played three games. Are the bats actually heating up? Or is facing the Washington Nationals the reddest of herrings? Heat Index: We’ll know soon enough. The Braves start a four-game set in Denver tonight. If you can’t hit at Coors Field, you can’t hit.

By Mark Bradley

87 comments Add your comment

rawdawg

July 18th, 2011
10:43 am

I am here to announce my retirement.

dtanner

July 18th, 2011
10:44 am

DC

July 18th, 2011
10:44 am

Mark Bradley

July 18th, 2011
10:45 am

rawdawg is abdicating the throne? Big news!!!

dtanner

July 18th, 2011
10:45 am

longtime reader,first time first,now i can tell my grandkids one day!

NCBravesFan

July 18th, 2011
10:45 am

Dan Uggla’s assualt on .200 continues. There’s joy in Mudville on this Monday morning!

Mr. Obvious

July 18th, 2011
10:45 am

Jim Donnan has always reminded me of an undereducated, ’sleazebag’ salesperson one might encounter at a Chevrolet dealership.

Sometimes, I guess you really CAN judge a book by its cover.

Mark Bradley

July 18th, 2011
10:46 am

I’ll tell them for you, dtanner.

Mr. Obvious

July 18th, 2011
10:48 am

Jim Donnan and Cecil “Thuggy Bear” Newton (Baby Daddy of Cam) should go into business together to fleece SEC Coaches for money.

Gene “Cheater” Chizik would make a great ’silent’ partner for them.

DC

July 18th, 2011
10:50 am

haha “shouldn’t have read the article”…oh well

1. I feel bad for tech…
2. Donnan will be ok
3. If there is a lockout everyone will be going overseas to play no doubt. unless Generals plan on picking up some key acquisitions to play against the Globe trotters..
4.I’ve spoke my peace on the AU case in your article.
5. Why do the braves have the hardest time playing against the weaker clubs?…

Bill

July 18th, 2011
10:52 am

The punishment given GT doesn’t fit the crime; but what would you expect from an arrogant, power hungry group headed by a bleached blonde lawyer whose only athletic experience was playing basketball atDivision III Millikin, wherever that may be. Just another woman given a position due to PC in the NCAA. She doesn’t know jack about Division I athletics. Glad Chizik called their hand and it is time Auburn is cleared. The NCAA is as close to a Mafia as possible.

Henry II

July 18th, 2011
10:54 am

What a game yesterday! 5 lead changes culminating with Freddie’s clutch game ending RBI. This team seems to keep finding a way, glad to see Nate step up, sure would like to see him get hot. And welcome back Prado. Gotta tip my hat to the Nats, a lot of good, young talent on that team. Espinosa is going to be a good one.

Paddy

July 18th, 2011
10:55 am

Coach Chizik made the perfect straightman for that NCAA lady. He never saw that coming!! Too funny.

Curious George

July 18th, 2011
10:55 am

If either Mark Richt or Jim Donnan had both Reggie Bu$h and Cam Newton as players on his UGA team in an SEC Championship year, and the public later found out both players had been ineligible the whole time, would the NCAA still make Georgia vacate that season’s LOSS to Florida?

George Stein

July 18th, 2011
10:56 am

Forgive Tech if they were not totally cooperative with the NCAA. We saw how well that worked last time.

Jim Doanan as in Doans Pills

July 18th, 2011
10:59 am

Cramping? “What kind of damn question is that? We just beat a good football team out there today!” Loran: “uhhhh oooookay”

UGASlobberknocker

July 18th, 2011
11:01 am

I vote for a 10 yr lockout on the NBA. If after 10 years anyone still cares, they can start back with a new lower pay scale. In the meantime, will anyone notice?

George Stein

July 18th, 2011
11:03 am

Excellent suggestion, Slobberknocker. I second that.

dap01

July 18th, 2011
11:04 am

The NCAA is more interested in t-shirts at GT and jerseys at UGA to be concerned with something as minor as a $200k payout at Auburn.

Auburn is turning into a “Lane Kiffin” program.

chewyandrw

July 18th, 2011
11:06 am

@Bill…not defending Roe Lach but what does playing NCAA D3 basketball have to do with her ability to investigate? Nothing at all. And which D1 athletic powerhouse did you star at? Better yet, have you won a Peabody award for Journalism? Probably not but you think you are intelligent and skilled enough to write on this blog and sound credible. You are a moron.

Beast from the East

July 18th, 2011
11:08 am

Chizik let his paasion override his brain. Not the forum (if there is one) to challenge the NCAA. He got bi#@&-slapped in front of all his peers. I’m sure he regrets it.

DC

July 18th, 2011
11:08 am

*shakes head at dap01*

tc

July 18th, 2011
11:09 am

At the end of the day, Tech will appeal and get alot of those penalties reduced. Im sorry, but your two best players are getting investigated by the NCAA during the season, how in the hell does the coach not find out about it. DRAD did not have to tell CPJ, he would have still found out.

I believe...

July 18th, 2011
11:11 am

rawdawg and Mark Bradley are one and the same!

TJ

July 18th, 2011
11:11 am

At the end of the day, Tech will have those ridiculous penalties reduced.

repeat offenders

July 18th, 2011
11:11 am

Tech’s Athletic Department is the laughing stock of college football.

Remarkable

July 18th, 2011
11:13 am

The Braves are the only thing that is HOT in southern sports.

GT93

July 18th, 2011
11:16 am

GT managed to turn a minor incident into a major violation, largely through bad internal communications and bad internal decisions. We’ll tend to our wounds and move onward and upward.

What I’d like to know is this: what accountability do these sports agents and their friends have for gifting $312 worth of clothing in the first place??

Also, isn’t it a conflict of interest to have a former UNC football player [Marcus Wilson] conducting NCAA investigations at his former opponents schools?

http://www.examiner.com/sports-in-raleigh/ncaa-violation-2010-rumors-and-talk-of-investigation-conflict-of-interest-at-unc

techfan

July 18th, 2011
11:23 am

So what is the limit of reasonable punishment then? Tech didn’t handle the situation well but that doesn’t mean that they deserve any punishment that the NCAA feels like giving. What if they were put on probation for 10 years, with no bowl games, and half of their scholarships taken away? Would that be ok too? The NCAA showed what a catty organization they are here. I can’t wait to see Ohio State get a slap on the wrist because they supposedly cooperated.

Paul in RDU

July 18th, 2011
11:25 am

Mark,
You have it wrong on Donnan. He knew that one of the greatest coaches in history, John Wooden, developed something he called The Pyramid of Success and thought “Darn – I need to start one of those pyramid thingies”

Brock

July 18th, 2011
11:32 am

I always wondered if Jim Donnan was as dumb as he sounds? Thanks Ponzi!

headley lamar

July 18th, 2011
11:36 am

At the end of the day, Tech will appeal and get alot of those penalties reduced

Umm no they wont. In case you forget this isn’t the first time recently Tech has been in hot water with the NCAA.

Tech has turned into one of the dirtiest programs in College Football.

I say embrace it. Sorta like Miami call themselves the “U”

You guys can call your selves the “T”

Multiple probation’s in a short span. Better not get another one or it might be the Death Penalty.

Maybe then tech would clean up their act.

headley lamar

July 18th, 2011
11:38 am

What if they were put on probation for 10 years, with no bowl games, and half of their scholarships taken away?

One more while they are on Probation and that’s exactly what they will get. If not worse.

Play by the rules and this wont happen.

George Stein

July 18th, 2011
11:40 am

Why am I blocked?

Stefanie

July 18th, 2011
11:40 am

I used to think GT fans were overly harsh in their disgust for the AJC and Mark Bradley, and now I find myself one of them.

Ben

July 18th, 2011
11:41 am

What Tech did was protect its players and assume they were innocent until proven guilty. What the NCAA did is assume they were guilty until proven innocent. The law doesn’t work like that for a reason, it’s immoral. No, the NCAA is not a legal institution, of course, so they are free to assume the guilt of people without prove, but that does make the immoral scum. This case is about the NCAA trying to maintain its own power, and has nothing to do with ethics.

dumb?

July 18th, 2011
11:42 am

Invest 4mil, get back 14. I’ll take some that dumb…

Ben

July 18th, 2011
11:44 am

I wonder how much the NCAA got paid from the ACC Championship Game? If that game “never happened” I assume the NCAA will be returning whatever sponsorship fees they received for it?

Bill

July 18th, 2011
11:44 am

@chewyandrw With a handle such as yours no words are necessary. What does an award in Journalism have to do with Division I athletics. I stick with my statement that the NCAA is basically a Mafia.

headley lamar

July 18th, 2011
11:47 am

Funny how when its Tech its the Big Bad NCAA.

When they were investigation UGA and AJ Green bet you didnt think the same way.

Tech two probation’s inside of Ten Years.

Shameful

headless lamar

July 18th, 2011
11:55 am

you’re a joke, don’t waste people’s time

BuzzBee

July 18th, 2011
11:57 am

Leave Donnan alone he beat Floriduh

George Stein

July 18th, 2011
11:57 am

The biggest problem with the NCAA, Ben, is that for some reason they don’t expect the relationship to be adversarial. Tech cooperated last time and still got smacked (although many of the sanctions were overturned on appeal). I have no problem with DRad pushing back this time.

BuzzBee

July 18th, 2011
11:58 am

Outlaw the NCAA in Georgia. They hate Saint Johnson

dean

July 18th, 2011
12:00 pm

It’s telling that Chizik would put himself in that position publicly. It goes to show that outside of X’s and O’s he’s not very bright and his level of ignorance is going to really cripple Auburn athletics. But hey, surely they saw somethng in him from his stellar years at Iowa State.

techfan

July 18th, 2011
12:01 pm

“Play by the rules and this wont happen.”

So you would have been fine with it if UGA had gotten 10 years probation and no bowl games because of AJ Greens jersey fiasco? Afterall, they should have played by the rules right?

GIVE ME A BREAK

July 18th, 2011
12:07 pm

Tech will be fine. Only an idiot would call GT a dirty program because a player was given clothes from a friend of a friend. NCAA was disrepected by Tech because GT didn’t jump high enough for them. Good for Tech. Appeal and keep the damn trophy. ” GO JACKETS “

jerry

July 18th, 2011
12:19 pm

Sequel to Jim Donnan’s “How to turn 4 mil into 14 mil”
“How to do five-to-ten in the Federal Pen”

bb

July 18th, 2011
12:22 pm

Let’s compare the Tech case to recent examples to see if the NCAA’s rage at Tech is consistent and justified:

- Auburn is allowed to continue playing Cam Newton, even though all indications point to his family ’shopping’ him to the highest bidder. It will be interesting to see if the NCAA ’sees red’ in the Auburn case when the final shoe drops on this case.

- Ohio State is allowed to play, with the NCAA’s blessing, several players in the Sugar Bowl, even though it is known by the NCAA and admitted to by OSU that they have received inproper benefits. They decided to postpone the sanctions to this coming year.

Dawglasville

July 18th, 2011
12:25 pm

The tunnel screen remark was really funny. That play call looked really smart when Champ was the receiver.