Here’s a quote that should be posted on the wall of the Edge Center, which is the official name of the building that houses Georgia Tech’s athletic association. It comes from LSU chancellor Michael Martin in the wake of his school’s NCAA sanctions, which were announced Tuesday:
“A situation that could have been much worse was made better by the dedicated work of the LSU athletics compliance staff and I am pleased that the NCAA recognized LSU’s effort to cooperate and be proactive. The compliance staff … made an exemplary showing of how a university should react when mistakes are made.”
To recap: LSU was found guilty of major violations involving former assistant coach D.J. McCarthy, who’d been recruiting JUCO transfer Akiem Hicks. For this, the NCAA placed the Tigers on one year’s probation.
Point of comparison: Georgia Tech took what should have been a secondary violation and turned it into four years’ probation, a $100,000 fine and a forfeited conference championship.
The difference: LSU made a concerted attempt to find out what was what. Indeed, committee on infractions chairman Dennis Thomas pointed to Miriam Segar, the school’s associate AD, and her efforts to dig into a messy situation. Said Thomas: “That was critical. If that had not been done, the institution could have really been under more severe and serious penalties as well.”
LSU, to borrow from Sir Paul McCartney, took a sad song and made it better. Georgia Tech took what the NCAA described as an “obstructionist” stance and got slapped down. Two case studies, I’d call these.
Oh, and where did Dan Radakovich work before being hired as Tech’s athletic director in 2006? At LSU.
By Mark Bradley