Friday, July 15, 2011

Valuable Lesson From Tech Situation: Liars Lie

We should have learned after their past troubles. That is, after several athletes from the late nineties -- 11 of which were football players -- received improper academic advisement (they should have been ineligible) by GA Tech faculty. It led to the forfeiting of multiple games and scholarship reduction. That was handed down in 2005.

But don't worry, Tech was very patient before they committed their next violation. They waited and waited until it was 2009 before they re-scumbagged themselves. Here is what the NCAA handed down as a result:

-- $100,000 fine that will be paid by the Georgia Tech Athletic Association.

-- Public reprimand and censure.

-- A reduction of two men’s basketball recruiting days during the 2011 summer evaluation period (self-imposed by the university).

-- A limit of 10 official visits for men’s basketball for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years. Basketball started as a separate investigation into improper scouting, but was folded into the football inquiry.

And here is what Tech actually did wrong:

  1. Demaryous Thomas and presumably Morgan Burnett (although both deny it) received improper benefits from a agent "runner" (clothes mostly...totaling in only $312)
  2. Tech learned of this, then (presumably) notified the NCAA (although I'm not sure when exactly this occurred)
  3. Paul Parker (former associate AD for compliance) told AD Dan Radacovich about the investigation. 
  4. Radacovich stupidly told Paul Johnson
  5. Paul Johnson stupidly told the players in question, which the NCAA specifically told Tech officials NOT to do (Johnson says he didn't know he was in the wrong). Just this act compromised the entire investigation, which is why the NCAA got so ticked off. 
  6. D. Thomas told investigators that the clothes actually came from his cousin (which would not be violation...he couldn't prove this). The NCAA AGREED.
  7. While D. Thomas was under investigation, Tech "rolled the dice" and played him in the 2009 UGA game (when he ironically dropped a fourth down pass at the end). Since he was under investigation, he should not have played. And since he was found guilty, Tech played an ineligible player, thus, they forfeit their ACC Championship game, which was played the week after ours. 
  8. The NCAA found out Johnson notified the player's BEFORE they were interviewed by investigators (presumably to "prep" them for the interview)
A $100,000 fine was also added, probably because they violated their previous probationary period, which didn't end until November 17, 2010. 

Now, I am REALLY glad we did not play A.J. in that first game last season. Only at Georgia Tech would there be improper benefits for players that were part of a 42nd ranked recruiting class (maybe it was better when Gailey was coaching but still).

The penalty was not because of the players, but rather because Tech officials completely screwed up the investigation because of stupidity and crookedness. Losers. 

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