Georgia Tech Stripped Of 2009 ACC Title, Put On Probation

According to the Georgia Institute of Technology’s website, Georgia Tech has a “proud tradition of HIGH QUALITY in both academic and ATHLETICS.”

Well, we now know that the high quality in athletics isn’t all the way true.

Georgia Tech was fined $100,000 by the NCAA, stripped of its 2009 ACC championship in football and placed on four years of probation on today for failing to cooperate with the NCAA’s investigation into the football and men’s basketball programs.

Here are the details from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Those weren’t the only penalties, which stemmed from what the NCAA described as an isolated instance of former standout  wide receiver Demaryius Thomas allegedly receiving $312 in impermissible gifts, and grew to Morgan Burnett allegedly taking gifts and misleading NCAA investigators. Both have denied taking improper benefits.

In addition, more penalties were self-imposed and accepted by the NCAA:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Four years of probation from July 14, 2011 through July 13, 2015. The public report further details the conditions of this probation.
  • 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.
  • A vacation of all contests won by the football team during the 2009 season after November 24. The ACC said Tech must return the trophy. No champion for the season will be named.

The basketball violations involved a youth basketball tournament held on campus in 2009 and in 2010. A graduate coaching assistant helped administer both tournaments, violating NCAA prohibitions on scouting, and in 2010 an academic adviser for the team “evaluated prospects and reported his observations” to the coaching staff.

Now, I know you’re probably in an uproar because Tech got the hammer thrown down on them because of a measly $312 of clothing. But that’s not the whole story.

All of this mess started when Georgia Tech learned two weeks before the ACC championship game that Demaryius “Bay-Bay” Thomas received clothing from a friend of former Tech quarterback Calvin Booker (whom the NCAA considers a runner for an agent). Burnett and Booker attended the meeting when Bay-Bay received the clothing. Burnett didn’t receive anything.

Thomas is denying that he received the clothing and Burnett is denying his involvement as well.

The NCAA told Athletics Director Dan Radakovich and Tech President Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson not to inform anybody in the football program that an investigation was coming.

But they told coach Paul Johnson about the investigation anyway, who then told the players that investigators were going to ask them questions, causing the NCAA’s investigation to be delayed.

The NCAA said that Tech continued to allow Bay-Bay to compete in the final three games of the 2009-10 football season, in which Tech won the ACC and played in the Orange Bowl, despite the NCAA notifying the school that it had questions about the eligibility of Thomas.

Dennis Thomas, the head of the Infractions Committee, said Tech had enough information to bench Bay-Bay until it could investigate his eligibility. But Peterson made the dumb decision to allow both Thomas and Burnett to play.

So the stupidly of Peterson and Radakovich was the main cause of Tech’s punishment today. If the NCAA tells you not to do something then why would you do the opposite?

I wish these coaches and athletic director would use better judgment when it comes to dealing with NCAA violations. Tech wouldn’t have been punished this badly if Peterson and Radakovich would have kept their mouths shut. But since they didn’t they now have to deal with the consequences.

I’m pretty sure they learn their lesson.

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