The Good Word

TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

Greetings from Georgia Tech and a belated Happy New Year! I am happy to report that we have turned the calendar to 2012 and are already enjoying the first events of the new year with many of our sports programs. We are all looking forward to a great winter and spring.

NCAA Convention Report

I recently returned from the annual NCAA Convention in Indianapolis, where a couple of hot-button issues in college sports received most of the attention. A proposal by the NCAA’s Board of Directors to allow scholarship student-athletes to receive up to an additional $2,000 annually as a “miscellaneous expense allowance” was overridden by vote of the membership. The proposal will likely resurface in April in a revised form as requested by the Board.

The other issue heavily discussed was the provision that schools could offer scholarships to prospective student-athletes for more than the current one-year period. The agreement could conceivably be for an entire four- or five-year period and executed at the time of the prospect’s signing of the grant-in-aid. Currently, every scholarship student-athlete is on a one-year grant, and is renewed at the beginning of each school year.

Both of these proposals have merit, but also come with questions and concerns from many sides. Certainly the $2,000 stipend is problematic for smaller, non-BCS conference schools who would struggle to find the resources to offer the funding. Since there are only about 75 schools in BCS conferences and more the 250 Division I schools outside that world, affirmative votes on the measure are hard to come by.

The multi-year scholarship issue is not quite as contentious. For the most part, coaches operate as if the scholarship offer is binding throughout the student’s career at a school, especially our coaches at Georgia Tech. This is a proposal that will come to a vote in February, after National Signing Day for football, and has a good chance to be adopted.

Football Signing Day is February 1

Speaking of National Signing Day, it is less than two weeks away, on February 1. Things look great for a stellar 2012 class and we are planning on holding our annual signing day event at 6 p.m. on the 1st at Twelve Hotel in Atlantic Station. Tickets are available for the event, which will feature video footage of the signees and a complete rundown of the class by head coach Paul Johnson and his staff. There will be lots of food and drink and plenty of Georgia Tech fellowship so make plans to join us.

Season Ticket Renewal

And with Signing Day upon us, it must also be time to start our season ticket renewal process for the 2012 football season. This year, if you’re a season ticket holder, you’ll hear from us both electronically and through the mail. You should first receive season ticket renewal information via e-mail by the end of January. In early February, we will be mailing an informational brochure which speaks to the ticket process and pricing, the TECH Fund, the game day experience and many other pieces of valuable information. We’ll have plenty of copies of this brochure available if you’d care to have one sent to friends or neighbors who may be interested in purchasing season tickets. Just let us know and we’ll be happy to send one out. Season tickets for the 2012 season – which includes seven home games – are priced at $249. This is a $101 savings over last year’s season ticket price, and we hope that encourages more folks to jump on the Jackets’ bandwagon for 2012.

Men’s and Women’s Basketball Action

I hope you are having fun following our two basketball programs this winter as they compete off campus during the completion of our new McCamish Pavilion. Both men’s and women’s teams have been playing well of late, with the men winning by 11 points on the road at NC State last week, and the women rushing out to a 13-6 record against one of the most difficult schedules in the country. Coach Brian Gregory’s team will host 15th-ranked Virginia tonight at 8 p.m. at Philips Arena. Good seats are available to tonight’s game and to all of our remaining games at Philips. If you can’t make it to Philips Arena tonight, here is a list of TV affiliates broadcasting tonight’s game in your area.

Under the Lights with GT Basketball

A side note about Coach Gregory here. Fox Sports South spent a couple of days on our campus with Gregory and our basketball team during the week leading up to our game at Georgia back in December. The network shot a segment of its series, “Under the Lights.” It is a true behind-the-scenes view of the new-look Georgia Tech Basketball program. The piece is outstanding and a great representation of what Brian is bringing to our program. Of course the highlight of the show is the Jackets’ victory in Athens. The show will be airing Friday at 5:30 p.m. and again on Saturday at 10:30 p.m. So watch it live or set your DVR. You’ll be glad you caught this one.

Congratulations Sasha Goodlett

Congratulations are in order to Sasha Goodlett, who was selected as the ACC Player of the Week for the second time this year. Coach MaChelle Joseph’s team has notched 13 victories already against one of the toughest schedules in the country and is bearing down on a sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. There is still much work to do. They’ll play at Florida State on Sunday and back at The Arena at Gwinnett Center vs. Virginia next Wednesday night.

Big Time Tennis Weekend

I’m looking forward to a big tennis weekend ahead as both our men’s and women’s nationally-ranked teams are in action at home. The men of Coach Kenny Thorne host Old Dominion Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. and Bryan Shelton’s women take on rival Georgia Saturday at 1 p.m. Shelton’s squad also hosts Memphis Sunday at noon. The matches are all played on campus at the Bill Moore Tennis complex on Fowler Street. There will be a tennis alumni gathering Saturday morning at the Complex, beginning at 11:30.

Jackrabbit – The Clint Castleberry Story

I want to put a little plug in this week for a new book that has recently been released. Author, sportswriter and Georgia Tech graduate Bill Chastain has written a book entitled Jackrabbit, the amazing story of Georgia Tech’s Clint Castleberry and his 1942 Yellow Jacket team. Clint died in World War II after leading the Jackets to a 9-2 record with victories over Notre Dame and Navy and a berth in the Cotton Bowl. Though just a freshman, he finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting. His jersey #19 remains the only Georgia Tech football jersey ever retired. For more information on Bill Chastain’s book click here.

Life Member Meeting

On Tuesday January 17, more than 100 Life Members gathered at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center to hear our annual State of the Department address. It was an impressive gathering of many of our most philanthropic donors. We will have a video of my presentation available at www.ramblinwreck.com early next week. I hope you take a few minutes to watch and catch up on a few of the happenings within our athletic department.

Tech Track Begins 2012 Season

Though the Georgia Tech men’s and women’s track and field teams are off this weekend, their competition last weekend at the Kentucky Invitational in Lexington was highlighted by a first place finish by Shawn Roberts in the 3,000 meter run as well as a school record time in the 60 meter dash by Perron Jones. Jones, who came close to breaking the record last year edged the 12 year old record with a speedy time of 6.77 seconds. Jones will sit down today to discuss his record breaking time so be sure to tune in to the RamblinWreck.com All-Access player to see what he has to say. Julienne McKee saw much success on the women’s side with a second place finish in the long jump and a third place finish in the triple jump amongst some tough SEC competition.

Compliance Corner

“If I said to you a year ago, ‘Here is something I know is going to happen: the head [football] coaches of Penn State, Ohio State, North Carolina and Tennessee basketball will all be fired this year for violations of NCAA behavior or other societal improprieties, you would have laughed at me. But that’s just what happened.” -Mark Emmert

NCAA President Mark Emmert sat down with the Indianapolis Star for an interview days before the 2012 NCAA Convention is set to begin in Indianapolis, IN later this week. Watch video excerpts and read more of Emmert’s thoughts on; whether the NCAA lacks control of college sports, conference realignment, revising the rule book, and the role of sports in higher education by clicking here.

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