The Good Word

March 22, 2007

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

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

Congratulations to our men’s and women’s basketball teams for very exciting seasons! Both programs have a lot to be proud of, and both have bright futures. Thanks and good luck to seniors Mario West, Stephanie Higgs and Kentrina Wilson.

The success of our men’s and women’s teams puts Georgia Tech in an elite group. While 23 schools had both their men’s and women’s basketball teams make the Big Dance, Tech is one of only five schools in the nation that put its men’s and women’s basketball teams in the NCAA Tournament and saw its football team play in a New Year’s Day/BCS bowl game. Can you name the other four? [answer is below]

CONGRATULATIONS, ALL-AMERICA JACKETS

Congratulations to NCAA CHAMPION Shantia Moss! A junior from Tamarac, Fla., Shantia won the 60-meter hurdles at the NCAA Indoor Championships to capture the fifth national title for the Tech women’s program. Senior Ashlee Kidd also earned all-America accolades with a third-place finish in the 400 meters.

The outdoor track season is now underway, and Tech will host the Yellow Jacket Invitational, March 31 at the Griffin Track. Click here for more information.

Congratulations, also, to junior diver Evan Stowers, who earned all-America honors for the second straight year with a 15th place finish on the platform at the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships.

SOFTBALL OFF TO A GREAT START

Our 20th-ranked Tech softball team, under first-year head coach Sharon Perkins, leads the nation in home runs. We host defending ACC champion NC State this weekend at Glenn Field, with a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. and a single game Sunday at 12 noon. The first 75 fans in attendance Saturday will receive free Chick-fil-A sandwiches, while Sunday is Youth Day, when kids can run the bases and stand on the field for the National Anthem.

TENNIS TEAMS HOST KEY MATCHES THIS WEEKEND

Our men’s and women’s tennis teams host key ACC matches this weekend at the Bill Moore Tennis Center:

Friday, No. 42 GT Men vs. No. 14 North Carolina, 2 p.m.Saturday, No. 6 GT Women vs. No. 9 Miami, 12 noonSunday, No. 6 GT Women vs. No. 15 Florida State, 10 a.m.;No. 42 GT Men vs. No. 17 Duke, 1 p.m.

Saturday’s women’s match features Tech’s No. 7-ranked Kristi Miller against top-ranked Audra Cohen of Miami at No. 1 singles. The first 100 fans in attendance will receive free Papa John’s pizza. Or join us for Sunday’s doubleheader and enjoy free barbecue between matches.

GOLF HOSTS U.S. COLLEGIATE CHAMPIONSHIP

It’s still a few weeks away, but make plans to attend Tech’s annual spring tournament, the U.S. Collegiate Championship, featuring many of the top teams in the nation, April 9-11 at the Golf Club of Georgia. Senior Roberto Castro is playing some of the best golf of his career for the Yellow Jackets, including his first career victory at the Puerto Rico Classic last month. Click here for more information on the U.S. Collegiate Championship.

LESS IS MORE

Less hair, that is, for the Tech baseball team. Congratulations to all the young men in our program for “stepping up to the plate” for a very worthy cause. The entire team, and even coaches and student managers, shaved their heads to raise more than $8,500 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which provides funding for children’s cancer research. Click here to see a photo of the Jackets, sans locks.

I received a very nice note of thanks for the efforts of our equipment manager, Tom Conner, as well as Barb Headley of the Tech bookstore for providing clothing for the families of the Bluffton baseball players injured in the tragic bus accident last month. Many family members rushed to Atlanta with only the clothes on their backs, so we’re happy that we were able to help in some small way.

Thanks, also, to the families of several Tech baseball players who organized a collection at last Sunday’s game. Approximately $1,000 was collected for the trust funds established at Bluffton University.

UPDATE ON BASEBALL TV, RADIO AND TIME CHANGES

Please be aware of two time changes for home baseball games next week. Wednesday’s (March 28) game against Georgia Southern has been moved to a 3 p.m. start and will be televised on SportSouth (formerly Turner South). The Saturday, March 31 home game against Maryland has been moved to a 1 p.m. start.

The Georgia Southern game on SportSouth is one of 11 baseball games scheduled for television in the coming weeks. Other televised games are as follows:

April 6, @Miami, 7 p.m., CSSApril 7, @Miami, 1 p.m., FSN SouthApril 8, @Miami, 1 p.m., CSSApril 18, Georgia, 7 p.m., SSApril 24, Georgia (Turner Field), 7 p.m., SSMay 6, @South Florida, 6 p.m., CSSMay 9, @Georgia, 7 p.m., CSSMay 17, Florida State, 7 p.m., SSMay 18, Florida State, 7 p.m., SSMay 19, 4 p.m. Florida State, CSS

In addition to radio coverage on our student station, WREK, 790 the Zone will carry five games, featuring Wes Durham and Randy Carroll, so every game from here on will be on radio. The 790 the Zone games are as follows:

March 27, Georgia Southern, 7 p.m.April 20, NC State, 7 p.m.April 22, NC State, 7 p.m.April 29, @Clemson, 2 p.m.May 9, @Georgia, 7 p.m.

FINAL FOUR WEEKEND IN ATLANTA

Georgia Tech is the host institution for the NCAA Men’s Final Four, March 31-April 1 at the Georgia Dome. Atlanta has a rich history with the NCAA Tournament, including three regionals and three Final Fours in the last seven years, and many GTAA staff members have worked diligently over the last decade to plan and stage these events.

Even if you don’t have tickets to the games, there are many events around Atlanta for you and your family to enjoy the Final Four experience. I urge you to visit the Atlanta Local Organizing Committee website ( www.atlanta.net/finalfour ) for events and details.

There are still some volunteer opportunities available (although none that actually get you into the Dome for the games), which can also be accessed on the ALOC website.

TECH FUND UPDATE

The implementation of the TECH Fund is going well. Our staff stands ready to assist you, so please continue to send your questions and comments. The TECH Fund website should also be a helpful tool.

I remind you of a couple of deadlines that are approaching. March 27 is the last day to register for the three-payment plan and also the deadline to submit your Transfer Request Form. Plus April 13 is the deadline for the one-payment plan as well as the last day to submit the Relocation Request Form.

Probably the most frequent question/comment that I have received over the last few weeks involves the processing fee. This is an issue that we discussed at length throughout the development of the TECH Fund . . . even to the point of raising the TECH Fund levels to include the costs. As you know, we are charged a processing fee for every credit card transaction, and we are also charged by the computer processing system (Paciolan) that allows on-line sales and maintains the back-of-the-house operations. For football tickets, these costs approach several hundred thousand dollars.

For those of you who have bought season or single-game tickets in the past, you know that there has always been a “processing” fee associated with ticket sales. Please understand that TECH Fund contributors will NOT be charged an additional processing fee on your ticket invoice. Only those customers who purchase season tickets that do not require a TECH Fund contribution will see a processing charge on their ticket invoice.

Again, we debated the best way to incorporate these costs. We will review this process for 2008, and we certainly welcome your feedback on this and other issues as we move forward.

Speaking of football, spring football practice is off this week for spring break but resumes next Wednesday and continues through our final spring scrimmage on April 7, scheduled for 11 a.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field.

As always, we welcome your feedback ( goodword@athletics.gatech.edu ). Please know that even if I’m not able to send a personal response to everyone, I do read each email, and I appreciate the support and passion of every Georgia Tech fan.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Louisville, Tennessee and Notre Dame are the only schools in the nation to participate in this year’s men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments and play in a New Year’s Day/BCS bowl game.

And if you add the 2006 College World Series, then Georgia Tech is ONLY school.

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