The Good Word

May 3, 2007

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

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

This edition of the Good Word is somewhat longer than previous editions because there is quite a bit going on in Tech athletics right now.

You’ve heard me say that the mission of Georgia Tech athletics is simple – to educate our student-athletes and to entertain our customers. In this week’s Good Word, I want to focus on the education component because Saturday is one of the most important days of the year for Tech athletics – Graduation Day.

We have a number of current and former student-athletes who will be “walking” at Saturday’s Spring Commencement at the Georgia Dome – from former all-ACC baseball player Steven Blackwood (who hopes to go on to medical school) to all-America golfer Roberto Castro (who graduates with highest honor in Industrial Engineering), to all-ACC performers Stephanie Higgs (women’s basketball) and Alison Silverio (women’s tennis) to football standout Darryl Richard (who earns his degree in just three years). Click here to see a list of graduates for this semester.

For most of these young men and women, their athletics careers are over, but on Saturday they will receive the ultimate trophy – a Georgia Tech degree that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

I also call your attention to the latest data released this week by the NCAA on the new Academic Progress Rate (APR). All Tech teams performed very well in this report, which is a three-year compilation that covers the 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 academic years. In particular, our men’s golf team had a perfect score of 1000 for the three-year period, and our figures for football, men’s basketball and baseball are very solid. Click here to read more.

TECH FUND AND SEASON FOOTBALL TICKETS

Our TECH Fund and season football ticket process continues to roll along nicely. We are now at approximately 75 percent of our anticipated TECH Fund responses. Also, the process of relocation for those who requested such is in full swing.

In the coming days most season ticket holders that are being relocated, by request, can go through the ticket renewal process online. An e-mail message is being sent to those customers whose ticket invoices are ready for processing informing them of the online renewal opportunity. If your invoice is not available online, the ticket staff is still studying the options related to your request for relocation.

Season ticket holders that require no relocation as well as those that hold season tickets outside TECH Fund areas can take advantage of the online renewal process beginning May 4, 2007.

Anyone who has not renewed season football tickets online will be receiving a paper application by mail sometime around May 15. Remember, the deadline to renew season tickets is June 22.

FLEX PACKS

We will once again be offering the very popular “Flex Pack” ticket option in 2007. This opportunity will be made available to our season ticket holders on or about June 1. If you are a season ticket holder you will be notified by e-mail when these “flex packs” are available for purchase. This plan allows the fan an opportunity to select a three-game package of his or her choice, pay the full face value for each of the three games selected and enjoy the opportunity to supplement your season tickets to those games. Season ticket holders will enjoy an exclusive time period to make these purchases before these “flex packs” are offered to the general public.

PARKING

A comprehensive parking plan has also been undertaken and information in the way of a printed brochure and application will be mailed to season ticket holders near the end of May. Parking will be assigned using A-T priority points. Season ticket holders will be asked to list their order of preference for various parking lots under our control. Details on pricing and locations will be included in the materials.

And now an update on what’s happening in Tech sports . . .

WOMEN’S TENNIS REGIONAL

Congratulations to 2007 ACC Coach of the Year Bryan Shelton and our women’s tennis team for capturing their third straight ACC title. Tech earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and begins play next weekend by hosting the Atlanta Regional at the Bill Moore Tennis Center. Furman, Kentucky and Arizona come to Atlanta, with matches scheduled for Saturday, May 12 at 12 noon and 3 p.m. and Sunday, May 13 at 12 noon. Click here for details.

GOLF

Our golf team will also begin postseason play at home by hosting the NCAA East Regional, May 17-19 at The Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta. The entire field will be announced Monday. Congratulations to Bruce Heppler and his squad for winning a share of the ACC title for the second straight year. Click here for more information on the NCAA East Regional.

SOFTBALL

Sharon Perkins’ squad continues to hit home runs at a record-setting pace – they currently lead the nation in home runs and have already broken the ACC season record (which Tech had set last season). Tech heads to the ACC Tournament next weekend in Tallahassee, Fla. With a record of 49-13 and a very strong RPI, the program will certainly earn its sixth straight NCAA berth and is in contention for a No. 1 seed.

TRACK & FIELD

Congratulations to our men’s and women’s track and field programs for a good showing at the ACC Outdoor Championships, at which James Lemons II (triple jump), Ashlee Kidd (400 meters) and our women’s 4×100 relay team of Kidd, Shantia Moss, Shantrell Moss and Jacqua Williams won ACC titles.

BASEBALL

Following final exams this week, Danny Hall’s squad hits the homestretch with two more weekends on the road at South Florida and North Carolina before concluding the regular season against ACC-leading Florida State, May 17-19. That should prove to be a crucial weekend, so I encourage you to come out and support the team. Please note that the Florida State games are Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m.

SPECIAL THANKS

As we recognize academic achievement and graduation, it is important to remember that the education of our student-athletes would not be possible without the generous support of our Alexander-Tharpe Fund contributors. In particular, I would like to recognize the generosity of Kathy Betty and Ken Byers for their gifts to endow scholarships.

Kathy Betty recently announced a gift of $500,000 in honor of her late husband, Garry Betty, to endow the Garry and Kathy Betty Point Guard Scholarship for the Tech basketball program. A 1979 graduate of Georgia Tech in chemical engineering, Garry was the President and CEO of Earthlink and a tremendous supporter of Georgia Tech athletics.

Ken Byers has also made a very generous gift to endow scholarships for our tennis programs. The top players on our men’s and women’s tennis teams are honored with the Byers No. 1 Tennis Scholarships.

FOOTBALL PREVIEW LUNCHEON

I had a chance to sit down with a group of Tech alumni and supporters at the fifth annual “Football Preview Luncheon” organized by Turner Warmack. Thanks to Turner for putting this group together each spring, which meets with Coach Gailey and some of his assistants to talk about the upcoming season. This year’s group enjoyed a lively session with new offensive coordinator John Bond.

Thanks for taking time to read this extra-long Good Word. We welcome your feedback at goodword@athletics.gatech.edu

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