The Good Word

May 15, 2008

The best news I can give you at this time of year is that there is a whole lot going on at Georgia Tech. That means we have a host of teams playing well and competing into the postseason. It’s never been my desire to have things get very quiet in late May and early June. We all love the sights and sounds of success as we close out our year in the coming weeks.

It is great to be able to say that we have one team defending a National Championship in the coming days. Bryan Shelton is leading our women’s tennis team in hopes of a repeat as they compete this weekend in Tulsa, Okla. Also, I want to pass along my congratulations to Sharon Perkins’ softball team, which qualified for NCAA Tournament play and will travel to compete in the Gainesville, Fla., regional this weekend. Bruce Heppler’s golfers are off and running in their regional hosted by Ohio State Thursday through Saturday.

And I couldn’t be more pleased for Danny Hall and our baseball team for the truly remarkable fortitude to battle through midseason tragedy and re-establish themselves as one of the nation’s best college programs. By winning the season series with our SEC Champion arch-rivals (despite Tuesday night’s nail-biting loss in front of a great crowd at Turner Field), we believe we have moved ourselves into position to potentially host a regional here at Russ Chandler Stadium.

We have submitted bids for both the regional and super-regional tournaments. The NCAA will announce regional sites Sunday, May 25, which is the final day of the ACC Championship in Jacksonville. We are all hoping for a strong finish for the Jackets as they conclude the regular season with three games at Virginia this weekend and then open play in the ACC event next Wednesday.

This may also be a good time to mark your calendar a year ahead as the 2009 ACC Baseball Tournament moves to Fenway Park in Boston.

Along those same lines, ACC administrators heard presentations from representatives from Tampa Bay and Atlanta at our annual spring meetings which concluded yesterday. Those cities will host our Football Championship in December and Basketball Championship in March.

Much of the discussion at this year’s meeting centered on some old familiar buzzwords: revenue enhancement and cost containment. Other athletic directors, like me, are increasingly interested in how the conference can continue to get more of our league-wide revenue into the hands of the individual schools. Hopefully, some progress is being made.

You may have read where we also discussed increasing the number of conference games scheduled each year in football and basketball. Those discussions proved interesting with good arguments on both sides, but at the end of the day the issue was tabled until further study can be done.

With the ACC meeting behind us we now look forward to the remainder of our Spring Caravan stops. Our caravan opener at the Cobb Galleria was a huge success by all accounts. I hope each of you will take the opportunity to come out and visit with us when we are at a location close to you. The next stop on the tour is Tuesday at The Farm Golf Club in Dalton and then a week from today at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. Click here for information on the caravan.

Here is one last reminder on our football season ticket renewal deadline which is tomorrow, May 16th. Our response continues to be positive and we have many folks waiting to have a shot at available inventory as the deadline passes. Don’t lose out on holding onto those season tickets as Coach Paul Johnson ushers in a new era in Georgia Tech football.

Football Preview Show Airs Friday
A one-hour Georgia Tech Football Preview will air tomorrow (Friday, May 16) at 3:30 p.m. on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS). The show, which actually made its debut on CSS on Wednesday might, has several good features surrounding Paul Johnson’s first spring practice at Georgia Tech. If you miss Friday’s show, check Ramblinwreck.com later this spring and summer for a list of additional show times.

Track and Field Hosting An Event This Weekend
The Yellow Jacket track and field teams will host their third and final track meet of the season Friday and Saturday at the George C. Griffin Track. Close to 1,200 athletes will compete in the two-day event. The meet will get underway Friday at noon with the hammer throw. Come out and cheer the Jackets in their final competition before the NCAA East Region Championships. Admission is free and do not forget your suntan lotion.

Remaining Spring Caravan Dates

Tuesday, May 20
6:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
The Farm Golf Club
1000 Mill Creek Road
Rocky Face, GA 30740

Thursday, May 22
6:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Idle Hour Country Club
251 Idle Hour Drive
Macon, GA 31210

Tuesday, May 27
6:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center
2443 Highway 54 West
Peachtree City, GA 30269

Thursday, May 29
6:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
The 1818 Club
6500 Sugarloaf Parkway
3rd Floor
Duluth, GA 30097

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