Open mobile menu

Smith Resigns, Robinson Remains

Feb. 2, 2002

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech Athletic Director Dave Braine announced today that he has accepted the resignation of defensive coordinator Rick Smith. Coach Smith resigned following the revelation of discrepancies in the backgrounds of two Tech assistant football coaches. Assistant Coach Tommie Robinson will remain with the Jackets as wide receivers coach.

Smith’s resignation follows a review of procedures and personnel conducted by a sub-committee of the Georgia Tech Athletic Board. The three-person group, consisting of Bill Wepfer, Turner Warmack and Trey Childress, concluded that Georgia Tech should improve its system for checking coaching credentials before releasing that information publicly. The group, representing faculty, alumni, and students, made their recommendations to Athletic Director Dave Braine who reviewed them with Tech President Wayne Clough. Both men accepted the sub-committee report in full.

President Clough was pleased with the thoroughness of the report and quality of the recommendations. “Our Board committee and Dave Braine did an excellent job of enlightening us on the present issues and providing sound recommendations, and their work will insure integrity in our processes in the future.”

In outlining the recommendations and his decision, Braine emphasized the difficulty of the problem and the human impact of the ramifications. “This has not been a good week for anyone associated with Georgia Tech. These discrepancies have cast a shadow over an athletic program with a proud and successful history. But,” said Braine, “this has been a particularly difficult week for the people at the center of this controversy, and I ask that everyone keep the human impact in mind. We’re dealing with people’s lives and reputations here, and I know that the sub-committee considered that in their deliberations.”

Braine emphasized that neither coach ever submitted erroneous information to Georgia Tech. Rather, erroneous information in the public record had been re-used by Georgia Tech in announcing the two hires.

“Rick never once misled us,” emphasized Braine. “None of the Florida State information appeared in anything he provided to us. He’s paid a high price for this and all of us at Georgia Tech wish him the best in his future endeavors. We accept his resignation with a great deal of sadness.”

In the case of Robinson, the errors in his background were found to be the result of miscommunication between Robinson and the Sports Information Office at Oklahoma State. When Robinson saw the printed media guide stating that he had received his master’s degree from Troy State, he immediately pointed out the error. Unfortunately, more than 10,000 copies had already been printed and it was too late to correct the error. When hired by Georgia Tech, that same information was simply lifted from the OSU Web site and disseminated in his announcement release.

“Coach Robinson did everything he could to clarify the situation. Unfortunately,” said Braine, “we made the mistake of not contacting OSU to verify the information. In this instance, a simple phone call would have prevented all of this.”

The errors by the Georgia Tech Sports Information Office were the result of not following newly established procedures for checking backgrounds prior to releasing that information publicly. As of Friday, the Athletic Association has new, written guidelines for checking credentials and background information. All background information will be double-checked before it is publicly released. Both the Assistant Athletic Director for Business and the Sports Information Director will be responsible for ensuring that this policy is followed to the letter.

-30-

Statement from Georgia Tech on the Athletic Board Investigation

For more information contact:Bob Harty, Executive DirectorInstitute Communications & Public Affairs404.894.0870404.833.0205  (pager)bob.harty@icpa.gatech.edu

RELATED HEADLINES

Football Five Jackets Named Preseason All-ACC by Phil Steele

Singleton, King, Haynes, Williams and Birr round out Tech’s honorees

Five Jackets Named Preseason All-ACC by Phil Steele
Football Tech Football Officially Adds Six Transfers

Six student-athletes – all with Power Five experience – join Yellow Jackets

Tech Football Officially Adds Six Transfers
Football Five Kickoff Times Announced for Tech Football

Primetime games versus Georgia State, Georgia highlight the Jackets’ newest 2024 game times

Five Kickoff Times Announced for Tech Football
Partner of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Legends Partner of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Partner of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Partner of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets