Sept. 12, 2001
ATLANTA – After a consultation with Atlantic Coast Conference officials and university athletic directors within the conference, Georgia Tech’s varsity athletic teams will not compete in scheduled events through Saturday, Sept. 15.
These events, including the Yellow Jackets’ football game at Florida State which was scheduled for 7:45 p.m. Saturday at Tallahassee on national television, will be made up on a date to be announced later. Tech’s volleyball team was to have participated in a tournament at the University of Pittsburgh Friday and Saturday, and the Jackets’ cross country teams were to have competed in the Georgia State Invitational Saturday.
According to an announcement made by the Florida State athletics department, tickets to the football game will be honored on the make-up date, and fans should hold onto tickets they have purchased.
“We’re disappointed that the football game will not be played this weekend,” said Tech director of athletics Dave Braine. “Our players, our coaches and everyone associated with Georgia Tech have built up a lot of anticipation toward this game. Our players did want to play the game, but this situation is bigger than any one ballgame.
“We will abide by the ACC’s decision. We do this as a conference out of respect for the people who lost their lives and their families. We had a lot of support from students and alumni who asked us not to let the terrorists dictate to us what to do. These games also are part of what brings us together after tragedies. It’s not an easy decision either way.
“We felt strongly about wanting to play because our kids wanted to play. Had our players not wanted to play, we would have gone the other direction.”
Head football coach George O’Leary said: “Obviously, our players are very disappointed because they wanted to play the game. I understand the nature of the country right now, but I’m a firm believer that we need to move on and do the things we’re supposed to do. I feel very sorry for the people involved and the events that happened.
“With the catastrophe that we’ve had, there are a lot of feelings both ways as far as not playing and playing. I’ve always been a firm believer that you have to move on, as hard as it is.”
“Dave asked my opinion about wanting to play or not, and I told him I would like to play the game. With that, I polled our players this morning, and they were unanimous in their decision to want to play.”
With the postponement and a scheduled off-day the week of Sept. 22, Georgia Tech’s football team will not play again until Sept. 29 against Clemson at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field. An announcement of the kickoff time for the Clemson game is expected Monday, Sept. 17.
“Right now our players are going to get some time off, which they deserve,” said O’Leary. “We’ll make the best use of the time we have and try to get better and just continue on. There are certain things that are out of our control and we just have to go on. We’ll take Wednesday and Thursday off and come back to practice Friday.