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The Good Word

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

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

I hope this edition of The Good Word finds you all well and getting excited about another great fall weekend on the Flats. Our football opponent on Saturday, Duke, is certainly getting its fair share of attention around the country this week. And why not!? The Blue Devils are off to a 3-1 start and fresh off a 31-3 victory over Virginia. New coach David Cutcliffe has his troops believing in themselves and his system and the early results are impressive.

This, of course, will be a battle of two coaches in their first year at their respective schools – both of whom have inspired great enthusiasm and hope for the future. Our Paul Johnson is no stranger to Duke as his Navy teams were a regular on the Blue Devil schedule in recent years. And speaking of Navy, it was a 41-31 loser to Duke a few weeks back but then rebounded to pull off the major upset of Wake Forest last Saturday.

This Duke resurgence has sparked my interest and I hope yours as well. I think we are in for an exciting day of college football. Once again we will kick off at noon on Saturday as the game is being televised on ESPNU as part of our ACC commitments. This is “Family Weekend” and will also serve as our annual “Band Day.” There are 12 bands participating this year with over 800 high school musicians expected to be on hand. We are also reaching out this week to all Georgia Tech faculty and staff with a special ticket offer as a way to say thanks to our friends and colleagues on campus. Go to www.ramblinwreck.com/tickets and enter the promo code: STAFF. Next week’s Gardner-Webb game will not be televised and has been set for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

As is normally the case this time of year, we have numerous other sports events on campus this weekend. Our volleyball team has matches Friday at 7 p.m. vs. Florida State and Saturday at 7 p.m. vs. Miami. Fans attending the Friday night volleyball match will have the opportunity to purchase a ticket to the football game vs. Duke on Saturday for $20 on sale that night at O’Keefe Gym. Our men’s tennis team is hosting a singles draw invitational at the Bill Moore Complex all day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And how about a little softball to cap off the weekend as Sharon Perkins’ team continues its fall schedule with a doubleheader against Jacksonville State beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

I just returned from a two-day meeting with the Division I-A Athletic Directors from across the country. It was really a bittersweet time for us because there is truly a sense that college sports is not only stronger than ever before but flourishing in its mission to educate our student-athletes and provide quality entertainment. Anyone who has spent an afternoon or evening watching college football recently can clearly see that the entertainment part is covered. But behind the scenes graduation rates are on the rise and schools across the country are reporting better academic success rates. We have an indicator called “Graduation Success Rate” that will be released by the NCAA in two weeks showing that Georgia Tech’s student-athlete population has steadily improved over the four-year rolling period in the study.

The downside of my time together with fellow ADs at the meeting concerned the economy. Over here at Tech, we have spent a significant amount of time discussing our nation’s economic turmoil and its potential effects on our business model. Certainly, we must be aware of the economic reality facing our potential fans and supporters and how it may effect us in the area of ticket sales and other budgeted revenue streams.

As in any evolving situation there are opportunities and challenges. We are working overtime to maximize our opportunities while living in an environment of challenging economic times for our region and nation. I want to be prepared in the coming weeks and try to stay ahead of the curve in making sound fiscal decisions in this time of uncertainty. I have stressed to all of our Tech supporters since I arrived that above all I will strive to operate with sound business principles. Never is that more important than the present.

I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to once again thank all of you who continue to support our program in many ways. You truly make the difference for us to accomplish great things at Georgia Tech.

GAME DAY RECYCLING
The results are in and we’re proud to announce that Georgia Tech’s Game Day Recycling has been successful during both home games so far this season! Our first game on August 28 vs. Jacksonville State yielded 1.1 tons of aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass. This amount increased to 1.15 tons during our last game on September 20 vs. Mississippi State. Thanks to the tailgaters and supporters for embracing this recycling program and making it the success that it’s been so far.

Game Day Recycling will continue at the game on Saturday vs. Duke. Once again student volunteers will be handing out blue recycling bags to tailgaters. We’re asking you to support this worthy program by using these bags for your aluminum, plastic and glass containers. Please do not place other waste in these bags.

GTAA has been working closely with other campus stakeholders and vendors to initiate this program, and could not have had this initial success without their support. We truly appreciate your participation in expanding our campus-wide sustainability efforts, recycling programs and keeping our campus beautiful.

SWILLING WILL REPRESENT TECH IN TAMPA
Former All-American outside linebacker Pat Swilling will be the Georgia Tech Legend at this year’s Dr. Pepper ACC Football Championship game weekend, December 5-6, in Tampa, Fla. The Legends Class of 2008 will appear at the ACC Coaches and Awards Luncheon at noon on Friday, Dec. 5, and will be honored at the “ACC Night of Legends” held at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay that evening. They will also be recognized during pre-game ceremonies at Raymond James Stadium.

NOTEBOOK
While most Tech fall sports teams will play on campus this weekend, the men’s and women’s cross country teams will be running in Auburn, Ala. … the swimming and diving teams, which opened their respective seasons with victories in Florida, will swim at Clemson next Friday… the golf team will be playing next weekend, just down the road in Macon at the Brickyard Collegiate… football standouts Darryl Richard and Andrew Gardner are two of 30 semifinalists nationally for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award… the women’s tennis team will continue competition this weekend at the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades, Calif… the men’s tennis team is in Tulsa, Okla., this weekend for the D’Novo All-American Tennis Championships.

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