May 25, 2006
TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics
FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics
To start things off, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to the first edition of “The Good Word.” We had nearly 100 responses within the first few days, and I want to assure everyone that I personally read each one. As will be the pattern after each edition, I will read all the responses, and in some cases, I or another GTAA staff member will respond to answer specific concerns or questions. The best thing about the feedback is that I will utilize some of the suggestions as “discussion starters” with key members of the staff. Your feedback is very helpful so that we do not take our eyes off the ball in relating to issues that are important to you. We will have several work sessions during the summer where I will reference ideas or suggestions that have been brought to my attention via your responses.
I’m happy to share with you some information regarding football ticket sales for the upcoming season. Sales and marketing initiatives have progressed very well, and with 100 days until the opener against Notre Dame, we have already exceeded our season ticket sales for all of last season. My thanks to all of you who have purchased tickets this season. Additionally, our club seats are nearly 85 percent sold. That is nearly double the total from this time last year. Rest assured our job is not yet complete, and good seats still remain, so please contact our ticket office if you wish to purchase season tickets for what promises to be an exciting season.
Last week I attended my first Atlantic Coast Conference spring meetings, which were held near Jacksonville, Fla. These annual sessions are an opportunity for athletics directors, faculty representatives, head coaches and administrators to meet with each other and with ACC Commissioner John Swofford as well as with key constituents such as bowl representatives and television partners.
One of the issues discussed was the ACC’s bowl selection procedure. We are seeking the best formula to ensure that the selection process will reflect and reward what our student-athletes accomplish on the field while still maintaining some needed flexibility for our bowl partners.
As you may have read last week, we voted on future sites for the ACC men’s and women’s basketball and baseball tournaments. The exciting news for Georgia Tech fans is that the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament was awarded to the Georgia Dome for 2012; the event is already scheduled for Atlanta in 2009.
In addition, Greg Shaheen of the NCAA staff met with the league’s men’s basketball coaches, who were able to discuss their concerns about the NCAA Tournament selection process.
We had extensive discussions with our television partners: ABC/ESPN, which are the ACC’s primary football partners along with Lincoln Financial Services (formerly Jefferson-Pilot); FOX, which airs the highly successful ACC Sunday Night Hoops and takes over the BCS rights; and CBS, which continues to air the NCAA basketball tournament. These conversations also touched on new media methods that are exciting and will continue to place the ACC at the forefront of technology and fan friendliness.
Lastly, regarding the announcement last week by the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee, while the ruling was not exactly what we had hoped for, we are all ready to put this behind us and move forward.
We’re confident that the Institute and the Athletic Association now have the structures, procedures and personnel in place to effectively manage this process. In particular, the addition of experienced staff members in the positions of Director of Compliance (Paul Parker) and Associate Director of Athletics for Academic Services (Phyllis LaBaw) have fortified our operations. Georgia Tech has a tradition of integrity and academic excellence that we are committed to upholding and enhancing.
While I cannot guarantee a personal response to every email that we receive, please know that they will all be read, so I do encourage your participation in this process. Some of your questions could become topics for future issues of The Good Word.
I also encourage you to share this letter with any Tech fan who may not have access to the Internet. Our goal is to inform and engage as many Yellow Jacket supporters as we possibly can.
I want to personally thank you for your continued support of Georgia Tech Athletics as we move forward with our vision for excellence.