Thursday, November 17, 2005

And Now for the Other Shoe

Georgia Tech Penalized for Allowing Academically Ineligible Student-Athletes to Compete, Lack of Institutional Control

Ugh. Our school officials aren't exactly working on a hot streak right now, and this isn't good news. Details of the punishment are:

(UPDATE: For the hundreds of ND fans linking here from other boards, you're wrong ... go to the bottom of this post (update #4) for the correct details regarding that Gator Bowl)
  • Public reprimand and censure
  • The institution self-imposed a reduction of six initial football grants-in-aid for each of the 2005-06 and 2006-07 academic years. The committee added a limit of 79 total grants-in-aid for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years, after determining that the limit on initial grants-in-aid did not affect total grants-in-aid for 2005-06.
  • The institution self-imposed a grants-in-aid reduction of 3.90 in men's track and field for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 academic years.
  • The institution self-imposed a grants-in-aid reduction of two for women's track and field for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 academic years.
  • The institution shall vacate the performance of its football team for all contests in which the 11 ineligible student-athletes competed.
  • The points contributed to team totals by ineligible student-athletes in men’s and women’s track and field and women’s swimming shall be vacated. Team scores shall be reconfigured accordingly.
  • The institution self-imposed a $5,000 fine, payable to the NCAA, for allowing ineligible student-athletes to compete in NCAA championships/bowl games.

Losing 6 scholarships a year for the next 2 years hurts. That's going to be pretty ugly. I'm not quite sure what the details of "vacating" the performance of the football team when those players competed means, but it's pretty clear that it's basically a forfeit.

The worst part is that this wasn't something intentional, it was just a egregious mistake by the academic side of the house, and is now the football program is going to pay the bill for their complete screwup in figuring out how the quarter to semester switch was working. And lets not even go into how ridiculous it is that even the "non-degree" courses that GT football players were taking are surely more academically challenging than classes that "Lifestyle Management" majors take at some schools.

In the past 3 days the news out of GT has been our AD throwing the programs ability to compete under the bus, a cornerback who was arrested as part of a major drug sting reinstated by a court and now this. When did Atlanta become the new Athens? I'm going to go puke now.

Update:

Oh wow, the penalties for vacating a game are pretty harsh. According to NCAA.org:
  1. Require that individual records and performances achieved during participation by such ineligible student-athlete shall be vacated or stricken;

  2. Require that team records and performances achieved during participation by such ineligible student-athlete shall be vacated or stricken;

  3. Require that team victories achieved during participation by such ineligible student-athlete shall be abrogated and the games or events forfeited to the opposing institutions;

  4. Require that individual awards earned during participation by such ineligible student-athlete shall be returned to the Association, the sponsor or the competing institution supplying same;

  5. Require that team awards earned during participation by such ineligible student-athlete shall be returned to the Association, the sponsor or the competing institution supplying same;

  6. Determine that the institution in ineligible for one or more NCAA championships in the sports and in the seasons in which such ineligible student-athlete participated;

  7. Determine that the institution is ineligible for invitational and postseason meets and tournaments in the sports and in the seasons in which such ineligible student-athlete participated;

  8. Require that the institution shall remit to the NCAA the institution's share of television receipts (other than the portion thereof shared with other conference members) for appearing on any live television series or program if such ineligible student-athlete participates in the contest(s) selected for such telecast, or if the Management Council concludes that the institution would not have been selected for such telecast but for the participation of such ineligible student-athlete during the season of the telecast; any such funds thus remitted shall be devoted to the NCAA postgraduate scholarship program; and

  9. Require that the institution that has been represented in an NCAA championhip by such a student-athlete shall return 90 percent of its share of the net receipts from such competition in excess of the regular expense reimbursement, or if said funds have not been distributed, require that they be witheld by the executive director.
That's going to leave a mark. This is far harsher than what I expected, considering that what occured was non-intentional and self reported. About the only good thing to come of this is no bowl ban, but the rest of it is a pretty tough pill to swallow.

Update #2:

From what I can gather, these are some of the events we may have to remove from the record books:
  • Gator Bowl win over Notre Dame
  • Champs Sports Bowl win over Syracuse
  • 3 wins over UGa ('98, '99 and '00) - guess it doesn't matter if it was a fumble or not now
  • Potentially Joe Hamilton's records if he is one of the athletes
  • All Time highest bowl winning percentage
  • TV revenue from both Gator Bowl trips, including the loss to Miami
  • TV revenue from 6(?) bowl trips
  • TV revenue for most of the games in all of those seasons (I have no idea how this will work)
This is a far harsher punishment than South Carolina received for much more egregious violations. I assume that some of these will be reduced on appeal, but it's a big black eye for a program that has prided itself on staying as far away from this kind of news as possible. Clough and Braine have a lot of explaining to do.

Update #3:

Full report (in .pdf) is available now on NCAA.org

Basically, we're going to have to forfeit every game played in the '98, '99, '00, '01, '02 and '04 seasons, if I'm reading this correctly. We had an "inelligible" player in every game in each of those seasons according to the report. Ouch.

Update #4:

According to the AJC (link) this morning, the bowl games are not NCAA controlled, and thus GT does not have to either vacate or forfeit those games and the school can continue to honor those teams. This means the bowl win over ND stands, among others (sorry to all of you coming here from every ND site under the sun hoping to pad the all time win % - you'll still have to earn it). To be more clear than that article - there was never a question about the Champ's Sports Bowl last year because nobody was inelligible. There were questions about the previous bowls, but GT gets to keep them. The article is somewhat poorly written in explaining that, mostly because the AJC sucks.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dan said...

We weren't even on semesters in 1998 so I don't get how we had an ineligible player on the team unless he was ineligible in that year. Unless they are punishing for all 4 years of a player's eligibility regardless of when his ineligible period actually started.

I would call that fucking retarded, but then I remembered we're dealing with the NCAA.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous gtryan said...

this is so f'm rediculous. USC east and Bama got much less punishment for INTENTIONAL rule breaking while we get extremely harsh ruling over some accidental crap b/c of an old man who didn't do his job right and didn't rain up his apprentice right... total BS

8:56 PM  

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