Thursday, November 17, 2005

Former Players Speak Out

Nate Stimson started all 12 games in 1998 at defensive end, and was drafted in the 4th round of the NFL draft. He posts from time to time on The Hive, and weighed in on SupsensionGate today. This is the truly painful part of this, the players from some of those very good teams being told that they accomplished absolutely nothing. You can find the thread here:

I am still trying to figure out what this means and how to handle this?
What will happen to the Gator Bowl trophy we earned. Will it be allowed to be displayed and if not who gets it? WHo should get it? will it be thrown in a closet in the basement of Grant field? I just hope it is not on eBay like the letterwinners club tickets were a couple of years ago....I am still scratching my head on that.

I will tell you this we beat Georgia at Georgia. I still have the hedge, the tapes, the pictures Rob took, the newspaper -- it did happen and no, dawg fans we didnt cheat to do it. We beat notre dame, we beat #6 UVA, we came from behind in death valley on thursday night, we ended a 50 year winless era at Chapel Hill. We had 10 wins, we had the 2nd best record since Bobby Dodd left. This was only in 1998.

Now I wonder who's fault is it? Who erased what we worked so hard to earn. I do not feel it is the student-athlete's job to scrutinize NCAA requirements nor do I feel that it is the football coaches job. This falls on at least 1 persons shoulders. We all know who he is. THis is inexcusable. It is funny to hear people talk about academics and athletics at Georgia Tech. Oh these people aren't lettermen from GT, they dont know what being a "student-athlete" at GT means.

I am not making excuses for players that didnt get done what they were supposed to get done, my question is were they given the right guidance on the matter. If they were and dropped the ball then the school suspends the player, it shouldnt even be in the coaches hands at that point. Ultimately, it comes down to who is responsible for the Institute, just who is that person? Since it has to do with academics, it can only be one person's responsibility. Most bosses have the mentality that "the buck stops here."
Well, the responsibility starts there as well. Before fingers are pointed elsewhere they need to be pointed at who is responsible for setting up the academic advising programs for student athletes. I am not speaking about all of the academic advisors while I was there, but with some, it was like the blind leading the blind... Who hired these people, how long was it before they were found to be inept?

TO me, this is all water under the bridge. Like I mentioned earlier, I know what we did. I do wonder if the 1998 Gator Bowl team will exist in history? I guess probably not. At the 10, 15, and/or 25 year anniversaries of the 1998 team, will we be acknowledged or will we be erased from anything like that. I still have my Gator bowl ring, it hasnt started to fade like Michael J. FOx's hand in
Back to the Future, I know that it wont but it feels like that is whats happening. Most here cannot comprehend the level of embarassment and disappointment I feel at this time as well as other teammates I have spoken with from the 1998 team. I do not know what he would do, but I wish Kim King was still with us. THe bottom line is ACTION NEEDS TO BE TAKEN.....NOW!

PWD had asked the question:

"Nathan, Remember in Back to the Future when Michael J. Fox keeps looking at the photo and sees people disappearing b/c the past is being changed to impact the future?

Is it going to be like for Georgia Tech? And if so, how will that impact your header graphic on your blog? Will Joe Hamilton still be there tomorrow?"

I guess Stimson's opinion on this is ... a resounding NO, the hard objects remain here to remind us. Emotionally though, it obviously feels that way to some of them. Reading Stimson's comments is a reminder that no matter what happens, you can't take away the great players and classy way they have represented our Institute in their future endeavors. Whether or not they made it into the NFL or into private life, they have continued to put the school in a great light, and that is something to be proud of. It's a shame the administration has been letting them down.


Blogger natennater said...


6:45 PM  

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