Georgia Tech put on probation, vacates 2009 ACC Title
By George Henry
ATLANTA ó The NCAA put Georgia Tech on four years of probation, fined the school $100,000 and stripped its ACC title game win from the 2009 football season on Thursday for violations that also included problems in the menís basketball program.
Georgia Tech did not lose scholarships and was not ruled ineligible for postseason games in either sport, but the basketball team had the number of recruiting days and official visits reduced for the next two seasons.
The NCAA vacated the final three games of the football teamís 2009 season ó a loss to rival Georgia, the Atlantic Coast Conference title game victory over Clemson and the Orange Bowl loss to Iowa. It was the Yellow Jacketsí first season under coach Paul Johnson.
The NCAA said Georgia Tech should have declared an unidentified football player ineligible after he allegedly accepted $312 worth of clothing from a friend of a sports agency employee. The NCAA said the school failed to cooperate with its investigation, and said it was hindered by a school staff member who alerted the player about potential eligibility concerns before his interview with NCAA investigators.
ěIt appeared to the committee that the institution attempted to manipulate the information surrounding potential violations involving (the player),î the report said, ěso there would be enough doubt about its validity to justify the decision not to declare him ineligible.î
There was no immediate comment from Georgia Tech, where president Bud Peterson and athletic director Dan Radakovich were planning a late afternoon news conference.
The basketball violations involved a youth basketball tournament held on campus in 2009 and again in 2010. A graduate coaching assistant helped administer both tournaments, violating NCAA prohibitions on scouting, and in 2010 an academic adviser for the team ěevaluated prospects and reported his observationsî to the coaching staff.
The NCAA said the violations were considered major.
ěThey were not isolated because the violations occurred over two academic years and involved members of the menís basketball staff,î the infractions committee report said. ěThey were also not inadvertent, as the institution and head menís basketball coach were aware of its staff membersí involvement in the tournament, which had occurred on the campus for a period of 10 years.î