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GaTech to vacate ’09 ACC title, placed on four years probation

Paul Johnson

Earlier today, many an individual connected to the sport were caught off-guard when reports surfaced that the NCAA was set to announce its findings followed an investigation into the Georgia Tech football program.

First of all, there was nary a clue that Tech was even under investigation.  Secondly, there were no details provided as to what exactly the NCAA had looked into, other than rumors that football players may have been the recipients of some free clothes or something along those lines.

The NCAA, however, has spoken, and cleared up the mystery surrounding the Yellow Jackets.  Somewhat.

In its report released this afternoon, the NCAA concluded that an unnamed former Tech player received impermissible benefits from the “friend of an employee of a sports agency based in Atlanta, Georgia.”  “Student-athlete 1” as the now-former player is described in the report, received several items of clothing from the friend of the sports agency employee worth $312 according to the NCAA.

Additionally, the report reads, “in November 2009, the NCAA agent, gambling and amateurism activities (AGA) staff developed information that a former Georgia Tech football student-athlete (“agency employee”) was working for an Atlanta-based professional sports agency and that he had provided impermissible benefits to a current Georgia Tech football student-athlete (“student-athlete 2″).”  The NCAA found that, in the case of student-athlete 2 — who is a current player — Tech officials “prepped” the player prior to his questioning by the NCAA; “The committee did not make a finding that student-athlete 2 received clothing, as he consistently denied this, although his denials may have been the result of the institution failing to protect the integrity of the NCAA’s investigation.”

As a result of the impermissible benefits found to have been received by student-athlete 1, and the university’s actions pertaining to providing information to student-athlete 2 ahead of his sit-down with the NCAA, the Association found the football program guilty of three major violations (a fourth violation was attributed to the basketball program):

— Preferential treatment. [NCAA Bylaw]

In October 2009, a friend of an employee of a sports agency based in Atlanta, Georgia, provided a then football student-athlete (“student-athlete 1”) several items of clothing valued at approximately $312.

— Failure to cooperate. [NCAA Bylaws 19.01.3 and 32.1.4]

On November 16, 2009, the institution failed to protect the integrity of the investigation and violated the cooperative principle when, contrary to specific instructions from the NCAA enforcement staff, institution staff members spoke to student-athlete 2 and told him the issues and related matters that would be the subject of his upcoming November 18, 2009, interview with the NCAA.

— Failure to meet the conditions and obligations of membership. [NCAA Constitution and Bylaw 14.11.1]

In late 2009, the institution failed to meet the conditions and obligations of membership in that the institution did not withhold student-athlete 1 from competition when the institution was made aware of information which raised serious questions about whether he was involved in violations of NCAA legislation and thus should have been declared ineligible.

Additionally, a secondary violation was uncovered during the course of the NCAA’s investigation:

— On June 13, 2010, a football student-athlete was provided admission to the Georgia Aquarium, a meal and a bag of nonperishable items by two representatives of the institution’s athletics interests ($74).

As a result of those major violations, the Tech football program received the following sanctions:

— Public reprimand and censure.

— Four years of probation from July 14, 2011 through July 13, 2015. The public report further details the conditions of this probation.

— A $100,000 financial penalty.

— Head coach Paul Johnson will be required to “attend an NCAA Regional Rules Seminar in 2012.”

— A vacation of all contests won by the football team during the 2009 season after November 24, which is when the university was alerted to the potential eligibility issues.

The latter penalty means that the Yellow Jackets will be forced to vacate their 2009 ACC title game win over Clemson.  If they had beaten Iowa in the Orange Bowl a month later, and if they hadn’t lost to Georgia the week prior to the ACC title game, those wins would’ve been vacated as well as the NCAA concluded they played two players whose eligibility would’ve been in doubt.

For the complete report, you can click HERE if you have a minute or sixty to kill.

The school is expected to address the NCAA’s report in a 4:30 ET press conference this afternoon.

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28 Responses to “GaTech to vacate ’09 ACC title, placed on four years probation”
  1. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jul 14, 2011 5:13 PM

    So let me understand this. Tech was on probation with a stipulation that if any other major infractions were commited prior to 11/10, there would be additional sanctions. Hmmm.

    So there is a repeat offense in the SAME sport. Officials of the university–THE UNIVERSITY–prepped a player as to what to say in his interrogation, sorry I meant interview with the NCAA and ALL they got was a vacated title and four years probation?


    I believe I just heard the collective gasp from Buckeye Hater Nation all the way here in the Sunshine State.

  2. billmead1976 says: Jul 14, 2011 5:41 PM

    Keep Vacating Baby.
    USC, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, who’s next?

    Can we just let the boys plays? Pay the athletes. Get rid of these recruiting rules.

    I just want to watch the game, eat a few dogs and suck down some suds.

  3. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jul 14, 2011 5:45 PM


    No one vacated our wins. We voluntarily gave them back. Not saying they wouldnt have taken them anyway, but it is a stark contrast to USC–one of the many when the situations are compared.

  4. thefiesty1 says: Jul 14, 2011 6:24 PM

    Just wait until the NCAA comes down on THE Ohio State if they gave GT these kind of penalties. OSU is going to get (deservedly so) screwed, Big Time!

    It continues to amaze me the schools that the NCAA go after. Unbelievable.

  5. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jul 14, 2011 7:04 PM



    Are you kidding? You wear your HATER badge for all to see. What just happened with Tech bodes well for tOSU. You probably wouldnt know since it is apparent you lack a depth of knowledge about the situations.

    Nowhere in the situation with the Buckeyes was anyone from the INSTITUTION prepping players on what to say in their NCAA interviews.

    Nowhere in the situation with the Buckeyes was the INSTITUTION made aware of information that raised questions about the Tat5 which was disregarded and said players allowed to participate in games.

    Jim Tressel knew. Thats all. One more time: NOT THE INSTITUTION.

    It would be like tOSU finding out about TP getting $ for signatures, being warned by the NCAA that his eligibility might be in question, choosing to let him play anyway and then having someone from compliance prep him on what to say to the NCAA investigators. Picking up what I am laying down?

    The ONLY similarity is that tOSU, just like Tech, could be considered a repeat offender. This is my favorite part. See, everyone who has been salivating over bowl bans and such based on the repeat offender tag just got the wind knocked out of them. Tech was a repeat offender in the SAME sport (unlike tOSU) and yet, there is no bowl ban.

    Like any good hater, I am sure you just HATE that too.

  6. rolltide510 says: Jul 14, 2011 7:18 PM

    My goodness. How is it that somehow even when they’re in trouble, Ohio State fans still claim to be the moral authority of college football? Just sit down and shut up for about four years.

  7. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jul 14, 2011 7:43 PM


    Not sure anyone is claiming moral authority. I simply pointed out that those calling for the death penalty, tv bans or bowl bans are going to be disappointed and this ruling is evidence of that for the reasons I stated above. How is that acting morally superior?

    If you have a retort to anything I stated above, please share an opinion and lets discuss. However a response of “Sit down and shut up” is usually evidence of a lack of arguement.

    Oh, and btw, coming from one of the MOST sanctioned programs in the history of the sport, I would say you are being quite the hypocrite.

  8. rolltide510 says: Jul 14, 2011 7:55 PM

    So Angelheartsbuckeyes,

    It was when you said ‘nobody vacated our wins, we voluntarily gave them back’ — BS. So in a world without the NCAA, you’d have still done so, because you’re all such great people? This is the classic OSU attitude we’ve all gotten sick of. Also, the NCAA never feels self-imposed sanctions are good enough, so get ready to have your actual punishment handed down.

    While we’re at it, share with the class what you think represents the “institution”? USC got LOIC due to a player and an agent. Alabama got LOIC when a booster that didn’t even live in the state paid a player that didn’t live in the state. In that context, you can say a situation that actually involves the head coach of the program doesn’t represent a matter of “the institution?” What would satisfy this criteria in your mind? The board of trustees? The governor of Ohio?

  9. jhoerst says: Jul 14, 2011 8:07 PM

    I live in Ohio and am a Michigan fan because of the Buckeye fans.. there so ignorant when it comes to logical thinking in the world of college football.. and if you think that tress and his crew didnt prep there players what to say, your crazy.. and who knows, since the investigation is still going on, the NCAA might find that out… including more.. i would say buckeye fans are on the same level as steeler fans.. they can’t get over there ego’s long enough to hold an intelligent conversation about college athletics…

  10. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jul 14, 2011 8:20 PM


    My comment regarding vacating wins was tongue-in-cheek and I followed by saying they would have taken them anyway. Anyone who actually followed the USC story knows that they did not comply with the investigation and made no recommendations for self-imposed sanctions.

    Why do you cite LOIC in this case? Are you so misinformed that you are not aware that tOSU was NOT cited with this in the NOA????? Nor were we hit with FTM–those are allegations levied when the misconduct has risen to the level of multiple people with knowledge or action in the offense or in USC’s case, multiple sports–or did you not know that OJ Mayo and the basketball program was also a subject of the NCAA sanctions?

    Of course you didnt, because you said yourself USC got the LOIC because of a player and an agent.

    So, yeah., consider yourself schooled. Class dismissed.

  11. thefiesty1 says: Jul 14, 2011 8:26 PM


    Just don’t hold your breath waiting for the sanctions coming your way for the o s u.

    By the way, your beloved hasn’t yet told the interviewees what to say. Just keep the lies coming.

  12. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jul 14, 2011 8:27 PM


    The investigation is not still ongoing. We appear on 08/12/2011 before the infractions committee. If the investgation were still ongoing, one of two things would have occured:

    1) We would not have been allowed to file our response the allegations and recommend our self-imposed penalties.


    2) We would have a new NOA.

    Neither of those things happened. You must have us confused with Auburn.

  13. jhoerst says: Jul 14, 2011 8:31 PM

    @ angelheartsbuckeyes

    Im currently over seas serving the country so I’m a bit out of the loop with current events.. my apologies… None the less, I feel your a little to optimistic about what the penalties will be

  14. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jul 14, 2011 8:34 PM


    Thank you for your service and commitment to freedom. My father was a WWII vetern and my brother is currently in the Army Special Ops–I have all the respect for our military, and on that we will never disagree!

  15. emperorzero says: Jul 14, 2011 9:14 PM

    I think the major thing sticking out in the Georgia Tech case is the institution prepping the player. There is nothing the NCAA likes more than when a school tries to hide the truth.

  16. rolltide510 says: Jul 14, 2011 9:17 PM

    I mentioned LOIC because it was easier then typing the word “institution” over and over the way you did. All of my points stand. You’re attempting to separate Tressel from “the institution” and I’m stating this is impossible, for all intents and purposes the head coach is indeed “the institution” in terms of the football team. I gave examples of situations where the NCAA took quite a different take on what constitutes the institution.

    Nor does my shorthand summary of USC’s situation mean I didn’t follow the story, again it was for brevity’s sake.

    So you really think the NCAA is totally done with OSU and your suggested penalties are all you’re going to get, huh? Okay sweetheart, nothing else we can tell you I guess.

  17. georgeanderson2 says: Jul 14, 2011 10:08 PM

    Break away from the corrupt ,double standard NCAA. Schools, and or conferences need to form their own governing bodies. The NCAA doesn’t even know the rules anymore.

  18. whatswiththehate says: Jul 14, 2011 11:48 PM

    angelheartsbuckeyes says:Jul 14, 2011 8:27 PM

    Neither of those things happened. You must have us confused with Auburn.
    Oh please..It’s the AU haters in the media and the bama folks who are keeping the NCAA case with Cam alive. That case was DOA and they and the NCAA know it. But it’s clear the media and these bama folks are doing their best to have the NCAA re-write their rules just to punish Auburn in some way in relations to Cam. I’ve observed very quickly that the NCAA have their preferred schools and Auburn isn’t one of them.

    Anyway, speaking as a person new to the world of college sports, IMO, the more u folks scream at each other about how the NCAA should do their job when your arch enemy wasn’t punished well enough for you, the more rules they create that ends up strangling your school and athletes.

    Some of these punishments by the NCAA is sheer ridiculous. The only reason why I really feel the NCAA is coming down on GT is because they prepped the athlete before his meeting with them.

  19. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jul 15, 2011 12:27 AM

    @roll tide


    How original.

  20. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jul 15, 2011 12:37 AM

    Apparently you you read with brevity too.

    NOWHERE in any post did I say or insinuate in the slightest that I thought tOSU would not get additional penalties. I simply stated that there will not be a bowl ban, tv ban or death penalty based on these rulings.

    The situations are strangely similar…improper benefits, repeat offender status, lying to the NCAA.

    Interesting timing to release these kinds of sanctions for these kinds of infractions related to an investigation no one really knew about.

    …and yes I do believe there was more than one shooter on the grassy knoll. :)

  21. waynefontes says: Jul 15, 2011 1:11 PM

    Vacating an ACC football title?

    “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

  22. Deb says: Jul 15, 2011 1:42 PM

    whatswiththehate …

    Liar. Alabama has nothing to do with the Cam Newton investigation. The complaint was brought by Mississippi State. Cecil Newton confessed to soliciting money for his son, and fans of every program resent the fact that the NCAA/SEC skirted their own bylaws to allow him to remain eligible.

    As an Alabama fan, I feel Auburn beat us fair and square in the Iron Bowl and we would not have contended for a title regardless of the Newton situation. I’ve read your pretense at not being an Auburn supporter. The fact that you keep trying to blame your problems on Alabama and even troll PFT attacking former Bama players reveals the lie in those claims. The NCAA just made it very clear to your coach that their investigation is ongoing–and that has nothing to do with your rivals. Suck it up.

  23. Deb says: Jul 15, 2011 1:48 PM

    @rolltide510 …

    Last time I checked my calendar it was still July and the NCAA wasn’t scheduled to announce any penalties against Ohio State until August. Whatever the NCAA might have done, angelheartsbuckeyes is right–OSU did voluntarily vacate its own wins and even vacated the Sugar Bowl, a win the NCAA would not have vacated. So no one can ever say the NCAA vacated those wins :)

    To me there’s a difference between Tressel failing to report infractions and the Georgia Tech staff coaching a player on how to lie to the NCAA. What Tressel did was serious and wrong. But it was one individual acting inappropriately, and he has been punished. The way this reads makes it sound like an institutional issue at Tech–which, to me, is more serious. And I’m saying that as someone who doesn’t like Ohio State but has a soft spot for Tech due to its historic association with the SEC.

  24. southernpatriots says: Jul 17, 2011 9:37 PM

    Deb: We think we have never told you how much we admire you negotiating the PFT side of this. We only look at it every once in a while and what we see are some crazies making every personal and every profane comment they can and a few who take the situation with the NFL seriously, albeit with some humor, but the PFT seems to be a place we would not want to be.

    You have great love for the Steelers and for Pro ball to even stay around there.

    CFT seems to be our home and albeit with a few children here who think it is a sign of maturity to vote negative thumbs to prayers and well wishes to those with sick children (Coach Jimbo Fisher), those players seriously injured, or for those who are working to try to help those whose home, businesses, and lives were devastated by tornadoes, floodings, etc.

    We found a group of LSU fans who are planning to attend the Iron Bowl flag football game so we have donated our tickets to them and they will go to show LSU unity for those affected. Several will even wear purple and gold and we told them that they will be welcomed (It is not being played in Tennessee, ha!…or at Ole Miss!)…about 30 so far are going. Wish I was a little younger and I would hit my wagon to their horses as well! ha.

    We just were by Toomer’s Corner again and the word from those working on the trees is getting a little less optimistic. We are hoping that there will be some tree nurseries near Tuscaloosa which are prepared, just in case. We are going to telephone the tree farmers we can locate near and around Tuscaloosa and let them know the latest and at least get them thinking about the possibility if the worse comes in the next year or two.

    We are sure they will do all they can, if they are prepared ahead of time. Several of these tree farms are already donating free trees to plant on the landscaping around the new houses being built by Samaritan’s Purse (that the charity formed by Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son) to replace those destroyed in and around Tuscaloosa.

    Best to you and your family! Our prayers are with you all!

  25. John Taylor says: Jul 17, 2011 11:07 PM

    I don’t say this nearly enough, but I (heart) southpats. They are a breath of fresh air amidst all the BS.

    God bless you, southpats. All y’all, God bless you.

  26. jwils63 says: Jul 18, 2011 1:52 AM

    I find it pretty ridiculous that the entire football team is being penalyzed due to one players actions. Im a huge Georgia Tech fan , and I bet if this happened at UGA no one would say a word about it. The NCAA needs a wakeup call! Its not fair to punish the players who did everything they were supposed to do and strip away their title over some bum accepting clothes from a friend. If thats the case then the entire NCAA should be under investigation!!

  27. southernpatriots says: Jul 18, 2011 9:47 AM

    John Taylor: Thank you for your kindness. You know the feeling is very mutual. Good to hear about Ben as well as was your ribbing of him. He will probably want that back after some of the comments of posters on CFT…ha.

    jwils63: You are right about the “ridiculous” aspect of this penalty. A member of our family is a UGA alum and renowned football player and finds this investigation and penalty v. Georgia Tech absurd and agrees with the Georgia Tech ACC championship team center and other members. He is ready to pay the $312 himself he says, if that would remove the absurd penalty.

    As a Georgia (not Georgia Tech)… as a University of Georgia–Athens, graduate and football player, he along with many of his teammates would be happy to pay any penalty. Of course, the Georgia Tech players and alums would not allow this. This is just to demonstrate that it is not just Georgia Tech players and fans that find this penalty absurd and overbearing, but even their in-state, down the road arch-rivals feel that way as well.

    Is there any appeal of this type of overbearing absurd penalty for a friend to give jerseys and clothing ($312 worth) to a recruit?

    It would seem that repayment of the amount to a recognizable charity along with maybe a penalty of an equal amount or double the amount or a minimum of $1000 or $5000 would be fair, not losing the ACC title and $100,000! Some things seem extreme to us, and that is one.

  28. me6661973 says: Jul 21, 2011 7:48 PM

    GT one I think bull they kept quiet but glad it was! Wish same was for Cam till proven guilty media can’t blow things up. 4 years vs 1 year lsu got crime is a crime way i feel. noone should pick punishment for themself if other team can’t. No matter what was won. Ohio ST was the same. Hammer hard hammer the same! Tired seeing teams like Bammer 10 years worth book scandle then win NC while NCAA slowly trys to hurt Auburn bring in FBI? and none proven money changed hands anywhere. Mississippi ST tried shop cam but Noone proved Auburn did has or ever will show money was paid for him. I think give these kids money 100,000 if they play a year. or so much a game! You win you get more set payments for doing good. living money keeps them out trouble and happy. let stats on feild talk. you do good you get paid. Billions these crooks make off these young guys and they deserve better treatments. I love football I just hate circus around it! Cam was great player on the feild an off he did buy stolen laptop but that was civil court matter. He won two championships two teams and kids at schools look up to him as a mentor on his free time he saw them. Panthers teammates like him he hard worker loves football where nfl will have a star. Why can’t the NCAA let these guys be stars instead of letting ESPN other bring them down! I rather see ohio st and lsu tough on feild than weaken by bull rules! GT the same they was getting good beat Auburn that one year and they had few players go pro. Now another handicap they not be able find these pro level players and be in the dark again. that just sad! War Eagle let the get paid and play well! Leave it on the feild!!

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