When it was announced that Georgia Tech was on the receiving end of a top-secret NCAA investigation, needless to say (but we’ll do it anyway), it caught everybody off guard.
That includes several former players from that 2009 Yellow Jackets squad who will now be a part of a vacated ACC title.
Former center Sean Bedford took to his Facebook page today and wrote a rather nasty letter to the NCAA regarding their decision.
Granted, it wasn’t really a letter in the traditional sense; more of a complaint via a social media platform.
Anyway, below is Beford’s rant:
Thank you for handing down penalties that only adversely affect the players who did things the right way. This reeks of an organization desperate to prove that it has some sort of control over its member institutions despite lacking the ability and firepower to police the serious offenders and protect the student-athletes whose interests you purport to have at heart.
While I realize that all violations merit some kind of punishment, I have a hard time grasping the notion that one of the proudest moments in my life (and the lives of every other individual that was a part of the team and program in 2009) is apparently worth $312 in your eyes. If that truly is the case, I’d be happy to provide you with that same amount of money (cash or check, your choice) in exchange for the reinstatement of the title my teammates and I earned through our blood, sweat and tears.
It took months of hard work, dedication and personal sacrifice by a team of over 100 players, 10 coaches and countless staff members to achieve that championship, but, evidently, it only takes the handful of pencil pushers, lawyers and professors on your infractions committee to strip us of it.
I was a part of the 2009 ACC Championship team and, while you can pretend retroactively that it didn’t happen, I have vivid memories of an incredible season that was, and continues to be, one of the most fun, meaningful, important, and very real times in my 23 years on this planet. I’ll be wearing my championship ring with pride and if you want that too, you’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead finger.
That last line — awesome.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution also offers up some additional thoughts from former Yellow Jackets via their Twitter accounts:
Demaryius Thomas, former receiver: Swear they look for anything.
Phil Smith, current offensive lineman: They can’t strip me of my memories.
Sedric Griffin, former linebacker: Can’t win for losing as a Techie.
Mario Butler, former cornerback: Regardless of what happened I still got my acc ring.
Anthony Allen, former running back: Well good thing my ring is in a safe place but this is some bull…
Brad Jefferson, former linebacker: Just heard they so called, “took our acc championship away,” dats funny..lol! Take something away from gladiator(ha), YEA RIGHT! All they can say is that they tried…
Scott Blair, former kicker: We beat Clemson twice in 2009. We only needed to beat them once to prove we were the best in the ACC anyway.