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Georgia Tech’s Johnson: Players should’ve checked with team before protesting

North Carolina v Georgia Tech Getty Images

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson on Monday said that players of his who joined a show of solidarity for NCAA reform should have checked with their teammates before moving ahead with the idea.

Apparently, the Yellowjackets coaching staff and most of the players had no idea quarterback Vad Lee, linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu and a few other players were carrying the letters APU — for All Players United — on their wristbands during Tech’s 28-20 win over North Carolina on Saturday.

Johnson said he first learned about it after the game.

“I think the first thing is there’s probably a process that we didn’t go through,” Johnson said. “In my mind what you do if the players all feel strongly about an issue, then they need to talk about it as a team and let the coaches know and it needs to be a team thing. Six guys don’t represent the team, or whatever, when 80 of them don’t even know what’s going on and the coaches don’t know what’s going on.

Johnson said he addressed the issue in a team meeting this week. At least one player said he didn’t think it would continue, since it could end up becoming a distraction to the team.

Players from Georgia and Northwestern also wore ‘APU’ on their gear in a show of support for changes in the NCAA.

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10 Responses to “Georgia Tech’s Johnson: Players should’ve checked with team before protesting”
  1. taintedlombardis says: Sep 23, 2013 11:45 PM

    This APU business is anathema to the NCAA.

  2. irishdodger says: Sep 23, 2013 11:49 PM

    I’m no fan of the NCAA or the state universities who insist on increasing their tuition despite the economic downturns, but I sure as hell don’t want those Commies in the Teamsters or AFL-CIO organizing a bunch of entitled amateur athletes. I have no problem with lobbying for the safety of the athlete but when the APU is being propped up by the Steelworkers union, it’s nothing more than a money grab & they’ll use the athletes as their pawns.

  3. taintedlombardis says: Sep 24, 2013 12:12 AM

    “Entitled amateur athletes”????

    They are the catalyst for hundreds of millions in revenues that they will never see. There’s a loser in this relationship between “entitled amateur athletes” and the NCAA meat grinder, and it’s apparent that it’s those “entitled amateur athletes” who are told to “sit down, shut the eff up, and take what we allow you to have…never mind the millionaires you have created…”

    I hope Arian Foster destroys Tennessee.

    The NCAA needs a day of reckoning. Out of touch and out of control. Their rules mean nothing as they are selectively enforced.

  4. barnesaintnoble says: Sep 24, 2013 12:24 AM

    Nothing will happen to Tennessee, it’s beyond the statute of limitations.

    As fans and alumni of these schools, if we really believe that these players should be compensated, it may come down to whether or not the players and fans are willing to deal with an entire season of no basketball or football games. Football is going to be f*cked down the road because they also have a concussion issue looming with lawsuits and a decline in kids playing and parents allowing.

  5. stoicpaisano says: Sep 24, 2013 12:50 AM

    APU = about 10 kids amongst a few schools wearing the letters. We know the GT players didn’t even inform their teammates, which is the antithesis of being united. Indeed, at least one GT player fears it will distract the team rather than unite it.

    While the idea is good, APU is going over like a lead balloon thus far.

  6. stoicpaisano says: Sep 24, 2013 12:57 AM

    Pardon, they united 28 players.

    Out of approx 9500 D1 football athletes.

  7. mavajo says: Sep 24, 2013 8:47 AM

    Look, I get Title 9 and all that. Schools paying players is a logistical nightmare because of Title 9.

    Fine. Whatever. Don’t pay the players. But remove the other restrictions. If a player wants to make an appearance and get paid for it, that’s his business. If a player wants to sell his autograph, that’s his business. If a alumni, booster, etc., wants to give a player a $100 handshake, that’s his business. If a player wants to accept an endorsement, that’s his business.

    To me, that’s the bigger problem here. I’m OK with these schools not paying the players, primarily because of the burdens imposed under Title 9. But it’s ridiculous that these players can’t go out and try to profit off their own reputation and identity. THAT’s the part that needs to change.

  8. irishdodger says: Sep 24, 2013 8:56 AM


    You’re right, zero NCAA athletes are entitled. I hate the NCAA & universities as much as anyone on here, but put the violin back in the case for the players. No one puts a gun to their head to go to school to play football. If they don’t see value in free room & board, free food 24 hrs a day (at D1 schools), a $100K-$150K college education, a multi-million dollar media platform to display their talents for the NFL, Pell Grant money (non-repayable), free athletic gear from Nike, adidas or Under Armour, free medical care (including orthopedic surgery when needed), free legal counsel (if busted for breaking laws)……..then they should probably skip college and go play Arena Football or CFL….good luck w/ that.

  9. mogogo1 says: Sep 24, 2013 11:26 AM

    Not getting why Johnson thought this was worth his time to comment on. And if they had checked with their teammates, then what? Doubtful anybody would have had a real beef about it. Most likely a few more guys would have grabbed a Sharpie to put APU on their own wristbands.

  10. normtide says: Sep 24, 2013 12:22 PM

    Irishdodger, awesome post. This isn’t slavery, it’s volunteer.

    People also don’t understand, paying payers would be great for our schools ( Bama and ND). As well as a dozen or do other big programs. But for the other 110 teams, they will be left in the dust.

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