Georgia Tech Football Loses '09 ACC Title, But Will Appeal NCAA's Ruling

The NCAA declared Georgia Tech guilty of interfering with an investigation into a player receiving gifts way back in 2009, along with other whoopsies. The football program has been docked, but don't sleep on the basketball program's dings as well.

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Dan Radakovich To Tennessee Derailed By Georgia Tech Violation, According To Report

This isn't the first time it's been murmured that Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets athletic director was all set to take over the Tennessee Volunteers job -- for some reason, he's been a rumored candidate since the very beginning -- but it is the most prominent report on the matter yet. David Climer of the Tennesseean says, "it appeared that the UT All-Sports Picnic would serve as a local introduction of Dan Radakovich as the new athletics director," but UT chose to step away due to the NCAA's punishment of the Jackets.

Radakovich has said he's never even talked to the Vols about such a move.

Climer adds that Radakovich would've received a contract worth $800,000 per year plus incentives. (He also wonders how that search firm, which was based in Atlanta, didn't know about Tech's NCAA troubles, but multiple national and local media outlets missed the story for almost two years as well.)

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat. For more college football, visit SB Nation NCAA Football.

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Georgia Tech To Appeal NCAA Violations Ruling

Georgia Tech plans to appeal the recent NCAA ruling involving allegations regarding rules violations after the school's officials met on Thursday. It isn't 100 percent official, but considering the Yellow Jackets have little to lose via appeal, it's certainly worth an attempt.

"I don't want to put it as 100 percent we'll do something, but it's a virtual certainty," associate athletics director Wayne Hogan told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution following the meeting.

According to the Journal-Consitution, the school has not determined which of the penalties or findings it will challenge, but Hogan said, "I'd certainly think the vacation rises to the top of that list."

The school has until next Thursday to officially notify the NCAA an appeal -- and then another 30 days to actually file said appeal -- but the end result could take months to decide. And, if history is any indication, Ken Sugiura indicates that the decision probably won't end in Georgia Tech's favor.

 Since the NCAA changed the appeals process rules in 2008, schools or individuals who have challenged NCAA infractions committee penalties have won only 1 of 13 appeals.

Either way, it seems the 2009 ACC Championship trophy probably won't be ending up back at Georgia Tech anytime soon.

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat. For more college football, visit SB Nation NCAA Football.

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Georgia Tech's ACC Trophy In Storage As Paul Johnson Fumes

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jeff Schultz had a pair of pieces Tuesday on the continuing repercussions of the NCAA's decision to alter Georgia Tech football history. First, a trip into a coat closet, where the 2009 ACC Championship trophy sits as it awaits a trip to its new home.

Next, some comments from Paul Johnson that are decidedly more Paul Johnson than his last set of comments, including this very Bobby Dodd line after calling the NCAA's insinuations insulting:

I'm sure I cheated in board games. And when I played, yeah, you'd do stuff. Move the ball forward. Move it back. Kick it. Maybe grab a guy where you're not supposed to. But heck, everybody does that.    

There's rule-breaking that provides a team a competitive edge, and there's rule-breaking that doesn't. Nobody could argue that Tech gained an edge due to Demaryius Thomas receiving some shirts from his cousin, but the team definitely needed him and Morgan Burnett to finish the 2009 season with hardware. Do not expect coach Johnson to agree to disagree with the NCAA on this one.

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat. For more college football, visit SB Nation NCAA Football.

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Former Georgia Tech Basketball Coach Paul Hewitt 'Disappointed' With NCAA Ruling

Paul Hewitt is no longer part of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets' athletics department, having been dismissed (with a $7.2 million buyout) in the spring, after which he took the George Mason Patriots' head-coaching position. Nonetheless, he is disappointed with the NCAA's decision to hit his former program with penalties for recruiting violations, even though they won't affect his work at George Mason.

"It bothers me that my name is tied to a major violation that in May of 2009 wasn't in place," Hewitt told ESPN.com's Andy Katz, who has further details on Georgia Tech's alleged infractions and Hewitt's responses to them. Interestingly, one anonymous source Katz cites says Georgia Tech did not spend much time defending itself against the NCAA's allegations regarding their basketball program, figuring that the football program's penalties would be much more severe.

For complete coverage of Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket athletics, please check out From the Rumble Seat.

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Dan Radakovich To Tennessee Rumor Was Overblown, Georgia Tech AD Denies Anyway

At some point Friday a rumor circulated that the Tennessee Volunteers were all set to announce Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets athletic director Dan Radakovich as Mike Hamilton's replacement -- but backed down once Shirtgate shirted up out of nowhere. The rumor spread so far that Radakovich himself dismissed it, denying he'd ever even spoken to UT.

The funny thing is nobody actually reported he was about to accept the Vols job.

Rocky Top Talk outlines the VolQuest report that set all this off, while still respecting the Rivals site's paywall. Somehow VolQuest's report that such a move would be "very realistic" led a couple of big voices to proclaim the site was reporting the move was inches away from happening, which is obviously not the same thing.

However, what we do apparently now know is Tennessee was looking into the Tech AD as a part of its search. In the link above, Rocky Top Talk doesn't like the idea of the Vols list including an athletic director who just withstood significant NCAA punishments.

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat. For more college football, visit SB Nation NCAA Football.

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Paul Johnson On Georgia Tech Football NCAA Punishment: 'Doesn't Affect Us Moving Forward'

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football coach Paul Johnson may have already responded in spirit to the NCAA's investigation into his program, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Doug Roberson went ahead and presented some actual quotes from the actual coach anyhow. 

He says the "Wednesday or Thursday" before the team's 2009 game against the Georgia Bulldogs, he was told by AD Dan Radakovich that Morgan Burnett and Demaryius Thomas were eligible to play. That's one point the NCAA disagrees with. 

When asked about the mood of his team, he describes his team as "frustrated," but seems to reflect the positive sentiment Denzel McCoy claimed was in the air during the afternoon players meeting. Johnson took plenty of solace in the fact that the program won't be hampered by bowl bans or lost scholarships in the future -- though its on probation, of course.

The fourth-year Tech coach also says the scandal doesn't change his desire to remain on the Flats.

Former player Sean Bedford also posted the following on his Facebook:

Dear NCAA,

 

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.

 

Sincerely,

 

Sean Bedford

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ACC Says Georgia Tech Will Return 2009 Championship Trophy

We've heard from the NCAA Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets president Bud Peterson, Tech AD Dan Radakovich and various Tech players about the Thursday SURPRISE! announcement that the school is now on four-year probation. What does the ACC have to say for itself?

We are aware of the NCAA's decision with regard to Georgia Tech. The penalties that have been announced will require Georgia Tech to vacate the 2009 ACC Football Championship. Consistent with NCAA procedures, Georgia Tech will return the championship trophy and the official conference records for 2009 will not designate a champion. All ACC record books will be amended accordingly.   

I've seen that trophy before. I remember seeing it. I think I remember seeing it. I took an ironic photo of it. At least I think I was making fun of the ACC trophy by taking a picture of it. I was raised a Georgia Tech fan, so it was only partially ironic. At least I think I was raised a Georgia Tech fan. Nothing is real. Nothing has ever happened. The NCAA is the only thing that has ever happened. Thank you.

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat. For more college football, visit SB Nation NCAA Football.

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Georgia Tech Press Conference: Dan Radakovich Disagrees With NCAA, But Apologizes

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets held a press conference Thursday afternoon in response to the NCAA's decision to hit the football program with a vacation of the 2009 ACC title and a four-year probation, along with some basketball stuff. Basketball stuff!

President Bud Peterson was the first behind the microphone, reading a statement very similar to the one posted on Tech's website earlier in the day. Peterson emphasized that Tech's decision to "certify the eligibility" of the former football player who received $312 worth of improper benefits. Later, Peterson said that if they had to do it all over again, they probably would have declared the player ineligible, knowing what they know now.

(Also later, Dan Radakovich confirmed former Tech QB Calvin Booker is the alleged agent's runner who's now barred from campus. He described the decision as "erring on the side of caution.")

Peterson said Tech established an investigative committee in December 2010 after receiving the NCAA's notice, listing its members, which included various professors and non-football personnel. That committee deemed the player eligible. He admits the school could've been more aggressive in its investigation, but "given the information" that it had at the time, he says it "acted in good faith."

He outlined a restructuring of Tech's compliance system before turning the attention over to athletic director Radakovich, who later said that the exit of two compliance officers in the past several months had nothing to do with the investigation.

Radakovich said he should've contacted the NCAA in advance of speaking with football coach Paul Johnson about the investigation, denying the school ever tried to interfere with the course of events. He said Johnson would've needed to know about the investigation in case the player asked him why the school's compliance department was looking into the matter, and that Johnson would've been unprepared for that conversation.

(Johnson earned a $200,000 contract bonus for winning the 2009 ACC title -- that won't be affected by the NCAA's findings.)

He said Tech legal counsel met with NCAA reps, stating the allegedly ineligible player's impermissible benefits had come from a family member. Multiple times, Radakovich said the school disagrees with the NCAA's decision and thinks the violations were secondary, but says it is moving forward.

"This is not a good day for Georgia Tech," Radakovich said, apologizing to football players for the vacation of the 2009 ACC title and the institution as a whole.

Virtually nothing was said about the four-year probation the school faces. That vacated 2009 ACC championship seems to be the hardest-felt punishment the NCAA handed down.

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat. For more college football, visit SB Nation NCAA Football.

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How Did Georgia Tech NCAA Investigation Make It Under The Radar For Two Years?

Look at the timeline of the NCAA's investigation into Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets sports. It began in Nov. 2009, yet the first anybody heard of it was on the morning of the actual announcement. Compare that to the Ohio State, USC, Tennessee and UNC stories, which were publicized months or years in advance and saw every major milestone met with national attention.

Or the Oregon story, which has only begun being investigated. We already know several major players and the issues at hand, thanks to national and local reports.

On the Tech story, we missed the beginning of the story and pretty clear milestones like these:

For speculators on what a school or NCAA "must" release: Tech got an NOI on 9/13/10, NOA on 12/11/10, a hearing on 4/15/11. All under radar.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

That's a notice of investigation and a notice of allegations. Tennessee is currently in between stages two and three on that list, for example, and think about how many stories you've already read about Tennessee's troubles. 

For one thing, the priority of the Atlanta media will always be on SEC schools over ACC schools, even when we're talking about in-state institutions. That's just the way it is, based on audience interest. But various independent media outlets do cover Tech sports and Tech sports alone, and several national publications have dedicated writers who cover the entire conference.

These things just happen in a complicated sports media world, I guess. That's really the only explanation I can hurl out there as to how this story remained in the shadows for almost two years. Pretty baffling.

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat. For more college football, visit SB Nation NCAA Football.

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Georgia Tech Responds To NCAA Investigation Decision With Statement

Now that the NCAA's proclamation on the future of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football (and basketball!) is out there, the school has issued a statement on its website in response. Remember, the school isn't being hit for the reception of a few T-shirts by a former player -- it's being hit because it allegedly played that player despite the NCAA's warning and because it allegedly interfered with a follow-up NCAA investigation.

And all that digging turned up a few lesser violations in the basketball program, which spruced up the whole punishment package. All total, Tech will have to drop its 2009 ACC trophy, go on four years of probation, pay $100,000 in fines and withstand a few college basketball recruiting setbacks.

Here's what Tech had to say Thursday afternoon:

The National College Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Committee on Infractions has found the Georgia Institute of Technology men's basketball and football programs have committed violations of NCAA regulations.

The Institute was cited for a lack of cooperation during the investigation, a failure to meet the conditions and obligations of membership and preferential treatment violations. There were additional violations in the men's basketball program related to rules stemming from a nonscholastic basketball tournament conducted on the Institute's campus, which the public report further details.

"Georgia Tech is committed to the integrity of its athletics program, including full cooperation and support of the NCAA," said Georgia Tech President G.P. "Bud" Peterson. "Given the information we had at the time, I believe we took reasonable and appropriate steps to determine the proper course of action and acted in good faith. Looking back, there are things we could have done differently. Because of our unwavering commitment to NCAA compliance, we have already taken a number of steps to address perceived shortcomings, hopefully ensuring that our programs remain beyond reproach."

After being notified of the allegations in November 2009, Georgia Tech conducted its own internal investigation, forming a committee made up of faculty, staff and external counsel that made recommendations based on available information and the internal investigation findings.

As a result of this exhaustive review process and because of Georgia Tech's steadfast commitment to compliance, the Institute completely revamped and enhanced its athletic compliance operation and staffing. Changes include a greater investment in experienced staff, training and awareness among staff and student athletes.

Penalties include:

  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Four years of probation from July 14, 2011, through July 13, 2015. The report further details this probation.
  • A $100,000 financial penalty.
  • A reduction of two men's basketball recruiting days during the 2011 summer evaluation period (self-imposed by the Institute).
  • A limit to 10 official visits for men's basketball for the 2011-12 and 2012-2013 academic years.
  • 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 Institute is considering options including whether to appeal the NCAA decision.

"I want to reemphasize Georgia Tech's unwavering commitment to compliance and our commitment to the conditions and obligations of membership of the NCAA," said Peterson.

Not appealing the decision would be a pretty rare move. Seems to be the pretty standard course of events.

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat. For more college football, visit SB Nation NCAA Football.

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NCAA Alleges Georgia Tech Meddled In Investigation, Strips ACC Title And Begins Probation

The NCAA's official release on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets investigation is out. As had been reported, the 2009 ACC Championship season will be affected, though the entire season won't be vacated -- just games after Nov. 24, which includes the conference title win over Clemson.

Also, the program will be on probation until July 2015, during which time it'll have to stay in constant touch with the NCAA, warn recruits that the program is on probation, and not get in any more trouble because that's how really, really bad things happen. And that's a really long time. The school will also be fined $100,000. The NCAA:

Any public references to  the vacated  2009 ACC football championship shall be removed, including from athletics department stationery, banners, trophies and awards displayed in public areas and any other form in which they may appear.

A former student-athlete was found to have received about $300 worth of clothing against regulations, but made it worse by not sidelining the player -- after the NCAA told Tech that the player's eligibility was at risk -- and by warning another player about what the NCAA was looking into. No violations were found in connection with the second player, which may be thanks to Tech's alleged meddling.

And did you know there's a basketball component as well? For the next two years, Georgia Tech basketball will be docked two summer recruiting days, all complimentary tickets for high school coaches, and any official visits beyond 10 per year.

So that's that, and now Georgia Tech will likely appeal all of this.

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat. For more college football, visit SB Nation NCAA Football.

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Georgia Tech Football To Vacate 2009 ACC Championship, According To Report

Looks like From The Rumble Seat was on the right trackaccording to CBS Sports' Brett McMurphy, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will vacate their wins from the 2009 season, including the 2009 ACC Championship, due to having used a pair of ineligible athletes. Those athletes, in McMurphy's report? Demaryius Thomas and Morgan Burnett, both of whom have denied involvement.

The NCAA will make its findings known at 3 pm, and Tech will hold a press conference at 4:30 pm.

If this is true, and that's the extent of the damage, Jackets fans should exhale deeply. The program recently came off probation, so it could've been much, much worse than that. Losing a banner, even if it's the program's only outright banner in almost 20 years, is nothing compared to what could've been.

Still, we'll wait and see if there's anything else.

According to Zach Klein of WSB-TV earlier this morning, Thomas and Burnett received improper gifts at some point -- a watch and some shirts.

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat. For more college football, visit SB Nation NCAA Football.

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Georgia Tech Investigation: Demaryius Thomas, Morgan Burnett Deny Involvement

This morning WSB-TV's Zach Klein tweeted that former Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football players Demaryius Thomas and Morgan Burnett were rumored to be involved in whatever the NCAA is about to announce about the program. Klein later reported receiving a text from Burnett denying he'd received any gifts.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also reported Thomas denied the report as well (though they attributed the initial Thomas/Burnett report to From The Rumble Seat, which had only reported that the 2009 season is somehow involved in all this).

All caught up now? Everyone has denied everything.

We're a little more than an hour away from Georgia Tech finding out what's going on and about two hours from players finding out. Tech brass will gather for a press conference at 4:30 to answer questions about the NCAA's decision on ... whatever we're talking about here.

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat. For more college football, visit SB Nation NCAA Football.

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Georgia Tech Reportedly Bracing For 'Big Hit' From NCAA

The NCAA will announce the official findings from their investigation into Georgia Tech football, but some details are starting to leak out as we speak. Mark Bradley just tweeted that the punishment likely won't include any firings, but that Georgia Tech is still bracing for a big hit.

I'm told nobody is getting fired, but Georgia Tech people are bracing themselves for a big hit from the NCAA.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

From what we've been hearing, it will likely have to do with the 2009 season, and the possible vacation of the Yellow Jacket's ACC Championship. But we won't know the official details until 3:00 pm. We'll keep you posted.

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Georgia Tech Football Players Meeting Scheduled For 4 PM ET

Your Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets schedule for the rest of the day: conference call with NCAA folks at 3 pm to learn about the governing body's "decision" regarding the Jackets, meeting with players at 4 pm and then a press conference at 4:30 pm, the latter of which will feature the school's president and athletic director. School presidents don't show up for just any old football presser.

Several players had tweeted about the meeting, but Denzel McCoy revealed the time of the get-together:

Team meeting at 4 what???less than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat. For more college football, visit SB Nation NCAA Football.

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Georgia Tech Football NCAA Investigation Involves 2009 Season, According To Multiple Reports

WSB-TV's Zach Klein confirms From The Rumble Seat's report that the NCAA's sudden and surprising investigation into Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football involves the 2009 season. The "ACC title may be in jeopardy," according to Klein.

That would put the best season in Tech football since the Bobby Ross days at risk, but it could be even worse than that. Since Tech was still on that weird post-probationary period, it couid mean even more than just a vacated season.

(SIDE NOTE: How many Georgia Tech fans are really glad it wasn't the 2008 season, when Paul Johnson posted a win over Mark Richt? You know you thought about it. Don't judge me.)

According to reports, Demaryius Thomas and Morgan Burnett are reportedly involved, with each reportedly having accepted an improper benefit. We'll find out much more this afternoon.

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat. For more college football, visit SB Nation NCAA Football.

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Georgia Tech Holding Press Conference At 4:30 PM ET To Discuss NCAA Investigation

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have announced they'll hold a 4:30 pm ET press conference Thursday. School president Bud Peterson and athletic director Dan Radakovich will be in the house, so, no this is not a drill. Get your ... engineering helmets on, Tech fans.

That's scheduled for shortly after the NCAA's conference call at 3 pm ET on its "decision" of what to do about Tech. Players have tweeted about there being a team meeting at some point Thursday as well.

At this point, all we know is that something improper may have happened with Demaryius Thomas and Morgan Burnett at some point. From The Rumble Seat points to the 2009 season as the likely target of the investigation. Though that could mean the Jackets losing an ACC Championship title, it would be far, far preferable to the discovery of a violation committed during the recruitment of those players, which happened while Tech was on probation.

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat.

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Georgia Tech Investigation: Demaryius Thomas, 2009 Season Reportedly Involved

And here's the first clue on what those mysterious Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football violations might be: WSB-TV's Zach Klein tweeted that a source says the NCAA investigation "has, in part, to do with Demaryius Thomas and Morgan Burnett receiving gifts." Klein specified a shirt and watch.

And here's the second: From The Rumble Seat reports the 2009 ACC Championship season could be involved in some way. Thomas and Burnett starred on that '09 team, so the two could go hand-in-hand. Definitely not liking the way things are lining up, but there's still nothing concrete out there.

Thomas and Burnett committed to Georgia Tech in 2006 and 2007 respectively, while the program was still on probation.

If anything untoward actually happened during their recruitment ... there's going to be a lot of crowing in Athens for the rest of the week and beyond. If improper benefits changed hands during the 2009 season, which would be weird, Tech could lose a banner -- which would be highly preferable to committing a violation while on probation.

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat.

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NCAA To Reveal Georgia Tech Football Investigation 'Decision' At 3 PM ET Conference Call

Whatever's going down on the Flats, the NCAA has announced it will reveal the results of an investigation into the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football program at 3 pm ET Thursday. Tech was expected to have received a letter from the NCAA at 10 am ET, if that timeline helps you formulate any theories on what might be announced.

Here's one clue from the announcement of the announcement: "the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions" will reveal its "decision" regarding Tech. So apparently this is the end of an investigation, not the beginning of one. I guess.

This is already kind of a weird story, as the pattern we've seen other NCAA investigations into football programs follow as of late has involved national media breaking the story first, then the NCAA getting involved. This one came out of nowhere, and nobody in the media has anything beyond speculation. 

One would hope this is just a smattering of secondary violations or something laughably trivial like the Boise State thing, but there's a little too much of a to-do over it already for that. We'll see, though.

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat.

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Georgia Tech Football Expected To Receive Word Of NCAA Violations

Word of a major announcement by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets has been buzzing (LOL!) all morning, with WSB-TV's Zach Klein at one point shooting down the possibility of Dan Radakovich heading to take that still-vacant Tennessee Volunteers AD job.

We do know this: it's not going to be good news. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that at 10 am ET Tech will receive information from the NCAA about "alleged violations committed by the football program within the past several years."

God help the Jackets if "past several years" is more than three or four, because that could mean the alleged violations occurred back during the department's NCAA probation, which ended in 2007. And God help the Jackets if Paul Johnson is accused of having done anything wrong, since Tech fans really like that guy. 

The ideal scenario: Chan Gailey did something wrong the day after that probation ended.

For more Georgia Tech sports, head to From The Rumble Seat.

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