Academic Intimidation

redmule

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
655
Had two things happen this last week that I found interesting. Saturday night, my wife and I were having dinner with a former client of her's and the client's husband. He is an Auburn grad, a pharmacy major that had been a regional sales manager covering several states for a major pharmaceutical company before retiring. We were talking about our college days. He said he really liked chemistry and would take chemistry classes as electives. I told him I had struggled with chemistry, and did not enjoy the classes I had taken at all. He said WTTE, "Of course the chemistry at Tech is a lot harder than the chemistry at Auburn so I probably wouldn't have liked it either."

At a Super Bowl party, I was talking with a church friend, an MD as is his wife, LSU grads. Their son (a smart kid) will be a high school senior next year, and my friend said his son wanted to study engineering. They were planning to visit UF (I live in Florida), Auburn, and Mississippi State to tour the campuses and find out about the engineering schools there. I told him I'd be glad to have them join me at a Tech football game and I hope his son was considering Tech. He told me they had talked about it but his son was "intimidated" by Tech, and they would be looking at other schools.

Tech's reputation as an elite and difficult school is widespread and well known especially across the Southeast. If people like my friends that have achieved success in difficult fields are somewhat "intimidated" by Tech, then the typical high school football player must be absolutely terrified of what awaits them academically there. Imagine you are a 3 star football player, and you even have an SAT of 1000+ and B's in your math and science classes so you are ahead of most recruits in your classification in that respect. You know you are going to have to bust your butt to earn any playing time, plus you are taking on the academic challenge of an institution that even doctors and pharmacist find daunting. Why would you do that? How do we get ANY players with offers from other teams? The pool of players even willing to consider playing for us must be small indeed. I can only imagine the frustration of our coaches out on the recruiting trail when they see a player they know could be exceptional in our system and would fill a crying need, but the kid just does not want to take on the academics or is scared by Tech's (well-deserved) reputation just as my friend's son is.

I know we say that Ross and Dodd did it. Why can't Johnson? I think we have more of a problem than we suspect, and it's going to get worse. Tech's academic reputation seems to me to be better regarded than it was a quarter century ago when Ross was here. The Administration is focused on raising that even higher, and I agree with that. Also, what it takes to be accepted is higher, and I'm not talking about for football players. Take my example of the football player with the 1000+ SAT and B's in math and science. He hears about the guy in his high school with A's in the AP math class and a 1300 SAT being turned down by Tech. Then he gets a call from Johnson saying, "We want you at Tech and are sure you can handle the academics here." I'd say, "Riiiight! Been nice talking to you."

I know this is a dead horse I'm flogging, but those two incidents so close to NSD gave me new respect for what our coaches and teams have accomplished in the last two decades. That goes also for the guys that just signed our LOI. They are not backing down from a tremendous physical and mental challenge. We should not forget that when we discuss the merits and shortcomings of our new signees. Just by signing, they have demonstrated a toughness even a courage that the signees of another team nearby (that shall remain nameless) have not, and that is an unmeasureable that you want in your players.
 

takethepoints

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I think you're right and that this was one of the reasons we hired Coach: he had just come from an environment with similar standards and high expectations. In general, I think the experiment has worked out ok, though we could do better then the last two years.

One thing we did ignore - I didn't know this until much later - is that there aren't any athletic scholarships at the academies. Everybody is going to school on the taxpayers's nickel so what you get is a pretty doggone large pool of talent to pick from. True, almost all the talent is at the "two star, if you're lucky" level, but there is always room for a diamond in the rough (provided the Senate comes through with the appointment, that is).

It also doesn't help that Georgia has one of the worst secondary education systems in the country. Given what the students "learn" in a good proportion of the state's high schools, I'm sure the response you posit is more common then not.
 

collegeballfan

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I believe redmule is preaching the gospel.

As I have noted on another thread there is a reason the guys coming out of high school with the single goal of the NFL just plain shun Georgia Tech.
This is one of the big reasons why. Especially in Georgia.

Take a look at the undergraduate majors at GT:

http://www.admission.gatech.edu/academics/majors

Now look at the undergraduate majors at any SEC school. You will find a couple hundred majors. My favorite was a major Clemson had years ago - "Playground Design".
 

AE 87

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12,967
@redmule tell your friends that many employers draw a different conclusion from the same data, not to mention the actual difference in education
 

Old School

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
125
Comparing what Dodd did to the current state of college football is useless. Ross had the stars align.....which is what it will take for Tech to win another NC.
Ross didn't have the stars align, he aligned them. He did it by having one of the best coaching staffs you could ask for: O'Leary as DC, The Fridge as OC etc. It's been proven time and again that you can win championships at Tech, we just need a few more big time athletes. I think the pendulum is swinging in the right direction. Roof was a good hire along with Pelton. Vad transferring was a blessing for us. We've got a very favorable schedule this year. Heck, we even got a JUCO transfer. 2014 is looking up!
 

DvilleJacket

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A tech ticket guy called me today and we talked 30 minutes or so about football. I think things are going in the right direction for us as a program. When people in the ticket office are into the program I think that is a sign of football mattering more.
 

GTRX7

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Ross didn't have the stars align, he aligned them. He did it by having one of the best coaching staffs you could ask for: O'Leary as DC, The Fridge as OC etc. It's been proven time and again that you can win championships at Tech, we just need a few more big time athletes. I think the pendulum is swinging in the right direction. Roof was a good hire along with Pelton. Vad transferring was a blessing for us. We've got a very favorable schedule this year. Heck, we even got a JUCO transfer. 2014 is looking up!
Being that I was 13 at the time, I watched Tech football, but paid less attention to things like coordinators. I had no idea that O'Leary and Friedgen were coordinators under Ross. That is incredible! Amazing staff.

(That said, they still went 7-4 and 8-5 the year before and after the NC. That does sound like the stars aligned a bit for that one season.)
 

jayparr

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A tech ticket guy called me today and we talked 30 minutes or so about football. I think things are going in the right direction for us as a program. When people in the ticket office are into the program I think that is a sign of football mattering more.
good catch!!
 

augustabuzz

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Being that I was 13 at the time, I watched Tech football, but paid less attention to things like coordinators. I had no idea that O'Leary and Friedgen were coordinators under Ross. That is incredible! Amazing staff.

(That said, they still went 7-4 and 8-5 the year before and after the NC. That does sound like the stars aligned a bit for that one season.)
The position coaches were also excellent. That staff left en masse when Coach Rice made his one mistake by not hiring either O'Leary or Ralph. Two years later that staff had the Chargers in the Super Bowl.
 

Arkfbplayer52

Georgia Tech Fan
Messages
37
Location
Austin, Texas
Had two things happen this last week that I found interesting. Saturday night, my wife and I were having dinner with a former client of her's and the client's husband. He is an Auburn grad, a pharmacy major that had been a regional sales manager covering several states for a major pharmaceutical company before retiring. We were talking about our college days. He said he really liked chemistry and would take chemistry classes as electives. I told him I had struggled with chemistry, and did not enjoy the classes I had taken at all. He said WTTE, "Of course the chemistry at Tech is a lot harder than the chemistry at Auburn so I probably wouldn't have liked it either."

At a Super Bowl party, I was talking with a church friend, an MD as is his wife, LSU grads. Their son (a smart kid) will be a high school senior next year, and my friend said his son wanted to study engineering. They were planning to visit UF (I live in Florida), Auburn, and Mississippi State to tour the campuses and find out about the engineering schools there. I told him I'd be glad to have them join me at a Tech football game and I hope his son was considering Tech. He told me they had talked about it but his son was "intimidated" by Tech, and they would be looking at other schools.

Tech's reputation as an elite and difficult school is widespread and well known especially across the Southeast. If people like my friends that have achieved success in difficult fields are somewhat "intimidated" by Tech, then the typical high school football player must be absolutely terrified of what awaits them academically there. Imagine you are a 3 star football player, and you even have an SAT of 1000+ and B's in your math and science classes so you are ahead of most recruits in your classification in that respect. You know you are going to have to bust your butt to earn any playing time, plus you are taking on the academic challenge of an institution that even doctors and pharmacist find daunting. Why would you do that? How do we get ANY players with offers from other teams? The pool of players even willing to consider playing for us must be small indeed. I can only imagine the frustration of our coaches out on the recruiting trail when they see a player they know could be exceptional in our system and would fill a crying need, but the kid just does not want to take on the academics or is scared by Tech's (well-deserved) reputation just as my friend's son is.

I know we say that Ross and Dodd did it. Why can't Johnson? I think we have more of a problem than we suspect, and it's going to get worse. Tech's academic reputation seems to me to be better regarded than it was a quarter century ago when Ross was here. The Administration is focused on raising that even higher, and I agree with that. Also, what it takes to be accepted is higher, and I'm not talking about for football players. Take my example of the football player with the 1000+ SAT and B's in math and science. He hears about the guy in his high school with A's in the AP math class and a 1300 SAT being turned down by Tech. Then he gets a call from Johnson saying, "We want you at Tech and are sure you can handle the academics here." I'd say, "Riiiight! Been nice talking to you."

I know this is a dead horse I'm flogging, but those two incidents so close to NSD gave me new respect for what our coaches and teams have accomplished in the last two decades. That goes also for the guys that just signed our LOI. They are not backing down from a tremendous physical and mental challenge. We should not forget that when we discuss the merits and shortcomings of our new signees. Just by signing, they have demonstrated a toughness even a courage that the signees of another team nearby (that shall remain nameless) have not, and that is an unmeasureable that you want in your players.
Great post, question though. Have you checked the majors here at Tech vs the ones at Stanford who has been a Top 10 program for a little bit now?

I'm curious how are difficulties with academics stack up vs them..
 

OldJacketFan

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Wow, is there anyone in D-1A that even compares to Tec.h?

I wonder GPA and Test score wise how they compare too for Student Atheltics vs Stanford
I have looked at "comparable" academic institutions based upon their published majors. Tech has, at best, 55% of the majors available to its 2nd closest academic rival (Notre Dame) 36 versus 65. I haven't taken time to research the average SAT and GPA numbers but I would be surprised if there were a significant difference between schools like Tech, Stanford, ND, NW, Vandy unlike the significant differences in programs offered.
 

OldJacketFan

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I have looked at "comparable" academic institutions based upon their published majors. Tech has, at best, 55% of the majors available to its 2nd closest academic rival (Notre Dame) 36 versus 65. I haven't taken time to research the average SAT and GPA numbers but I would be surprised if there were a significant difference between schools like Tech, Stanford, ND, NW, Vandy unlike the significant differences in programs offered.
As to the other "comparable program, Vandy offers 68 degree programs and NW offers 97 degree programs.
 

Old School

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
125
OK.......Tech offers fewer majors compared to everyone else. Those comparisons were the same when we won championships. We can get talent at Tech and win big on occasion.
 

gtdrew

Banned
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Location
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Wow, is there anyone in D-1A that even compares to Tech?

I wonder GPA and Test score wise how they compare too for Student Atheltics vs Stanford
There are misguided agenda-driven trolls on this board who will tell you that because Stanford does it, it's unacceptable that Georgia Tech doesn't. However, Stanford, from what I understand and have been told by more than student athlete who went there, can let in anyone they see fit under some of their bylaws. They can't be mouth-breathing idiots, but there's some wiggle room. Plus, Stanford has language and liberal arts. As I've said 37, 000 times, just because a kid is smart doesn't mean he likes math...
 
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