Georgia Tech, victory, and the possibilities for change

Discussion in 'Georgia Tech Football' started by IEEEWreck, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. IEEEWreck

    IEEEWreck Helluva Engineer

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    I've seen some lines of thinking in various threads that seem self-defeating to me. I thought it would be useful to confront the issue directly.

    Things ain't what they used to be. Imagining that Tech's success was entirely the result of a deified Bobby Dodd isn't reasonable, and imagining that if only we could hire a mythical coach-hero to return us to greatness will not change anything.

    Opining that things ain't what they used to be isn't going to make it better either. We must hunger for improvement with a clear eye and a laser focus on what can be improved, but a steadfast commitment to who we are. If we are to win, we will not win as we are, but neither will we win as a poor mimicry of that school in Athens. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings:

    1. Widening acceptance standards for athletes has a demonstrated ability to make a difference. The easy and foolish path would be to allow the sort of academic lies that other schools seem to trade in. Rather, believe as we always have in the promise and value of the student athlete. With the right guidance, the only requirement to succeed in a Tech degree is a willingness to work hard. We must loudly and repeatedly make this argument to the Hill: the coaching and tutoring staff is very good at leading their athletes through school, and we can change our admissions requirements without compromising our integrity.

    This is the most immediate and important change we can make. If you have a voice by virtue of money then use money. If you have a voice by virtue of many throats, then lead those throats. If you have none of these, then shout it as loud as you can.

    2. Attendance is what we make it. Imagining that victory is some panacea for a full stadium is probably wishful thinking (ask the Red Sox or, for that matter, the Braves). More than that, it's learned helplessness. Join in the effort to explain and engage international students at Tech on how awesome and culturally relevant GT football is. Support student efforts to increase attendance and create more fans. Ask your friends to go to games. Have a great time. Post pictures on Facebook. Tweet about how awesome the game is. Seats will be filled one at a time, and you yourself can fill two, three, ten seats.

    Love the Yellow Jackets because we represent a prosperous future for the South, the nation, and the world. Love the Yellow Jackets because we represent integrity and innovation on and off the field. Love the Yellow Jackets because we're the good guys. Pass that love to all good fellows, whether they come from far or near.

    3. Culture in high school, like education itself, is not beyond our control either. Go be an assistant coach for your kids' school (or their kids, or your niece). Heck, it doesn't matter if that's as a football coach or a robotics coach. Tutor local kids. Talk to prospects on Twitter. Advocate for technology in education at every level. Be an example of the success that a Tech degree brings. Demonstrate that hard work and perseverance, not innate intellect, pave the path to Georgia Tech.

    These days with twitter and recruitment fever we can see how single important people in a students' life can swing their choice of school (athlete or not). It is up to us, as Tech fans, to see that students have that perspective in their lives. Sure, the chance that you personally connect with that superstar quarterback may be small. But that quarterback will have people he admires and emulates. And even if you're not lucky, your consolation prize is changing lives.


    No coach is coming to save us from the march of history. If those trends are to change, it is we who must change them.
     
  2. Oldgoldandwhite

    Oldgoldandwhite Helluva Engineer

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    Athletes win games. Get good athletes, you win games. Coaching comes into play when both teams are about equal.
     
    91Wreck likes this.
  3. thwgjacket

    thwgjacket Guest

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    Great point about Twitter. The college football world is special in that we, as fans, can actively participate in getting players to play for out team. I am not advocating stalking, or anything like that, but send a tweet to an athlete. The worst thing that happens is the kid sees it and thinks to himself that GT fans care about and participate in their football program. We give the dwag fans hell and 99.999% of the time it is justified but credit where credit is due. They actively participate in the recruitment of their players.
     
  4. TheSilasSonRising

    TheSilasSonRising Helluva Engineer

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    Myself and numerous friends have both the voice by virtue of money & throats and have for at least twenty five years tried to exercise the same. We are continually being accused of trying to devalue the GT degree and GT integrity. That is what it has gotten us.
     
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  5. jayparr

    jayparr Helluva Engineer

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    HEAR HEAR!!!!
     
  6. TheSilasSonRising

    TheSilasSonRising Helluva Engineer

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    Question as I do not know. Are we not, as ticket buyers or contributors defined as, for lack of a better term, a rep of the school? And are we forbidden from communicating with a potential S/A in this way?
     
  7. BainbridgeJacket

    BainbridgeJacket Helluva Engineer

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    Technically against NCAA rules.
     
  8. Boomergump

    Boomergump Moderator Staff Member

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    I would rather have GT relax admission standards a little for athletes and force the coaches to own the results. If a coach doesn't graduate his players, get rid of him. Ultimately, that is the bottom line, graduating the kids and holding coaches accountable. They need to own it. The hill needs to let them own it. In fact, I would like to see conditions in coaches contracts tying a portion of compensation to graduation rates. That will keep them from bring in idiots or academically lazy players. Let's keep the GT academic program and culture intact, though.
     
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  9. daBuzz

    daBuzz Helluva Engineer

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    Boomer, exactly what I've been saying and I couldn't agree more.
     
  10. thwgjacket

    thwgjacket Guest

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    Too difficult to police. They'll never be able to punish schools for it. Bob Stoops told Oklahoma fans to get on board with it, of course OU tried to clarify his statements after.
     
  11. GT Man

    GT Man Helluva Engineer

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    I do think BDS should provide a unique experience to provide incentive to attend games.
    I'd love to see a large decibel meter on permanent display. It's fun and it's very tech-y.
     
  12. IEEEWreck

    IEEEWreck Helluva Engineer

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    Well, I think that engaging in some Socratic questions can help get to the bottom of this sort of thing. Ask them how an athlete that passes classes can devalue the degree. Now, if you're talking to administration, they more or less have to admit that passing is the only legitimate measure of student academic performance to the Institute. Other people may spout dumb bs about how really smart kids from [insert rich county here] aren't getting in, and these athletes are. Those people should be mocked. Well, not really, but you should point out that they are equating a certain background with success at Tech. I hate to say it, friends, but smart, special snowflakes from all over flunk out on DiffEQ's every day at Tech. Plus, given Tech's transfer policies if you want to be here bad enough, you can be.

    Once they concede that athletes do at least as well as the worst to whom GT is willing to hand a diploma, the argument collapses rapidly.

    Potential issues with 'sliding by' would require cheating by a)coaches b)professors and c)tutors. Is academic integrity really in such a poor state that we can't put athletes in classes and both trust that they're really passing and have some means of verifying that people aren't cheating by at GT? That the best way we have of making sure that I'm not going to cheat my way though Tech is to examine my high school classes once when I'm being admitted?

    So yes, there is a way to give wider room for athletic admissions without compromising our degree quality or integrity.

    In fact, were I speaking to administration about this, I'd cite my deep emotional investment in the institute because of the idea of a brotherhood arising out of adversity. Part of what makes Tech so great is that unlike MIT or Harvard or Stanford where cultural belonging ties to roots in the surrounding culture's symbols of wealth and power, our culture centers on passing, surviving, and getting out. Football is very much a key part of that culture because it exemplifies how Georgia Tech students refuse to be pushed into traditional 'Nerd' roles. Sure, we play D&D and eat cheetos with the best of em, but a Tech engineer cannot be pigeon holed like that. Because we do both we remain unique and powerful. To abandon that is to abandon the dream of economic transformation for Georgia and the World upon which GT was founded.

    Maybe I should write a letter to the Technique about this.


    Also, GTMan, I hear that student VIP classes are working on making a working decibel meter that can compare stadium sections. Ya'll should check that program out.
     
    daBuzz and jwsavhGT like this.
  13. jwsavhGT

    jwsavhGT Moderator Staff Member

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    Thank you!
     
  14. daBuzz

    daBuzz Helluva Engineer

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    Excellent post.
     
  15. GT Man

    GT Man Helluva Engineer

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    sweet! thx for the info. hope to see it soon!
     
  16. alaguy

    alaguy Helluva Engineer

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    Boomer,
    I was thinking last wk about a new concept for coach pay.Pay them an ok salary but then CRAZY big bonuses if they reach certain goals like the wins, academic and grad rates.
     
  17. Rodney Kent

    Rodney Kent Ramblin' Wreck

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    Since, I have not attended GT, I know nothing of their course requirements and their MOP. Since all the discussion has evolved about the strenious demands on the athlete during football season, is it possible for the football players to have less of a load during the football season, but make up for it with a heavier load during the off season? If this were allowed, it should help the athlete during the season and still give him the opportunity to stay on course at the end of the year.
     
  18. dressedcheeseside

    dressedcheeseside Helluva Engineer

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    I think this is already done to some extent. However, when a kid is taking real classes with real tests, real projects, real midterms and real finals, it pales in comparison to other SAs at other schools taking basket weaving or African studies. I have a theory that our game performance slips around certain predictable times in the academic calendar namely midterms and finals weeks.
     
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  19. AlabamaBuzz

    AlabamaBuzz Helluva Engineer

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    Finals week was hades...no other way to describe what finals at Tech is like.

    It is a time to get shafted and hold on for dear life......

    Not many places with the rigor and pressure that GT provides...
     
    augustabuzz and jwsavhGT like this.
  20. takethepoints

    takethepoints Helluva Engineer

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    Usually, I agree with pretty much anything that Boomer posts, but not this time.

    Put yourself in the position of a coach with these kinds of constraints. Who would you recruit? I can't answer that conclusively, but I know who I'd go after: pretty much the same kinds of athletes we now admit. I might take a very few more risks, but, caught between the rock of academic standards and the hard place of winning, I'd go for the players who fit the academics and dare the AD to fire me for it. And, I'm betting, he wouldn't. Bottom line: the school cares more about its academic standing then its football winning percentage, so long as that doesn't fall right off the cliff.

    So, you would still insist on "accountability"? Gooooood luck on getting any coach to agree to that. If the choice is do ok and keep the standards, we can find coaches; shoot, that's why we hired CPJ. If the coach's choice is take doubtful players and get fired if they don't pan out or the teams doesn't win, I don't think anyone in the business would touch Tech with a fork.
     
    GTNavyNuke likes this.

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