The day GT sports changed

Techster

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I agree with the body of your post. The only problem is it doesn't support your premise. How does all that matter to GT's fate of becoming less competitive on the football field? GT still would have declined, but maybe a little slower. If you can't keep up with the Jones' for the best players, you can't compete on the field. Dodd knew that much and more. He knew the playing field in recruiting was on a progressive lean away from level to the point where even he had difficulty making up the difference, much less anybody after him.

I don't get your logic. Look at GT's record that I quoted from the article. GT was competing, and even surpassing other SEC schools on the field at that time.

GT became less competitive, both on the field and in terms of attracting athletes of high caliber on the field and in the classroom, when we left the SEC. Our funding suffered because we could no longer pull in large crowds, which was more important during those days than TV money, because of that our facilities also suffered and we were losing ground in the facilities arms race.

If you read the article, GT was an academic and athletic beacon in this region at the time. We were basically the Notre Dame of the south in terms of relevance. That alone pulled in a higher tier of recruits in this region. Our issues of pulling in higher tier recruits with the academics was certainly as issue, but not the issue it is today. Dodd's decision to leave the SEC caused the issue of recruiting to GT to grow exponentially over time. GT was one of the best college programs in the country up until we pulled out of the SEC. You don't get to that level of success without great recruits.
 

dressedcheeseside

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I don't get your logic. Look at GT's record that I quoted from the article. GT was competing, and even surpassing other SEC schools on the field at that time.

GT became less competitive, both on the field and in terms of attracting athletes of high caliber on the field and in the classroom, when we left the SEC. Our funding suffered because we could no longer pull in large crowds, which was more important during those days than TV money, because of that our facilities also suffered and we were losing ground in the facilities arms race.

If you read the article, GT was an academic and athletic beacon in this region at the time. We were basically the Notre Dame of the south in terms of relevance. That alone pulled in a higher tier of recruits in this region. Our issues of pulling in higher tier recruits with the academics was certainly as issue, but not the issue it is today. Dodd's decision to leave the SEC caused the issue of recruiting to GT to grow exponentially over time. GT was one of the best college programs in the country up until we pulled out of the SEC. You don't get to that level of success without great recruits.
Dodd felt it was an unlevel playing field in recruiting already. The emergence of the NFL meant a paradigm shift in why the best players chose a school. Allowing the rest of the SEC to have virtually an unlimited number of players was the last straw. He knew GT couldn't survive it. He did the right thing, but underestimated how difficult it would be to recruit nationally ala ND.
 

Techster

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Dodd felt it was an unlevel playing field in recruiting already. The emergence of the NFL meant a paradigm shift in why the best players chose a school. Allowing the rest of the SEC to have virtually an unlimited number of players was the last straw. He knew GT couldn't survive it. He did the right thing, but underestimated how difficult it would be to recruit nationally ala ND.

The NFL was irrelevant at that time, so it should not even be a factor within the context of Dodd's decision. Dodd's "folly" was that he was idealistic and didn't want to work within the system...the same system that would lead the NCAA to adopt what Dodd fought for. Like I said in my OP, instead of working within the system, Dodd tried to dictate the system. By doing that, Dodd ceded what GT built as an athletic program nationally, certainly as an athletic brand in this region.

GT fought TWICE to get back into the SEC. You think GT does that if we couldn't compete anymore with the SEC in terms of recruiting? Had Dodd not alienated so many people in the SEC, we may well have been allowed back into the SEC. Dodd THOUGHT he did the right thing, and hindsight tells us a different story.
 

Volker

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I believe that the NFL damaged Tech more because it offered the best high school football players an easier opportunity to make a very good living without the advantage of a degree from Tech. Couple that with the integration of southern football rosters with southern black kids whose schools had never been on the same playing field academically, and you have a recipe for our decline. First, take away the historic advantage Tech offers for financial success, then add excellent athletes (who were not prepared for Tech's curriculum) to our rivals' squads, and it's not hard to understand why we began a gradual slide away from the consistent success we had when I was a kid.

I'm not sure how Tech could have maintained that level of excellence, given the circumstances, no matter what conference we would have been in, unless we were able to create a national following and recruiting pool similar to Notre Dame's. I continue to be surprised that we are not able to recruit highly capable student-athletes from all around the country. I do blame some of that on the game-day atmosphere, which was, in fact, damaged when the Falcons came to town. Tech football was an event in the '50s. The stands had plenty of sidewalk fans whose only game-day opportunity was right in their midst. There was one, maybe two games on Saturday TV back then, and Tech played all the big SEC schools, plus an occasional Notre Dame. We went to a major bowl every year. It was a fun time to be a Yellow Jacket.
 

Essobee

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I'm not sure how Tech could have maintained that level of excellence, given the circumstances, no matter what conference we would have been in, unless we were able to create a national following and recruiting pool similar to Notre Dame's. I continue to be surprised that we are not able to recruit highly capable student-athletes from all around the country. I do blame some of that on the game-day atmosphere, which was, in fact, damaged when the Falcons came to town. Tech football was an event in the '50s. The stands had plenty of sidewalk fans whose only game-day opportunity was right in their midst. There was one, maybe two games on Saturday TV back then, and Tech played all the big SEC schools, plus an occasional Notre Dame. We went to a major bowl every year. It was a fun time to be a Yellow Jacket.

Plus all the newspaper, TV, and radio attention given to Tech. Bobby Dodd had a one hour show on Channel 2 with a sports news panel program built around it on Sundays. The AJC was filled with Georgia Tech articles on the sports pages. UGA was small potatoes. Yes, it was indeed a fun time to be a YJ.

But as Techster points out, it became a two-edged sword. Being "king of the hill" did not work out favorably in the long run since we had farther to fall or more to lose than most programs and perhaps an emboldened Bobby Dodd threw his "weight" around in the conference a little too much by trying to set terms of participation. After we "picked up our ball and went home", Karma came to call with a plethora of competing sports coming to Atlanta. Coincident with our demise was the rise of UGA...not too surprising as we lost our recruiting moxie and UGA benefited by getting local athletes who would have instead come to Tech. Thus the rise and fall of the Heisman-Alexander-Dodd Georgia Tech football dynasty.
 
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dressedcheeseside

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The NFL was irrelevant at that time, so it should not even be a factor within the context of Dodd's decision. Dodd's "folly" was that he was idealistic and didn't want to work within the system...the same system that would lead the NCAA to adopt what Dodd fought for. Like I said in my OP, instead of working within the system, Dodd tried to dictate the system. By doing that, Dodd ceded what GT built as an athletic program nationally, certainly as an athletic brand in this region.

GT fought TWICE to get back into the SEC. You think GT does that if we couldn't compete anymore with the SEC in terms of recruiting? Had Dodd not alienated so many people in the SEC, we may well have been allowed back into the SEC. Dodd THOUGHT he did the right thing, and hindsight tells us a different story.
I'll never fault someone for standing up for their principles especially when I agree with them. :) Yes, Dodd was idealistic, but in an ever increasing world of get ahead by any mean necessary, it's a breath of fresh air.

All that said, GT still declines even if it stays in the SEC because of all the other factors outlined in this thread by me and others.

The majority of the SEC is sold so far down the river by now, I'm glad we don't belong to that conference.
 

Animal02

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Plus all the newspaper, TV, and radio attention given to Tech. Bobby Dodd had a one hour show on Channel 2 with a sports news panel program built around it on Sundays. The AJC was filled with Georgia Tech articles on the sports pages. UGA was small potatoes. Yes, it was indeed a fun time to be a YJ.

But as Techster points out, it became a two-edged sword. Being "king of the hill" did not work out favorably in the long run since we had farther to fall or more to lose than most programs and perhaps an emboldened Bobby Dodd threw his "weight" around in the conference a little too much by trying to set terms of participation. After we "picked up our ball and went home", Karma came to call with a plethora of competing sports coming to Atlanta. Coincident with our demise was the rise of UGA...not too surprising as we lost our recruiting moxie and UGA benefited by getting local athletes who would have instead come to Tech. Thus the rise and fall of the Heisman-Alexander-Dodd Georgia Tech football dynasty.

I disagree. The writing was already on the wall, and Dodd knew it. UGA's rise was not a coincident, it was a corollary and predictable. Tech was not the only football power to suffer with the change of the landscape.....so did Duke, Army, Navy, the Ivy League, all suffered the same fate. Furthermore, I don't think UGA benefited from atheltes that WOULD HAVE come to Tech, they have benefited from athletes who would never have a snowball's chance in hell of ever being admitted to Tech
 

Ggee87

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Sustaining success over decades is a tough thing to do. Times change and if you dont.change with the times, you get left behind. Leaving the SEC was a bad move just due to the fact of location to other teams. It costs alot to travel up the coast for games, the same for people coming down here. Ticket sales were bound to drop by this alone. None of the kids of today remember or have ever heard of GTs heyday. Kids also use to care about academics alot more. We live in an instant gratification era. GT needs to step up their marketing and the way they sell GT to recruits. New identity would do Tech some good. But most important of all, we need to win and win big against our biggest rivals to get this ship on the right track. The playing field must be leveled and loopholes sealed for this to happen. I guess if you arent cheatingyou arent trying
 

dressedcheeseside

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Sustaining success over decades is a tough thing to do. Times change and if you dont.change with the times, you get left behind. Leaving the SEC was a bad move just due to the fact of location to other teams. It costs alot to travel up the coast for games, the same for people coming down here. Ticket sales were bound to drop by this alone. None of the kids of today remember or have ever heard of GTs heyday. Kids also use to care about academics alot more. We live in an instant gratification era. GT needs to step up their marketing and the way they sell GT to recruits. New identity would do Tech some good. But most important of all, we need to win and win big against our biggest rivals to get this ship on the right track. The playing field must be leveled and loopholes sealed for this to happen. I guess if you arent cheatingyou arent trying
o_O
 

Techster

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I'll never fault someone for standing up for their principles especially when I agree with them. :) Yes, Dodd was idealistic, but in an ever increasing world of get ahead by any mean necessary, it's a breath of fresh air.

All that said, GT still declines even if it stays in the SEC because of all the other factors outlined in this thread by me and others.

The majority of the SEC is sold so far down the river by now, I'm glad we don't belong to that conference.

GT declining if it stays in the SEC is pure speculation. You can't prove you're right anymore than I can prove you're wrong.

What's NOT speculation is GT's place on the national sports scene, as well as its pull for athletes in the South at that time. Just look at Steve Spurrier who's mom wanted him to come here (and father wanted him to go to Tenn...but he settled for UF). GT lost it's advantage against all the SEC schools when it left. People can speculate GT's eventual demise in the SEC, but as AJC shows, GT was a very good SEC team on he field at the time against the heavy weights in the conference. People today claim that Vandy gets the SEC benefit in recruiting, but GT always had that benefit to a higher degree because GT was a premier program in the NATION at the time. Dodd forfeited that by leaving the SEC. As the article details, it took decades before GT could recover. The reason GT is in the shape we're in, including almost dropping down a level, is because Dodd's decision put GT in athletics no man's land. That is irrefutable. Instead of making money as the SEC became more popular over the years, we lost money because attendance took a precipitous decline over a 2 decade stretch over the 70's and 80's.

Idealism is for happy endings in movies and books. In the real world, idealism loses a business (which GT athletics is) money, and market share. Something GT fans who had to live through the 70's and 80's can attest to. By leaving the SEC, Dodd's fear of not being able to compete became a self fulfilling prophecy.
 

dressedcheeseside

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GT declining if it stays in the SEC is pure speculation. You can't prove you're right anymore than I can prove you're wrong.

What's NOT speculation is GT's place on the national sports scene, as well as its pull for athletes in the South at that time. Just look at Steve Spurrier who's mom wanted him to come here (and father wanted him to go to Tenn...but he settled for UF). GT lost it's advantage against all the SEC schools when it left. People can speculate GT's eventual demise in the SEC, but as AJC shows, GT was a very good SEC team on he field at the time against the heavy weights in the conference. People today claim that Vandy gets the SEC benefit in recruiting, but GT always had that benefit to a higher degree because GT was a premier program in the NATION at the time. Dodd forfeited that by leaving the SEC. As the article details, it took decades before GT could recover. The reason GT is in the shape we're in, including almost dropping down a level, is because Dodd's decision put GT in athletics no man's land. That is irrefutable. Instead of making money as the SEC became more popular over the years, we lost money because attendance took a precipitous decline over a 2 decade stretch over the 70's and 80's.

Idealism is for happy endings in movies and books. In the real world, idealism loses a business (which GT athletics is) money, and market share. Something GT fans who had to live through the 70's and 80's can attest to. By leaving the SEC, Dodd's fear of not being able to compete became a self fulfilling prophecy.
It's ALL speculation, all of it. However, my speculation is better'n your'n. ;)
 

Essobee

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I disagree. The writing was already on the wall, and Dodd knew it. UGA's rise was not a coincident, it was a corollary and predictable. Tech was not the only football power to suffer with the change of the landscape.....so did Duke, Army, Navy, the Ivy League, all suffered the same fate. Furthermore, I don't think UGA benefited from atheltes that WOULD HAVE come to Tech, they have benefited from athletes who would never have a snowball's chance in hell of ever being admitted to Tech

John Dewberry, among others, says "Hi." But I do acknowledge that over the last decade or so Tech has really set the bar high.
 

DvilleJacket

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I always thought it was about Dodd wanting us to become the notre dame of the south. After reading that I feel Tech at that time made the right decision. Makes me dislike the SEC even more, stockpiling recruits just to keep players from going to another school! No way Tech could compete with the college landscape changing during that era.
 

Techster

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I always thought it was about Dodd wanting us to become the notre dame of the south. After reading that I feel Tech at that time made the right decision. Makes me dislike the SEC even more, stockpiling recruits just to keep players from going to another school! No way Tech could compete with the college landscape changing during that era.

The irony is the NCAA enacted the same change Dodd wanted a few years later. So in the end, was losing 2 decades of momentum worth it to prove a point?
 

Essobee

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I always thought it was about Dodd wanting us to become the notre dame of the south. After reading that I feel Tech at that time made the right decision. Makes me dislike the SEC even more, stockpiling recruits just to keep players from going to another school! No way Tech could compete with the college landscape changing during that era.

I recall when Bobby talked about that. What is even more amazing is that I, among many others, believed it would happen. We were in booming Atlanta, after all, and nationally famous for football. Either the "Notre Dame of the South" goal was a pipe dream or we fumbled the ball. As Hillary might say, "What difference does it make at this point in time?" (Imagine flailing hands and a sour expression)

What is done is done. No need to rehash the past because we sure ain't gonna change it. Instead, let's spend our energy on dealing with reality as it exists here and now. We have our strengths...let's play to them and quit dwelling on our weaknesses.
 

Animal02

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I recall when Bobby talked about that. What is even more amazing is that I, among many others, believed it would happen. We were in booming Atlanta, after all, and nationally famous for football. Either the "Notre Dame of the South" goal was a pipe dream or we fumbled the ball. As Hillary might say, "What difference does it make at this point in time?" (Imagine flailing hands and a sour expression)

What is done is done. No need to rehash the past because we sure ain't gonna change it. Instead, let's spend our energy on dealing with reality as it exists here and now. We have our strengths...let's play to them and quit dwelling on our weaknesses.

ND has the built in "catholic appeal" every catholic school alumni that never goes to college ends up a ND fan........a national level of "every Georgia H.S. grad that doesn't go to college ends up a UGa fan"
 

Mack

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obviously no...but for me i don't think that would have happened to GT maybe up until now. Vandy always sucked..always. GT didn't....i think GT would be in the upper 1/3 had we stayed...maybe not LSU or Bama or UF...but right behind...and more competitive with UGA for sure over the last 30 years.
No I think we would have still be a force in sec.we still played six teams and did well and I saw no drop in talent untiil DODD quit.We would not be that bad....
 

Mack

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Hey mack, would you have rather stayed in the SEC if it meant we were on Vandy's level. (not Vandy of the last couple seasons, but Vandy of the 40 prior.)
WELL cant predict the future but until Dodd retired we were good and could play with anybody.I don't see us as a Vandy.I also know and you will remember we had good athlete's leftsuch as King And Snow and others but Carson didn't fit and Bud was not a good fit.My point was we didn't run out of talent and still would have been a force if we had stayed......of course we would not have done as well with Carson.
 
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