High school coaches generally are education majors or physical education majors. Where do you get those degrees in Georgia? State legislators are frequently lawyers. Where do you go in Georgia to get a pre-law degree? It's actually amazing we get any high school kids or any funding at all. It really is an uphill fight on many, many fronts.
You nailed it. I work with students over in Gwinnett and this is probably the number 1 issue. Tech people don't want to hear this but the academic reputation of UGA is growing, I see many smart students choose UGA over Tech because they think they are not that far off in academic reputation. Tech has fallen WAY short of selling itself in its own state and making a case of WHY students should choose Tech.
Number 2: The perception is that if you want to be an engineer and can get in, go to TECH, but if you want to do practically anything else, go somewhere else. Not debating the truth of such statements but simply saying this is what I hear over in Gwinnett.
Number 3: Academic snobbery: Again I know I will get flamed, but it has to be said. In General Tech people come across as arrogant and condescending and many of them, not all, look down at liberal arts majors and schools.
Number 4: Student dissatisfaction. Living in Gwinnett there are many Tech people and students. In talking with them, there seems to a consistent theme of complaining about Tech. How hard it is, How few women there are, how MaTech doesn't care. Compare this to how UGA, Clemson, Auburn, even Kennessaw state people talk about their school, which is usually "My school is the best ever!" and you can see why any TEENAGER wouldn't really consider TECH.
There are so many reasons why students don't want to go to Tech, I am amazed we have done so well for so many years. I agree that the problem lies at the core of Tech's mission and isn't going to change. It would mean changing the direction of the school.
Georgia Tech is like an upscale boutique; UGA is like Walmart. They have a much larger selection at a lower "price" ("price" = academic effort + performance). And when it comes to football, UGA even "appears" to have the better product. To compete as a boutique, Tech needs to have the best product for its target market, because we cannot compete on cheap "price" and large selection for reasons already well entrenched. We either make it through product excellence...as we already have in education...or we don't make it at all.I believe every coach that comes to Tech makes the same statement. Never has made much sense. Georgia Tech offers degrees in 34 undergraduate majors. (UGA, for example, in 200 undergraduate majors.) That is way to restrictive for a recruiting concentration in one state or one region. The recruiting effort must be national with a recruiting budget to match. IMHO.