Updated (5/27/2008): The University Barbie image I used to link to has gone 404, so I've substituted a picture of my actual Barbie.
The Georgia Tech football team pulled off an upset victory over number 3 ranked Miami last night. I know this because I accidentally tuned into ESPN with 1:40 left in the game just after Georgia Tech intercepted a pass that crushed Miami’s comeback hopes. This victory came as the good news in an otherwise bad week for Tech athletics. The NCAA imposed two years of sanctions over the academic eligibility of 17 athletes including 11 football players during a six year period. This link has the official GT press release on the issue. Also, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports on a football player under indictment for conspiracy to distribute marijuana who won a court order to be returned to the team.
These latest events have been tarnishing Georgia Tech’s otherwise sterling reputation for academic integrity. A few years back at a meet-and-greet event with the women’s basketball team, they were asked what they found most unexpected about playing at Tech and they said the academic rigor. Georgia Tech has no “jock” majors. Industrial Management is about as wimpy as it gets and many athletes attend because they do want an engineering oriented education.
In some ways, I would appear to be a superfan. I drive a white Camry with gold trim in the school colors. I have the state affinity tags for Georgia Tech. In my cubicle at work I have a mint-in-the-box University Cheerleader Barbie™. Being a fan of Georgia Tech sports requires a certain amount of distance because the system is capable of producing national championship football teams and Final Four basketball seasons. Other years, the performance can be completely dismal. During my years at Georgia Tech, we lost to Furman and the Citadel.
Ups and downs in the athletic program do not affect my devotion to my alma mater which is one of the finest engineering colleges in the country and an incredible bargain as a quality state run university. As an alumnus, I work with the local alumni chapter to recruit students and award scholarships. The Presidential Scholarship Program is open to all students that apply by the end of October in their senior year of high school.
Georgia Tech is not for everyone. If you do not have a strong background in math and science, you are better off somewhere else. Nearly everyone takes some level of calculus no matter what the major. The school heavily recruits strong female students and the “ratio” has plateaued at about a 70/30 male/female ratio. I’ll save you the rest of my recruiting pitch, but give it a thought if you are or know of prospective students.
So the yellojkt is a Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech and a helluva engineer. And while I do not gnash my teeth over the travails of the “student-athletes”, I have one sentiment that unites all Yellow Jackets, past and present:
TO HELL WITH GEORGIA!!!
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