Kansas University’s football program might be staring down an overwhelming rebuilding project, but even so the Jayhawks are in far better shape than one of their 2011 football opponents.
Thursday, the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions placed Georgia Tech on probation for the next four years, effective immediately.
“According to the committee, the university’s failure to cooperate and meet the obligations of membership compounded the seriousness of the case by adding onto what was originally an isolated instance of impermissible benefits and preferential treatment,” the NCAA said in a prepared statement.
In addition to the four-year probation, Georgia Tech was penalized with a $100,000 fine, having its 2009 ACC championship game victory vacated and a reduction in official men’s basketball recruiting visits for 2011-12 and 2012-13. Tech also accepted a handful of less-severe, self-imposed penalties.
The Yellow Jackets did not lose scholarships and were not banned from participating in postseason play.
Shortly after the NCAA’s ruling, Tech responded to the sanctions.
“Georgia Tech is committed to the integrity of its athletics program, including full cooperation and support of the NCAA,” Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson said. “Given the information we had at the time, I believe we took reasonable and appropriate steps to determine the proper course of action and acted in good faith. Looking back, there are things we could have done differently. Because of our unwavering commitment to NCAA compliance, we have already taken a number of steps to address perceived shortcomings, hopefully ensuring that our programs remain beyond reproach.”
Though not all of the specifics were made available, it appears that two of the school’s biggest infractions involved football. First, the NCAA said that members of the Georgia Tech football staff alerted a member of the football team about the scope of an upcoming interview despite the NCAA requiring that they not do so. Second, a player who accepted more than $300 worth of clothing from a sports agent was allowed to play the final three games of the 2009 season, including the ACC title game and a BCS bowl game.
Georgia Tech will play host to KU during the third week of the 2011 season on Sept. 17. Last year, the Jayhawks upset the 15th-ranked Yellow Jackets, 28-25, at Memorial Stadium, one week after dropping the season opener to FCS opponent North Dakota State.
KU fans who enjoy playing video games may find cause to do a double-take in the next few weeks when spotting the cover of the new EA Sports game, NCAA Football 2012. That’s because there are several images out there on the Internet that feature a couple of Jayhawks on the cover of the popular game.
Don’t be fooled. As nice as the covers that include senior wide receiver Daymond Patterson or sophomore quarterback Jordan Webb look, they’re not the real thing. That honor belongs to former Alabama running back, Mark Ingram, now a member of the New Orleans Saints.
KU in better shape with QB?
On Wednesday, the University of Oklahoma picked up an oral commitment from Class of 2012 quarterback Trevor Knight, a four-star, dual-threat prospect from Ronald Reagan High in San Antonio.
While Knight’s decision to join the Sooners has nothing to do with KU directly, it might lead to some good news for the Jayhawks in the future.
KU and OU were two of the four Big 12 schools pursuing Seth Russell, a three-star QB from Garland (Texas) High. With OU turning its attention to Knight, Russell’s fondness for Kansas could grow.
“I’ve been leaning to Kansas and it is a great place,” Russell told Rivals.com’s Jon Kirby in a recent interview. “It is an opportunity of a lifetime and I think they have a great group of coaches. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to go travel to good schools. I’m trying to wait it out and see how things go, but hope to make a decision before the end of the summer.”
Russell is one of five QBs KU is targeting in the Class of 2012. He’s joined by Chicago’s Robert Gregory, 6-3, 181; Tommy Armstrong, 6-2, 210, of Cibolo, Texas; Lamontiez Ivy, 6-3, 225, of East St. Louis, Ill.; and Bilal Marshall, 6-3, 170, of Hialeah, Fla.
According to Rivals, KU has extended scholarship offers to all five quarterbacks.