One Small Step for Georgia Tech, One Giant Leap for Georgia Tech Athletics

I'd say Paul Johnson is a happy man right about now. - Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

Georgia Tech's department of History, Technology, and Society has officially announced plans for a new program to be launched in 2014 in the area of Sports, Society, and Technology. This is a huge deal for our athletics department, and here's why.

First, the official report, courtesy of http://www.hts.gatech.edu/sports:

In 2014, Georgia Tech will launch a new program in Sports, Society, and Technology (SST). This initiative will lead faculty and students to study sport in the contexts of historical and contemporary culture. The interdisciplinary focus of SST brings together sports studies, science and technology, and urban studies, incorporating faculty from across campus, in areas ranging from architecture, urban planning, and applied physiology to information design, history, and sociology. Interdisciplinary studies and innovative teaching in SST will help students become leaders in the sports and health industries, higher education, and in our local and global communities.

The SST program currently offers the following courses:

Foundations of Sports Studies
History of Sports in America
Sociology of Sports
Sports Economics
Sports Psychology
Sports, Science, and Technology
Soccer and Global Politics
Sports and Stadia
Legal Issues in Sport Management
History of Martial Arts
The Olympics in Asia
In the coming years, Georgia Tech will expand these course offerings, create a robust curriculum, and establish a minor field in SST.

We are committed to developing partnerships and collaborative projects in order to enhance a diverse community of students, faculty, and industry stakeholders. On April 18, 2013, Georgia Tech will host an inaugural summit on "Sports, Society, and Technology in the 21st Century." Later that evening, we will have a networking reception and honor the contributions of Homer Rice.

We welcome inquiries from anyone interested in learning more about the program. Please contact Dr. Johnny Smith at john.smith@hts.gatech.edu or 404-385-0244.

Ladies and Gents, this is a huge deal for our athletics department, and perhaps more specifically for our football and basketball teams. The reason is that one of the major recruiting obstacles that Coaches Johnson and Gregory have faced when competing with other major programs is the lack of availability in majors with a concentration in sports -- something that a lot of athletes want an opportunity to study.

As much as we love athletes who are able to handle the challenge of being science and engineering majors, they're few and far between. As much as Business Administration is very applicable to the sports world, 17-year-old kids don't really see things that way. Now, though, they have an opportunity to do something at Georgia Tech where they can focus on sports AND get that highly-regarded degree that we preach so often to them. That's a major obstacle in recruiting that just got removed, permanently.

I don't like to speculate (hah, jokes), but I'd say there's a very good chance that Paul Johnson was making good use of his dancing skills in his office on Friday. This is a big deal for him and his staff, as it is for Coach Gregory and his.

How big of an impact do you think this new academic program will have on our football and basketball programs?

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