According to this ajc.com article Coach Paul Johnson and his staff have earned the right to full autonomy in deciding which football players should be able to handle the academic course work (with plenty of tutoring from the football academic support staff) at Georgia Tech.
As some of you insiders may have been aware, CPJ was only allowed to recruit 20% of his active roster on an admissions office rule known as Academic Exception. For those who might not know what that is, an Academic Excpetion is granted for a student athlete whose high school grades and test scores meet the NCAA's minimum requirements for eligibility but who do not meet the minimum standards for incoming student-athletes at Georgia Tech.
Academic exceptions have meant that when CPJ and his staff could find players who had low grades or test scores but who displayed promising traits that lent to success in the GTAA's tutoring program (being serious about classes, valuing the academic brand of Georgia Tech's degrees, and working to maintain good study habits) the coaches could make a case to Admissions and get the player into school and onto the football team. The catch was that with the 20% cap on exception cases, scholarship offers to players like this had to be doled out carefully, and they added a lot of complexity to recruiting interactions. For example, if CPJ's staff had run across one of these desirable football players that they thought could make it at Tech but would have to get in on Academic Exception, they would actually have to stop recruiting him if someone else in the same boat had already committed to play at Tech. And what if that other guy "decommits" later? Well, the first 'academic exception' recruit will have been talking with other schools, and because Tech was forced to back off of him our staff would be behind in recruiting that guy.
Now, though, reportedly because CPJ's players have been graduating at historically high rates, he has requested and been granted the repeal of that 20% cap on these exception cases. The coach shrewdly cautions that the cap will likely go right back into place if too many football players begin flunking out. Barring that kind of event, it means that the Georgia Tech football program can recruit any player whom its coaches and academic support staff believe will be able to handle the Georgia Tech student-athlete workload regardless of that player's academic credentials.
The players all still have to meet the NCAA minimum criteria for eligibility, but no longer do 80% of them have to "be able to get into Georgia Tech."
What do you guys think about the removal of the 20% cap on Academic Exceptions for football? Do you give a big "Thanks, Bud!" to President "Bud" Peterson, or is this a disaster waiting to happen?