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Technical Tidbits 7/14: Georgia Tech Swimmers Headed to the Olympics, Freeman’s Community Service Recognized

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In which getting out in front of others ends...variably.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Notre Dame RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

With the Opening Ceremonies of the 2016 Olympics right around the corner, the final rounds of qualifying for several events have been ongoing over the last few days and weeks. Wednesday, we learned that a pair of former Georgia Tech swimmers will be participating in the games in Rio, as 2010 graduate Gal Nevo will be representing Israel and 2016 graduate Andrew Chetcuti will represent Malta. Nevo in particular was an especially decorated swimmer during his time at Georgia Tech, twice being named ACC Swimmer of the Year and winning ACC Championships in several events, setting several school records along the way. Chetcuti and Nevo join 2005 track and field graduate Chaunte (Howard) Lowe and 2000 golf graduate Matt Kuchar as Georgia Tech alumni participating in this summer’s Olympics. Could we see that list expanded in the next couple of weeks? Stay tuned.

Despite being named a Freshman All-American in 2014 and being a starter in each of his first two years on the Flats, one of the best things about rising junior DE KeShun Freeman is his undying commitment to serving the community around him. Some of his volunteer activities around town include serving at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, participating in the “For the Kids” Dance Marathon on campus, and delivering Valentines Day cards to hospitalized children...and that’s just some of them. Freeman is a particularly rare breed among college athletes, dedicating what little free time he has to serving others. As a result, he’s been nominated for the 2016 Wuerffel Trophy and the 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. Freeman is one of 88 nominees nationwide for the award, named after former Florida QB and 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel. The nominees will be pared down to semifinalists on Nov. 3 and finalists on Nov. 23. The 2016 Wuerffel Trophy recipient will be unveiled on Dec. 6 at the National Football Foundation press conference in New York City. It seems like you’d be hard-pressed to find someone more qualified to win this award come the season’s end, but we’ll keep you updated on any relevant developments.

As this is being written, we’re heading into the final day of the annual 4-day media and “culture” spectacle that is SEC Media Days. As you might imagine, the event has produced all sorts of absurdities as a result of interviews, from Nick Saban seemingly ready to throw down with Paul Finebaum, to College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock showing up (for God knows what reason) and implying that he’s come to terms with the idea that having the College Football Playoff semifinals on New Year’s Eve is a really stupid idea. Perhaps the most noteworthy item to come away from the event thus far, though, is Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen attempting to defend the team and school against their decision to give five-star recruit and incoming freshman Jeffrey Simmons a suspension of one measly game after a video surfaced of him repeatedly punching a woman (viewer discretion advised) while she was on the ground. Mullen insisted that the decision was based on doing what was best for Simmons in the long run, and that “a life shouldn't be defined by 10 seconds of video”. Which makes a lot of sense — delivering the absolute bare minimum level of punishment to an adult man for assault on a defenseless woman is sure to send the proper message and ensure that his actions aren’t repeated in the future, right?

...on second thought, probably not. If you ask me, the school could be considered generous by maintaining Simmons’ admission, and anything less than a suspension of half the season is downright unacceptable — my preference would be an entire year, following the precedent set by Oklahoma with star RB recruit Joe Mixon following a similar incident. Instead, Simmons will miss his team’s most unimportant game of the year, in which they’re likely to beat South Alabama by at least 50 points. He’ll return to the team for Week 2, when they begin SEC play. Bravo to you, Mississippi State administration, and bravo to Dan Mullen. You’ve shown here that you’re truly shining examples of “leaders of men”.