Before we get into today’s Tidbits, I’d like to first announce that there was a decision to overhaul the format of the Technical Tidbits articles. Instead of the Tidbits appearing every weekday, the new schedule will feature two Tidbits per week, one on Tuesday and one on Friday. In addition to the schedule change, the articles themselves will have a new format that will feature fewer referenced articles but a more in-depth discussion of those articles that are chosen. There will be more discussion of the trending topics going on in the NCAA and especially those that pertain to the various GT athletic programs. Hopefully, this will also present an opportunity to provide more opinion based insights/thoughts on our beloved Yellow Jacket teams.
For the first discussion in today’s Tibits, I thought this article would be intriguing for multiple reasons. Often in sports, it’s the actions of coaches and athletes (and their associates) off the court or field that takes center stage. For a team or program, depending on those actions, the repercussions can be positive or, in some cases, negative — just ask the Atlanta Falcons management who must be reeling from the fallout from the Barkevious Mingo allegations (they did handle that effectively I think). This particular article sheds light on a controversy that had previously embroiled Josh Pastner, head coach of the men’s basketball team. To be clear, Pastner was exonerated of any wrong-doings. And his accuser (and former friend) Ron Bell was convicted of orchestrating false sexual assault accusations, as the article discusses. Bell had also alleged that he provided Georgia Tech basketball players Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson with improper benefits/payments.
For me, the major takeaway from the article is the acceptance of the inherent fact that sports is as much about money as it is about fun and games, even more so now at the collegiate level than before since the adoption of NIL policies by the NCAA.
Unfortunately, there are the less palatable stories like the subject of the referenced article (greed will make people do [Steppenwolf] things). Hopefully, though, there can be some positive things that will result from these new NCAA policies. Of course, the article wasn’t about NIL, but it did make me think of it. With that in mind, I’d like to know what are your thoughts about the changes and how it could impact the athletic programs at GT? Do you think scenarios like the one discussed in this article will become more or less common and why?
Okay, so this article thankfully is more focused on actual sports than off-the-field stories. This DraftKings article provides a preview of the Georgia Tech football team’s upcoming season. You can often tell the tone of the author from some of the keywords that may popup. And when the words “growing pains” and “rebuild” appear in the same sentence, you know where they’re kind of going.
In this case, it appears they believe it will be another so-so season for the Yellow Jackets. In fact, the article gives the Yellow Jackets +6600 odds of winning the national championship, +50000 odds of winning the ACC, and predicts a total of five wins for the team.
There are some key returning players that the article mentions like Jeff Sims and Jahmyr Gibbs. Both will be key factors for the offense, and hopefully the team will make some strides on the defensive side of the ball as well. The big question this article really brings up for me is, will this really be a “proof of concept” season for the Yellow Jackets? Does that seem like an accurate assessment? In a way, I do agree, and five wins would kind of be in line with that reasoning. Maybe it’s the fan in me, but I feel more optimistic about what can unfold in 2021.