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Mailbag 3/16

How are you feeling after Damon Stoudamire’s opening press conference?

Houston Rockets v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

GTSMURF: Well of course new MBB CDS. I believe it’s an awesome hire. Can we get our NIL in line so he can win those 4☆ and 5☆ recruiting battles?

Ben: Depends on if the money is there. I’m cautiously optimistic about the hire on the simple fact that Celtics fans were upset that we hired him away. But if there aren’t people willing to foot the bill for NIL deals, we aren’t going to recruit any better in MBB.

Jack: One of the primary objectives for Batt after the Collins saga was to get our NIL in line, and he’s been forward in saying that part got to a much better place in a short amount of time. We don’t quite know how much money is available, but we’ll have more at the start of next season than we did last season.

DressHerInWhiteAndGold: Happy Day of Pi!

AD JBatt and Prez AC, like any new regime, seem to be getting their coaches in order for the future.

Do you believe this might portend a change at MBB? After the season? Dependent upon results? Availability of a new skipper that meets managements needs/forecasts/KPI’s?

Ben: I sure hope so! Batt was hired on his fundraising prowess, so hopefully, he can get people to fund NIL at Georgia Tech, especially in football and men’s basketball. That’s going to be the easiest way to jump-start the programs.

gtbadcarma: I understand that Batt was left to clean up the mess left by the last AD but looking at the football hire and now basketball, all I hear in my head is the price is right fail sound. I believe for the same amount of money a more proven/better football head coach could have been hired over Key and, I haven’t seen Stoudamire’s contract but, I would expect better options could have been had for similar money for the basketball head coach. I fully expect both coaches will have better teams than their predecessors but that’s not setting the bar very high. Am I wrong to feel the coaching hires of Key and Stoudamire are uninspired hires?

Ben: I don’t think it’s wrong at all. We were all pretty lukewarm about Key being hired as the football coach. I think he’ll be better than Collins was, but that’s an abysmally low bar, especially when we could have had a proven program builder like Chadwell or Fritz. As for Stoudamire, the first time I heard he was a candidate was when people were reporting that he got the job. I know virtually nothing about him other than that he’s a former player and was hired from being an assistant with the Celtics. Celtics fans are upset that he got hired away, so that’s promising, I guess. But no, I don’t think it’s wrong at all to feel lukewarm about these hires. I think it’s important to remember, though, that Georgia Tech is in mountains of debt, so it is going to require Tech to take some chances or settle for cheaper coaches. At least on the football side of things, I like that the assistant staff pool grew exponentially, and I think that will pay serious dividends. I’m cautiously optimistic about Buster Faulkner as the OC. And if nothing else, I think Brent Key is already a better coach than his predecessor (again, that’s an abysmally low bar).

Jack: Sadly our financial situation combined with our win total inspired these hires. I think we’re fortunate that people find Georgia Tech an appealing enough place to work for maybe less than they could get elsewhere. The current state of our athletic department is not conducive to a splashy hire. We need to create our own luck going forward, and these are the first steps.

Chris: I definitely agree that they aren’t particularly exciting hires, but I agree with Ben and Jack that that’s probably a good thing right now. Our financial situation is very bad and we don’t have the kind of money that exciting hires command (not to mention that the pool of exciting hires willing to take on a dumpster fire is small). On the football side, I think there’s plenty of reasons to believe that Key can get us back to at least consistent bowls and that’s going to help our situation enormously. I think the overall strategy right now is to fix the basics, get back to consistent results, and then see what the money situation is. Not exciting, but I think it’s what we need.

DressHerInWhiteAndGold: Kirby Smart says he’s got complete control of the program (locking S&@t down?!?).

Where’ve I heard this before and why as a GA taxpayer and citizen shouldn’t I be apoplectic and unhinged over the rampant criminality and foolishness at Clarke Co Cesspool and AG??

Ben: It is what it is, and we will never be able to do anything to change it. Kirby Smart got hired at UGA, and then FOIA laws were changed to give up to 90 days to release public records at the behest of Smart. That should tell you everything you need to know about the foothold of that team.

Partywaggin: Any thoughts on this expansion article? Not a lot of ACC love to be found, but it’s Dinich we’re talking about for part of it.

Ben: I agree with Bill C’s take here:

I still think the most likely scenario is more of a “power two and light heavyweight three” situation, not unlike what we see in European soccer.

At this point, I don’t see a situation in which the SEC and B1G don’t continue to dominate things while the gap between them and the rest of the P5 continues to grow. Personally, I think they will still end up eventually creating a super league and officially split, but who knows when that will happen.

Chris: I agree with Ben, the SEC and B1G are clearly the top tier and seem to be working towards consolidating that position. Something’s gotta happen in the other three soon if they want to keep up.

tyler_pifer92: What were y’all’s takeaways from the Stoudamire intro press conference?

Jack: I’m not taking that much from it beyond it was clear Damon wants to be here. He departed an NBA Finals level team to be at Tech. He could barely get words out when the mic was on him. I have no doubt every ounce of him will go into this team. Beyond that, we’ll have to wait and see how this pans out.

Carter: Dude sounds like he’s all business, which will be a huge change from Pastner and his diatribes, entertaining as they were.

H2Opro1987: Does anyone think the CDS needs a “Tech” guy on his staff? Someone who has graduated or understands the rigors of being a student athlete at Tech. I think the hire is crazy enough it just might work and I’m excited for football and basketball this year.

Ben: Absolutely not. Where someone went to school does not affect how well they will coach at a given school. Period. End of story. Georgia Tech does not need a Tech Man. They need a good coach. It does not matter what sport.

Jack: The sooner we get rid of the notion we need a “Tech person” anywhere on our athletic staffs, the better. We definitely produce high quality people that could be tremendous assets to us in the future, but being a Tech person should be a nice bonus and not a focus.

Carter: I’ve said it before, but this hyper focus on Georgia Tech needing a “Tech man” is to the detriment of athletics as a whole. Geoff Collins was a “Tech man” and we know how that went. It shouldn’t be seen as a positive when evaluating coaches, it should be discarded entirely.

jabsterjacket: Thoughts about us playing FSU in Ireland in ‘24?

It will be one of our home games; we’ll only have 3 ACC games (Clemson, Wake, and Eat [Styx] Pitt) at Grant Field in ‘24. Rest of the home schedule is Ga. State and VMI, and ND (Rudy was offsides) at the Benz. So only 5 games at The Flats.

Hoping the payout will be bigger than the loss in gate.

Ben: I can’t imagine Tech would have agreed to this if they weren’t confident the payout would be larger than what they would make at home. Certainly, I would prefer the game to be at BDS, but Ireland is a lot of fun, and I think it will be really special for David Shanahan to be able to play in his home country.

Jack: I think it will be. Wouldn’t make that much sense otherwise. But then, for the players, don’t you have to say yes to this even if you go a little bit in the red? There’s no guarantee Tech will ever play in a game like this again. If you have a chance to give your program a once in a lifetime experience, you find a way to make it happen. Hopefully the team continues to make a good impression in Dublin like they did last time and we get invited back.

Chris: I don’t think I have any thoughts actually. Probably a good thing overall for money/visibility, but it’s not like a super prestigious thing or anything.

Carter: I hate it, but I understand it, and I’ve previously written about why.