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Ken Sugiura

Tech NCAA penalty: 12 minutes of practice

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NCAA compliance is a strange world, and two self-reported minor violations by Georgia Tech point it out yet again.

You may remember that the football team produced a web series prior to the season, titled “The Process.” You may also remember some of the episodes spotlighting the team’s summer workouts. It turns out that a video promoting Tech ended up capturing a violation.

In it, strength coach John Sisk was shown talking to the team prior to a workout and, according to the violation report submitted to the ACC, threatened consequences for players who were late.

The problem was that the summer workouts are considered voluntary, so by definition a player shouldn’t face discipline for being late. This sort of talk from strength coaches in summer workouts surely is heard in most every FBS weight room in the country. It’s just not always filmed by a video camera and edited into a promotional video.

True to NCAA form, Tech’s self-administered punishment included shortening a practice in August by 12 minutes. The rule typically on matters like this is that there is a 2-for-1 punishment. There were three segments that were two minutes each, hence 12 minutes of practice taken away.

The other was a minor violation committed by men’s basketball coach Brian Gregory. He was speaking at a coaching clinic and used players from Gordon State College for a demonstration. Can you spot the violation?

It was deemed an impermissible evaluation of a potential student-athlete. Gregory was required to undergo rules education and received a letter of admonition.

It likely need not be repeated, but the NCAA rulebook as constituted is painfully flawed. It requires vigilance to byzantine rules – there is a rule that states that “an institution may provide fruit, nuts and bagels to a student-athlete at any time” – and makes rule breakers out of coaches who use junior college players for a demonstration of ball screens.

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