Georgia Tech’s trip to play Boston College in Ireland in 2016 will obviously be a rare experience for the Yellow Jackets and the fans who accompany them. But Tech will also actually likely come out ahead financially compared to the expenses the athletic department would have incurred had it gone to Boston College for the game as originally scheduled.
The contract between Tech and Irish American Events Limited, obtained in an open-records request, stipulates that “all related direct costs associated with the game being played in Dublin for Georgia Tech will be paid directly by IAEL as outlined below.”
The terms include a charter flight (the traveling party must include a 70-piece band and cheerleaders, although there was no mention of a requirement for a Converse-wearing bee, which could have to be quarantined), up to 121 rooms and suite at a minimum four-star hotel, meals, bus transportation, up to two cultural activities and 300 complimentary tickets. Meals are also covered, as is a police escort to practices, the game and the airport after the game.
In return, Tech is required to recognize Anthony Travel as the official travel partner for the game and cooperate in other ways with the company and IAEL for the marketing of the game.
Aside from the other benefits of playing in Tech’s first-ever football game off of American soil, there will be essentially no net costs, athletic director Mike Bobinski said at the Tech athletic association board meeting last Thursday. Had Tech played the Eagles in Chestnut Hill, Mass., the athletic department would have paid for its charter flight and hotel and other costs, which might run to about $175,000.
When Boston College gauged Tech’s interest in playing in Dublin, Bobinski said he wanted to ensure that the athletic department’s financial investment would not be greater than it would for a trip to Boston.
Mike Huff, Tech’s director of football operations, has been in Ireland on a site visit to prepare logistics for the team’s trip. I will be impressed if he can find a Jimmy John’s to cater sandwiches for the flight home.
More honors for Albertson, Tech golf team
The honors continued for the Tech golf team and graduate Anders Albertson in particular. Albertson was named the ACC men’s golf scholar-athlete of the year. Albertson was also named the winner of the Byron Nelson Award, given to the graduating senior in golf who excels on the course, in the classroom and in the community, and he was also selected as an academic All-American. He also won his second ACC championship, helped Tech win its sixth conference title in the past seven years and earn a top-10 finish at the NCAA championships.
He is the third Tech golfer to win it, following Ollie Schniederjans in 2014 and James White in 2011 and 2012. Further, all five playing members of the ACC and NCAA team made academic All-ACC, the fourth year in a row that the Jackets have had five players earn that honor. The most any other school placed on the team was three players.
A remarkable accomplishment.
Albertson T14 in second pro event
Albertson played his second professional event last week, again making the cut to finish in the money. Albertson tied for 14th at 12-under par at the eGolf Gateway Tour Mimosa Hills Open in Morganton, N.C. Finishing one shot ahead of him in a tie for ninth was former Tech teammate Bo Andrews, who is 19th on that tour’s money list.
Johnson in home run derby
Sophomore outfielder Kel Johnson will compete in the TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby Thursday in Omaha, Neb. The event will be broadcast live on ESPN at 8:30 p.m.
Johnson hit 10 home runs as a freshman during a season hampered by a sprained-ankle injury. He also was runner-up in a high-school home run derby during All-Star Game weekend last year in New York.
Rather than play in a wooden-bat league, Johnson has been spending the summer at Tech rehabilitating the ankle injury, evidence of the severity of the injury and at least partial explanation of the considerable downturn he experienced after returning from it.
Johnson, who hit .298 for the season (he was hitting .379 at the time of his injury) with nine doubles and 34 RBI, was named to the Louisville Slugger and D1baseball.com freshman All-America teams.
Johnson is the fourth Tech player to compete in the college derby, following Matt Skole in 2010, Daniel Palka in 2012 and Matt Gonzalez in 2013. Gonzalez was runner-up.
Tech’s connection to the Peachtree
Saturday’s running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race will be the 46th edition of the event, which has become the world’s largest 10K race in the world at 60,000 entrants.
You may know, but it has a singular tie to Tech – the race’s founder, the late Tim Singleton, was a two-time Tech grad who played football and ran track for the Yellow Jackets. He founded and directed the race through his leadership role with the Atlanta Track Club. My colleague Matt Winkeljohn wrote a feature about him for the Tech website upon Singleton’s induction into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame in 2011, two years before his death. Worth a read.
One interesting detail – when pondering possible routes for the race as the race grew larger, which now ends in Piedmont Park – Singleton considered having the race end at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Another Tech tie to the Peachtree involving a more recent graduate. Cleveland Browns wide receiver Kevin Cone runs the race with his father Ronny, himself also a former Tech player. The younger Cone said via e-mail that he plans to run again Saturday and that it will be their 11th year running together. He thinks they’re in Group P.
Tuesday is the final day to make a gift to the Alexander-Tharpe Fund and have it count in the 2015 fiscal year. More information available here.