Georgia Tech Gives Up 2009 ACC Football Championship in NCAA Investigation

Georgia Tech forfeited the 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference football championship, was fined $100,000 and placed on probation by the National Collegiate Athletic Association for failing to cooperate with an investigation of eligibility violations.

The probe involved Georgia Tech’s football and basketball programs.

The football infractions involve a former Yellow Jackets player receiving $312 worth of clothing as a gift from an employee of a sports agency in 2009, a violation of preferential-treatment rules, the NCAA said in a statement disclosing its ruling.

The university then failed to cooperate with the investigation, the NCAA said in a 26-page report. During the probe, the university’s former compliance officer twice acted in a “demonstratively untruthful” manner, creating a “disservice to the institution,” the NCAA wrote in its report.

The Yellow Jackets forfeited their 39-34 win over Clemson in the ACC championship game on Dec. 5, 2009, which occurred after the school was told of the preferential treatment violations by the former team member.

The basketball violations involve non-scholastic tournaments conducted on the school’s Atlanta campus in May 2009 and May 2010, which involved university staff. The tournaments violated NCAA rules involving impermissible tryouts.

As a result, the university forfeited two of its basketball recruiting days during the 2011 summer evaluation period, a penalty previously self-imposed by the school. The NCAA today reduced to 10 the number official visits for basketball recruits during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.

Probation Span

The probation period runs through July 13, 2015, the NCAA said. None of the athletes involved were identified.

Georgia Tech came off of a two-year probation in November 2007. Under NCAA guidelines, the school was subject to added penalties as a repeat violator if it committed another major infraction over the following two years.

Six years ago, NCAA officials said the Atlanta school allowed athletes in four sports, including 11 football players, to participate even though many of the classes they were taking didn’t count toward degrees.

The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions accepted sanctions the school proposed in 2005, including the loss of six football scholarships for both the 2005 and 2006 recruiting classes.

Members of the men’s and women’s track and field teams and the women’s swimming team also were involved in the 2005 violations and lost scholarships.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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