Tech fans, can we please dispense once and for all with the holier than thou whining about admission standards and the Hill holding back Paul Johnson? The genius says he’s been greenlighted to go after the same kids most everyone else chases.
In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Johnson shared updates and insights about his team, which begins spring practice in advance of his seventh season on March 24. Among them: an admissions leeway he has been granted by school president G.P. “Bud” Peterson, changes in the coaching of the offensive line and possible scheme adjustments for the offense.
The incoming signing class was among Johnson’s largest and was significant in another way. With the academic success that the program has had since his arrival after the 2007 season, Johnson went to Peterson last year for help. He had ammunition. The Jackets were honored by the NCAA last June for having an NCAA-measured Academic Progress Rate in the top 10 percent of FBS.
Of the 15 players who were part of Johnson’s first signing class in 2008 and who stayed for four or more years, 14 earned degrees. Of the 16 players in the 21-player 2009 class who stayed four or more years, 15 earned degrees and the 16th is completing degree work.
Up until last year, Johnson said, he was permitted to have 20 percent of the signees fall below the school’s admissions standards so long as they met NCAA qualifying standards, signees termed by the program as exceptions.
“(Peterson) said, with the success we’ve had, he would give me more leeway if I thought guys could make it through,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that Peterson removed the 20 percent cap and gave him autonomy to offer scholarships to prospective players as long as they were NCAA qualifiers, which are a lower standard than Tech’s.
Fine by me. On to the next excuse for losing to Georgia…