Category Archives: Georgia Tech Football

“The program is really about economic development.”

Maybe it’s just me, but as far as creative financing goes, this sounds like it’s got Georgia Tech written all over it:

For years, sports teams have tried to defray the multimillion-dollar costs of their new stadiums by asking fans to pay thousands for personal seat licenses that entitle them to buy season tickets.

Flávio Augusto da Silva is taking the concept further. In what may be the first deal of its kind, Mr. da Silva, the majority owner of Orlando City of Major League Soccer, is asking investors from Brazil, China and elsewhere to pay $500,000 each for a stake in the stadium he is building near downtown Orlando. In return, the foreign investors receive annual dividends, two season tickets and something even more valuable: a green card that allows them, their spouses and sometimes even their children to live and work in the United States.

The visa offer is legal, and it uses a 25-year-old federal program, known as EB-5, that is under renewed scrutiny in Congress. Created in 1990, the program was intended to help pay for infrastructure projects in rural areas and poor urban neighborhoods. After bank lending dried up in the last recession, developers turned to the program to finance hotels, condominiums and other projects from Manhattan to Miami. As a result, the number of EB-5 visas awarded grew to almost 9,000 last year, from fewer than 100 in 2003.

Green cards, infrastructure projects and poor urban neighborhoods?  That pretty much checks every box Tech could point to for money to spruce up Bobby Dodd Stadium.  Now, if they could only figure out a way for coaching salaries to qualify as infrastructure projects…

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Filed under Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

Closing the genius gap

I swear – if Paul Johnson didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him.

Paul Johnson is a leader at a school that lives on the cutting edge of science and technology.

In at least one aspect of his job, though, the Georgia Tech coach finds technology to be an unwelcome intrusion…

Johnson has an understandable opposition to a rule that would enable opposing coaches to watch in-game replays of his unorthodox offense.

“I think it takes away coaching,” he said in an interview earlier this year. “That was one of the things I always liked to think I was decent at, was looking out there and seeing what was going on. Now, anybody can do it if they can sit up there and look at the monitor and run it back.”

Buy a laptop and you, too, can be a head football coach, my friends.  Yes, apparently it’s that easy.

If only he could find a recruiting app.

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Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Science Marches Onward

The art of the sale

Compare and contrast two recruiting stories from Georgia’s Tyler Simmons:

When Simmons was around 8 years old, he was at Georgia Tech for a one-day youth camp. It was a short drive from where his family lived in Powder Springs. Now 18, he remembers approaching Paul Johnson, who had just been hired, and telling the Yellow Jackets’ head coach that he’d be back one day…

After Simmons’ recruiting heated up, another school to offer him was Georgia Tech. Simmons found himself in Johnson’s office.

“I told you I’d be back,” Simmons said.

Johnson didn’t remember the conversation.

Alabama’s lead recruiter was Kirby Smart.

Then the Crimson Tide’s defensive coordinator, Smart approached Simmons at last year’s state track meet. He showed him his phone, which had a video from the previous year’s track meet.

“This is how much I believed in you: I’ve been wanting you since Day 1. I recorded this,” Smart said, according to Simmons’ father.

Smart and Williams took pictures with Simmons, sent them back to Alabama coach Nick Saban, and invited him to Alabama’s first summer camp.

“Basically, Kirby was the one who wanted him the most,” Leah Simmons said. “That stood out.”

I’m not saying it’s fair to hold Paul Johnson to a standard of remembering what every kid at a camp said to him a decade ago – although if you told me Nick Saban had a support staffer who catalogued that for him, it wouldn’t exactly shock me – but a little more warmth or enthusiasm might help leave a better impression.

Maybe Tech’s rousing success on the recruiting trail can’t all be chalked up to the triple option.

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Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

If Paul Johnson really were a genius…

… he’d be on the phone to Kirby Smart suggesting something similar to this.

Let’s face it – it’s not as if the schools are chasing the same talent on offense.  And Tech could make a good living off of Georgia’s leftovers.

The hard part is selling Kirby on what’s in it for him.  Free passes to Dragon*Con maybe?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

What’s the difference between “Put in” and “All in”?

Beats the hell out of me.

And with that, I should be able to ignore Georgia Tech football for the next four or so months.

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Filed under Georgia Tech Football

“What time does Tech’s spring game start?”

“What time can you be down here?”

It looks like it filled in a little more at some point.

And an unusual sight for a Dawg fan: a final score left up on the scoreboard long enough to be photographed.

***********************************************************************

UPDATE:

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Filed under Georgia Tech Football

“I think we’ll be better than we were a year ago,” Johnson said. “Certainly we need to be.”

In case you’ve decided out of fear of fighting the capacity crowd squeezing into historic, yet cozy, Bobby Dodd Stadium, not to attend today’s Georgia Tech spring game, ESPN has thoughtfully provided you with a handy guide of things to look for here.

I have to admit that I haven’t kept a close eye on Tech in the offseason, so my general impression that it’s hard to go anywhere but up from a 3-8 season is severely tempered by the discovery that the Jackets have to replace three starters on their offensive line and the entire secondary.  (Today may be the best opportunity Tech’s receivers get all year.)  Yikes.

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Filed under Georgia Tech Football