Buzz Magazine -- Summer 2013
Georgia Tech Athletics' quarterly magazine.
TED ROOF Techâ€™s defensive coordinator returns to his alma mater THE LOST DODD BOYS In 1967, some 50 high school football prospects committed to play for Georgia Tech and a coaching legend, only to see Bobby Dodd retire before they arrived on campus SUMMER 2013 FRANCHISE STUDENT: Michael Johnson www.ramblinwreck.com SUMMER 2013 • Volume 6 , Number 4 EDITOR PHOTOGRAPHERS Dean Buchan Danny Karnik EDITORIAL ASSOCIATE DESIGN & LAYOUT Katie Hodges Summit Athletic Media www.summitathletics.com WRITERS Simit Shah Jack Wilkinson Adam Van Brimmer Matt Winkeljohn SUMMER ADVERTISING – IMG COLLEGE 2013 Tom Stipes For Information on Advertising, Please Call (404) 733-1130. The Buzz is published four times a year by IMG College in conjunction with the Georgia Tech Athletic Association. The price of an annual subscription is $9.95. Persons wishing to subscribe or those wishing to renew their subscription should send a check or money order (credit cards not accepted) to: THE BUZZ IMG College 540 N. Trade St. Winston-Salem, NC 27101 In This Issue 4 10 All material produced in this publication is the property of IMG College and shall not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission from IMG College and Georgia Tech. The appearance of advertising in this newspaper does not constitute an endorsement of the advertiser and/or the advertiser’s product or service by Georgia Tech or IMG College. The use of the name of the University or any of its identifying marks in advertisements must be approved by Georgia Tech and IMG College. Please send all address changes to the attention of Amanda Hobbs to: IMG College 540 North Trade Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101 (336) 831-0700 x1769 or (888) 877-4373 x1769 14 18 20 24 Georgia Tech’s inaugural football clinic for international students was an overwhelming success. It was difficult to determine who enjoyed it more – the students or the Yellow Jacket players. THE LOST DODD BOYS 28 THE PACIFIC RIM 30 Philanthropy at Work SPRING SURGER 32 How the Fiscal Cliff Legislation Affects Your Charitable Gift When Bobby Dodd retired in ‘67, it crushed a group of 50 who never got to play for him Former Yellow Jackets stars Anthony McHenry and D’Andre Bell are following their hoop dreams in Japan Yellow Jacket teams ramp up for postseason play FABULOUS FUTURE First-year coach Rodney Harmon has Tech’s women’s tennis program on right track ANOAI REIGNS THE RING Capital Projects Update as of April 31, 2013 A guide to implications caused by the American Taxpayer Relief Act and the Affordable Health Care Act 34 NOONAN GOLF FACILITY 35 Compliance Corner FRANCHISE STUDENT Completing his degree is a priority for the Cincinnati Bengals’ franchise player donor profile: Ted Roof Tech’s defensive coordinator talks life as a GT student-athlete and coach with a fresh perspective upon his return Now there is an extraordinary opportunity to secure the land on which Tech’s practice facility sits, and with it the future of the program. Three Things You Didn’t Know About the National Letter of Intent. Former Georgia Tech football star is at the top of the WWE charts Proud supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics. ® Award-Winning VIDEO + DIGITAL CREATIVE Services Since 1999. 3400 Peachtree Road / Suite 200 / Atlanta, GA 30326 404.688.4333 www.threesquared.com www.ramblinwreck.com 3 FB FOOTBALL THE LOST DODD BOYS In 1967, some 50 high school football prospects committed to play for Georgia Tech and a coaching legend, only to see Bobby Dodd retire before they arrived on campus By Adam Van Brimmer S Photos courtesy of Steve Norris, one of the Lost Dodd Boys Steve Norris fidgeted as Bobby Dodd sat in his family’s living room one winter’s day in late 1966. The revered coach, in the midst of a renaissance season, wanted Norris to be the next great Yellow Jacket quarterback. The notion so excited Norris the high school senior wanted to don the GT helmet and the trademark yellow britches right then. Yet Norris’ parents, ever the pragmatists, had questions for coach Dodd. Rumor has it you’re contemplating retirement, coach, they told Dodd. Word is your health is slipping. The coaches of other schools say you’ll be out of the game in the next year or two. Dodd gave a definitive response, promising he would be Georgia Tech’s coach through Norris’s graduation day. “And I believe he would have been,” Norris said, “if not for the illness.” A kidney and prostate condition forced Dodd to renege on his promise. Dodd retired from coaching on Feb. 6, 1967, bringing one of college football’s most storied coaching careers to a premature end. He coached the Yellow Jackets for 22 years and won at a clip of .713 (165-64-48). But not before Norris and 50 other Dodd disciples joined the Yellow Jackets. Dodd’s last recruiting class, they would never play for him, suiting up for Dodd’s successor, Bud Carson, instead. They signed on to be one of the “Dodd Boys,” as those who played for the coach refer to themselves -- and still do. They were the lost Dodd boys. “We saw ourselves as a special group with a special opportunity to be under Coach Dodd at a time when it looked like the program was returning to glory,” Norris said. “A lot of us went to Georgia Tech to play for Coach Dodd more than to play at Georgia Tech. We (wanted) the chance to play for him, to play for a legend.” His disgust with Georgia Tech’s administration accentuated his condition. He’d pleaded with the school’s leaders the previous summer to change three courses for management majors. The tweaks would include doing away with calculus as a mandatory course. The academians refused, and Dodd nearly quit on the spot. “I was getting mad about that fact that Georgia and Auburn could take these boys I couldn’t take,” Dodd told his biographer, Jack Wilkinson. “So I said, ‘It’s time for me to get out.’” The 1966 season caused Dodd to waffle, however. Georgia Tech opened with nine straight wins and rose to No. 5 in the national Difficult Decision Dodd felt nothing like a legend at the time. Bitter, tired and bothered by a kidney and prostate condition that would one day morph into cancer, Dodd spent the winter of 1967 in denial. The rumors about his health were accurate – he’d been plagued by headaches, a chronic upset stomach and high fevers throughout the 1966 season. He admitted in his biography, Dodd’s Luck, that he seldom slept a full night that fall, often waking two or three times each evening. 4 The Buzz Bobby Dodd told the players about his retirement with this letter, which was too painful for him to read. rankings. The Yellow Jackets went on to earn an Orange Bowl berth, the program’s first major bowl bid in more than a decade. Dodd often called the 1966 team the “favorite” of his career. And the coach had stars Kim King and Lenny Snow coming back in 1967. Dodd told reporters in January 1967 he would coach another four or five years, “health permitting.” A week later, one of Dodd’s prized recruits, Stan Beavers, received a Western Union telegram from Coach Dodd at his Hapeville home. Dodd was retiring due to health reasons, the telegram said, but the school’s commitment to Beavers remained. “This was a quality and reputation that only Coach Dodd and Georgia Tech possessed at that time,” Beavers said. “I still have the telegram in my scrapbook.” Tough Transition Dodd’s lost boys would arrive at Georgia Tech to find a program in the midst of culture shock. Gone were the short, easy practices, highlighted by Friday afternoon volleyball games, Dodd subscribed to. The new coach, Carson, served in the marines prior to putting on a whistle. His approach reflected his military background. “We’d heard so much about Coach Dodd and ‘Dodd’s way,’ and we get there and it’s the opposite,” said Jack Williams, another member of the 1967 recruiting class. “I remember when we finally made a bowl game, our senior year, after hearing about how a bowl game was such a reward under Dodd, that they practiced the hell out of us. We worked harder during bowl practices than we did at any other point during the season.” Carson, several of the lost boys acknowledge, was in a difficult position. Many Tech fans wanted a “Tech man,” such as former Yellow Jacket star and assistant coach Frank Broyles, to succeed Dodd. Broyles and others turned down the job, though, and the school’s leaders promoted Carson instead. Meanwhile, Dodd stayed on as athletic director. Carson worked for the legend he replaced. “A lot of people didn’t want Coach Carson to start with,” Williams said, “and then he didn’t endear himself once he got the job.” Among Carson’s mistakes was to banish the yellow britches Georgia Tech wore as part of their home uniforms. Steve Norris (left) and Bobby Dodd were all smiles when Norris signed his letter of intent. 6 The Buzz King, the senior quarterback in 1967, described an “air of tension and hostility … between the players and changed coaching staff” in his book, Kim King’s Memories from the Georgia Tech Sideline. “Carson was a great defensive coach – look at his NFL career – but not a great head coach,” said Williams, who became close to Carson after his playing career, even serving as a pallbearer at Carson’s funeral. “It was a difficult time.” Roller-Coaster Careers The strife showed on the field. The Yellow Jackets posted their worst record – 4-6 – in 1967 since Dodd’s first season as coach. They started the season 3-0 but King got hurt and missed parts of five games. The next season, a rash of injuries contributed to another 4-6 season. A defense decimated by strains and sprains gave up at least 34 points in the season’s final four games, all losses. The 1968 season hinted at what was to come for the lost boys, though. The injuries, combined with a number of defections following the 1967 season, led to many of those then sophomores playing significant snaps in their first season of eligibility. The NCAA rules of Safe and Effective Solutions to Provide Freedom for Your Pet, Peace of Mind for You We help pets and their owners live happy, harmonious lives together. 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Expires 6/30/13 415-1869 www.ramblinwreck.com 7 Bud Carson had the difficult task of replacing a legend as head coach, and the transition was not a smooth one. the time prohibited freshman from playing, meaning the class of 1967 first saw action in 1968. The 1969 team, featuring many of the lost boys including star defensive tackle Rock Perdoni, started the season 2-0. They’d finish 4-6 again, albeit with a win against rival Georgia that snapped a five-year losing streak to the hated Dogs. Williams scored the winning touchdown on a two-foot sneak “that my grandson could have run in.” The lost boys’ breakthrough season came in 1970. The Yellow Jackets started 4-0 to move from unranked to No. 13. They lost to backto-back ranked teams before winning four of 8 The Buzz their last five regular season games. The lone loss came against top-ranked Notre Dame. The Jackets “dominated” Georgia in Athens. The class members would cap their careers with a 17-9 victory over Texas Tech in the Sun Bowl. The bowl win would “change us from the ‘Lost Dodd Boys’ to winning Tech men,” Beavers said. Looking back, the lost boys profess no regrets. For some, there is a sense of “what might have been” had Dodd not retired, but most profess pride in the accomplishments. And then there’s the taste of Dodd football none will forget. Early on during the 1968 season, Georgia Tech was coming off a narrow loss to Miami. Carson sensed his team needed a pep talk prior to the next week’s game against Clemson, and the coach knew inspiration was not one of his strengths. So he asked Dodd to give the speech. “To this day, I can’t tell you what he said, but I do remember we left the locker room feeling like we’d already won the game,” Williams said. “He probably didn’t say anything that profound. He just had that presence, that aura. I remember thinking, ‘This is what I signed on for.’ I think we were the last ones to ever hear a pregame speech from coach Dodd.” ■ MB MEN’S BASKETBALL THE PACIFIC RIM Former Yellow Jackets stars Anthony McHenry and D’Andre Bell are following their hoop dreams in Japan By Jon Cooper N No distance is too far to travel if it means getting to live a dream. For former Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Anthony McHenry and D’Andre Bell, fulfilling their dream of playing professional basketball has meant living nearly 7,000 miles across the globe in Japan. McHenry and Bell are adapting to the cultural and language differences. They’re still getting used to doing without the casual contact with friends and family. McHenry has to think twice before sending a text when there is a 14-hour time difference back in his hometown of Birmingham, Ala. Bell doesn’t expect immediate responses when sending a Facebook message when his family is 16 hours away in Los Angeles. All that is a small price to pay for the opportunity to play pro basketball. McHenry, Class of 2005, and Bell, Class of 2010, have come to enjoy the new meaning the phrase, “Made in Japan,” takes on for them. Deciding to play halfway across the world wasn’t a decision they entered into lightly and is one they certainly have no regrets about. “I actually had stopped playing basketball to come back to school,” said McHenry, who completed his fifth season with the Ryukyu Golden Kings, averaging 15.9 points per game, on 58.1 percent shooting, 35.8 from three, while grabbing 9.8 rebounds, and handing out 3.0 assists in 32.3 minutes per game in 48 of 50 games. “A friend of mine, Jeff Newton, who was already here, was coming to Okinawa from his former team Osaka and saw a chance to get me a job and the rest is history.” “I had a few different options,” said Bell, who completed his first year in the league with the Chiba Jets. “I spoke to Tim Barton about it — he runs the Tim Barton Executive Search out of Atlanta — I spoke to [former Jackets Coach] Paul Hewitt and they advised me that this would probably be the best opportunity for me, especially it being my first time overseas. So, looking at all the variables, the financials, the team and league and everything and my future goals, we decided that this was the best one.” Both have made an impact. McHenry, who played with the Yellow Jackets from 2002 through 2005 and was part of the 2004 Final Four team, has been a big part of the success of the Golden Kings, who are the gold standard of the league. The rise of the Golden Kings actually coincides with McHenry’s arrival in Okinawa in 2008. 10 The Buzz Credit: Ryukyu Golden Kings Anthony McHenry • Logo/Identity Design • Brand Development • Collateral Design • Large Format Printing • Point of Purchase Design • Environmental Graphics • Print on Demand K ellie New bold k n ewbold@ riot color.com 6 40 1 0 t h Street • Atlan t a, G A 3 0 3 1 8 • 4 0 4 .8 7 3 .5 911 After going 10-34 in its inaugural season of 2007, McHenry joined the squad. They went 41-11 his first year and haven’t lost as many as 20 games in a season since. During the recently completed 2012-13 season, the Golden Kings had the league’s best record, 40-10, and won the Western Conference by seven games. McHenry averaged 15.9 points per game on 58.1 percent shooting, 35.8 from three, while grabbing 9.8 rebounds, and handing out 3.0 assists in 32.3 minutes per game. The Golden Kings have won a pair of league championships and were the favorites heading into the playoffs. The combination of winning and the island’s location, nearly 1,000 miles off the Japanese mainland — think of the relationship between Hawaii and the continental United States — has made Ryukyu a hot ticket. “They’re the only pro game in town and basketball is more beloved in Okinawa percentagewise than in some parts of Japan,” said Ed Odeven, who has covered the Basketball Japan League and various sports for The Japan Times for seven years. “Part of it is being the influence of all the American military bases. They’ve got a lot of foreign influence down there and basketball is very, very popular. It’s played more than in many parts of Japan. That’s been beneficial to the team’s popularity as well, its sold-out gyms.” McHenry, a 6-7, 222-pound swingman who was the MVP of the 2012 Finals, has been very well received by the fans of the Golden Kings. “He’s been a great all-around guy since he got there,” said Odeven. “He’s always one of the top guys in minutes, steals, rebounds, assists, blocks. He’s an all-around player and comes across as very much a team-first player. He will hustle, do the little things, sharing the ball, throwing ally-oops to teammates, diving for loose balls, blocking shots, passing on the fast break. That’s made him popular around the league.” McHenry has taken to his surroundings. “I enjoy the people of Okinawa more than anything,” he said. “The island is beautiful in itself, but the people of Okinawa are some of the most laid-back, stress-free people I have ever come across. It probably has a lot to do with why the people here live so long. “Okinawa is a small island and a lot of the people here follow basketball. When the team was first developed, the people really came out in support although the first season was not a successful one,” he added. “Now that we are a consistent top team in the league we sell out almost every game and the people in Okinawa love their team. In college we had more fans, but in Okinawa it’s a more personal relationship between fans and players.” Bell has found a similarly warm relationship in his first season with the Jets. The 6-6, 222-pound guard, who overcame career-threatening spinal stenosis while at Georgia Tech which forced him to sit out the 2008-09 season, was grateful for a chance to play the game he loves and enjoyed his first season in Japan. 12 The Buzz Credit: Chiba Jets/bj-league D’Andre Bell There is a slight difference in Bell’s experience, as he is here with his wife and two children. They’re enjoying the opportunity to discover the new way of life. “I love it, the culture, the tradition and their way of life. It’s different,” he said. “A goal of my wife and I is to travel the world and this is our first stop. So it’s been a great joy for me and my family. “My wife is having a blast, the kids are having a blast,” he added. “We’re a family that’s truly about family and being together. So we’ve all adjusted fairly well. As long as we’re together we’re fine.” Coincidentally, like McHenry, Bell joined Chiba in the franchise’s second season in the 21-team league. The Jets finished the regular season 25-25, and earned the sixth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Bell did his part in getting the team into postseason, playing just over 30 minutes a game in all 50 games, contributing 13.7 points, on 46.4 percent shooting (39.5 from three), pulling in 4.9 rebounds, issuing 1.9 assists, with 1.5 steals. Also as with McHenry, Bell has been wellreceived by the fans of Chiba, which is located in the Tokyo area and Chiba prefecture — an area much like the New York-New Jersey area. “Bell has been perceived as a likable guy,” said Odeven. “His team has a lot of new faces. Everybody’s on a one-year contract. All the foreign players and a lot of the Japanese are new this year. He’s played well. He’s the team leader in steals, the team leader in blocks, he’s been healthy. He’s started occasionally but he’s come off the bench a lot as well and been a good sixth man. When he enters the game, there are good cheers. Fans are appreciative of his effort.” The fans have taken to Bell in a big way and he is grateful for the adulation. “It’s been absolutely phenomenal,” he said. “I have a bobble head, I have a lot of photos. I have a nickname, ‘Bonsaisan.’ After every win we all do the ‘Bonsai’ thing together, the whole stadium and the team. It’s just been phenomenal. It’s been very, very fun. I couldn’t be happier.” Of course, being on a one-year contract, Bell is cautious, knowing things can change, especially with the Jets on the way to a new league next season. “I just take it all one day at a time,” he said. “I have to follow my heart. I’ve had many setbacks, injuries at Georgia Tech and things of that nature. I’m finally healthy and playing pretty good basketball. I want to shoot for the NBA but I do not mind staying in Japan. Japan is a tough market to get into. So now that I’m in, it’s great that I have this option.” Both McHenry and Bell have their closest bonds with familiar faces from the U.S. — McHenry in Newton, Bell with teammate and former Georgia Bulldog Terrence Woodbury — but, because of the way they’ve been embraced 14 The Buzz by the Japanese people, neither says finding fellow compatriots is a necessity to making their way. “I can’t say that I have run into a lot of players that I knew from playing against prior to coming here, but I have made many friends along the way,” said McHenry. “I wouldn’t say it’s a fraternity or anything. I have more in common with the American players but I am just as close, if not closer, with some of the Japanese players. “There wasn’t that much of an adjustment coming to Okinawa,” he added. “It’s loaded with American military bases so most of the Japanese here speak a small amount of English, and a number of the restaurants cater to Americans. Being here as opposed to the mainland has allowed me to adjust at my own pace.” He’s also made an effort to fit in by taking a class in Japanese (“I’m still a beginner,” he said.). He can communicate just fine on the court, however where the game is universal, even if there are subtle differences in style from the U.S. “Basketball is basketball,” he said. “The language barrier can be difficult at times but for the most part everyone teaches the fundamentals of the game the same all over the world.” Bell, too sees the differences but has found the Japanese game to be a good fit for him. “The NBA game and the overseas game are completely different,” he said. “It’s slower. It’s a lot like college. The Japanese, a lot of them are shooters. They’re quick, fast and they can shoot the ball. “We play a lot like Georgia Tech played,” he added. “Our defensive style, our identity is our fast play, getting up and down the court, a running style, so it’s been pretty good for me.” McHenry and Bell got to meet and chat at the League’s All-Star Game and look forward to keeping in touch, even though the distance between Okinawa and Chiba makes more frequent visits difficult, as does schedule, a grueling ninemonths long, and played in back-to-backs in the same city. Both have become users of Skype and social media to help stay in touch with their families and friends stateside. Neither has forgotten their alma mater. “I check on them here and there every once in a while,” Bell said. “I do plan on jumping back on board. I spoke to Moe Miller on Facebook. But, like I said, it’s kind of tough to get in touch with me. As far as visiting the States, we’ve had a couple of breaks but you really don’t get to go home. My family is here, so we live here.” “The season here is nine months, giving me three months at home during the off-season,” said McHenry. “For the most part social media, Skype and email is how I stay in touch. With the time difference it is very hard to catch [Georgia Tech] games. I try to stay tuned in to what’s going on through the website and what not. I haven’t had a chance to see [McCamish] Pavilion yet, but looking at the pics has me very excited about seeing it soon.” ■ GT georgia tech athletics Anders Albertson, who became the eighth Georgia Tech player to win medalist honors at the ACC Championship in April, will lead the 7th-ranked Yellow Jackets into NCAA regional competition May 16-18. SPRING SURGER Yellow Jacket teams ramp up for postseason play B By Adam Van Brimmer BASEBALL: Defending ACC champions hope to build May momentum Georgia Tech played like a Ramblin’ Wreck in the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournament. The Yellow Jackets shrugged off their worst ACC regular season in three decades and played with “reckless abandon” in winning the ACC championship. Behind their lone senior, Jake Davies, the Jackets won four games in five days to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the 26th time in 28 years. Georgia Tech should need no such lift this postseason. A veteran roster -- seven starting position players returned from last season as well as the entire starting pitching rotation – and the 2012 ACC tourney champs have translated into a confident team. The Yellow Jackets will finish the regular season among the nation’s best in batting and slugging averages. The pitching staff, meanwhile, held opponents to sub-.250 batting average for much of the season, with the starters improving as the season progressed. 16 The Buzz “We hope we are peaking at the right time, getting hot at the right time,” catcher Zane Evans said. “It feels a lot like last year at the ACC Tournament, we’re just getting it going a little earlier.” The Yellow Jackets are feeding off of Evans, along with likely All-Americans Brandon Thomas and Buck Farmer. Evans is arguably the ACC’s leading slugger as well as the league most feared closer on the mound. Thomas’s batting average topped .400 for much of the season despite a bout with mononucleosis that sidelined him for nine games and weakened him for several more. As for Farmer, his ERA stayed below 1.50 for much of the season and his leadership helped steady a pitching staff that struggled in March. “Our pitching staff has gotten more comfortable and more consistent, particularly in terms of throwing strikes,” head coach Danny Hall said. “The way we play defense and the way we hit, as long as they throw strikes we have a chance at success.” The postseason focus is squarely on the first tournament, the ACC. But the players are well aware their proud program hasn’t advanced past the NCAA Regional stage since 2006. Dreams of a deep NCAA run will be all the spark they need this season. “The energy level is pretty high with this team,” Evans said. “We can’t wait for tournament time.” GOLF: Under-the-radar Jackets ready for their favorite time of the year Most powerhouses boast a power player, and historically, Georgia Tech’s uber-successful golf team is no exception. All-American anchors have included James White, Cameron Tringale, Roberto Castro, Nicholas Thompson, Troy Matteson, Matt Weibring, Bryce Molder and Matt Kuchar. The 2013 Yellow Jackets are out to prove not every powerhouse boasts star power. Georgia Tech won two major tournaments this year, finished runner-up in two more and recorded top-five finishes in three others, all with different golfers leading the charge. Sophomores Anders Albertson and Ollie Schniederjans have been the most consistent, but junior Bo Andrews won medalist honors in a 75-player field at an event in April and another junior, Seth Reeves, has posted some impressive rounds. “The thing about the postseason is, you need four good scores every day,” coach Bruce Heppler said. “It can be hard to compete for a team title if you don’t have individuals up front, but we have some guys playing well enough right now to get there in the postseason.” Andrews’ victory at the Gary Koch Invitational was a turning point, Heppler said, and not just for the junior from North Carolina. The team’s confidence has been fragile all season, contributing to the revolving list of Yellow Jackets on the leaderboards. Competition within the team is fierce, and Andrews’ win should “spur the guys on in terms of their belief systems,” Heppler said. “Hopefully, Bo’s win shows guys need not make a big deal out of trying to be ‘the guy’,” Heppler said. “They are so talented, if they just focus on their own deal, they’ll be fine.” The Yellow Jackets have plenty of postseason experience. Georgia Tech boasts four players who finished in the top-10 individually at last year’s ACC Championship, a tourney Tech won for the fourth straight year. The Yellow Jackets also played in the 2012 NCAA Southwest Regional. The seasoned group will also have home course advantage for the NCAA Championships. The finals will be played at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple course from May 27 through June 2. “It should be to our advantage, but we need to win the conference championships and get some momentum going into the event,” Heppler said. WOMEN’S TENNIS: Young team growing up fast Georgia Tech won’t be a popular sleeper pick going into the postseason, but the Yellow Jackets might be a wise one. The Jackets knocked off two top-20 teams during the regular season and didn’t lose a match to an opponent outside the rankings. Senior Elizabeth Kilborn has proved a clutch player at No. 1 singles and freshmen Kendal Woodard, Natasha Prokhneyska and Megan Kurey have matured throughout the season. “The biggest thing for us is to focus on winning match by match,” first-year coach Rodney Harmon. “We certainly have the ability to match up, win and move on. MEN’S TENNIS: Spir leads late charge Juan Spir is going out swinging. The senior closed out the regular season with seven wins in his last eight singles matches, including an upset of the nation’s top-ranked player, Virginia’s Alex Domijan. Spir’s late surge has been the highlight of an otherwise difficult season for the young and rebuilding Yellow Jack- Ashley Thomas and the Jackets will play the May 9-11 ACC Tournament in Tallahassee. ets. Seven of the nine players on the roster are freshmen or sophomores. SOFTBALL: Primed for postseason The beauty of the postseason is teams have the chance to forget the regular season. Such is the case for Georgia Tech softball. A preseason top-25 team with six position starters and two starting pitchers returning, the Yellow Jackets struggled to meet expectations. Ace pitcher Hope Rush was inconsistent in the circle for the first time in her career and the offense struggled to score runs. Yet the Yellow Jackets tend to play their best softball late: They’ve won three of the last four ACC Tournament titles and appeared in 11 straight NCAA Tournaments. TRACK & FIELD: Stars ready for NCAAs Wren, Thomas and Palka want to defend their ACC Tournament crown May 22-26 in Durham, N.C. 18 The Buzz Georgia Tech’s track and field team members have assaulted the school record book and dominated the competition this season. Jumper Jhanelle McLeod shattered the school’s triple jump record and sprinter Broderick Snoddy repeatedly lowered the 60-meter dash mark. McLeod’s nearly 44-foot jump at the Florida Relays was the best mark in collegiate track and field for much of this season. Distance runner Brandon Lasater won the 800 meters at the Florida Relays with an ACC best time of 1:48.34 and pole vaulter Aaron Unterberger won his event in every meet he competed in prior to the ACC Championships. ■ WT WOMEN’S TENNIS Freshmen Megan Kurey (left) and Kendal Woodard have become one of the best doubles teams in the country. The duo owns a 23-5 record. FABULOUS FUTURE First-year coach Rodney Harmon has Tech’s women’s tennis program on right track W By Adam Van Brimmer What happens when the ace mechanic abandons the well-oiled machine? The answer depends on the parts. Bryan Shelton’s departure as Georgia Tech’s women’s tennis coach last summer seemingly couldn’t have come at a worse time. The program had just lost four seniors, a group recruited in the wake of the 2007 national championship run. The members of the incoming recruiting class, considered the nation’s best, were suddenly free to pursue other colleges. Three of the four recruits followed through on their commitment to attend Georgia Tech, though, and the school replaced the legendary coach with a personable, knowledgeable newcomer. Throw in a senior leader playing above expectations, and the predicted overhaul has proved unnecessary. “There were a lot of question marks when we started,” said first-year coach Rodney Harmon, who has signed two more blue-chip recruits for next season. “We might not have all the answers at this point, but we have a pretty good idea of where we’re going.” Three freshmen have given Georgia Tech direction. 20 The Buzz Kendal Woodard, Natasha Prokhnevska and Megan Kurey held down the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 singles spots all season and Woodard and Kurey were a formidable doubles team. The play of the “Fab Three” has softened the blow dealt by the recruit who got away, Catherine Harrison. She reneged on her letter of intent following Shelton’s departure, choosing to attend UCLA instead. “When we got here, we knew we were going to be counted on to play our best to help the team out,” Woodard said. “We didn’t think about being the ‘Fab Three’ or anything like that, but it’s flattering some think of us that way.” Dealt A Nice Hand Count Harmon thankful for his inheritance. He reluctantly admits he’ll take a team loaded with freshman talent over a veteran juggernaut any day. He’s more program builder than caretaker, especially when he likes the material. “I would prefer to have a young team coming in, particularly when it includes three incredible freshmen like we have,” Harmon said. “It’s so different for upperclassmen to adjust to a new coach, especially when they’re used to a phenomenal coach like Bryan Shelton. These freshmen know him from recruiting, but they know me from the court.” Two veterans have eased the transition for Harmon. Senior Elizabeth Kilborn won’t be a part of the program’s future success, but her fingerprints will be on championships and postseason runs in the years to come. Kilborn stepped into the void created by the departure of Jillian O’Neill at No. 1 singles and delivered several big wins. Her consistent play allowed Harmon to resist the urge to play his freshmen in the top spot, which aided in their maturity. And Kilborn’s rags-to-riches story – she was a self-professed “roster filler” in joining the team four years ago – inspires the young players as well. “You’ve got to remember, when I came in here, I was pinching myself to be a part of this program,” Kilborn said. “Bryan Shelton took a chance on me, and I was in awe of this place. How far I’ve come speaks volumes about the people who have been around me, the people who helped me develop. This year has just been really rewarding.” Junior Muriel Wacker has been the other veteran contributor. She was almost unbeatable at No. 5 singles late in the year and teamed with Kilborn in doubles. Wacker sets an example for the freshmen with her work ethic in practice and is primed to succeed Kilborn as the team’s vocal leader next year, Kilborn said. “You can already tell how much the youngsters look up to her,” Kilborn said. “I’m excited to see what they can do.” Ahead Of Schedule Shelton needed six seasons to turn Georgia Tech women’s tennis into a national contender. The Yellow Jackets won their first Atlantic Coast Conference title in 2005 and won three straight conference crowns. The 2007 team, led by four-time All-American Kristi Miller, captured the program’s first national championship. Amanda McDowell won Georgia Tech’s first individual national title the next year. Irina Falconi earned national player of the year honors in 2010. Harmon isn’t predicting similar success. But the man who formerly coached the U.S. national team recognizes potential when he sees it. “The biggest thing for us right now and going into next season isn’t our national ranking but the development of our team,” Harmon Senior and captain Elizabeth Kilborn was the unquestioned leader of the 2013 Georgia Tech squad. said. “Our freshmen and Muriel Wacker have all improved so much throughout the year, and with the two freshmen we have coming in … we have a chance to have a special team moving forward.” Harmon marvels at the oddities of his first season. Losing Harrison, a top-10 recruit, stung, but her decision to go to UCLA opened up a scholarship for a top-five player, Rasheeda McAdoo, in this year’s class. Then, with one of Georgia Tech’s top veterans, 2012 NCAA doubles qualifier Alex Anghelescu, battling injuries all year, the Fab Three and Wacker stepped up. Anghelescu will be back next year for what promises to be a deep and talented team. “I see nothing but the best ahead for us,” said Woodard, one of the freshmen stars. “We have a great coach, great leaders and a great team. You come in here and practice hard and put in the work and it will pay off.” ■ Head Coach Rodney Harmon signed two blue chip recruits who will join the Yellow Jackets in 2013-14. 21 The Buzz FB football FRANCHISE STUDENT Michael Johnson will earn more than $11 million with the Bengals this season, yet completing his Georgia Tech degree is his priority M By Matt Winkeljohn Michael Johnson is about to make the big time in the NFL, where he’s already played four seasons, yet the former Georgia Tech defensive end is still a little, ol’ (big) student. Johnson took three classes this spring semester during the professional offseason because, well, school is, “something I started, and anything I start I want to finish,” he said. Nevermind that the rangy, 6-foot-7 native of Selma, Ala., first enrolled at Tech in 2005. He plans to earn a degree in business administration, and he’s still standing out among classmates in several ways. Anybody else know an undergraduate (or graduate) who can say he’s signed a document to earn $11.175 million for his next year of work? Johnson was a free agent after last season, his fourth with the Cincinnati Bengals, and on March 15, he signed the Bengals’ “franchise” offer for that amount. That precludes him from negotiating with other teams as a free agent, and means that he’s bound to the team for next season at that salary unless he and the Bengals work out a long-term contract by July 15. But for his size and the fact that he looks just a wee bit older, you wouldn’t know from the sight of Johnson on campus that he’s any different. He’s not a fancy dresser, and he generally blends in when in class. There are exceptions. 22 “For guys that are able to finish up in their time here, I salute them. That’s especially tough at Georgia Tech. I don’t wear a lot of Georgia Tech gear. I say I haven’t graduated yet. But when I graduate, there’s going to be Georgia Tech gear everywhere. I’m talking tanks, shirts, hats . . . people are going to be like, ‘You must have gone to Georgia Tech.’” Michael Johnson signed with Cincinnati six months after taking a bite of the hedges in 2008. “Most of my classes are second- and third-year students so they’re 20 and 21,” he said with a smile. “When they ask me, ‘What year are you?’ Well, technically . . . I’m in my last year, but I got here in 2005. They’re like, ‘You’re old.’ “ Well, 26 probably doesn’t qualify as old in the real world, although Tech’s different. Johnson has changed, too, between his departure as a full-time student and now. He also took three classes in the spring of 2011, and after this semester will need eight more hours to earn his degree in the spring of 2014. He said that’s the plan. Back in his days as a student-athlete, Johnson was methodical in everything he did on and off the field. He still is, yet the sense of apprehension that previously accompanied him when quizzed by reporters is gone. He’s completely confident in his skin, and comfortable with nearly any question outside of contract issues. As before, he’s not prone to hyperbole or understatement even though he’ll spend a few more words talking about various subject matters than he might have once upon a time. Johnson’s mug shot might run next to the word “pragmatic” in a dictionary. “It’s a different feeling. I’m a much more confident student now,” he said. “When I go in class, I’m prepared, I’m rested. I’m not rushing from workouts or rushing from here to there. I’m taking a financial management class that as a college student I couldn’t grasp. “After four years of seeing checks, and taxes and this and that, I have a much better understanding and a greater appreciation for it. Now, I’m applying it to my life. At the end of the day, that’s what you go to college for: to learn to be better prepared in life, and how better to manage yourself . . . and these classes are hitting the nail on the head.” Johnson’s hit a few things. As a raw but athletic freshman in 2005, he played in 11 games for the The Buzz Johnson took three classes in the spring semester at Georgia Tech. Jackets, and had six total tackles and one sack. Coming out of high school, Johnson was highly regarded as a tight end and as a basketball player. He nonetheless progressed gradually as a defensive end, and his signature plays as a sophomore in 2006 came on back-to-back sacks of Maryland quarterback Sam Hollenbach to clinch a win over the Terrapins late that season. In his senior season, Johnson racked up nine sacks and 17.5 tackles for lost yardage while earning several All-America honors. The Bengals drafted Johnson in the third round in 2009, and he’s played in every Cincinnati game since (64 straight in the regular season). Last fall, he had a career-high 11.5 sacks – fifth-most in Bengals history – and Cincinnati officials love him. His career path with the Bengals has been similar to his arc with Tech: steady improvement. “Obviously, we are committed to re-signing Mike,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement after the Bengals franchised Johnson. “This move is part of the process to keep a young and promising defense together. “Mike has worked hard to improve himself every year . . . we have every reason to believe he will continue to grow as a leader and productive player.” Indeed, Johnson is working hard. The physical stuff is a secondary priority right now, however, as he said that moving straight into offseason workouts immediately after his first two pro seasons – including the winter/spring of 2011 at Tech, when he first re-enrolled in classes – took too much out of him. He looks and acts like a student now rather than a student-athlete. Ironically, that may change once he graduates, hopefully after taking two classes next spring. “I’m a totally different student now. I sit in the front row in my classes . . . I engage in all my classes,” he said. “I even dress different. I’m not in football sweats, and T-shirts and shorts. I’m like a professional student . . . People don’t understand how tough it is being a student-athlete. ■ What’s All the Buzz About ® in Today’s Real Estate Market? Mary Beth Lake - Associate Broker, GRI Visit me online at MaryBethLake.com The BUZZ® Sculpture is ©2008 of Georgia Institute of Technology. The BUZZ word mark and the BUZZ Design Mark are treadmarks of the Georgia Institute of Technology. www.ramblinwreck.com 23 FB football Joe Anoai was a first team All-ACC selection as a defensive tackle in 2006. ANOAI REIGNS THE RING Former Georgia Tech football star is at the top of the WWE charts A By Adam Van Brimmer As a boy, Joe Anoai wanted no part of his family’s business. He watched his brother, cousins, father, uncle and grandfather deal in violence. Enemies hid around corners. Hand-to-hand combat was a regular occurrence. Around the Anoai house, strains, sprains and broken bones weren’t injuries but “occupational hazards.” So when little Joe told his mother he wanted to play football – and baseball and basketball – Lisa Anoai recognized an opportunity to steer her son away from the Anoai’s traditional vocation. No, not organized crime. Professional wrestling. The Anoais are the longest tenured wrestling family this side of the McMahons. Between the formation of the WWF (now WWE) in the late-1950s and 2009, at least one member of the Anoai clan worked the circuit. Last September, the Anoais returned to the ring. Joe Anoai, aka Roman Reigns, made his debut during a WWE Smackdown show. He’s now on his way to becoming a ring star on par with his father and uncle, former tag team champions the Wild Samoans, his brother, Rosey, and perhaps even his cousin, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. WWE wrestlers are discouraged from talking about their backgrounds – they are in character, after all -- so Anoai did not respond to interview requests. Roman Reigns bills himself as a successful businessman, prone to wearing three-piece suits and renown as a tough business negotiator. The character, minus the suits, fits the persona he displayed in his Georgia Tech football career: A hard-nosed leader who could negotiate 24 The Buzz the opposition’s blocking schemes and find his way into the backfield. One ‘Nasty’ Player Anoai started three seasons for head coach Chan Gailey, earning All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team honors as a senior in 2006. He finished his career with 29.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks, using the same speed and agility he now employs in the ring to terrorize quarterbacks and tailbacks. “Joe was nasty on the field; he was physical, he was mean,” said former Georgia Tech offensive lineman A.J. Smith, who went against Anoai regularly in practice. “The thing that made Joe really good at defensive tackle was he played with great leverage and used his hands really well.” Anoai’s technique impressed NFL scouts enough that the Minnesota Vikings signed him as an undrafted free agent following the 2007 NFL Draft. The Vikings cut him during a post-draft mini-camp, though, as did the Jacksonville Jaguars a few months later during training camp. Anoai dodged those blocks, though, and joined the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos in 2008. He spent the season on the practice squad. Edmonton marked the end of Anoai’s football career. He simply lacked the size to play tackle and the explosiveness to play end at the pro level. Yet Anoai’s physique and athleticism did translate to wrestling. The sport had been a constant in his life anyway. His father and uncle, Sika The greatest victories are the ones we share with others. When we unite for a purpose greater than ourselves, there’s no limit to what we can achieve. That’s why SunTrust is dedicated to building better communities and helping others achieve their goals, both on and off the field. Stop in or visit suntrust.com. SunTrust is proud to support Georgia Tech® Athletics. SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. © 2012 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SunTrust is a federally registered service mark of SunTrust Banks, Inc. and Afa, were legends and ran a wrestling school, the Wild Samoan Training Center, in Florida. Joe and his brother and cousins grew up in the training facility. His brother, Matt, attended the camp and parlayed the training into a career. Fourteen years Joe’s elder, Matt joined the WWE ranks while Joe was in high school and became a tag team star under the name Rosey. Joe enrolled in the training center after his season with Edmonton. He was a natural, of course, and joined one of the WWE’s development circuits in 2010, about the same time his cousins, Jimmy and Jey Uso, made their debuts on an episode of WWE Raw. Joe spent two years honing his skills and experimenting with different personas. He started as Roman Leakee. He adopted Roman Reigns, along with the businessman shtick, upon leaving the developmental ranks. Attracted To Contact Anoai seemed destined to take up wrestling, and not just because of his family ties. Consider what attracted him to football as a seven-year-old. Anoai’s neighborhood best friend growing up was a boy named Henry. During a visit to Henry’s house one day, Henry showed Joe the football equipment he’d just been issued for Pop Warner league. Intrigued, Anoai asked Henry to demonstrate the gear. Henry obliged, strapping on the helmet and running head first into a wall. Anoai ran home and told his mother football, not wrestling, was his future. He didn’t tell her he considered head-butting walls football’s main appeal. Wrestling always seemed a fallback plan for Anoai, his former Georgia Tech teammates said. “The rest of us would argue about whom among us would be the best tag team partner for him when he joined the WWE,” Smith said. “Joe’s goal was to play in the NFL, but you got the feeling with his family history that wrestling would be an option that he could pursue.” ■ Discover a stylish way to stay close to campus inspire your senses at our aaa 4-Diamond-rated boutique hotel. sip cocktails on our rooftop lounge. stay connected with free high-speed internet and wiFi. and enjoy our perfect location on the tech trolley stop. rates from $134 weekends and $149 weekdays including internet. to book, call 678.412.2400 or visit renaissanceatlantamidtown.com and request promo code Gat renaissance® atlanta miDtown hotel 866 w. peachtree street, nw atlanta, Georgia 30308 t: 678.412.2400 MHAL-325_ATLBD_BuzzMagazine_July_AdUpdate_Final.indd 1 26 The Buzz © 2012 renaissance holdings, inc. 7/23/12 1:14 PM at alexandertharpe fund donor profile: Ted Roof Tech’s defensive coordinator talks life as a GT student-athlete and coach with a fresh perspective upon his return By Simit Shah As the captain of Georgia Tech’s ferocious Black Watch defense in the mid-80s, Ted Roof starred on the field for the Yellow Jackets. Now he’s back on The Flats as defensive coordinator. One of his first visits upon his return was to the Alexander-Tharpe Fund to set up his Annual Giving contribution. Simit Shah sat down with Coach Roof to discuss why Georgia Tech is special to him. SS: As a high school student, what attracted you to Georgia Tech? TR: It was the relationships I had with Bill Curry and his coaches. I believed in them and trusted them. I also saw what Georgia Tech could do for you, how it could catapult you in both football and life after football. SS: What was your experience like as a student-athlete? TR: It was fantastic. The primary thing I took away is that habits you are taught as a student here. You’re forced to have good habits to be successful here. Also, I really value the relationships I built with my teammates and fellow students. Those will last the rest of my life. SS: What are you some of your favorite memories of playing football here? TR: You can talk about the great wins, but the highlight for me playing at Georgia Tech was the relationships I built with my teammates and coaches. You may remember this win or this play, but it’s so much deeper than that. That’s what is really special. 28 The Buzz SS: You coached here previously early in your career. What’s different this time around? TR: One thing is my perspective as a coach. Once you become a father, your perspective can change. Everyone’s always been important, but you realize how special that kid is to somebody. I’ve gained that perspective. Also, I’m more grounded in my own beliefs and philosophies. That’s been molded with time and experience. I know the things that are absolutely inflexible for me, and I have to stick to those principles no matter what. SS: What was intriguing about coming back to join Coach Johnson’s staff? TR: I’ve got sweat equity built there. I have tremendous pride in being a Georgia Tech graduate. It’s a chance to have a positive impact on the program and the student-athletes here. Plus, it’s a place I want to raise my kids, here in Atlanta. In life, you have to look at who you are, what you have and really embrace your potential. If you do, anything’s possible, so I’m proud to be part of this program. SS: As you go about your job, how often are you reminded of your playing days? TR: As a coach, you learn to focus on the next thing and not live in the past. It’s certainly different than when I went to school here, but there are things are the same. The educational experience instills discipline. That’s certainly something that helps in every aspect of your life. My perspective has certainly changed. One of the neat things is seeing a guy you hadn’t seen in 20 years, and you pick up right where you left off. It’s great for my sons to meet some of these guys, because I’m very proud of the Georgia Tech football family. It’s important that my boys get to know those guys. SS: Coaching is such a transient profession, so what’s it like to be back at your alma mater? TR: It’s not very common, so it’s something I certainly appreciate. I believe in the Georgia Tech experience. I want to put a product on the field that will make us all proud, as far as effort, enthusiasm and intensity. The total Georgia Tech experience prepares you for the rest of your life, and I want to be able to share that with the current and future student-athletes. For me, it’s what is right about college football. We’re preparing them to be successful leaders in their chosen field. SS: Coaching is such a transient profession, so what’s it like to be back at your alma mater? TR: It’s not very common, so it’s something I certainly appreciate. I believe in the Georgia Tech experience. I want to put a product on the field that will make us all proud, as far as effort, enthusiasm and intensity. The total Georgia Tech experience prepares you for the rest of your life, and I want to be able to share that with the current and future student-athletes. For me, it’s what is right about college football. We’re preparing them to be successful leaders in their chosen field. Bennett Graphics Ad at PHILANTHROPY AT WORK alexandertharpe fund 30 The Buzz Capital Projects Update as of APRIL 31, 2013 When it does, trust your care to the largest orthopaedic practice in Georgia, where you have direct access to our full network of specialists. • ELBOW • FOOT & ANKLE • GENERAL ORTHOPAEDICS • HAND & WRIST • HIP • JOINT REPLACEMENT • KNEE • PHYSICAL MEDICINE & REHABILITATION • SHOULDER • SPINE • SPORTS MEDICINE • TRAUMA Visit us online today! resurgens.com at alexandertharpe fund How the Fiscal Cliff Legislation Affects Your Charitable Gift Your desire to make a gift to Georgia Tech athletics through the AlexanderTharpe Fund (A-T) springs from a charitable motivation By Peter Ticconi Both the legislation just enacted to avoid the fiscal cliff (officially the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012) and the previously enacted Affordable Care Act have implications for charitable giving. Here is a summary of how charitable gifts by people in different financial circumstances are affected: All individuals aged 70 1/2 and over who have an IRA. The charitable IRA rollover has been extended through December 31, 2013. This year, an individual who is at least 70 1/2 can transfer up to $100,000 from his or her IRA to one or more charities and the amount transferred will count towards the required minimum distribution and will not be included in taxable income. The previous restrictions regarding types of eligible charitable organizations still apply. Individuals with income of $200,000 or less and couples filing jointly with income of $250,000 or less. The tax rates on both compensation (earned) and investment income are unchanged for this group, so the tax savings from charitable gifts remain the same. Individuals with income between $200,000 and $400,000 and couples filing jointly with income between $250,000 and $450,000. The tax rates on compensation income were not changed by the recent fiscal cliff legislation. However, the pre-existing Affordable Care Act imposes a 3.8% surtax on the portion of investment income (capital gain, dividend, interest, and rental) that exceeds $200,000 for single persons and $250,000 for couples filing jointly. This increases the tax benefits of contributing appreciated property. Previously, when this group of taxpayers contributed appreciated securities in lieu of selling them they avoided a 15% tax on the gain; now they will avoid paying an 18.8% tax on that portion of the gain that exceeds the $200,000/$250,000 threshold. Individuals with income exceeding $400,000 and couples filing jointly with income exceeding $450,000. The tax rate on compensation income in excess of those threshold amounts increases from 35% to 39.6%, and the tax rate on capital gain and dividend income increases from 15% to 20%. Additionally, investment income in excess of the $200,000/$250,000 threshold is subject to the 3.8% surtax for funding national health programs. Thus, people in this highest income group are subject to these federal rates: Compensation (earned) income 39.60% Interest and rental income 43.40% Capital-gain income 23.80% Dividend income 23.80% As a result of these higher rates, these individuals will (with one qualification noted immediately below) realize greater tax savings from all types of charitable gifts, whether made with cash or appreciated property. The most significant increase in tax savings will result from gifts of appreciated property. Limitation on Itemized Deductions The new tax law revives the so-called Pease limitation on itemized deductions for high-income taxpayers, but with a much higher income threshold. Itemized deductions now have to be reduced by the lesser of either 80% of itemized deductions or 3% of adjusted gross income in excess of $250,000 for single filers and $300,000 for those filing jointly and for surviving spouses. Charitable bequests The exemption from federal estate tax is $5,250,000, indexed for inflation. The excess over that amount is taxed at a rate of 40%. (In 2012, the tax rate for estates in excess of the exempted amount was 35%.) The increased tax rate means that estatetax savings will be larger for high-net-worth individuals who leave charitable bequests. Additional surtax on compensation income Individuals with compensation income of more than $200,000 and couples filing jointly with income of more than $250,000 will pay a 0.9% surtax. This is in addition to the existing 1.45% Medicare/Medicaid tax that employees pay on earned income. While this provision affects the spendable income of these people, it has no direct effect on charitable gifts. Note The new legislation designed to avoid the fiscal cliff contains many provisions not discussed here. This article deals only with certain provisions that have the most implications for charitable giving. In the event that tax-reform legislation is enacted later in the year, there could be further consequences for charitable giving. Because of deductions for mortgage interest, state income tax, and property tax, most taxpayers will see very little if any effect on their charitable deductions. For more information on Gift Planning at Georgia Tech, contact Jim Hall at 404-894-8219 or firstname.lastname@example.org 32 The Buzz at alexandertharpe fund Georgia Tech Golf: Noonan Golf Facility The GT golf program is poised for continued excellence on the course and in the classroom. Georgia Tech has set a high standard of excellence in golf – winning ACC championships, producing talented professional golfers, and maintaining a Dean’s List cumulative GPA among players. In spite of this success, the program has faced challenges and uncertainty because Georgia Tech does not own the property on which the practice course sits, hampering recruiting and affecting alumni enthusiasm. Now there is an extraordinary opportunity to secure the property, and the future of golf at Georgia Tech. With the support of alumni and friends, the Athletic Association will be able to purchase the land and ensure a permanent practice facility for the program. After purchasing the land, the second phase of planned enhancement of Georgia Tech’s golf facility will consist of a total renovation of the existing site. When completed, the site will include a Teaching Center, a comprehensive practice area, a par-3 course, and a newly-constructed, state-of-the-art clubhouse. Kim P. Noonan, IM 1983, and Thomas E. Noonan, ME 1983, have provided the catalyst with a seven-figure commitment for the purchase and ultimate renovation and modernization of the golf team’s practice facility. The Noonans invite fellow alumni and friends of Georgia Tech to join them in this crucial effort to ensure that the golf team continues to enjoy the important benefits of having a top-notch practice facility near the Tech campus. Your support is critical. For more information, or to donate to the Noonan Golf Facility, please contact the A-T Fund at 404-894-5414. “My time spent at the Tech range working on my game has helped me develop into one of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour. I know the practice course has played a major role in making the golf team arguably the most successful athletic program at Georgia Tech” Matt Kuchar (top left), MGT 2000 “The practice facility was a major factor in my leaving southern California to play my college golf at Georgia Tech. I was able to work on my short game and wedges skills. I could work on any type of shot at any time. It is a special place.” Cameron Tringale (top right), MGT 2009 “In an effort to recruit the best possible student-athletes, a program must provide outstanding facilities. The proximity of the practice facility to campus is a tremendous asset.” Stewart Cink (bottom left), MGT 1995 “Having access to a world-class practice facility minutes from campus was huge for me in college. Being able to attend a full day of classes and still spend quality time working on my game was a big reason for my success in the classroom and on the golf course. I still use the facility on a regular basis to sharpen my game for the PGA Tour.” Roberto Castro (bottom right), IE 2007 34 The Buzz Compliance Corner Jerome Rodgers Associate Athletics Director for Compliance Three Things You Didn’t Know About the NLI April 17th marked the first day of the Spring Signing Period for all Georgia Tech sports except for Football (Feb. 6 – Apr. 1 signing period) and Track & Field / Cross Country (Feb. 6 – Aug. 1 signing period). Prospects recruited to compete for Georgia Tech during the 2013-14 academic year have until August 1st to sign a National Letter of Intent (NLI). On Signing Day, thousands of prospects sign the NLI. A lot has been written about the NLI, enough that most fans understand the basic premise: An athlete signs the NLI, gets an athletic scholarship for a year, and agrees to attend the school. But there are still some details that may surprise quite a few people. 1. The NLI is Voluntary for Schools Most fans understand now that a prospective student-athlete does not have to sign an NLI. But what most people might not know is that a school does not have to be part of the NLI program. The National Letter of Intent is a voluntary agreement amongst schools to not recruit each other’s signed prospects and to abide by the NLI penalties if a prospect does not fulfill their end of the NLI bargain. Individual schools or conferences could optout of the National Letter of Intent program. Almost all Division I schools are members of the NLI program, with the notable exceptions being the service academies and the Ivy League, which do not offer athletic scholarships. If an athlete signs an NLI, he or she could still choose to not enroll at the school and instead go to an Ivy League school or service academy with no penalty. Likewise, because they do not sign NLIs, prospects committed to those schools can be recruited by NLI members up to the point they enroll. 2. The NLI Does Not Guarantee a Scholarship The National Letter of Intent must be accompanied by a written offer of athletics financial aid. The athlete must sign both the NLI and the scholarship offer. As a result, it is often said that the NLI “guarantees” the athlete keep the scholarship. But the NLI offers no real protections beyond those already in the scholarship and the NCAA rules about the terms and conditions of athletic financial aid agreements. The reasons a scholarship can be cancelled are still the same. The NLI only requires that the athlete receive a scholarship offer for a specific academic year (or term in the case of midyear enrollees). 3. There are Two NLI Releases As soon as a coach leaves or a player has second thoughts about the commitment he or she made in the NLI, the talk turns to getting a release from the NLI. But just like for transfers, the term “release” is vague because it could mean multiple things. The NLI has two releases. A “complete release” means the athlete is no longer bound by any part of the NLI. He or she is free to be recruited by other NLI institutions and can enroll there without penalty. An athlete can also be released from just the NLI recruiting ban. That allows the athlete to be recruited by other schools, but he or she would still be subject to the NLI basic penalty (sit out for one year, lose one year of competition in all sports) if he or she enrolls at another NLI school. One of the ways the two releases are used is to get around the fact that NLI releases are all or nothing, and cannot be limited to any set of schools or conferences. In many cases, the school will lift the recruiting ban first, and then give the athlete a complete release after seeing where they enroll. Boosters may not contact a prospect to congratulate them after signing the National Letter of Intent. The student is still considered a prospect. NCAA rules restricting contacting prospects continue to apply after committing or signing with an institution. A FFORDABLE L UXURY E XCEPTIONAL C ONVENIENCE Our preferred Atlanta hotels are within walking distance to the Georgia Tech campus. Visit www.stayinatlanta.com to reserve your room today. www.StayInAtlanta.com · www.facebook.com/StayInAtlanta STA10 www.ramblinwreck.com 35 Capitol One Ad