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BREAKING GROUND

NEW FOOTBALL LOCKER ROOM KICKS OFF A MORE FAR-REACHING MAKEOVER FOR TECH ATHLETICS

CHANGING ITS

STRIPES Georgia Tech athletics’ shift to new apparel provider, adidas, ramped up significantly with the unveiling of the Yellow Jackets’ new football uniforms

FALL 2018

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FALL

FALL 2018 • VOLUME 12, NUMBER 1

2018

EDITOR Mike Stamus ASSOCIATE EDITORS Kevin Davis Mike Flynn Alex Keator Liz Ryan WRITERS Jen Abrams Jon Cooper Lance Markos Adam Van Brimmer Matt Winkeljohn PHOTOGRAPHY FIBA.com Getty Images Delvin Jones Danny Karnik Karl Moore Ken Sugiura Jake Willard DESIGN & LAYOUT Summit Athletic Media www.summitathletics.com ADVERTISING – IMG COLLEGE General Manager – Dave Bouteiller For information on advertising, please call (404) 733-1330

Everyday Champions 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: EVERYDAY CHAMPIONS IMG College 540 North Trade Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101 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 Michelle Pfingst to: IMG College 540 North Trade Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101 (336) 831-0799

I N

T H I S

I S S U E

4 | CHANGING ITS STRIPES

Georgia Tech athletics’ shift to new apparel provider, adidas, ramped up significantly with the unveiling of the Yellow Jackets’ new football uniforms

10 | BREAKING GROUND

The Yellow Jackets’ brand-new football locker room is the beginning of a more far-reaching makeover for Georgia Tech athletics

14 | PRO-GRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT Making the transition to the professional ranks not only requires tremendous drive, but optimal skill development and nutrition education with a dedicated Tech staff

18 | SUMMER VOCATION

Yellow Jackets student-athletes stay busy in summer competition working to improve their craft

22 | THE BUILDER

Former Tech All-American Pat Swilling is doing what he’s always done, build and rebuild

27 | JACKETS WITHOUT BORDERS

Through the lens of a Georgia Tech student-athlete

28 | ALEXANDER-THARPE FUND

The Athletics Initiative 2020 is in full swing and on pace to reach its goal, and a new opportunity begins to endow Georgia Tech head coaching positions

31 | COMPLIANCE CORNER

New redshirt rule in effect for football beginning with 2018 season


FOOTBALL

CHANGING

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ITS STRIPES GEORGIA TECH ATHLETICS’ SHIFT TO NEW APPAREL PROVIDER, ADIDAS, RAMPED UP SIGNIFICANTLY WITH THE UNVEILING OF THE YELLOW JACKETS’ NEW FOOTBALL UNIFORMS BY ADAM VAN BRIMMER

Georgia Tech unveiled its new football uniforms with the help of former Jacket star Joe Anoai, better known as WWE wrestler Roman Reigns, and ESPN personalities Roddy Jones and Chris Cotter, both Tech graduates.

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FOOTBALL | CHANGING ITS STRIPES

Tech’s home uniforms feature gold numbers with navy trim along with gold pants, while the Whiteout uniforms have navy numerals trimmed in gold with white pants.

FACT

While the uniform retains its overall traditional look, adidas pushed the needle with innovative construction and design elements.

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S

omewhere in the coaching instruction manual, probably in a chapter titled “motivation,” is the tired yet impactful adage: It’s not about the name on the back of the uniform; it’s about the name on the front. Georgia Tech finally has a new name on the front of its jerseys, at least the part most recruits pay attention to these days. adidas has supplanted Russell Athletic as the Yellow Jackets’ official uniform outfitter and apparel maker, and the company’s familiar threestripe logo now adorns the left breast of Tech’s jerseys. The move is being hailed as a game-changer for the Jackets. The school had been with Russell Athletic since the company’s heyday in the 1980s and 1990s, when the premier college programs, all of the Major League Baseball franchises and many National Football League teams wore the Russell R. In recent years, Russell scaled back their presence in professional and collegiate athletics, and Georgia Tech became their lone Power-5 partner. | FALL 2018

That changed July 1 with the move to adidas. The German sportswear company, along with Nike and Under Armour, dominate the college apparel landscape now. adidas has built a reputation for innovation in its uniforms and for providing a wide-range of merchandising options for fans and alumni. The unveiling of the first football uniforms in early August attracted widespread attention, even celebration. adidas senior product manager for football apparel, Cameron Collins, recently sat down for a question-and-answer session with Everyday Champions. He shared insights on strategy, inspiration and innovation, among other topics. Everyday Champions: The new football uniforms unveiled in early August offered a preview of how Georgia Tech’s teams will look with adidas designing and providing uniforms. Walk us through adidas’ approach to developing and designing the uniforms. Cameron Collins: Let’s start with what we didn’t want to do, and that’s stray too far from the tradition and foundation that past Georgia Tech


teams have already laid. Georgia Tech football has been around for over 100 years and won multiple national championships. It is a truly historic program. So we had to find that blend that pays homage to tradition, but also brings a new flavor to it. We stuck to the traditional color blocking and a very clean look. Where we pushed the needle is in innovative construction and design elements. The jersey is a seamless garment we call Primeknit that fits tight, but allows for full range of motion. From a graphics standpoint, we developed the ‘Stinger Stripe’ on the hip and on the sleeve pads. The stripe comes to a point, just like the stinger on a yellow jacket. This makes the uniform look faster and cleaner and more innovative. Elsewhere, you’ll see a speed trail graphic that resembles the details of a yellow jacket’s body [located inside the uniforms numbers, called the ‘Swarm Pattern’]. The overarching theme is to pay homage yet push the envelope with some subtle innovations. EC: The team color, gold, saw a subtle change as well, becoming a bit richer. What about that adjustment? CC: We wanted to find a gold hue that paid the best homage to what the true gold means. The helmet and pant are where gold is most prevalent in the uniform, and we wanted to make sure that we highlighted the gold correctly there and make it really pop. EC: adidas has a reputation for thinking outside the box when it comes to uniform design, Can we expect to see radical ideas or is the approach a more conservative one? Where do you find that balance?

CC: We will always create uniforms that are authentic to our partners. We are going to look for ways to push the boundaries and create new looks, but everything must tie to what Georgia Tech is and is about. If the design doesn’t do Georgia Tech justice, it’s all for nothing. It might look cool, but it won’t feel right. So I wouldn’t say we were conservative as much as authentic. EC: Where did you find inspiration for your design? CC: We took a deep dive into the archives to look for a foundation and starting points. Our team looked at every football uniform Georgia Tech has ever worn, going all the way back to the late 1800s. The team back then wore solid white sweaters with a large T on the front. We thought it was a pretty sweet piece, not so much for a uniform, but for something that we could have in the store. We went as far back as we could go and then tracked the evolution through the years. EC: Leading up to the transition, Georgia Tech officials talked plenty about partnering with an apparel provider that is innovative or even on the “cutting edge.” What do those concepts mean to adidas? CC: We were founded in the 1940s, and our mission is to make athletes better. We create products that help athletes perform their best. That was one thing that was really attractive about Tech. Innovation is something really valued at this school and that fits with us. We want to be the best sports brand, but do that through innovation.

GEORGIA TECH FINALLY HAS A NEW NAME ON THE FRONT OF ITS JERSEYS, AT LEAST THE PART MOST RECRUITS PAY ATTENTION TO THESE DAYS. ADIDAS HAS SUPPLANTED RUSSELL ATHLETIC AS THE YELLOW JACKETS’ OFFICIAL UNIFORM OUTFITTER AND APPAREL MAKER, AND THE COMPANY’S FAMILIAR THREESTRIPE LOGO NOW ADORNS THE LEFT BREAST OF TECH’S JERSEYS.

Here’s a look at some of the uniforms Tech has worn through history. WWW.RAMBLINWRECK.COM  7


FOOTBALL | CHANGING ITS STRIPES

Here’s a look at some of the uniforms Tech has worn through history.

BY THE NUMBERS

1949 Year adidas was founded in Herzogenaurach, Germany, where it remains headquartered.

EC: Let’s talk about apparel for sale. Generally speaking, there was disappointment with the diversity in gear from the previous provider. What can Georgia Tech followers expect going forward? CC: Our big push from a retail standpoint is headlined by the concept of elevating the fan. We are going to bring them into the locker room and give them access to the same items that our student-athletes are wearing from a travel point of view. The sideline pieces that the staff wears will also be available to fans. We’ll also have replica jerseys for sale.

CC: It’s huge. All these kids have access to social media. All these kids want to look good, feel good and play good. Part of that is what company is outfitting your team. Everybody has access and exposure to what we are putting out. They want to know what gear they are going to be given and what they are going to wear while traveling and on game day. The apparel partner plays a huge part in the decision. adidas has never been more relevant with that 16- and 17-year- old athlete than right now. We run great camps and great events. Kids want to wear the adidas three stripes.

EC: A big topic of discussion when it comes to apparel makers is the difference between being a performance brand and a lifestyle brand. Where does adidas fit in and why? CC: Our mission is to be the global leader in sportswear. One advantage we have is we blend both sports and culture. We have a history of making not just great performance products, but bridging the gap into fashion. Dating back to the 1980s when rap artists Run DMC wore our brand in their music videos, adidas has lived at the intersection of performance and culture. It is a great formula for getting results on the field and keeping fans and alumni happy in the bookstore. We are the only brand that authentically infuses both those things.

EC: Obviously, providing college uniforms and apparel helps a company like adidas from a brand exposure standpoint and in generating revenue through merchandise sales. But what about long term with student-athletes who go on to pro careers? Does this build relationships that adidas and its peers can then leverage when it comes to endorsers? And if so, how? CC: The biggest reason why we look to align ourselves with colleges is the authenticator piece. To win the U.S. market, we have to win in football. It is the most visible sport in the U.S. The Super Bowl has the most viewers of any sporting event in the world and college football games are some of the most-watched games. We know the impact that football has in winning the U.S. consumers. From there, we know signing more schools gives us more recognition with elite players, and that could inevitably help us sign them as endorsers down the road. More athletes are wearing our stuff for longer periods of time and that certainly make it easier to sign them as pros.

EC: Surveys show that apparel providers are playing an increasingly greater role in attracting recruits, with 33 percent of top prospects saying the apparel provider influences their college choice. What is about apparel that moves that needle? And what is it about adidas apparel specifically?

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EC: Last question, adidas is increasing its presence in Atlanta, building a footwear factory and a partnership with the P3 sports science technology outfit. How does the Georgia Tech deal fit into that puzzle? CC: We’re still working through that now. With signing Georgia Tech and building the

Speedfactory and working with P3, we have a lot of elements in a big market. All the pieces are there, we just have to spend more time figuring out how to build synergy through those pieces. Over time, the partnership with Georgia Tech is going to be a productive one in a myriad of ways.

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FOOTBALL

BREAKING GROUND THE YELLOW JACKETS’ BRAND-NEW FOOTBALL LOCKER ROOM IS THE BEGINNING OF A MORE FAR-REACHING MAKEOVER FOR GEORGIA TECH ATHLETICS BY MATT WINKELJOHN

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s big days in program history go, Georgia Tech football broke type on Aug. 2 by moving up in the world without winning a game, practicing or landing a recruit. When the Yellow Jackets moved into a renovated locker room, however, they broke ground. There could not have been be a better kickoff to the $125 million Athletics Initiative 2020 launched in the spring by athletics director Todd Stansbury than the $4.5 million re-make of the locker room beneath the north stands of Bobby Dodd Stadium.

10  EVERYDAY CHAMPIONS

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The first project funded by AI 2020 looks like Disney compared to a state fair. “To me, it’s a great thing. I love how it doesn’t feel really dark in there. It feels bright,” said senior A-back Qua Searcy. “We’ve got a lot of new things in there. We have our cold tub and hot tub actually in the locker room [as opposed to the adjacent training room]. “It’s just a lot of new things that we didn’t have before. It’s really unique; it definitely is a motivating thing.” A month before Tech’s season-opening game against Alcorn State, head coach Paul


The Yellow Jackets’ new space has a very futuristic look.

Johnson registered a win in the race to keep pace in college football. “It has the wow factor that you look for in recruiting. It’s certainly a showplace,” Johnson said. “You’ve got to be doing something all the time. If you don’t do something, you’re falling behind. There are a lot of gadgets for the players to have fun with. The wow factor is big in recruiting, especially with this generation.” Stansbury has more wow factors in mind for all sports on The Flats. There is more to come from AI 2020, as it is designed to raise some $88 million for facility enhancements, $25 million for scholarship endowments and $12 million for operations. The ambitious plan calls for a $70 million makeover of the Edge-Rice Center that will, in Stansbury’s words, create a “new front door to Georgia Tech athletics.” It will serve as the day-to-day home for athletics staff, provide essential services for student-athletes and be a point of pride and function for fans. Hired in September 2016, he began scheming this fund-raising initiative. “Probably when I got here,” he said when asked when he began thinking about AI 2020. “Not necessarily a whole campaign, but identifying the need to renovate or totally reconstruct our administrative student-athlete support buildings, finish up baseball [renovations], get all of our sports fully funded scholarship-wise.” Stansbury’s plan has been co-authored by Jim Hall, associate vice president for development. Tech’s chief athletics fundraiser is embarking upon the most ambitious mission of his career. When it all goes down, Tech will fully fund scholarships in all sports for the first time, Hall said, since the late 1980s. Right now, the men’s and women’s track and field/cross country and men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs are partially funded. Hall said about 30 percent of Georgia Tech’s athletic scholarships are funded by endowments, and while that’s a good number (the rest of the scholarship money comes out of the GTAA’s annual fund), the athletics director wants to pump it up. He and his wife are helping. “Karen and I have an Everyday Championship Scholarship and [offensive guard] Parker Braun is our student,” said Stansbury, who played football for Tech in the early 1980s. “It equates to about $125,000. It’s like an endowment, but the dollars are being used right now.”

Each locker stall has a video screen that will be used to feed information to each player such as practice schedules and other notices, includes ventilated spaces to store helmets, shoes and shoulder pads, and power outlets for assorted devices.

This biggest change to come out of this fundraising project will be improvements to the home of the athletics department. Actually, it will be a do-over. The Edge-Rice Center will be re-made, and the new building at the northeast corner of Bobby Dodd will peek into the stadium. One of the two existing buildings -- the older Edge (1983) -- will be demolished and rebuilt a few stories higher. Rice will be gutted except for structural supports, and Tech will add about 25,000 square feet. “Once you’ve got a shovel in the ground, I think it’s probably an 18-month build,” Stansbury said. “We hope to be in a position to identify the funds in the next 12 months. It will look like one building.” Stansbury covets the creation of new and modern welcoming points. He wants Tech to recruit upon the value of degrees from the Institute, and the rebuild of the Edge-Rice Center should help by showcasing what the Institute is about. “I envision in our management area a Wall Street clicker going across the top of the ceiling, and you’ve got a map that shows all the places not only where student-athletes go on service WWW.RAMBLINWRECK.COM  11


FOOTBALL | BREAKING GROUND

A hot tub and a cold tub for hydrotherapy and recovery are located within the locker room space.

BY THE NUMBERS

$4.5M The first portion of a $125 million fundraising effort is open for business.

12  EVERYDAY CHAMPIONS

trips but where they’re coming from,” he said. “Focus on the global imprint of Georgia Tech. That’s kind of the linchpin of the project. “I want this building to feel more like Google. Tech is pretty sexy these days, especially with these 14-, 15-, 16-year-old kids that we’re recruiting, so how about we flip it and say you’re going to mess around with some pretty cool stuff here.” Tech president Bud Peterson encouraged Stansbury to combine all fundraising. “The president had the idea of rolling all of these things into an overall initiative,” Stansbury said. “Because of Edge-Rice being such a significant project, it’s going to require us to put this fundraising machine in place to do that, and why stop there? “Once you kind of get up and running, why not use the momentum and economies of scale to take care of the other things, the other needs that you have? A lot of it will all be dictated by where donors what to put their money.” Before re-making the football locker room, Tech officials went to current players and asked where they wanted to put the renovation money. So, the locker room features fancy, dimmable lighting, special displays of the team’s new adidas gear, and each of the 116 lockers has a 15-inch monitor that student-athletes can reference to check their practice and meeting schedules, or program on their own. There are more showers and toilets than before, and every locker has multiple power | FALL 2018

supplies and USB chargers. Overhead, each player has a ventilated dryer cabinet for shoulder pads, shoes, gloves, etc. “We put a lot of emphasis on innovation, because Todd talks about how innovation is in our DNA at Georgia Tech,” said Derek Grice, associate athletic director for facilities, operations and events. Senior quarterback TaQuon Marshall believes the locker room offers a pick-me-up. “Oh, yeah, definitely. Knowing that every single day you’re coming into the locker room ... TVs everywhere. You’ve got your cold pool and the hot tub in there,” he said. “You’ve got the Powerade slushie machine back there. Just a new look. It boosts everything.” Johnson feels boosted, too, looking forward to gaining an edge in recruiting. “It’s going to help when guys first come in for visits,” he said. “When you walk in here, this looks like something you would expect to see at Georgia Tech. It’s eye-popping, and you get a little wow factor out of it.” The goal is to add a wow factor to all of Georgia Tech athletics, including the Edge-Rice Center, which is currently undergoing a modest makeover ahead of what Stansbury hopes will be a complete re-make within a few years. AI 2020 plans call for a second phase of renovations to Russ Chandler Stadium for the baseball team, updates for the basketball locker rooms -- which are located in something of a time warp between the relatively new McCamish Pavilion and Zelnak Practice Facility -- plus upgrades at O’Keefe Gymnasium for the volleyball team. The Edge-Rice Center will be the big one, and for everything there is money to be raised. Hall, Stansbury and others have visited multiple venues to gather ideas for the next home of the Georgia Tech Athletic Association. “We have been to a number of our alums’ spaces and seen the synergy,” Hall said. “I think with Todd, there’s a chance to be a change agent, almost like a new guy with a game-changing moment, and say ‘I want to be great today.’ “Most of our donors are passionate about Georgia Tech and what athletics mean to Georgia Tech. If you look at our giving, there’s very little correlation year-to-year about wins and losses, but more about what we’re doing, about doing it right. The markets have run … the asks are coming.”


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ATHLETICS

PRO-GRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT MAKING THE TRANSITION TO THE PROFESSIONAL RANKS NOT ONLY REQUIRES TREMENDOUS DRIVE, BUT OPTIMAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT AND NUTRITION EDUCATION WITH A DEDICATED TECH STAFF BY MATT WINKELJOHN

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hould you study four former Yellow Jackets who have recently become professional athletes, you’ll see some distinct commonalities among Joey Bart, Paige Hourigan, Josh Okogie and Christopher Eubanks. They’re all athletic, competitive as they can be, and they’re all pros in part because of Georgia Tech’s player development programs. Take Okogie, the 6-foot-4 guard who arrived at Tech in the summer of 2016 just barely considered one of the top 200 freshmen recruits in the nation, and then in June became the No. 20 selection in the NBA draft. He’ll earn a rookie salary of $2.163 million while working for the Minnesota Timberwolves with skills and habits refined on the practice court, in the weight room, in the cafeteria and beyond while he was on The Flats for two years. Okogie deserves credit for improving so dramatically that he was named to the ACC AllFreshman team and then earned third-team AllACC honors as a sophomore. He’ll credit many staff members at Tech, including player development coach Dan Taylor, assistant athletic trainer Richard Stewart, former assistant coach Tavaras Hardy, dietician Leah Thomas and all of his former coaches. “One specific area that I think I gained the most was how quickly I get off the ground, and how high I’m able to jump off two feet,” he said of his work with Taylor, who is Tech’s strength and conditioning coach for men’s basketball and men’s tennis. “I used to try to do everything off one foot ... [On the court] the biggest is my smarts. I think the staff helped me get smarter as a player.” Bart’s working now in Salem, Ore., for the San Francisco Giants’ Class A short-season team, the Volcanoes, after being drafted No. 2 overall in June and landing a $7.025 million signing bonus, a Major League Baseball-record for a position player. He spent three seasons as a catcher for the Jackets, and head coach Danny Hall let him call pitches for the back half of his college career rather than signal from the dugout. MLB scouts love Bart’s physical skill set, obviously, as he was tabbed ACC Player of the Year after hitting .357 with 16 home runs as a junior, and they also valued the fact that he was trusted with a leadership role not always bestowed upon college catchers. “I think it takes somebody who understands the pitcher’s side. The catcher’s job is to get the best out of a pitcher,” Hall said. “Secondly, you’ve got to have a good understanding of hitters.

Those two things, and I think he just matured every year.” Eubanks turned pro last summer after three stellar seasons at Tech, the last two of which he was named ACC Player of the Year. He’s since earned more than $212,000 in singles and doubles competition, and earlier this year banked his first tournament win at an ATP Challenger event in Leon, Mexico. The lean, 6-foot-7 right hander showed up at Tech with a big serve, even if he didn’t know what to do with it. Head coach Kenny Thorne, who still advises Eubanks, helped with that, and Taylor and others helped power him up and get on track. “I think the biggest thing was time management, No. 1, and building up my body so you can have longevity,” he said. “It’s about finding areas in the body which could hinder your optimal performance, whether it’s stretch band workouts, deep tissue massaging, stretching. Lifting can be detrimental if it’s not done correctly. “It’s doing the small things to make sure the body is staying healthy, spending extra time in the training room even when nothing is wrong.” All of these athletes tip their hats to Thomas, Tech’s dietician for student-athletes. If you happened to attend a men’s tennis match in the spring and sit near Hourigan, who ranked among the nation’s top 20 female college players, you probably saw her pull out yogurt, add granola and fruit, and chow down in the stands. Hourigan finished her collegiate career helping Tech reach the NCAA Championships semifinals in May and immediately began playing minor league tournaments. She registered her first win, in an ITF event, in Seixal, Portugal, in July. She reached the semifinals of an ITF event in Fort Worth, Texas, in early August. The New Zealander was powerfully built, quick and aggressive upon arriving at Tech. Endurance was not her thing, though, and a shortage of patience was problematic. So, head coach Rodney Harmon, player development coach Scott McDonald and others went to work. Harmon recalled, “When she came in, her forehand was a bit of a mess, and with the style

Josh Okogie (opposite page) developed from an unheralded three-start recruit into the 20th overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves, while Joey Bart (above) earned a record signing bonus for a position player after being selected second overall by the San Francisco Giants.

FACT

At No. 2 overall, Joey Bart matched Kenny Anderson (1991, NBA) and Calvin Johnson (2007, NFL) as the highest draft picks in Georgia Tech history.

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ATHLETICS | PRO-GRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT

Chris Eubanks and Paige Hourigan turned pro this past year and have each already won a professional tournament.

FACT

Within a few months of turning pro, Chris Eubanks and Paige Hourigan each had already won a professional tournament.

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of game she wanted to play, she was going to have to improve her forehand, return and serve. We changed her forehand, changed the contact point, and worked on her footwork a lot. “A lot of her emotional outbursts had to do with insecurities about certain parts of her game. I thought the best way to work on that was to shore up those parts of her game. What they don’t do well will cause them anxiety, and you want to stabilize that. That’s the essence of player development. It’s a team approach.” McDonald worked for four years with Hourigan -- who ranks second in Tech women’s tennis history with 107 doubles wins and seventh with 93 singles wins -- and works with her still. He advises her on workout and recovery rates, when to take time off and more. Initially, they worked on fitness and patterns of movement. “From a physical standpoint, she works and she likes the weight room. She’s solid. Probably the biggest thing with her was conditioning,” McDonald said. “Sometimes with her, you have to pull the reins. It is also knowing, ‘I just need to take a day off.’ That’s hard for people who want to be good. “With Paige, she’s explosive; it’s about being able to de-accelerate and work on her footwork. Her movement has gotten more efficient.” All of these athletes are more conscious now about the way they eat, having been tasked with charting their calorie intakes early as collegians. As Eubanks said, “you learn to never be hungry. Don’t wait until you’re hungry.” Okogie said that Thomas and Taylor helped him learn how to better fuel his body, which, of course, burns a lot of calories. “Before my snack was Chick-fil-A or gummies. Now it’s granola bars, crackers, beef jerky,” he said. “I know salmon is really good, guacamole, sweet potatoes.” Taylor worked extensively with Okogie to improve his movements, and specifically his ability to jump

| FALL 2018

explosively and to get off the floor repeatedly. “It is very different not just athlete to athlete, but sport to sport in terms of physiology. You look at how Chris plays tennis at 6-7 and rangy vs. Andrew Li, who is (at 5-9) being low to the ground,” Taylor said. “The only commonalities that they have is they’re all male basketball players or all male tennis players. They’re different ages, backgrounds, and it has to be about style of play. Whatever their athletic package is I want to amplify what they bring to the table.” Okogie amplified everything. At the NBA Combine in May, among some 60 prospects, he turned in the fastest sprint time, the fourth-fastest standing vertical leap, tied for the top maximum vertical leap (with a running start) and then played well in scrimmages. “In a case like Josh Okogie, who is a very rare case of genetic material and ability ... if you match intelligent design to ability what it does show you is his sheer physical ability was probably the best across the board (at the NBA combine), and that was probably a testament to what we do. “I always tell them, you don’t have to love doing this, but you have to appreciate why we’re doing it.” Bart appreciates his time at Tech, where player development coach Steve Tamborra helped the burly catcher keep from over-doing it in the weight room so as to focus on developing his body to be durable and injury resistant. “Steve Tamborra put me in a great position every year. Once I got to college, I was just kind of building key things like legs and shoulders,” Bart said. “(Assistant coach) Jason Howell always called pitches, and (in the middle of his sophomore year), I’d look over there, and he’d point at me [as if to say], ‘just quit looking over here.’ “At the beginning of this year, I just looked over there, and he’d point at me.” Bart’s taken off like a rocket. In his first 25 games with Salem-Keizer, he hit .331 with nine home runs, 11 doubles, two triples, 27 RBI and 22 runs scored. He was enabled at Tech when given the opportunity to call pitches. “If you want to promote players to the next level, that’s what you do,” Bart said of his time on The Flats. It’s a team effort, to be sure. “At Tech, we’re rarely going to get the No. 1 and No. 2 recruit in the country, so we have to focus on development,” Harmon said. “We have to be able to marry the nutrition, the fitness, the on-court success, the education and more.”

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ATHLETICS

SUMMER VOCATION YELLOW JACKETS STUDENT-ATHLETES STAY BUSY IN SUMMER COMPETITION WORKING TO IMPROVE THEIR CRAFT BY JON COOPER

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case of bottled water costs around $10.00. A 20-pack of AA batteries runs around $20. Those are routine items for many people. From the time you start going to school, summer is synonymous with time off. Not for Georgia Tech student-athletes. If they’re not doing internships or taking classes, they’re turning up the intensity of their training to improve their games. Georgia Tech baseball player Tristin English (Cape Cod), golfer Tyler Strafaci (country clubs from Long Island, N.Y., to Pebble Beach, Calif.) and women’s basketball players Francesca Pan (Italy) and Lorela Cubaj (Italy) found perfect places to combine work and pleasure.

CAPE CRUSADER After a rugged season of ACC play, there’s no better place to continue playing top-tier baseball than the Cape Cod Baseball League.

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Rising junior pitcher and first baseman Tristin English, one of 10 Yellow Jackets who headed north, played with the Chatham Anglers. The Williamson, Ga., native, who sat out all of 2017 recovering from Tommy John surgery, bounced back in 2018, earning first-team AllACC honors, leading the Jackets with 60 RBIs (fifth in the ACC) and 17 doubles, while blasting six homers, 63 total hits and a .442 slugging percentage. He also returned to the mound, making 16 appearances (nine starts), going 2-4 with a 4.24 ERA and striking out 51 batters in 57 innings. Cape Cod was the perfect testing ground. “During the school season, we’d get past the starter, and probably be fine,” he said. “Up here, you get past the starter, they bring in someone else’s Friday starter. You have to be on your best game at all times.” English also showcased his fielding at different positions, including both corner outfield spots.


GEORGIA TECH BASEBALL PLAYER TRISTIN ENGLISH (CAPE COD), GOLFER TYLER STRAFACI (COUNTRY CLUBS FROM LONG ISLAND, N.Y., TO PEBBLE BEACH, CALIF.) AND WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYERS FRANCESCA PAN (ITALY) AND LORELA CUBAJ (ITALY) FOUND PERFECT PLACES TO COMBINE WORK AND PLEASURE. Lorela Cubaj (opposite page) played a team-high 25.9 minutes and helped lead native Italy to a fourth-place finish in the FIBA U20 European Championships.

“I played a little bit of everywhere,” he said. “It was just kind of play wherever there’s a spot open so I can keep hitting.” English never stopped hitting, batting .300 (30-for-100) -- .375 (9-for-24) over the final eight regular-season games -- with six doubles and five homers. He also went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI in the CCBL All-Star Game. On the mound, he was 1-1 in four appearances (one start), with a 2.31 ERA (three earned runs in 11.2 innings), striking out eight versus just one walk and holding opponents to a .250 batting average. He helped the Anglers finish second and earn a berth in the playoffs. Off the field he got to relax at the beach and even went deep sea fishing with Anglers and Jackets teammates Kyle McCann and Austin Wilhite. He also hung out with his host family, coincidentally University of Virginia fans. “I think getting up here and getting back right, next year will be an even better bounce-back year,” he said. “This league, it’s pretty much the best of everything.”

Golfer Tyler Strafaci began his summer playing in the U.S. Open and ended it in the U.S. Amateur.

First baseman and pitcher Tristin English was an all-star in the Cape Cod League.

TYLER COAST TO COAST Some impressive Yellow Jackets have played in the U.S. Open over the years. Only 10 did so while still attending Georgia Tech. This summer Tyler Strafaci became No. 11. Playing at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., was the summer centerpiece for the rising junior from Davie, Fla. He didn’t make the cut, shooting 10-over-par, but his score equaled or bettered a handful of former U.S. Open champions. “I really didn’t care who I beat, to be honest. I wasn’t there to make the cut. I was there to do really well,” he said. “Looking back, I guess it’s cool. The course and the U.S. Open atmosphere, this is the toughest test in golf I’ll probably play until I play in another U.S. Open.” Tyler played with the kind of confidence coach Bruce Heppler is looking for from him at the Players Amateur in Hilton Head, S.C., where he finished seventh, the Porter Cup at Niagara Falls Country Club in Niagara Falls, N.Y., where he was in a three-way tie for second, and the Western Amateur in Illinois, where he reached the semifinals of match play. Those events gave him confidence heading into mid-August’s U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach. “I feel like I am a much better player and have a better mind than when I played my first

professional event,” he said. “I’ve played on the highest stage in golf. I will only be better for that.”

HUNGARY TO IMPROVE Lorela Cubaj arrived in Atlanta with sky-high expectations, as the No. 2 ranked international prospect by ProspectsNation.com. By season’s end, she had evolved into a force at both ends of the floor. “My first season here at Georgia Tech was getting accustomed to a different country, team, school, and a different way to work. It made my freshman year challenging,” said Cubaj, who averaged 3.7 points and 4.4 boards in 33 games (31 starts), and had her first career doubledouble against Bethune Cookman in the first round of the WNIT (17 points, 13 rebounds, with seven assists). WWW.RAMBLINWRECK.COM  19


ATHLETICS | SUMMER VOCATION

SHORT REST, LONG VIEW

Francesca Pan is participating in team trials to help the Italian National Team prepare for next summer’s European Championships.

FACT

Golfer Tyler Strafaci reached match play at the U.S. Amateur for the second straight year.

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Francesca Pan may not have gone through a rigorous summer of national team competition but that didn’t keep off the court. “I did and will do a trial with the Senior National Team to prepare for the European Championships in 2019,” said the Bassano del Grappa native, who poured in 13.3 points, grabbed 5.3 rebounds and handed out 2.0 assists in four games to spark Italy in the last year’s U20s. Pan came back home after Tech’s 201718 season, having built nicely off her ACC Freshman of the Year season. She led the Jackets in scoring (14.3 ppg) and threepoint shooting (79 three-point field goals, double the nearest Jacket, at 32.6 shooting), usually against opponents’ top defenders. “It was a positive “Coach Jo season and I also [MaChelle Joseph] had good personal wanted me to growth,” she said. improve a lot on “I think I improved my mentality, a lot on my shot, and this especially the summer I really dribble pull up.” worked hard to Pan further be as tough as looked to improve I could and to by staying in pass it along to touch with Atlanta, my teammates,” getting coached she added. “Also —LORELA CUBAJ up by Yellow I wanted to improve Jackets assistant coach on my shot and, in Jonneshia Pineda. general, I want to be “Coach Jo wanted me able to do as many things to work on my ball handling and as I can.” rebounding,” said Pan, who will look to improve The Terni, Italy, native displayed her new on her 2.6 rebounds and cut down on her game this summer with her native Italy in the turnovers. “To improve upon these areas, I went FIBA U20 European Championships in Sopron, to the gym, and I did some exercises that Coach Hungary. She logged a team-high 25.9 minutes JP [Pineda] sent me via email.” and averaged nearly a double-double (10.9 Pan also re-charged her batteries, getting points, 9.0 rebounds), with 1.7 assists and 1.1 some beach time, and making a short trip to steals, shooting 41.0 percent, (70.3 from the London with friends. She plans on having her line). Italy went 6-1 and reached the semifinals, best season and being a leader for a young finishing fourth overall. team that has 10 underclassmen, seven of As she prepares for her sophomore season those freshmen or redshirt freshmen. with Georgia Tech, Cubaj is eager to make a “The most important thing was I rested to get bigger impact. ready for next season,” she said. “I want to help “I want to help my teammates in every the team, and especially the freshmen, inside and aspect, on the court and off the court, in the outside the gym, giving them advice, setting the best way possible,” she said. “I really can’t wait to start the new season and see what this right example, and helping them be prepared to face every obstacle during the season.” new team can achieve.”

I WANT TO HELP MY TEAMMATES IN EVERY ASPECT, ON THE COURT AND OFF THE COURT, IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE. I REALLY CAN’T WAIT TO START THE NEW SEASON AND SEE WHAT THIS NEW TEAM CAN ACHIEVE.

| FALL 2018


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ATHLETICS

THE BUILDER FORMER TECH ALL-AMERICAN PAT SWILLING IS DOING WHAT HE’S ALWAYS DONE, BUILD AND REBUILD BY JON COOPER

In each edition, Everyday Champions will feature a Georgia Tech letterwinner that has exhibited the ideals of an Everyday Champion – someone who is a champion every day, not just game day, and in all walks of life. This edition’s features Everyday Champion is Pat Swilling (football – 1982-85).

L

inebackers are known for destruction and blowing things up. From 1982-85, nobody personified that better on The Flats than Pat Swilling. The Toccoa, Ga., native recorded 23 sacks as a Yellow Jacket (including 15 as a senior and seven in one game against NC State, which both still stand as school records) and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009. He did the same thing for 12 years in the National Football League, seven of those with the New Orleans Saints, where he won 1991 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and recorded 107.5 career sacks. Yet, while he spent so much of his playing career pushing people backwards and blowing up the best-laid plans, his post-football career has been just the opposite. He’s dedicated himself to building and rebuilding. You really could argue he did the same as a player. He helped turn around the Yellow Jackets from 1-10 as a freshman to 9-2-1 as a senior. Same deal with the Saints, who he helped lead to the franchise’s first playoff berth and four postseason appearances in five years. He moved on from the Saints in 1993, and from pro football in 1998, but his heart never left the New Orleans. Neither did he. If anything, his love grew stronger. In 2001, his desire to build New Orleans East and willingness to lead took him down a most unlikely path: the Louisiana legislature. He entered a runoff election as a Democrat for the seat as representative of House District 100 and won. Every Day Champions: What made you run for the Louisiana Legislature? Pat Swilling: It’s back to that rebuilding. The area I was living in at that time, there was a guy,

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Cedric Richmond (representative for District 101), who called me one day and said, ‘Pat, why don’t you run? We could be a good team at the statehouse trying to rebuild New Orleans East.’ So I ran and the next thing you know, I won. I couldn’t believe it. The first thing that the guy that ran against me did was call Georgia Tech and ask them ‘Did [he] graduate? Was [he] a graduate of that institution?’ That’s one of the things we posted everywhere, that I was a Georgia Tech grad. That played a big part in me winning that seat. People not only knew me as a football player, but also as a college graduate. I never thought of myself as a politician. I wanted to be a change-maker, but not really a politician. I enjoyed my years in the House of Representatives, representing New Orleans and New Orleans East. EC: What was the most important piece of legislation you were a part of? PS: I created what they call a New Orleans Special Taxing District out of New Orleans East, where all the taxes at the end of the year would go back into the property to help

Swilling and his wife Robin make it to Atlanta each home weekend to watch their sons Tre and Bruce play for the Yellow Jackets.


FROM 198285, NOBODY PERSONIFIED THAT BETTER ON THE FLATS THAN PAT SWILLING. THE TOCCOA, GA., NATIVE RECORDED 23 SACKS AS A YELLOW JACKET (INCLUDING 15 AS A SENIOR AND SEVEN IN ONE GAME AGAINST NC STATE, WHICH BOTH STILL STAND AS SCHOOL RECORDS) AND WAS INDUCTED INTO THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME IN 2009.

A member of Tech’s “Black Watch” defense of the mid-1980s, Pat Swilling played 12 years in the NFL and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

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MEN’S BASKETBALL | HOLDING COURT

Basically, I was just trying to further my education during the time I was playing. I also was working in communications – I had television and radio shows that I was doing here. I thought I might have wanted to get into television and radio, which I’m doing now. I work for (WVUE) FOX 8, doing the Saints commentaries on Sunday nights after games. They just hired me again. When I was playing, I also was involved in buying more real estate. In the offseason, that’s what I did. I always stayed busy and always tried to make sure I was doing things to better myself. Swilling ran for re-election in 2004, but lost a run-off. Still, he was not done helping develop New Orleans East. He simply poured his full energy into real estate development and his company, Swilling Design and Development. That commitment became even stronger after Hurricane Katrina decimated the city on Aug. 29, 2005. Swilling left the New Orleans Saints in 1993 and retired from pro football in 1998, but he won a seat in the Louisiana state legislature and started a real estate development company to help build up New Orleans East.

promote and rebuild the property. That was one of the key pieces of legislation that I put my name on, fought for and got passed through. During that time, we had a mayor [who] was against that special taxing district, and I still got it passed through the legislature, because they understood the importance of trying to build New Orleans East. That was part of my platform that I ran on. If there’s anything that really means a lot to me, it was that piece of legislation. EC: What did you learn at Georgia Tech that may have helped you get elected and answer the call to service? PS: I could go on and on about the quality of education, which is second to none. But Homer Rice’s Total Person Program – I think I learned so much more about life and about what it takes to live, about accountability, basic learning how to live day-to-day and do the best you can do at whatever task that you’re asked. Through his program, we would go to seminars and we would have different speakers. It was about day-to-day living, about having a career, how you build that career, being accountable to the people and to do what you say you’re going to – all those things. I was able to learn key elements that would help me through my life. EC: How did you prepare for life after the NFL while you were in the league? PS: I hold a couple of licenses in New Orleans because I’m a state-licensed contractor.

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EC: What kinds of things did you do to help in the wake of Hurricane Katrina? PS: We came to Atlanta and I put together some clothing drives and brought clothes and stuff back to New Orleans. I was able to get back to less than two weeks after the storm had hit. It was devastating. I had over 1,200 multifamily units during that time. When I got back down here, I was the first apartment complex up and running. I had about 300 (units) where people could come back here. We had postal workers, we had police department workers, I had all type of professionals that needed to be here living in my apartments out in New Orleans East. We did our part to try to get firstresponders somewhere to live and help to get this city rebuilt. EC: How rewarding is it to see the way New Orleans has bounced back? PS: There aren’t any people on this Earth more resilient than the people of New Orleans and the whole Louisiana Gulf Coast, Mississippi, everyone that was hit. But especially in New Orleans. When you’re talking about over half of your city inundated with nothing but water, it’s hard to make you understand the devastation. But we fought through it. We fought hard, and this city is blowing and going now. It’s because the people of New Orleans love New Orleans. People around the world love New Orleans. This city is beloved everywhere. The people of New Orleans worked hard to get this thing


back where it needs to be. We still have work to do but we’ve come a long way. EC: What’s the current state of your business? PS: I’m building. That’s just what I do. I have three major projects, one going up less than a block from Canal Street downtown, I’m building a seven-story building there, building up 30 condominiums, I’m building over St. Charles Avenue, I have about five condominiums in. I buy properties, build condos, sell some, keep some, some Airbnb. I’m also building a daycare center for my wife in Oberlin. My son, Patrick, works for the company. We get out and we build property. Swilling Design and Development has come a long way and created plenty. Swilling’s company has built a 120,000-square-foot mall in the New Orleans East area, shopping centers, daycare centers and receptions halls. It’s in the process of putting up condos and other multi-use projects. While business is booming, he’s as invested as ever in Georgia Tech football, which, he’s actually doing his part to help rebuild as well, with sons Tre and Bruce on the roster.

EC: How much will you be coming to Atlanta to see Georgia Tech football, with Tre and Bruce on the roster? PS: We don’t miss a game. My wife and I leave here on Thursday, we come to Atlanta and stay the weekend. There is no better place than Grant Field on a beautiful Saturday in the city of Atlanta. My brother, Darrell, played there, but also my cousin, Ken, was an All-American there. Just to have what we call ‘The Fourth and Fifth Swillings that have played at Georgia Tech,’ is exciting not only for me but our whole family.

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ALEXANDER-THARPE FUND

PHOTO 1 - This photo was taken on our first day in Puerto Rico, on a hike to a natural park less than a mile from the hostel where JWOB was centered. It was the first time we had the opportunity to see the natural beauty of Cerro Gordo. PHOTO 2 - This photo was taken just outside of the JWOB Hostel, (Big Yellow House), as our group explored Cerro Gordo on the first day of the trip. PHOTO 3 - This photo of the group was taken on our tour of old San Juan. Pictured here is one of the smallest residential properties in the world, which is now rented through AirBnB. PHOTO 4 - This photo features the coast of San Juan, including one of the iconic cement lookouts scattered around this area of the city. PHOTO 5 - Capturing the aura of life and vibrancy of San Juan was my primary goal when shooting cityscapes throughout our tour, and the colors in this photo speak for themselves. Our group was able to see old San Juan through a great tour led by our Global Works leader. It was an incredible way to learn the history of the city and bond with our teammates. PHOTO 6 - This photo shows almost the entire group of JWOB student-athletes touring the plaza of the Cuartel de BallajĂĄ, near El Morro. PHOTO 7 - As the entire group of student-athletes went for a hike through a natural park minutes from our hostel, I stopped with some members of the Yellow Jacket swimming and diving team to take this picture of the pristine water. The beauty of Cerro Gordo truly speaks for itself. PHOTO 8 - This photo of Annabel McAtee (spirit squad) embodies the essence of our trip, representing the values of our institution, every step of the way.

JACKETS WITHOUT BORDERS THROUGH THE LENS OF A GEORGIA TECH STUDENT-ATHLETE

A sophomore diver from Madison, Wis., Henry Carman found a passion for photography as a freshman in high school when he began capturing moments and memories as they were occurring. During the Jackets Without Borders trip in July to Puerto Rico, while the team was not working on the home sites, Carman was able to capture some of the best moments on the trip through his biggest hobby. The photos featured below were all taken by Carman, a business major who is also minoring in environmental science, with his voice describing each photo.

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ALEXANDER-THARPE FUND

ATHLETICS INITIATIVE 2020 Athletics Initiative 2020 is in full swing, and the AlexanderTharpe Fund is on pace to reach its target goal. As of Aug. 8, just over $39 million has been raised, and there are many continuing opportunities for engagement from donors and fans to help get Georgia Tech Athletics get to its goal of $125 million. The men’s and women’s

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basketball projects, as well as the baseball stadium renovation, have almost reached their goal. The project headlining this initiative is the renovation of the Edge/Rice Building, the headquarters for the Georgia Tech Athletic Association. Currently this building exists as the epicenter of athletic life at Georgia Tech. The new building

will take Georgia Tech into a new era focused on recruiting, building a better studentathlete, and winning. We’re at $10 million and counting towards our goal of $70 million. If you want to help push us over our goals, contact the A-T Fund at 404-894-5414 or give online at atfund.gatech.edu.


ENDOWING A HEAD COACHING POSITION Endowing a head coaching position is a new opportunity available within Georgia Tech Athletics and is similar to the naming of school chairs around the Institute. Endowing a head coaching position would greatly enhance the productivity and recruitment opportunities of a program as well as expand the opportunities for travel and competition for the team. Funds for coaching endowments would be strictly used for program support. Those interested in this opportunity can contact Jim Hall at jhall@athletics.gatech.edu or call at 404-894-8219.

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COMPLIANCE CORNER BY LANCE MARKOS, ASSISTANT ATHLETIC DIRECTOR FOR COMPLIANCE

NCAA ADOPTS NEW REDSHIRTING RULE IN FOOTBALL

LANCE MARKOS ASSISTANT ATHLETIC DIRECTOR FOR COMPLIANCE

As we begin the 2018-19 academic year, we wanted to provide information on a new rule for the upcoming football season along with answers to some of the fundamental questions that our office is asked throughout the year.

for the work that is actually being performed, and their athletics reputation is not used to promote the business or products associated with the business. Please contact the Georgia Tech Athletics Compliance Office prior to hiring a student-athlete for approval. All student-athletes working jobs or internships are required to register their employment with the Compliance Office.

In the sport of football, can a studentathlete play in games and still redshirt during that season? Yes. As of the 2018 football season, an eligible student-athlete may play in up to four football games at any point during the season and still not be charged with the use of one of their four seasons of competition.

May a booster provide a student-athlete with a nominal gift for a special event (e.g. Birthday, Religious Holiday, Weddings, Finals Week, Graduation)? No. Provision of any gift, including a gift of nominal value, is considered an extra benefit under NCAA rules. Receipt of any such benefits will jeopardize the eligibility of the student-athlete.

Can this new rule be used for previous seasons? No. This rule takes effect in the 2018 football season and may not be applied for prior seasons. Does this rule apply to other sports? No. Only in the sport of football may a student-athlete play and then, without injury, be able to redshirt for that season provided they don’t exceed the maximum amount of participation. In other sports, opportunities still exist for student-athletes who suffer a season-ending injury in the first half of their season and do not participate in more than 30 percent of their maximum number of games to receive that season back via a medical hardship waiver. I’ve identified some talented prospective student-athletes in my area, can I help Georgia Tech recruit? No. However, you may contact our coaches and pass along information regarding prospective student-athletes. You may not actively recruit on behalf of Georgia Tech – this includes contact with (e.g., in-person conversations, telephone calls, electronic messages, etc.) prospective student-athletes, their parents, or any other individual associated with them due to their athletics participation. May I provide an internship or job for a currently enrolled Georgia Tech student-athlete? Yes. It is permissible for individuals to employ studentathletes as long as they are paid the going rate, are getting paid

Shoshanna Engel Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance sengel@athletics.gatech.edu (404)894-8792

Lance Markos Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance lmarkos@athletics.gatech.edu (404) 894-5507

Compliance Office Phone Number: (404) 894-5055

May a booster host a meal for current student-athletes? Yes. A booster may host a meal on an occasional basis for any number of current student-athletes provided the meal is approved by the Georgia Tech Athletics Compliance Office prior to occurring. Meals may only be hosted in the booster’s home or in a Georgia Tech Athletics facility regularly used for team meals. If you have any questions about recruiting, current studentathletes, or any other matter please do not hesitate to contact any member of the compliance office staff. As always, if you have questions about any compliance-related matter please do not hesitate to contact a member of the compliance office staff.

Bret Cowley Director of Compliance bcowley@athletics.gtaa.edu (404)385-0611

Shardonay Blueford Associate Director of Compliance sblueford@athletics.gatech.edu (404)894-0416

Christina Chow Compliance Assistant cchow@athletics.gatech.edu


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Georgia Tech Everyday Champions magazine - Fall 2018  

Georgia Tech Everyday Champions magazine - Fall 2018

Georgia Tech Everyday Champions magazine - Fall 2018  

Georgia Tech Everyday Champions magazine - Fall 2018

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