Thursday, December 23, 2010

When It Rains, It Pours: Georgia Tech Loses 4 To Academics For Independence Bowl (Updated)

First it was the amazing loss to Kansas, then some unfortunate bounces against Clemson, then Joshua Nesbitt gets at Virginia Tech, then a missed extra point at Georgia, and now this.

Georgia Tech will be without starters Stephen Hill, Mario Edwards and backups Robert Hall and Anthony Barnes for the Independence Bowl game versus Air Force.

Barnes departure was not a surprise as he told the coaches he would be leaving the team before bowl practice to focus on his future after Tech having already graduated from the Institute.  Hall has also graduated and both were taking post graduate courses and simply did not pass enough classes in the fall semester to be eligible for the bowl.

Edwards has also played his final game at Tech and freshman Isiah Johnson will likely step into his spot.  The two have battled all season for the starting position so the senior's loss will be felt more in the depth where nickel back Rashaad Reid will likely step into the backup role.  

The biggest loss by far is Hill who gave the Jackets their only deep threat in the passing game.  Although the sophomore had a very disappointing season he was beginning to come on late in the year showing glimpses of what we thought we would see every week.

My thinking is that the disappointing season on the field for Hill distracted him from the classroom.  Things weren't going his way in football and he simply lost focus on the other things he needed to take care of.

Academic suspensions are nothing new at Tech.  Flunk gate nearly doomed the 2003 season, but the Yellow Jackets still managed to become bowl eligible and beat two ranked teams (Auburn, Maryland) that season. 

I would think Hill would have a good chance at playing next season because he was suspended due to Georgia Tech, and not NCAA regulations, indicating he is not far from eligibility.

In future years there will be recruits Tech cannot pursue due to academics and players lost in bowls due to grades. A lot of things have not gone Tech's way this season and this is just one more adding insult to injury.

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