Discussion in 'Football' started by ciegetanks, Dec 10, 2019.
So why don't I believe that?
I recall that being an independent was thought to be a good idea in late 60's and early 70's. Lots of programs were independent - Penn State, Notre Dame, FSU, Miami, Tulane, and many more I don't recall specifically. Not all were national powers at the time, but my point is there were many independents. As an independent you didn't have to share your revenue with anyone else. Based on the status GT held over the previous 15 years, it didn't seem outrageous that we would be successful. But as others have noted, changes in the landscape that Dodd did not foresee changed all that.
Because every school in the region went through desegregation and civil rights, it wasn't isolated to Atlanta or the GT campus. It might would explain part of dropping out of the top 20 in the nation; but not losing to UGA.
Dodd knew that the conference reducing scholarships was going to hurt Tech. He needed 120 plus walk-ons to account for academic casualties and to have a larger pool from which to develop players. And, while I have no idea how he was thinking related to potential integration, it likely played some role in his thinking.
The perception was that the three best academic institutions would struggle the most in the SEC - Tech, Vandy and Tulane. Tech and Tulane left while Vandy struggled mightily for years competing in football.
The great opportunity missed in the seventies was in not forming a conference association among independents. Including football in with other sports in a conference like the Metro could have been interesting. Georgia Tech, Penn State, FSU, Miami, Syracuse, BC, Pitt, Louisville, West Virginia and perhaps Notre Dame with filling in with the likes of Temple, Rutgers, Army, Navy, UConn, Tulane, Memphis and Cincinnati was a great idea. But Doug Weaver was not up to the task. Homer Rice did a great job getting us in the ACC and bringing the athletic program out of the doldrums.
If Georgia Tech had stayed in the SEC but performed at a Vanderbilt level for years in football, would Dodd have made the right decision to keep us in the conference?
Yeah we left the SEC.
Most fail to recognize that we still played Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and Georgia every year into the 80s. Our records wouldn't have been any different had we stayed in conference. Played good schedules. Clemson, Notre Dame.
Leaving the SEC wasn't the boogeyman it's made out to be.
See here's the thing: it didn't matter.
Georgia Tech left the SEC and still performed at a Vanderbilt level.
Was Vanderbilt playing at a Georgia Tech level when GT was in the SEC? There is no reason to believe GT would have dropped to Vanderbilt level if it had stayed in the SEC and not put itself on probation.
The two Mississippi schools also were against our re-joining the conference. Dodd's chickens, his reluctance/refusal to play them home&home, came home to roost. Ugag was a down vote. When Bryant, who had told Dodd he'd support GT's re-admission to the SEC. was a no-show, our fate was sealed.
For those who believe the SEC schools came through de-segregation unscathed, just for an example, go check out ESPN's 30 for 30 on the 1962 Ole Miss team. They haven't won the SEC in football in the ensuing 57 years. Or the problems UGag had or Alabama before the USC game when Sam Cunningham ran wild.
Our record probably wouldn't have been much different if we had continued to let Dodd artificially limit scholarships like he did. It wasn't just leaving the SEC that was stupid, it was the combination of leaving and self imposing scholarship limits. If GT had stayed in conference and played by the rules everyone else was playing by do you think our record would have been any different?
UGAG had the lower standards required to benefit
The overwhelming majority of this post is a total load of bull crap. Regardless of what your “grandfather” said. People can debate the withdrawal from the SEC if they want. Tell me what other coach would have beaten UGA 8 times in a row, dominated the majority of the better SEC programs, and contrary to your grandfather, sent a number of quality players to the NFL. Not to mention, the vast majority of his players were huge successes in life
If desegregation opened recruiting to a wider pool of athletes (surely we agree on that?), and if the newly recruitable athletes were disproportionately under-qualified academically for Tech (do you believe that?), then desegregation would have a disproportionately negative impact on our recruiting relative to schools with more flexible academic standards.
Integration is probably the single biggest explanation for Tech's descent into mediocrity post-Dodd, but causation in human affairs is pretty complicated and the many other factors mentioned every time this comes up – poor coaching hires, inadequate administrative support, the arrival of pro sports competition in Atlanta, etc. – are obviously also very important.
Who gives a öööö? Ancient history. Let's look forward.
If you love Georgia Tech Football, and can’t appreciate Bobby Dodd, at this point, what’s really the point?
Take a hike, OP.
Dodd cared about his players more than anything else. He believed that once a player signed with Tech, they were his until they graduated. As the other schools got into signing more and more players and cutting the ones that didn't play well, it made it so Tech was at an unfair disadvantage. Hindsight is always 20/20. It would have been great to immediately go to the ACC, but at that point, there were still a lot of scholarship rules in most of the conferences that Dodd would have found problematic, so it could have been for the ACC as well, I don't know. When I interviewed Coach Curry, I asked him about some of this and he was very adamant and I remember it distinctly- "There is not one coach, not one AD that can be blamed for Georgia Tech's problems (as an independent), it was ALL OF OUR FAULTS. We didn't keep up with the fundraising, facilities like we should have." Dodd had trouble getting fundraising from alumni because people were used to Tech doing more with less. The admin tied the athletics department's hands a few times. There are several other examples as well....Was Dodd perfect? Of course not. But he cared about his players and the reputation of the school. As many have pointed out, it is unfair to retroactively say he should be solely should be blamed for all of these issues that happened after we left the SEC
At the time, it was the morally correct decision. Unfortunately time and history negated the moral component and turned it into a bad decision.
Engineers solve problems. GT has graduated more than their share of the best engineers in the country. Yet it has proven impossible for them to solve the problem of making underfunded sports programs with a declining percentage of academically qualified participants into a major power.
So if other schools had more flexible academic standards for athletes, then the problem was self imposed by GT correct?
Desegregation was a factor, dropping out of the conference was a factor, limiting our scholarships was a factor, pro teams entering the scene was a factor....there were lots of factors; but Georgia Tech fans; particularly the Bobby Dodd era fans, typically under emphasize the part poor decisions by Dodd played.
This twisted Dodd morality has been a problem for decades, hopefully in the next decade we can shake this 'but GT does it the right way' arrogant mentality that acts as a self imposed probation on the football program. The morally correct thing to do would have been to play by the rules, not to pout and try to run away because you got out voted. The morally correct thing to do would have been to be flexible with academic standards for athletes and give newly recruitable athletes a chance.