What can I say? One school has taken over my mailbag ...
Mickey and Minnie setting in a tree E-A-S-T-I-N-G (Tallahassee) writes: Heather, Why do you always hold the 'MailBag' until last post of the day, when we would discuss it more when everyone is still here??
HD: Discuss away. I'm sure Georgia Tech fans will have a lot to say.
jander75 in the ACCylum writes: $312 and GT gets in all kinds of trouble including ACC title forfeiture, ridiculous or those are the rules?
HD: Both. (Seriously).
Dan in D.C., writes: Although we're only talking about $312, and what should have been a secondary violation had the investigation gone unimpeded (if they didn't inform Johnson which led to the counseling of a player to prepare for an investigatory interview), does the issue of the NCAA investigation tarnish Paul Johnson's COY award in 2009 at all? I don't know of anything directly tied to Johnson other than that he was informed, and it was a great season for GT, but by not following or outright breaking the rules players lose their accomplishments and awards, should there be a consideration that Johnson lose his?
HD: No. That award wasn't based on one game. In fact, the Coach of the Year award is usually announced before the ACC title game. Paul Johnson won that award on Dec. 1. The game was Dec. 5. The award was based on everything he had done to that point, a whole season's worth of work. Nobody on the team was penalized for anything that happened before the final three games.
Jeff in Villa Rica, Ga., writes: Heather, a lot of GTs woes last year seemed to be just a lack of will and passion to win. I keep reading that this year is different and the attitude is better. Do you think the stripping of the 2009 title could add more fuel to the fire. The seniors on this team no longer have their title and I am sure they would love to replace it with this years. Everyone talks about the negative that comes with these penalties. Do you think the players can take it as a reason to perform harder and make it a positivie?
HD: No doubt. Given the ticked-off responses that have been coming out of Georgia Tech -- starting at the top with Johnson -- there's no question that this should add some motivation. But I'll tell you, I've talked to several Jackets this offseason, and all of them have told me before this all went down with the NCAA that they had a different attitude this season.
randy black in Marietta, Ga., writes: The NCAA told GTech that they could not inform anyone outside of the school president and the athletic director of its investigation. If a head coach is not a target of the investigation then how in the world can he not be told. It sounds to me like the NCAA doesnt trust it coaches.
HD: That was a ridiculous request of Georgia Tech by the NCAA. The head coach should have every right to know what's going on in his program, and shouldn't be blindsided by an NCAA investigation. Good lord.
Jonathan in Dunn, N.C., writes: HD, Doesn't it seem odd to vacate wins regardless which school had the infraction enforced on them? It would only make sense to fine coaches, suspend players/remove them permanently from the school, or even take away future scholarships a school could use for the upcoming season. I think vacating wins is a bunch of garbage because its not like we didn't see GA Tech win the 09 ACC championship. Its not like we didn't watch USC win the National Championship in '04(I believe) or Ohio State winning the Sugar Bowl just last year. I mean even the legendary coach Bobby Bowden took a hit in his "overall wins" to finish behind JoePa because that whole FSU fiasco a few years ago. Call me crazy but it seems as though the NCAA is alot like our government, they try to do the right thing but end up making more of a mess for somebody else to clean up. All I'm saying is there has to be a better way then the NCAA's current system on handing down infractions. Thanks and have a great day! Go Pack!Your Favorite Wolfpack Fan, -Jonathan
HD: Vacating wins, to me, affects nothing but the record books. I was at the 2009 ACC title game. It was a great game. Georgia Tech won. End of story. BUT ... if you are a player or a coach who participated on that team, as Sean Bedford so eloquently pointed out, being forced to vacate a title can hit a nerve.