Goodbye D-Rad, Hello More GT Fans (I hope)
In response to Georgia Tech’s Athletic Director’s recent resignation…
|Photo by AP|
Out with the old and (hopefully) in with a new athletic culture for Georgia Tech.
Students surely expected some changes in the football department after a rocky season (understatement). But what we didn’t expect was for the AD (who has a salary of over $900k) over all sports to up and leave for a rival ACC school (Clemson) mid-year. We still have football games…basketball season hasn’t even started yet…
Regardless, he’s left and I hope that the Athletic Association uses this situation as an opportunity to shift the culture and attitude of Georgia Tech athletics for current students and alum. The feeling toward GT sports is currently…apathetic, really.
I’m not just a student complaining. I’m a senior and I’ve been the Sports Editor for Tech’s yearbook since my freshman year. Honestly, the majority of students do not (have time to) care about the sports here. It was such a shock for me, coming from a high school in Gwinnett County with overcrowded football games and a State Championship title – I was raised to love and attend athletic events, which is mainly why I still do at Tech.
But the average student doesn’t have much desire to attend games. For one, the ticketing process is a hassle. Sure, they’re “free” on a first come, first served basis, if you reserve them through the system in the days approaching the game. But Tech students, we don’t have time for all of that. With overwhelming classes, meetings, job applications, personal lives and more, remembering to reserve tickets to avoid paying the ever-increasing season ticket price (which is what I have), is just not worth it.
I wouldn’t suggest this at most schools, but students should receive season tickets (electronically, to save paper) for all sports, and notified that they have these tickets. This way, more students, including our large International Student population, would be more aware of the sports taking place and be more excited to attend those sports.
I fear that with this difficult season and major staff changes throughout the season, the number of game attendees will decrease even more next season. I urge whoever is responsible to make changes as soon as possible.
After attending games at The University of Alabama and LSU, I yearn for that football game day experience (or at least something similar). I know that when I chose to attend Tech, I chose to attend a school where academics are most important and the work ethic of students is held to the highest standard. And as I go through the job application process, that is something I am very grateful for. But when I graduate in May, what will I come back to Tech for?...not to take classes!
I want to want to come back for events, including athletic events, and I want my school to be known in the Atlanta community as a place where families and fans can come for a great time. Georgia Tech is a phenomenal place with spectacular athletes who deserve the marketing and promotion techniques that some of the top football programs in the nation receive.
Can the new AD handle that? I surely hope so.