ATLANTA -- The NCAA infractions staff wants to meet with
Georgia Tech officials to discuss the school's proposed penalties
for using 17 athletes in four sports who were not academically eligible.
Athletic director Dave Braine views the request for a face-to-face meeting as "a good sign."
"I think they have enough respect for the integrity of Georgia
Tech that they wanted to talk with the people involved," Braine
said Monday, shortly before the Yellow Jackets played South
Carolina in an NCAA baseball regional.
In a letter to Georgia Tech president Wayne Clough, the NCAA
asked for the meeting to clarify questions it has about the case.
The enforcement staff wants to talk with school officials who are
not part of the athletic department -- presumably those from the
registrar's office who were responsible for certifying the
Georgia Tech used ineligible athletes between 2000 and 2004 in football,
men's and women's track, and women's swimming. The school has since
hired a new official in the registrar's office whose main duty is
to ensure that athletes meet the proper academic requirements.
"The most important thing is that we have made a number of
changes in our procedures to prevent anything like this from
happening in the future," Braine said.
Georgia Tech already has proposed going on probation for one
year because of the infractions. The Yellow Jackets have never been
on probation in any sport.
The school and the NCAA enforcement staff agreed that the
widespread nature of the infractions implied a "lack of
institutional control," but also that the errors were inadvertent.
Georgia Tech's meeting with the NCAA likely will be held in
September, though there's a chance it could be held a month
earlier, according to Braine.
The proposed penalties, submitted last month, resulted from a
four-month joint investigation conducted by the school and NCAA
enforcement staff. The probation would include scholarship
reductions in football and track.
"Georgia Tech has fully cooperated with the NCAA every step of
the way and we will continue to do so," Braine said. "This is
another step in a long process, and we look forward to resolving
this issue completely."