NCAA extends Georgia Tech’s probation to 2017

ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski said Friday he hopes the school’s extended NCAA probation announced this week is “the last time we go down this road.”

Georgia Tech had its NCAA probation extended two years, to June 13, 2017, after coaches were found to have made hundreds of impermissible calls and texts to recruits in 2011 and 2012. The NCAA on Thursday announced its ruling that Georgia Tech “failed to monitor its sports programs.”

In 2011, Georgia Tech was forced to vacate its 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference football championship and placed on probation for four years due to NCAA rules violations.

The NCAA said coaches made at least 478 impermissible calls and sent at least 299 impermissible text messages to a total of 140 prospects.

The NCAA said there were violations in nine programs in 2011 and 2012, most in the men’s and women’s basketball and football programs.

In a letter to Georgia Tech president Bud Peterson, obtained by The Associated Press in an open records request, Greg Sankey, the chief hearing officer on the NCAA’s committee on infractions, said self-imposed sanctions suggested by the school were accepted but not sufficient.

“In considering appropriate penalties, the panel reviewed and adopted the institution’s self-imposed penalties and corrective measures; however, the panel was troubled by the fact that this is the institution’s second major infractions case in the past three years and that the case involved both intentional violations and individuals’ conscious decisions not to report identified violations,” Sankey said in the July 23 letter.

The NCAA decision made public on Thursday noted there were impermissible phone calls made by men’s basketball coaches only three days after Georgia Tech appeared before the NCAA committee for major violations in its football and men’s basketball program in April 2011.

Brian Gregory was named the new basketball coach on March 28, 2011. He replaced Paul Hewitt, who was fired on March 12, 2011.

“What transpired in 2011-12 and the ‘failure to monitor’ finding are not things that sit well with me or with any of us here at Georgia Tech,” Bobinski said in a statement to The Associated Press on Friday.

“This is not a label we intend to wear beyond the point of our extended probation period. We are pleased the NCAA accepted our self-imposed sanctions and corrective measures, but our clear intentions are that this is the last time we go down this road as an Institute.”

Bobinski was named athletic director in 2013.

In 2011, the NCAA ruled Georgia Tech must pay a $100,000 fine and return its 2009 ACC championship trophy as punishment for allowing an ineligible player, receiver Demaryius Thomas, to compete. The school was given recruiting restrictions and placed on probation for four years.

Georgia Tech’s appeal was denied in 2012, when the NCAA noted the school “was cited for preferential treatment violations, a lack of cooperation during the investigation and a failure to meet the conditions and obligations of membership.”

The NCAA said Thomas, now a star with the Denver Broncos, should have been declared ineligible after he accepted gifts from a former player who was working for an agent.