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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Johnson: Dome Hurting In-State Recruiting

Mark Richt has said repeatedly this offseason that he'd like to see the Bulldogs play a game in the Georgia Dome soon, but he's not alone in making that request.

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson wants the Yellow Jackets to get a shot at a game in the Dome, too, and he's not happy about the recruiting edge competing teams -- namely ACC counterparts Clemson and Virginia Tech -- get from getting the nod instead.

"It helps the teams that are playing, no question," Johnson said. "No use dancing around it. It helps them; doesn't do anything for us or Georgia. And when you bring teams in your own conference in to showcase now in a kickoff game, it's got to help them recruit."

Last season, Clemson and Alabama faced off in their season openers at the Georgia Dome. This year, the Crimson Tide will return to Atlanta to take on Virginia Tech.

It's a move designed, at least in part, to bring some tourism and attention to Atlanta, as designed by the game's hosts, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Committee. Johnson understands the thought process, but he's not happy about the results.

"I learned a long time ago not to worry about things you can't control," Johnson said. "Right now, that's out of my control. They've got a job to do, and I've got a job to do. I understand what they're doing. But if you're asking if it helps us, it doesn't help us. No. And I'd be surprised if Mark (Richt) didn't feel the same way."

Richt hasn't explicitly criticized the committee for snubbing Georgia or giving Alabama an unfair recruiting edge, but he has made clear that he'd like to play at least one game there in the future. Finding that game, however, remains a problem, as Richt is unwilling to lose a home game in exchange.

"We have a neutral site game (against Florida) already, so every other year we're losing a home game," Richt said. "If you have another neutral site situation, you're losing another home game, and I don't think we should trade a home game for a game in the Dome. But if they want to trade a home game to play in Atlanta, that would be great for us."

(* Thanks to the Telegraph's Coley Harvey for providing the Johnson quotes.)


jferg said...

I say "cry me a river" to all of these coaches. Technology has all but eliminated state boundaries for the purpose of recruiting. Case in point...look at all of the Non-Georgia players on our team. Matter of fact, how many of our "stars" are from other states (most recently Stafford, Knowshon, and MoMass). So, while I understand the premise of 'wanting cake and eating it too' in the way of getting EVERY SINGLE instate recruit AND getting the big names from other states...this just is not realistic anymore.
I say stop the whining and recruit based on 3 things:
1. A solid football program that competes for championships AND produces NFL draftees
2. A solid coaching staff that will help #1 AND help turn boys into decent men
3. Ridiculous facilities, which Sanford Stadium and the new BM complex will take care of (not to mention our beautiful campus adorned with God's greatest gift--hot women!)

Addendum: My posting password is "ningnica" cool is that word? Try using it in a sentence.....

David Hale said...

JFerg, that was a ningnicastic comment. Nice work!

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Johnson just let us play the UGA/Gtu game at the Dome every other year?

They can keep the 20,000 extra seat revenue, but the split will be 45,000 UGA fans and 30,000 Gtu.

It would be good for Gtu financially and good for UGA so that we could have tickets for all the fans who want them and cannot cram into bobby dodd.

watcher16 said...

Johnson is such a WHINER!!

not a tech fan... ain't it obvious said...

they don't want tech in the dome because they don't want the place to be empty...