Tech’s Johnson sending wrong message

Paul Johnson celebrates Georgia Tech's Orange Bowl victory to close the 2014 season - when talk of insufficient facilities was at a minimum. (Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Paul Johnson celebrates Georgia Tech’s Orange Bowl victory to close the 2014 season – when talk of insufficient facilities was at a minimum. (Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Through the media, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson messaged the incoming athletic director early this week that his program is woefully short on both bells and whistles.

The message I’d be more concerned with was the one the coach was sending to a far younger, more impressionable audience.

When Johnson points to Tech’s lack of facilities and manpower compared to Clemson and wonders, “How can the expectation be to beat them?” he is also poisoning his players’ minds with some very toxic doubt.

Whatever the public expectation is of Georgia Tech football, the expectation within that locker room – whether it comes equipped with a nap room or not – should be that you can beat the world. It is the coach’s job to inflate that belief, not chip away at it with complaints of sub-standard working conditions and a stingy administration.

The very last thought you’d want swirling inside those helmets would be: “Yeah, how can they expect us to beat them?”

Johnson is no doubt frustrated. He no doubt has some legitimate beefs, some that new AD Todd Stansbury, with his gift for fund-raising, may be able to eventually address even in light of the athletic department’s budgetary limitations. An upgraded locker room, more support staff, a weight room that any recruit would be proud to sweat in – all part of the ever-escalating amenities race in college football.

It’s also true that employing the model of Clemson – which just opened a $55 million football facility that includes an HD theater, barber shop and, yes, a nap room – may be a little overkill.

In Stansbury’s first press conference, he made it clear that not all programs are created equal. Tech has a unique set of conditions and challenges that are separate of a place like, oh, say, Clemson. Conditions, by the way, under which the Yellow Jackets have thrived in the past.

“I think that it’s important that your facilities are in sync with other facilities of your competitors, but I think it’s also important that you’re true to yourself and who you are,” Stansbury said.

“I think what’s really important is understanding who you are, what fits you and making sure you’re providing the best facilities for your coaches and student-athletes so that they can be successful. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you want a waterfall in your locker room.”

As much as keeping up with the Clemsons is on Johnson’s mind, he might also concern himself with keeping pace with the Hurricanes and the Tar Heels and the Blue Devils. Until recently, Miami had quite modest facilities for a program of its stature and it has beaten Tech in seven of the last eight meetings. True, North Carolina and Duke are increasingly committing to football, but in the process have beaten Georgia Tech the last two years. You can’t blame the furnishings for that.

You have to wonder: Would a recruit put aside any doubt he had about running Tech’s offense or over whether he could cut it there academically if only he had a more comfortable place to change his clothes? Would Johnson magically begin landing all those 4- and 5-star recruits – and stop scoffing at the system that rated them – if the facilities sparkled just a bit more?

The message that Johnson put out there again this week was dubious on another front, too. Questioning commitment can be dangerous. For it is not uncommon for a program to recommit itself to winning by first bringing in a new coach with a new approach.

Reader Comments 0

180 comments
Rogermyers
Rogermyers

Take high school offense and go back to sun belt where you were able to win. With you're personality you will never be able to recruit

@eidsonb
@eidsonb

I will say it again and again, what has been reported as being said is not what was actually said.  Listen to the interview.  If you want the link, send me a tweet to above.  

TaxiSmith
TaxiSmith

When a team is on a skid, the excuses come out. I agree they just make things worse, especially in recruiting. Two years ago Tech played in the Orange Bowl, and earlier in the season they beat Clemson like a rag (I was there.) So, have the faciities deteriorated or is Coach just making excuses?

@eidsonb
@eidsonb

@TaxiSmith Listen to what he said, I have posted the actual interview several places.  What is reported is not what he said.  Remember the AJC is in no way a fan of Tech or CPJ.  UGA is the money maker for them.  

YellowJacket7879
YellowJacket7879

Ok, at least we agree on one thing, expectations at Tech should be the same as Clemson, Miami, FSU, V. TECH......  No excuses!  


I also concur that the Yellow Jackets are over matched on the line of scrimmage (ie recruiting disadvantage).  If you're sitting on row 16 with me it's obvious.  That hasn't always been the issue it is now and there are many factors (the perception that Johnson's offense won't get you to the NFL being one).


All that being said, Tech people understand all too well (in business and academically) the importance of a common denominator.  Clemson's AD is doing something there he couldn't here.  And it's working.  

TOJacket
TOJacket

Yea........he has created a football factory and probably doesn't give a sheet if they graduate or not. Why not just forget the student athlete.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Well they did play in a NC game......isn't that all the hell that matters? 2014 was great, but I still have enough mind left amongst the hops barley and bong resin to know that it's not going to happen often....unless academic requirements and more majors are added.

Peachs
Peachs

The ACC has attracts the best coaches and players because there is stability there.  The local press gives so little credit to a job well done.  Players float through Atlanta playing Tech, that are better than what we see in Athens, with little notice.  


The first time I ever saw Matty Ice was at Bobby Dodd, Wilson played for NC State, Hester for Miami.  Many years the ACC has more players drafted than the SEC.  Yet because they don't wear the makeup of the SEC they barely get noticed.  


We have beat Clemson many times, and now Clemson may be the best program in the country.  Thank God for the playoffs, which very well may have two ACC teams in it.  It makes these discussions more factual, and suddenly the SEC looks weaker. 



GTBigJim
GTBigJim

 Blame it on what ever you want...but lets certainly NOT name the real problem...ok, I will....the johnson absolutely sux as a D1 coach. His stupid mind numbing D Coord dream, boring assd offense has KILLED our program! 

Jmonty
Jmonty

Sad, only part of the story was printed.  Just listen to part, come up with your own conclusion and report it, huh?  That's called irresponsible reporting.  Typical for the Ugag loving AJC.

@eidsonb
@eidsonb

Once again, someone with an agenda gets so much wrong.  

Big Wally
Big Wally

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt 3 hours ago

@DawginLex 

So now Richt wasn't an elite recruiter, huh?  WOW !!!!  He left Kirby with a treasure trove of big-time recruits, 

_____________________________________________________

1) most of Richt's recruiting class for 2013 are no longer at UGA, the 2014 class has similar problems.

2) our offensive line has a Rhode Island transfer at 1 tackle spot, who can't block, the other tackle spot has a Guard playing it (Pyke), and one of the guards is a former Def. Tackle (Gilliard).


'treasure trove' of big time recruits?  Stay at the kid's table junior, let the adults talk.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@Big Wally And remember that Kirby isn't a "principled man" because he worked for Nick Saban.  So that means Jim McElwain, Will Muschamp, Jimbo Fisher and Mark Dantonio are all unprincipled men too I guess.  Good grief Supersize is a total freaking moron. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

SS has bowel movements that age brighter than you skippy.

Drexel-Gal
Drexel-Gal

Another condition that hasn't been mentioned is ... location.  Georgia Tech is in Atlanta, where there is competition aplenty for entertainment and leisure dollars.  Contrast that with Clemson, where the university and its football team are the major attractions.  They can fill an 80,000-seat stadium and have a waiting list, while Tech struggles to draw 50,000.  Look at other big cities:  New York?  Where is its major college team?  (Columbia is long in the past.)  Chicago?  Northwestern is a few miles out of town, and how is it doing?  The U of Illinois is in another city, and both schools rake in Big Ten cash each year, regardless of outcomes.  Los Angeles is so huge that USC will get big crowds just by sheer volume.  Tech, football-wise, has had a lot of factors working against it for the past few decades --- rigorous academics (a point of pride, by the way), a conference which is geared more to basketball than football, its downtown location and a metropolitan area in which the strip clubs outdraw college football, three major league sports teams, and, yes, less than stellar promotional efforts.  Dan Rada-moron eventually realized he was no longer in Baton Rouge and fled for Death Valley, and even bragged about how he no longer had to worry about filling a stadium.  The Flats present a big challenge, and whoever cracks that tough nut deserves a Nobel of some sort.


And, only 105 days until our most horrible national nightmare is over.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

If you really want to know what Johnson said, and not just what others have said that he said, go to the following link and either read the excerpts or listen to the actual interview in the podcast, beginning at the 23:50 mark ---
https://n.rivals.com/news/rivals-com-q-a-georgia-tech-coach-paul-johnson

There is nothing wrong or controversial or inappropriate in the least about what he said.

All Hummer's article does is show that he is just a homer for the mutts.  He should be known as Hummer the homer, or maybe homer Hummer.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt  Why do you nerds automatically assume someone is a Georgia fan or supporter if they don't bow down and kiss your nerd feet?  You dorks are clueless.  You don't have to be a Georgia fan to see that Georgia Tech football is an absolute joke.  Wake up. 

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@dawg fan 

It should be obvious to even the dumbest redneck mutt fans around that Hummer the homer only included the parts of what Johnson said that would fit his agenda.  Are you dumber than the dumbest?  WOW

TOJacket
TOJacket

Doug.......listen to the podcast! Hummer the Homer is spot off.

dawg fan
dawg fan

I still can't get over the stark contrast in that photo.  The beautiful Maria Taylor (DGD) and then Moobs flashing his ugly mug and gut.  Beauty and the beast.  Sorry its just funny. 

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@dawg fan 

Pretty sad for a grown man to be obsessed over another man's physical appearance.  But I guess that's not surprising since you are a UGa* (put a "y" where the "*" is) supporter

dawg fan
dawg fan

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt Pretty sad for a grown man to go around looking like he just woke up from an all night bender like Fish Fry does most of the time.  I'm sorry.  I don't know what's got into me today. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

Typical dawg-puke.......nothing shocking.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt Well consider the subject.  Your program is 6-11 since the beginning of last season.  Nothing much worthwhile to talk about is there? 

TOJacket
TOJacket

Well you need to take that up with him.....he is entertaining .....you dawgs are like a stool in the pool.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

Lying hypocrites are not entertaining at all.

Can you get anything right?!

jarvis1975
jarvis1975

The guy built a perennial winner at Oregon State. The future is bright.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@jarvis1975  Oregon State didn't run the triple floption and doesn't have to compete with the SEC and ACC for talent.  I don't care who the AD is.  Georgia Tech football will remain a total joke.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I haven't seen Georgia Tech this pathetic and irrelevant since the Bill Lewis days.  Absolutely nobody cares about Georgia Tech football anymore.  Your own fans are relegated to clinging to their TV sets during UGA games praying for a Dawg loss.  You talk more about that than your own joke program.  It is way beyond sad. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

Who said anything about you watching Tech?.....and if you care less then don't comment dummy.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Wally.......the funny thing is dawgphlem talk worse about his precious dawgs last year than I could.......see he is only a fan if he likes the Coach. .......let Kirby squirt in his shorts a couple of more times and he will be bad mouthing them again..... Just like all the Matt Ryan haters before the season started. He likes to run that yap about a team he claims no one cares about, boy he's dumb ain't he Wally?

dawg fan
dawg fan

@GTBob I've maybe watched a grand total of 5 minutes of Georgia Tech football this year, if that.  And that's only because the BC game was on where I was eating breakfast.  Believe me when I tell you I could care less.  What I care about is laughing at Georgia Tech fans and making you miserable. Guilty as charged there. 

dawg fan
dawg fan

@TOJacket  I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here (nor do you probably).  I do not follow a coach.  I follow a program.  If Kirby turns out to be as big of a choke artist as Richt was you can bet your bottom dollar I will be calling for a change.  It is still early though and the jury is still out. 

GTBob
GTBob

@dawg fan I always love it when dawg fan comes on every Tech blog to tell us how much he doesn't care about us. Always cracks me up a bit.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@dawg fan 

Then you'd better start doing some calling, because not-so-Smart has done as good as he's ever going to do, and that ain't good.

DawginLex
DawginLex

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt @dawg fan  I big time disagree. He is changing the culture of the program from nice guy country club to win at all costs. 2 more recruiting classes of his players and he is going to be set. We will be really good in 17 but by 18 we should have a legit chance at the SEC title

GTBob
GTBob

@dawg fan Then you admit that you do care about GT and GT fans to some extent?

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@DawginLex 

Big time disagree.  You will all be screaming for his head after 2017.  He is not HC material and, based on the way Clemson shredded his Bama D, and the total lack of a D in Athens this year, he's not much of a defensive coach either.

DawginLex
DawginLex

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt @DawginLex  You are wrong. He is an elite recruiter. The talent level will be better than Richt's teams. Even with the majority of the team being guys he inherited, he held UNC to 17 points and the QB to not very many yards. That's scheme, coaching and execution. Wait until he gets more of his players. You just want us to suck but you aren't going to get your wish

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@DawginLex 

So now Richt wasn't an elite recruiter, huh?  WOW !!!!  He left Kirby with a treasure trove of big-time recruits, and so far he has done nothing with them.  Why do you think he will do better with those he recruits than with those Richt recruited?  I didn't see the UNC game, but I was frankly surprised at the result, especially since the Heels apparently had the lead through much of the 3rd quarter.

DawginLex
DawginLex

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt @DawginLex  You aren't paying attention to the details and I wouldn't expect you to. Our 2013 class had 32 recruits and only FIVE are still at UGA. The 2014 class is loaded with mis-evaluations talent wise. We basically have very few juniors and seniors. He is also not playing nice guy with the team like Richt did and that coupled with playing a lot of freshmen and you have a huge culture shift that takes time to accomplish. I was concerned after OM but now, I'm not. I think he is going to do really well. Top 3 classes instead of top 10 will help a lot too

TOJacket
TOJacket

And of course a pre-season NC?

TOJacket
TOJacket

I love all the culture stuff!......why were you guys always ragging on CPJ because he sighted players not doing assignments publicly.....now the "Deliverer" Kirby is changing the freaking culture?......Are the dawgs not doing it the right way?

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@DawginLex 

The fallacy there is that you have no idea how your current recruiting class will play out.  They may, and probably will, be no better or worse than any that Richt recruited.  You guys criticize Tech for using the drop-out/transfer/injury "excuse" for our 2013 recruiting class, and then you turn around and do the same thing for yours.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Lex....That's right they have already got 2 in a row....... But what's confusing is......Richt blew a 21 point lead last year and Kirby blew a 17 point lead?......guess that one is on Richt too?......too funny

dawg fan
dawg fan

@DawginLex I don't know about you Lex but I'm pretty much floored that Supersize isn't impressed with Kirby and doesn't think he will do well.  Never would have seen that coming. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

"Cited," dummy.

Get one right for us, OK? It would be a refreshing jolt.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Big Wally

And look who's often posting right there beside them--good ol' GTBoob.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@dawg fan 

I didn't much care for Richt, but I definitely respected him as a principled man and (unfortunately for Tech) a good coach.  I don't think Kirby is either.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt Why is Kirby not a principled man?  Be  careful pulling this answer out of your arse.  You might hurt something.  SUperize=JOKE. 


DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

Two in a row--after losing FIVE in a row.

Once again, you careful overlook the relevant stuff.

GTBob
GTBob

@DawginLex He is an elite level recruiter because he recruited well at Alabama? I am pretty sure I could be an elite level recruiter then. Talk about the easiest sell in history.