There are reasons to be hopeful for the future of Georgia Tech’s athletics program. How the Yellow Jackets finished in the Directors’ Cup competition is decidedly not one of them.
In the final tally of the annual all-sports rankings that measure performance in NCAA championship events, Tech finished 121st – last among all power-conference schools. According to a report in the Daily Press of Newport News, Va., it was the lowest finish by an ACC school since the inception of the Directors’ Cup in the 1993-94 academic year.
The standings also bear out the competition that the Jackets face in the ACC. Eight teams finished in the top 30.
Tech does compete at a disadvantage in the Directors’ Cup. It fields 17 varsity sports, the fewest in the ACC. The Directors’ Cup counts a team’s highest-scoring 19 teams. By comparison, North Carolina competes in 28 varsity sports, giving the Tar Heels significantly more margin for error.
While hardly anything to trumpet, Tech was 12th out of 15 ACC teams in a recent AJC report that ranked schools based on their finish in conference competition and took into account their number of teams.
Regardless, Tech did not fare well even competing against itself. Against the results of the past 10 years, the Jackets scored the fewest points and had the fewest teams score points for the Directors’ Cup standings (three – golf, women’s tennis, and women’s cross country).
In the past decade, Tech has finished as high as 45th (in 2009-10), when 12 different teams scored points in the standings.
Further, many of the schools in Tech’s neighborhood at 121st, such as Eastern Michigan, Wichita State and Cincinnati, compete with similar numbers of teams and considerably smaller budgets.
Such dismal performance is what has helped spur athletic director Todd Stansbury’s efforts on multiple fronts to revitalize the athletic department. They include a $125 million capital campaign, including a $70 million renovation of athletic department headquarters, the switch from Russell Athletic to Adidas as its gear provider and a rebranding of wordmarks and official colors.
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