I remember UGA basketball fans saying, "I can't believe we got in all of this trouble over a $300 payment to Tony Cole and a bogus PE class."
My retort to all of those Harrick apologists at the time was pretty simple. It wasn't the violation that killed us. It was the moment where Jim Harrick allegedly told Chris Daniels and Reshad Wright to lie to the investigators about the PE class that got us slaughtered.
There's nothing worse than a cover up to the NCAA. That's why Bruce Pearl was fired at UT. It's why Jim Harrick was fired at UCLA. It's why Jim Tressel isn't at Ohio State, and it's why Georgia Tech is no longer the ACC Champion from the 2009 season.
As for GT fans who think the punishment is too harsh....Thomas caught a 70 yard TD pass on a 1 play drive in a game decided by five points in which he should've been sitting down pending the outcome of his investigation. Even UNC had the good sense to sit their guys when the NCAA started snooping around.
Read the report sometime. It's amazing how inept their cover up attempt was.
That said...all those who think DRad is a bad AD because this happened on his watch, I present an alternate theory. Any AD who can keep an NCAA investigation a secret for over 20 months is running a tighter ship than most. It also helps to have a hometown newspaper completely and totally asleep at the wheel.
Georgia fans get three days of articles on the transfer of Brent Benedict and a full article on the assistant recruiting coordinator (a guy I had never heard of) leaving while GT is going through an investigation in two sports without a peep.