Georgia Tech basketball hit with extended probation

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Georgia Tech is not out of the woods.

Not by a longshot.

The Atlantic Coast Conference school used to be a top-level force in college basketball but has faltered in recent years. Now its athletics programs are under heavy fire, after a set of NCAA sanctions from 2011 and 2012 have been extended two years until June 2017.

Georgia Tech lost its 2009 ACC football championship and was placed on probation for four years in 2011 due to a litany of NCAA rules violations.

Now the NCAA is adding to that probationary period after finding that Yellow Jacket coaches made at least 478 impermissible calls and sent at least 299 impermissible tests from 2011 to 2012, according to the Associated Press.

Georgia Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski was not happy.

"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.

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Difficult circumstances

Georgia Tech was already in somewhat dire straits.

The 2011 sanctions resulted in a $100,000 fine and the returned ACC championship trophy for one simple reason: Georgia Tech allowed wide receiver Demaryius Thomas - now an NFL star with the Denver Broncos - to play that season.

The school was also given recruiting restrictions - which were quickly ignored, as the NCAA findings showed that some of the recruiting violations occurred only three days after appearing before an NCAA committee alleging the program's major violations in April 2011.

Fall from grace

Perhaps the more damaging fact for Georgia Tech fans is that the team's basketball squad has struggled in recent years.

The Yellow Jackets were the NCAA Tournament runner-up in 2004, appeared in the tournament as recently as 2010 and has produced several top NBA players, including Miami Heat All-Star Chris Bosh.

But since the 2009-10 season, Georgia Tech hasn't made the Big Dance and has gone 56-69 in those four years.

Staffing instability

Not having the full range of recruiting tools at their disposal has certainly hurt the program. Even more effecting though has been the chaos surrounding the school's sanctions and the lack of accountability that comes with such widespread rule-bending.

Basketball coach Paul Hewitt was fired in March of 2011, replaced by Brian Gregory - who now, it seems, hasn't been able to escape his predecessor's long shadow of minor and major infractions.

And Bobinski became athletic director in 2013, replacing Dan Radakovicho's tumultuous reign as the department's head honcho.

With all that shuffling, it's easy to see why oversight has been a problem.

But if Georgia Tech wants to get back to winning basketball games instead of losing NCAA appeals, it will have to do better in policing itself.

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