I can understand Army's AD following orders and I suppose with the need for new officers growing it makes sense, but for the program, players, and fans this is sad:
In one of the more bazaar events I can recall in my years in intercollegiate athletics, I have been put in the position to rescind my recommendation for all of you Jacket fans to make plans to visit West Point next season for our return game at Army. Loyal readers of The Good Word will recall that in my last edition, I talked about what a great pleasure it will be to visit such a prestigious and hallowed place for a game in 2008. While the venue remains as I described, circumstances have abruptly changed and Georgia Tech's visit there will not occur.
Let me explain.
Less than an hour before the kickoff of our homecoming game, Kevin Anderson, Director of Athletics at the Academy, hand delivered to me a letter stating that Army would exercise an option to cancel next year's return game scheduled for October 11, 2008. It is indeed an extremely rare occasion for any school to opt out of a home game, after playing that opponent already on the road. But the explanation was clearly verbalized in the letter I read that afternoon at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
"After evaluating the limited depth on our roster, we realize that playing consecutive games against schools from major conferences is not in the best interest of our program or our cadets," wrote Mr. Anderson. "Under similar circumstances in years past, our players have suffered numerous injuries that have threatened both their athletic and military careers."
Wow. In light of our world circumstances, what was I to say to that rationale? I have made an offer to perhaps find a different place in the schedule for the game, but that resolution was not possible after a subsequent conversation with Mr. Anderson. In the meantime, we have moved swiftly to identify other possibilities that could bring a seventh home game to Bobby Dodd Stadium in '08. Stay tuned for developments as they occur in the coming days and weeks.
Finally, I would reiterate that is was truly an honor to host the United States Military Academy for the game on the flats 10 days ago. As Mr. Anderson went on to say is his letter to me: "We need to be careful as we focus on our primary mission to produce leaders for our nation's Army."
Well said, Kevin. We wish you guys nothing but the best!
There's no ill will from me towards Kevin Anderson and I'm sure he was simply following orders from the Superintendent. I don't second guess the decision and I appreciate GT athletic Director Dan Radakovich being so magnanimous about it.
I genuinely looked forward to hosting our local tailgate crew back in my hometown as much as I look forward to Christmas, so this bums me out pretty bad. I know one way to make it alright would be for Army to whip Air Force this weekend. Let's hope it can happen because they return to Michie Stadium to take on Rutgers.