Originally created 12/21/06

Jackets will be without QB Ball



ATLANTA - Academic issues will force Georgia Tech to play without quarterback Reggie Ball and cornerback Kenny Scott in the Gator Bowl.

Both were ruled academically ineligible Wednesday, head coach Chan Gailey said. Georgia Tech completed the fall semester with final exams last week.

"Although this is a very, very bad ending to the careers of these two young men, we can't forget the contributions they have made to the Georgia Tech program the last four years," Gailey said. "Hopefully, they will learn from this unfortunate experience."

The ruling ends the careers of the seniors and long-time starters.

Ball started 49 games over the past four seasons and ranks among the best quarterbacks in Georgia Tech history in several statistical categories. He led the Atlantic Coast Conference with 20 touchdown passes this season.

Redshirt sophomore Taylor Ben-nett will start in Ball's place in the Jan. 1 Gator Bowl game against West Virginia.

Scott, a three-year starter, ranked fifth on the team in tackles this season and was the Jackets' best cover corner. He intercepted two passes and broke up 10 more.

"You're disappointed for him and you're disappointed for the team," Gailey said of Scott. "He's been an important part of this thing for a long time. It hurts him as much as it hurts the team. There is no silver lining to this, other than somebody else gets a chance to play."

Sophomore Jahi Word-Daniels will start the Jan. 1 Gator Bowl game against West Virginia in Scott's place. Word-Daniels started four games opposite Scott earlier this season before losing the starting spot.

Reach Adam Van Brimmer at (404) 589-8424 or adam.vanbrimmer@morris.com.