Most people remember Georgia and Georgia Tech’s 2014 meeting for Mark Richt’s disastrous decision to squib kick, which played a big part in sealing the Bulldogs’ 30-24 defeat. But that won’t be why Georgia Tech student Ryan Gregory Pickren remembers that game.
Pickren will remember that game as the event that put him behind bars.
In a post he wrote on his Facebook page today, Pickren – the Georgia Tech student who hacked UGA’s master calendar prior to the game and scheduled an event that read “Get Ass Kicked by GT” – announced that the charges against him have been dropped. In his announcement, Pickren detailed how and why he posted what he did, and how it ended up sending him to jail.
“While sitting in my room waiting for Thanksgiving dinner, I decided that I was going to play a prank,” Pickren said in the Facebook post. “I pulled up the University of Georgia’s homepage and started poking around. A few minutes later I stumbled upon their master calendar for campus events. I will spare you the technical details, but I had a hunch that I could circumvent their approval process by carefully forming an HTTP POST request.”
“In shock that it actually worked, I ran downstairs to show my parents what I had done,” Pickren continued. “I informed them that IT departments these days would find it funny and that the university expects pranks this time of year. My family laughed and gave me high fives.”
Later that night, Pickren said, he found an ESPN report that had come across his prank. The media attention the prank received quickly spread from just ESPN to outlets across the Internet and the Southeast. UGA’s police department launched an investigation and a few weeks later pinpointed Pickren, who was not aware what he had done was illegal, as the culprit.
A warrant eventually went out for Pickren’s arrest on the charges of Computer Trespass. Pickren spent Christmas Eve 2014 in a jail cell, but eventually plead out of the charges into pretrial diversion and completed mandatory community service.
As of today, Pickren is still a Georgia Tech student and expects to graduate in with a degree in computer engineering.
You can read Pickren’s full post here.