With Gurley suspended, is Georgia done? (UPDATED II)

Todd Gurley has been one of the nation’s top Heisman candidates all season. (AP photo)

Todd Gurley has been one of the nation's top Heisman candidates all season. (AP photo)

Todd Gurley has been one of the nation’s top Heisman candidates all season. (AP photo)

Is it possible for a college football team’s realistic title hopes to end on a Thursday night in October?

Georgia running back Todd Gurley, a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy and the Bulldogs’ single biggest hope for winning the SEC East title and possibly playing in the inaugural college football playoff, has been suspended indefinitely.

The school announced in an email Thursday night that Gurley has been suspended from competition for “an ongoing investigation into an alleged violation of NCAA rules.” The assumption is Gurley will not play in Saturday’s SEC game at Missouri but that’s not mentioned in the news release.

Announcements like this usually generally indicate an investigation over whether a college athlete received an improper benefit, thereby compromising his amateur status.

UPDATE: Our Chip Towers and Tim Tucker are reporting that Gurley is alleged to have sold memorabilia and/or autographs.

Multiple persons connected with the program have told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Gurley is alleged to have violated NCAA bylaws regarding improper benefits for amateur athletes. The accusation is the result of the alleged sale of memorabilia and/or autographs, the sources said.

For the full story, go to MyAJC.com.

UPDATE II: Here’s a link to my fully updated column.

Former Georgia receiver A.J. Green received a four-game suspension in 2010 for selling his Independence Bowl jersey for $1,000 to a North Carolina man who was considered by the NCAA an agent or someone who markets athletes.

Former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was investigated for selling autographed memorabilia last year. Despite photos surfacing of Manziel signing items, the NCAA could not find any evidence that he received money for the autographs and ultimately reached an agreement with the school to suspend him only for the first half of the season opener against Rice for an “inadvertent violation” of rules.

Theoretically, Gurley’s suspension could be short or for the remainder of the season, depending on the violation and what can be proven.

Georgia’s news release quotes coach Mark Richt saying, “I’m obviously very disappointed. The important thing for our team is to turn all our attention toward preparation for Missouri.”

That will be easier said than done. The Bulldogs are 4-1 largely because of Gurley, who’s rushed for 773 yards, an 8.22 yards per-carry average and eight touchdowns in only five games. Georgia ranks 10th nationally in rushing and 108th in passing.

Gurley is the nation’s consensus leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy. In ESPN’s latest Heisman Watch, he was given nine out of 10 first-place votes by the website’s panel of experts. The only other first-place vote went to Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott.

FOR THE FULLY UPDATED COLUMN ON MYAJC.COM, CLICK HERE.

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Reader Comments 0

194 comments
JamesWoodall Sr.
JamesWoodall Sr.

(Finish where cutoff). Of course Mr. Schultz was wrong. And that's good but I probably would have agreed with him before the game. Go Dogs!

cmac22
cmac22

Any Georgia fan who had title hopes I DELUSIONAL!!!  Things will ever be more than mediocre with the ccasional "almost great" season with Richt at the helm! After all, according to him, "we are about more than just winning football games here."  An incredible statement from a guy that makes a ridiculous amount of $ to win football games!!! Unfortunately for him, he is failing at winning games & nurturing kids!!

JamesWoodall Sr.
JamesWoodall Sr.

Lots of truth in what you say. But remember Richt is the best UGA football coach ever. There is no argument otherwise. And that includes our beloved Vince Dooley. Yes he won the big one but look who he had! If your blood is really red and black get behind the players and the coach and provide the most positive feedback you can. And of course hindsight o

BCW1
BCW1

There is an issue EVERY YEAR...this is getting OLD!!!!!!

Jmonty
Jmonty

A bunch ado about nothing...  UGA will limit the suspension..  If anything it will be 2 games.  He'll be back before they play Florida.  I foresee him coming back in the 2nd half of the Mizzou game, if they are losing.

39Concepts
39Concepts

will todd hire an agent and start working endorsement deals since he's suspended??  he can work full time getting ready for the combine!!

OH-IO
OH-IO

@LostGoat


Endorsements?


For all the Athens used car lots?


He's accomplished nothing

OldPhysicsTeacher
OldPhysicsTeacher

As far as breaking the rules, ... yeah, Gurley knew them.  I'm sorry for the guys working hard in the trenches to open the holes for him.  This was their chance to get a trophy.  Gurley screwed them and should apologize to his teammates for being an unappreciative  --- uh --- South-end of a North-bound mule!   

OldPhysicsTeacher
OldPhysicsTeacher

Race Horses:

room, board, free food, travel, medical care.


Sweat Shops:

room, board, food, medical care,... no travel though - they're locked into their room

Slavery:

room, board, food, medical care --- not as good as athletes, but they do have it


Oh, and tuition and small amount for books?  To keep them eligible, the coaches put everyone they can into "crip" courses - except for the rare -very rare - studious individuals.  Their degrees, when they do get them, are darned near worthless.

LGJR
LGJR

Gurley knew the rule and if he broke them will pay the consequeces.  Sucks, but it is what it is.

By the way, GA Tech did not vacate their ACC Championship over $387 of shirts - they lost it due to their unwillingness to cooperate with the NCAA investigation on that issue, right afer coming off probation from prior infractions.  NCAA said their was an ongoing lack of institutional control over NCAA rule compliance - that's why they lost their ACC Championshp.

DrTruth
DrTruth

@LGJR Actually, if my memory is correct (that's debatable), GT's D. Thomas investigation was headed by a former UNC grad who had a chip on his shoulder about GT.  And it wasn't an "unwillingness to cooperate" by GT.  It was a willingness to cooperate TOO MUCH.  After meeting with AD Dan Rad, which was supposed to be on the down-low, Coach Paul Johnson infuriated the NCAA investigators by basically telling the entire team, "We're under investigation by the NCAA...So if you see any of them around here asking questions, answer them."  That's kind of a no-no...


No question GT bungled the entire episode, presumably because those who should know that these things are serious, didn't think some shoes/shirts were that big of a deal.  Obviously it was...

brokensystem
brokensystem

Jeff, fight the urge to be this type of columnist. You and I both know that this story stinks. The rule is silly and dated.  The timing of the release is suspect.  The enforcement of the rules are inconsistent from player to player, school to school.  Mike Slive and Mark Emmert are corrupt and wallowing in the billions made off the Todd Gurlys of the world.  They are terrified they might have to share the wealth with the ones making the money.  The NCAA and SEC is no different than Nike running sweatshops in Vietnam.  Neither corporation pays the ones doing the labor.

OH-IO
OH-IO

@brokensystem


tuition, room, training table, swag, travel, medical care


Helloooooo

DrTruth
DrTruth

@brokensystem "Neither corporation pays the ones doing the labor."


Precisely WHY we all enjoy the college game so much...Even those who play it for a chance to go pro.  Would you prefer that recruiting be based on which school has the "best compensation plan"...Are you SURE you really want to go there?


Next you'll be wanting to pay high school players and screw that game up too...

POAD2014
POAD2014

No it was not a bad dream. .....I guess Gurley really is suspended.

It can't have been worth the money.....College sports are just crazy these days.It is a sad in Dog Nation.

96JB
96JB

I went late yesterday to visit Munson's grave. There was a fresh grave next to him. The tombstone read

" Old Lady Luck".............

96JB
96JB

some are asking if he has to sit out say 2 games can the second half of the Carolina game count?

96JB
96JB

title hopes ????? With this defense and QB. Most Dawg fans had come to the conclusion that this season was very iffy anyway. The ONLY reason there was any hope of us getting to Atlanta was the weakness of the East, not anything we were worthy of. Not bashing my team, just the truth.

96JB
96JB

Dawgs 108 in NCAA passing by the way. Not 40......108 of 120. He'll have his chance now. No gurley and no excuse of no malcom mitchell.

GT_Falcons_Fan_GT500
GT_Falcons_Fan_GT500

LOL, I am loving these UGA fans crying now about paying players when they had very little sympathy for Johnny Manziel. To quote Michael Scott, "Ohhh....how the turn tables"


As a GT fan who had to deal with losing an ACC championship for $387 worth of shirts, I have very little sympathy for Todd Gurley. Great football player, but looking like a very selfish and stupid teammate. 


BTW, "big time" college athletes do not need to be paid. At all. School's make plenty of money off student's it's just not as direct, but if someone is worried about getting not paid for their college jersey sales, then they are likely getting ready to make multi millions in the NFL, whereas when I get done with school, I make less than 80K with a masters and 50K of debt. Sorry. As a multiple college degree graduate, I have literally zero sympathy for athletes getting a free ride and not having a little pocket change. I went to college and paid for it, couldn't work, ate .13 cent noodles to get by and still came out with 50K in debt and no millions to be found after my 3 years....excuse me 5 years, sorry. Didn't the opportunity to leave after 3 for millions. 

OH-IO
OH-IO

Wake up 350


Wake up 350

OH-IO
OH-IO

4 games


Book it

GT71
GT71

It isn't as if they couldn't reinstate the guy tomorrow so hold your water there, mutts.  No need to throw in the towel yet.

Yet, if true it wouldn't be surprising.  You can take these kids out of their 'hood', but you can't take the culture out of the kid.  Knowing it's banned ,knowing you are in the spotlight, having had all the talks and warnings, STILL they do this kind of crap

Why?  Because they're brought up to think they are God's gift to the world and have been allowed to slide and coast through problems of their own creation since about age 10 - when their athletic prowess overwhelmed their family, friends and communities.

Hope it isn't true, but smoke presages fire.

96JB
96JB

@GT71 Gurley is not a " Hood" guy. He comes from a middle class FAMILY. Do your homework before you elitist attitude takes over.

OH-IO
OH-IO

I have video of Todd Gurley doing a private autograph signing ***. He has been paid thousands of dollars for his stuff over the last 18 months. I personally paid him for this signing on the video. I have bought and sold game used equipment from him.

I want no compensation. Just want someone to leak this story that's deserving. If you have any interest, give me a call or email. I attached a photo of him in my car signing a mini helmet that I just sold last week on my eBay store.

All I ask is some privacy until we can touch base.

I live on Georgia and would crucified if my name was released.

The video is about 5 minutes long but doesn't show the money exchange.

My cell is **********

I believe this would be the lead story on sports center if ESPN got their hands on this. Hope to hear from you soon.


SBNation vis foxsports.com


Baghead
Baghead

@OH-IO LOL.  Who cares.  Defense is a joke anyway.

OH-IO
OH-IO

Freshman Nick Chubb would likely start the Missouri game in Gurley's absence, with sophomore Brendan Douglas as his primary backup. Two running backs -- freshman Sony Michel and junior Keith Marshall -- are out with injuries.


==========


The Injuries

OH-IO
OH-IO

Where are brooks dog and reganite?


Eating their tough guy Wheaties?

HowdyJune
HowdyJune

Something is very wrong with this picture.  The quarterback at Florida State is being investigated for rape yet he is still playing.  Johnny Manziel continued to play while the investigation proceeded.   Neither Todd Gurley or Georgia fans should be penalized while the investigation proceeds.  Suppose that the investigation into Todd Gurley ends up like that of Johnny Manziel with no evidence of any wrongdoing and the season, but the season is over?  Yet the Georgia program, the Georgia football team, and Todd Gurley will have paid a terrible price.


Something is just wrong with denying Gurley the opportunity to play for Georgia while this investigation is taking place.  

Browndawg
Browndawg

Good luck to Todd no matter how this turns out. He is a great football player and will be fun to watch on Sundays. I hope you are drated by a compettive team and that you have a wonderful pro career. Thank you for making UGA a better footbal team. All the best in the future and hopefully your suspension is short but if it drags into the season then don't think about comming back as the possibility for a career endin injury increases. Good luck!

39Concepts
39Concepts

the ncaa need to start paying players at big time schools some big money to stop them from selling stuff for money.  they should get paid at least 2,000 per month for all the millions they bring in to pay these obscene salaries for coaches and ADs.  if not, they should go on strike to get all the money they want.  they need a union.

jmg25h
jmg25h

Can we get rid a MR now????? I know he didn't commit the infraction but he clearly STILL has no control over his players.

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

I feel bad for Gurley who had a legitimate shot at a Heisman but as far as UGA goes, their NT hopes were done after losing to a weak USC team. Nothing new as UGA has excelled in mediocrity ever since Richt took over.

moonbat_betty
moonbat_betty

Tech will still get beat down like a red headed step child.




GT71
GT71

@moonbat_betty  Way to stay on task there, Moonie.  And not to put too fine a point on it or be too pedantic, it's 'red-headed' and 'stepchild'.

And we'll just play the game anyway if you don't mind.

DrTruth
DrTruth

This has to be the most horrible, terrible and disgusting news that could have ever come out this week about the UGA football program!  And it couldn't have happened to a more deserving group of college football fan arseholes...Drinks are on me!!

moonbat_betty
moonbat_betty

and the bees gathered and had a big circle jerk.



bZZZZZZZZZZ   zzzzzzzzzzz



TravisBickle2014
TravisBickle2014

@moonbat_betty another classy UGa fan posting a Homophobic comment. Are all you Mutts in middle school or did you not mature past that age?

TravisBickle2014
TravisBickle2014

@moonbat_betty nice to see you deleted your really homophobic comment to edit it to this QUESTION.

Well What is a Circle Jerk? If you don't know then maybe you shouldn't use the term......I guess you are the Pivot person right?.......LOL

TravisBickle2014
TravisBickle2014

@moonbat_betty Yes I did! What is a Circle Jerk? You think telling a bunch of male posters to engage in a Circle jerk then that is Homophobic. You are calling out Tech posters manhood and implying they have sexual preferences for men.

DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

Time to end the amateur charade at least to the realization that if a person has gained enough notoriety that idiots will pay good money merely for their autograph. let 'em.

DrTruth
DrTruth

@DewieCheatem_n_Howe Great idea!  Just destroy the fact that college sports are AMATEUR sports and that's exactly why we love them so much more than the pros.  Your fav player gets caught and you want to ruin college football...Yikes!!

DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

@DrTruth 

Not my favorite player at all. If you think that college football is truly an AMATEUR sport I have a bridge you can buy.