Minus Gurley, Dogs have flaws to overcome

Hutson Mason may not have Todd Gurley to hand ball to for rest of season. (AP)

Hutson Mason may not have Todd Gurley to hand ball to for rest of season. (AP)

Hutson Mason may not have Todd Gurley to hand ball to for rest of season. (AP)

Georgia plays its final regular-season game in seven weeks. In the perfect Bulldog world, there will be a berth in the SEC championship game in two months and a golden ticket to the inaugural college football playoffs in the first two weeks of January.

In other words, at worst — or best — Georgia running back Todd Gurley would be free in three months to start making his millions as a professional athlete. But there are growing indications that Gurley couldn’t wait and now there’s a good chance he has played his final college game.

A source has told the AJC that the NCAA’s investigation into whether Gurley profited off his name by signing memorabilia items is “significant.” He may not be cleared to play for the rest of the season.

The source said that unlike in last year’s case involving Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, the NCAA has evidence that Gurley violated NCAA bylaws. The organization had proof that Manziel signed items last year but could not find evidence that he profited off the signatures and ultimately reached an agreement with Texas A&M to suspend him only for the first half of the Rice game.

The NCAA is expected to reach a decision on Gurley’s discipline by early next week.

I’m like most people who believe the NCAA is a misguided and borderline fraudulent organization with an antiquated set of rules. Their belief in the concept of true amateur athletics and that a scholarship should suffice as payment ended when school presidents and athletic directors began compromising academics and cutting multimillion-dollar television and merchandising deals. They recently lost the Ed O’Bannon anti-trust class action suit, which challenged the NCAA’s bylaws that prohibit college athletes from profiting off their likenesses

However, those rules still remain on the NCAA books. So if Gurley violated them, he did so knowingly and committed actions that potentially will affect teammates and submarine his team’s season. That’s not on the NCAA, that’s on Gurley.

Georgia officials must be sensitive to perceptions that they are profiting off Gurley’s name, even during his suspension. After it was noted in the AJC that GeorgiaDogs.com was still selling Gurley’s No. 3 jersey in its online shop, the school removed that from the store on Friday. A search of football jerseys for sale shows only numbers 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 24 and 26.

If the 20-year-old’s season really is done and the next time he carries the ball will be in the NFL, we’re about to find out something about this Georgia team. Great players like Gurley have the ability to cover up a team’s flaws. If those flaws are going to bury Georgia, we’ll probably find out pretty early in Saturday’s game against Missouri.

Here are a few thoughts going into Saturday’s game and potentially the rest of the season without Gurley:

1. It’s your show, Hutson Mason: The Bulldogs’ quarterback hasn’t been impressive. Maybe it’s first-time starter jitters. Maybe it’s the fact he has mostly had to operate the offense without his two best receivers and down-field threats, Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley. Maybe it’s the logic of having Gurley, the nation’s best player in the backfield, and feeling the obvious need to exploit that. Or maybe Mason just is not that good.

Regardless, this is the time he needs to step up. With backup running backs Sony Michel and Keith Marshall also out, that means Gurley’s duties largely will be filled by Nick Chubb and Brendan Douglas against Missouri. That’s a solid backfield but not one that’s likely to prompt defenses to game-plan around.

Mason will have to make plays so defenses won’t feel comfortable stuffing the inside and playing eight-man fronts while leaving outside receivers single-covered. If there’s one positive about this week, it’s that Mitchell may be back to full strength and Scott-Wesley also is expected to return after missing the first five games with a suspension and injury. Mason needs to play with more assertiveness and show more arm strength than he has to this point.

Mason ranks only 13th among SEC quarterbacks in passing yards with 687. Georgia’s offense ranks 10th nationally in rushing and 108th passing. More balance is a mandate.

2. Emotion and resolve to be tested: This has been a more emotionally stable team than some previous ones in Athens. Losing Gurley is a big hit and will test the team’s leadership, both in the locker room and on the sideline with coach Mark Richt. If the Dogs can come together and overcome this and somehow still go on to win Saturday and potentially the SEC East Division, it will be one of the great stories of the season.

3. Pruitt’s defense needs to grow up: Georgia has had some expected hiccups on the defensive side of the ball because of defections, dismissals and the team’s youth. With Gurley out and the offense presumably scoring fewer points, it follows that the Dogs’ defense needs to tighten up for the team to have a chance to win close games. Pruitt largely has been praised since coming to Georgia from national champion Florida State in the offseason but he was dealt a difficult hand this season. Like Mason, the defense also needs to continue to improve and show something they haven’t.

4. SEC East is wide open: It’s clear nobody is running away with the division and the conference’s power again seems to be in the West. South Carolina has lost three games and every other team in the East except Missouri (1-0) has lost at least one. So the division, and therefore a berth in the conference championship game, is still there for the taking.

But without Gurley, winning the East, and every game this season, will be significantly more difficult than expected.

Digital Jukebox
— MyAJC: If Gurley broke rules, blame him, not NCAA
— AJC: With Gurley suspended, is Georgia done?
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: No Gurley, no Dogs, no kidding
— AJC: Blank stands by Smith, Dimitroff. What say you?
— MyAJC: Arthur Blank won’t give Falcons’ mandates, speculate on future
— AJC: Falcons have turned this week into a must-win game
— MyAJC: Georgia Tech’s season may be turning into something special
— AJC: Short takes on Georgia Tech’s win over Miami, starting with … defense?
— AJC: Tech has a chance to take charge in ACC Coastal
— AJC: Braves should have left Gonzalez decision to new GM
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Tech, UGA win, Falcons continue kindness
— AJC: Are Braves waiting for Dayton Moore?
— MyAJC: Hawks are still playing wrong game off the court
— MyAJC: Falcons’ losses like this are on Mike Smith
— AJC: Falcons: No defense, no line, no chance
— MyAJC: John Hart says Braves ‘lethargic,’ need changes
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons, Dogs win, Rocker loses
— AJC: Braves’ Hart says he would be open to mentoring role
— AJC: Would Braves be better off not going “Braves Way”?
— MyAJC: Georgia is 0-1 but SEC East is still there for taking
— MyAJC: Full column: Frank Wren did a lot right but big things hurt him
— AJC: Quick blog: Frank Wren failed at major decisions
— AJC: Terry McGuirk is on the clock (updated)
— MyAJC: Georgia’s next 7 games are what really counts
— MyAJC: Falcons now realize they need to step on gas
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons win, Jackets lose, Goodell cowers

 

Reader Comments 0

216 comments
GTSteve
GTSteve

I feel for UGA and Gurley on this one, I really do....I wonder what the NCAA would do if a player signed some things for his/her parents, and the parents sold the stuff on EBAY......Can't really punish a kid for his parents giving him some money/

GTSteve
GTSteve

@gtcaryd @GTSteve

They should just blow the whole damn thing up. Make the NFL and NBA have a minor league system like Baseball and the kids that don't want to be students can just go straight to getting paid to play. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

DawgNole.....


Because you have attacked me personally over and over about the situation without cause. And you dare call me a "disgusting hypocrite."  You ignore the truth.   And he has 5 days to respond to the school's administration.   The head coach of FSU could suspend him "immediately and indefinitely".....and he should.  But you keep on stalking me.  The truth hurts.....but I have no doubt you will ignore and deflect. 

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@TampGator1 Tampa, i have no qualms with you.........but what happened to Treon is what happened to JW. And you did make disparaging remarks about JW and now defend your own Testosterone challenged QB.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@gtcaryd 


Sorry, I disagree with you........


Treon has been completely cleared of sexual assault by the Gainesville police and by the University of Florida.  Winston's case is still being investigated and he has not been cleared.....after all this time......of sexual misconduct and continues to play for FSU.  It is not the same.  And I have constantly attacked the Tallahassee police, the Tallahassee DAs office, and Winston for repeatedly doing the wrong things in public......but I have never posted that he is guilty of sexual assault.  In fact, I have posted that he is innocent until proven guilty when other have posted that he is a "rapist." 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@gtcaryd 


But I can tell you this.  DawgNole has constantly posted insults and personal attacks on here without impunity from the AJC.  But he refused to visit me and say those things to me in person when given the opportunity to do so in the past....as a real man would do. 

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@TampGator1 @gtcaryd The Authorities chose not to prosecute, i would say that means he is clear with them...right? He has been playing because i guess his coach really believes in innocent until proven guilty. Bud, there are a lot of guys doing long sentences in prison for rapes they did not commit.........see it on tv at a regular basis. JW is guilty of nothing besides being stupid and immature.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@gtcaryd 


But that is what DawgNole does. He copies and pastes other people's perspectives and opinions and attacks them and insults them......and like OH-IO.....rarely if ever posts his own original perspectives and opinions.  They do it because they crave 15 minutes of fame on here each day in their lives.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@gtcaryd


I guess that was someone else walking out of Publix with an unpaid for shellfish.  And what he yelled on top of that table was stupid and immature......but also highly inappropriate for a QB of a major football program. He would not have played the following week for Will Muschamp, I can tell you that (as Harris is not playing this week even though the charges were found invalid).  And I do believe that the FBI is still investigating the local authorities in Tallahassee for their handling of the woman's charges vs. Winston.   And no, Winston is not currently guilty of sexual assault.  Never said he was.  

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@TampGator1 @gtcaryd He took the legs during BB season and was punished..........he was sit for a whole game, a tough one for the assembly blunder. And if they can prove he has raped a young coed i say lock his sorry a$$ up and put him in general population.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1 @gtcaryd

Once again, you lie. Tell it like it was. You wanted me to drive or fly all day to YOUR area and hope that you would show up. Are you that stupid? 

And as I said before, post your contact info on here, coward. I'll be in touch--a lot sooner than you want me to. 

Or you can keep hiding behind that keyboard.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1 @gtcaryd

Quit twisting, distorting, and deflecting, liar. What does the Publix incident have to do with alleged sexual assault?

And the only reason Harris isn't playing is because he hasn't practiced, you sanctimonious dimbulb.

Who the hell do you think you're fooling?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1 @gtcaryd

gtcaryd and PaulinNH are just two examples of posters who have "no dawg in this fight," but who easily see right through you, loser. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1 @gtcaryd

If he's innocent, then why are you "constantly attacking" him, two-faced liar? Is it your place to police the QB of an opponent--just like you think it's your place to police the blogs?

Grow up and quit obsessing over 20-year-old males.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1

What's the truth that I've ignored? You are, in fact, a disgusting hypocrite, and a liar, which you prove each and every time you respond to me after repeatedly vowing that you wouldn't--from your self-declared position as the high-and-mighty authority on all things.

The truth about Winston? As I've posted on these blogs more than a few times, he's a disappointingly immature college kid with character flaws who has brought shame and embarrassment to FSU, and I'll be surprised if he lasts the rest of this season--much less next. But until he's formally charged with a crime, he has every right to play. And YOU, of all people--considering your school's well-documented record of covering for shady characters--will NEVER get away with posting your snide potshots on here unchallenged. NEVER.

Intruder
Intruder

One vote of No Confidence in Mason.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@Intruder Mason is not going to win you a game, just long as he doesn't lose one you should be fine.

AtlantaWolf
AtlantaWolf

Shame on all the folks who voted for Winston for the Heisman last year. That award is a joke. It use to be about character on and off the field. Not anymore.

Princess_Leia
Princess_Leia

Looks like it's buh-bye time for Girly and the dwags. Too bad, so very sad.


NOT!

TampGator1
TampGator1

Florida State officials notified reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston on Friday that he will face a disciplinary hearing into charges about whether he sexually assaulted an FSU student in December 2012.

In a letter sent to Winston and his attorney on Friday and obtained by ESPN, FSU interim president Garnett Stokes and vice president for student affairs Mary B. Coburn notified Winston that he might be charged with as many as four violations of FSU's student conduct code, two of which involve sexual conduct.


Any bets on if Winston starts at QB for FSU on Saturday. Most likely, I would say.  

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1

And why would he not play? He has 5 days to respond. Of course, you conveniently left that part out, right, lying hypocrite?

PigIron
PigIron

@TampGator1

Forget about all of that "innocent until proven guilty" nonsense.

Freon Treon is back on the team!

TampGator1
TampGator1

@PigIron 


What exactly is nonsense about "innocent until proven guilty?"  Are you saying the constitution is nonsense? 

TampGator1
TampGator1

Hey DawgNole......fresh off the wires......... 


Florida State officials notified reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston on Friday that he will face a disciplinary hearing into charges about whether he sexually assaulted an FSU student in December 2012.

In a letter sent to Winston and his attorney on Friday and obtained by ESPN, FSU interim president Garnett Stokes and vice president for student affairs Mary B. Coburn notified Winston that he might be charged with as many as four violations of FSU's student conduct code, two of which involve sexual conduct.


Got anything else insulting to say about me?


DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1

Plenty, lying hypocrite, and I'm not the only one. See below.

Oh, and why don't you post the same thing about five MORE times so everybody can see your disturbing obsession with the QB of a rival that has kicked your team's gator tail 3 of the past 4 meetings.

TampGator1
TampGator1

OH-IO......


Where are you?  Spent the week defaming the name of one Treon Harris. Doubt you will come back on here and explain how stupid you look now.   

TampGator1
TampGator1

And funny how so many of you spent the week ripping Treon Harrs, Muschamp, and the Gators........and not one of you acknowledging his innocence now, or how well Muschamp and the U of F handled this situation.  Loved how Muschamp immediately reinstated Harris and publically supported his player after the girl dropped her charges. But I am sure she will spend tonight sleeping with two or three more guys to make herself feel better. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1

Sleeping with two or three MORE guys? So she lured him in, and the sex was consensual?

That's what Winston claims, too, but somehow you're not so forgiving of him.

Whining hypocrite.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Dewnsav @TampGator1

Exactly. Many parallels to the Winston case, actually. But the lying, delusional hypocrite tg1 won't see it any other way. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@Dewnsav 


People in Gainesville, who were witnesses to the night at the residence, say the girl slept with at least two other men that night.  And she was also very upset that Treon Harris was with another women that night after spending time with her earlier.  Obviously, Treon is a "player" when it comes to women, but not a rapist.

Dewnsav
Dewnsav

@TampGator1 T-Gator,,,you're playing the same game...implying this young woman/girl is easy...you don't know what happened, nor do I...and for the record, I didn't comment one way or the other on UF's newest savior at QB...I'm sure it was a tough gig for this young woman/girl facing the best lawyer money can buy...had to be intimidating...I'm not implying anything happened, but just because it was "dropped" doesn't mean nothing happened...go dogs

TampGator1
TampGator1

@DawgNole 


You are one evil minded person. I have repeatedly stated on here that Winston is innocent until proven guilty.  My grip is not with Winston concerning the sexual assault case, but with the Tallahassee police and DA's office and how they handled that situation, not with Winston, and with how FSU dealt with it as well.  The differences between them and the Gainesville police, DA, and U of F are obvious.  But Winston's character issues are obvious due to his repeated missteps in public.  But you just keep on spewing your hateful and mean spirited posts at me, along with your illogical and inaccurate nonsense from your dark centered mind.  Truth is,  I hate even replying to people like you.  It just feeds your lust for negativity on here. 

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@TampGator1 

Ah yes - character assassination at its finest. Let's repeat what unnamed witnesses - not under oath and not being cross examined - said in order to disparage the accuser,

Dewnsav has you pegged.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1 @DawgNole

If you hate replying, then stop replying, you lying blowhard. How many times have you promised to? 

And only this week you said you would keep on sniping at Winston, so don't get all sanctimonious now. Two-faced jerk.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@PaulinNH 


As stated on ESPN.com yesterday.......witnesses were interviewed by the police that openly stated that the woman slept with at least two other men that night and was later seen laughing and drinking hours after the incident supposedly occurred. And this is the main reason no charges were filed against Harris. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@DawgNole 


Never said Winston was guilty of anything.  You don't seem to get that.  I do think Winston has serious character issues, which have been played at additionally since the sexual assault deal.  2 plus 2 does not equal 7.....but it obviously does to you.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@DawgNole @TampGator1 

He can't help himself trying to get the last word.

Heck - he came on the blog and started posting to Schultz about how he should apologize for making wisecracks about Harris - all this when the blog is about UGA and Todd Gurley.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@DawgNole


Just in......some non parallels to Harris at Florida!!!!!!!!!!!!! 


Florida State officials notified reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston on Friday that he will face a disciplinary hearing into charges about whether he sexually assaulted an FSU student in December 2012.

In a letter sent to Winston and his attorney on Friday and obtained by ESPN, FSU interim president Garnett Stokes and vice president for student affairs Mary B. Coburn notified Winston that he might be charged with as many as four violations of FSU's student conduct code, two of which involve sexual conduct.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@DawgNole


Florida State officials notified reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston on Friday that he will face a disciplinary hearing into charges about whether he sexually assaulted an FSU student in December 2012.

In a letter sent to Winston and his attorney on Friday and obtained by ESPN, FSU interim president Garnett Stokes and vice president for student affairs Mary B. Coburn notified Winston that he might be charged with as many as four violations of FSU's student conduct code, two of which involve sexual conduct.


No.....this "disgusting piece of work" does not see the similarities.....and obviously neither does the FSU administration........FINALLY!!!!

TampGator1
TampGator1

@DawgNole 


Florida State officials notified reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston on Friday that he will face a disciplinary hearing into charges about whether he sexually assaulted an FSU student in December 2012.

In a letter sent to Winston and his attorney on Friday and obtained by ESPN, FSU interim president Garnett Stokes and vice president for student affairs Mary B. Coburn notified Winston that he might be charged with as many as four violations of FSU's student conduct code, two of which involve sexual conduct.


If you hate the truth, maybe you should stop attacking people who post about the truth.

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

@TampGator1 She would have never dropped the charges unless pressured to do so or paid enough to just go away. 

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@TampGator1 @DawgNole 

"I have repeatedly stated on here that Winston is innocent until proven guilty"

Which, of course, is exactly why you have posted about 4 times, the same cut and paste post from ESPN.com about Winston facing a hearing in front of the FSU honor court.  You seem to be challenging Dawg350 for lack of self awareness.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1 @DawgNole

"Might be charged"? You're still hoping, aren't you, hypocrite? And you're still responding to me, aren't you, liar?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1 @DawgNole

And you're still lying about not responding. Are you simply unable to restrain yourself? A lying hypocrite--and proud of it, too, aren't you?!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1 @DawgNole

And this gives you pleasure? What a sick mf.

Still blind and lying, hypocrite? Why don't you pompously pronounce once again that you "won't respond"? Liar.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1 @DawgNole

About not responding to me any more--over and over again--for months! S you're not only a smarmy hypocrite, but a liar. As PaulinNH has pointed out more than once, you're like a child who keeps trying to get in the last word. And you keep failing.

More disturbing is your obvious glee at the troubles of a rival school's student. Yes, you're a disgusting piece of work.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1 @DawgNole

And how many times are you going to post the same thing and gloat over it? What a sick-minded individual.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@PaulinNH


You and DawgNole.....peas in a pod.  Must be proud.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@DawgNole 


Florida suspended Harris immediately and indefinitely for "might be charged." And you are still attacking and insulting.........without cause other than your own sick cause., 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@DawgNole


How many times are you going to attack and insult me without cause other than your own?  I am not attacking you personally over and over again.  I am posting facts over and over again.  Big difference.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@DawgNole 


You keep insulting me and using inappropriate language with those insults.....and you call me a "sick mf."  Caught with your pants down and you still insult and attack.  Who exactly has the sick mind?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1 @DawgNole

Why don't you tell the others how many times you've self-righteously announced that you'd no longer respond to me on a blog, liar?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1 @DawgNole

My pants down? You wish, don't you. So your obsession has spread beyond your normal 20-year-old targets to other bloggers. Not something I'd be announcing in a public forum. Brings back memories of how you stalked that Braves blog poster for days until you were finally ridiculed/shamed off the blog.