Why I can’t be mad at A.J. Green

I’ll be honest. My first reaction when I heard of A.J. Green’s four-game suspension was one of anger.

And it wasn’t because Green owes any of us anything. I want to see the guy play because he’s a great player. And when there is a big game like Saturday’s between Georgia and South Carolina I want both teams to have all of their weapons. I love college football and I want to see great players play. And we’ve got too many guys who are not playing right now because of NCAA rules violations.

No, I was angry at A.J. because it seems so unnecessary. Early next year A.J. Green is going to be a very wealthy man because he is going to turn pro. So the money was coming. A.J. is a smart kid and he knew that there is no level where selling his jersey for a lousy $1,000 bucks was not a rules violation. The risk/reward/punishment equation for doing this just didn’t add up.

If this NCAA ruling stands (three more games on suspension), and it shouldn’t because it’s excessive, what should be an unforgettable junior season for Green will be forever tainted with “Yeah, he was good but he missed four games.” That made me sad and, at first, angry.

But I learned a long time ago that it’s easy for us adults to wag our fingers and say “Hey, those are the rules. You gotta follow them.” We’re not in the kid’s shoes. We don’t have to watch while the schools fill the stadiums, accept millions from television and make more millions from selling his jersey (with his name on it) while the system pats us on the head and assures us that our day is coming if we’ll only be patient. We really only learn that kind of patience as an adult. Youth, by its very defintion, is not patient.

Understand that the NCAA makes these rules not to regulate what actually happens, like one kid selling a jersey for $1,000. The rules are in place to control what COULD happen–like a kid selling 500 jerseys (provided to him by an agent) for $1,000 each. The NCAA punishes the nickle and dime stuff in hopes of preventing something really big and bad from happening.

When Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant lied to investigators about his relationship with Deion Sanders, the NCAA banned him for the rest of his junior season. Bryant was not truthful but was his lie REALLY that bad? Well, no but the move sent a chilling message to other athletes: Lie to NCAA investigators and you’re done. That message was received and understood. Now before every interview with the NCAA the kid has the fear of God put in him. That was by design.

Yes, the financial end of college athletics is certainly to the benefit of the schools. It’s all one big double standard, we know that. But certain things are just a blatant slap in the face to these guys. The fact that A.J. Green may lose a third of his junior season for selling a jersey while the University Bookstore sells a bunch of them is a double slap. It’s the establishment telling these kids: We can make money off your talent and fame in every damn way we please. If you try it, though, we’ll use the rules to take you out and to keep you in line.

The NCAA enforcement people have been working overtime this summer trying to keep a lid on a bunch of these issues from Agent Gate to Hotel Gate. At the core of all of them is a system where the athletes realize on a daily basis that they are getting a raw deal. They get to the point where they don’t care any more. It’s “hey, if they catch me they catch me but I’m not taking this any more.”

  We as fans wonder where the loyalty is to the institution. But through the eyes of a young kid from modest or poor circumstances, that loyalty street seems to only run one way.

I don’t have a lot of answers for you this morning but I would suggest this: A school like Georgia should be able to sell all of the No. 8 jerseys it wants. The jersey and the number belong to the school.

But when some schools–and I am told that Georgia is not one of them–start putting name on the back on the jersey then you have crossed an ethical line. What the kid did on the field made that jersey more valuable than a generic one. He created that extra value and cannot share in it. So the school shouldn’t share in it either.

So let’s just end that practice. Is it a little thing in the grand scheme of things? Absolutely. But it would be one less slap in the face to a group of people who are getting tired of being pushed around.

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847 comments Add your comment

Jon

September 9th, 2010
3:49 pm

Same old argument every time something like this happens. It’s a waste of time talking about it. Nothing will change.

Tech magnet

September 9th, 2010
3:50 pm

Yes, because the series was decided on long before Saint Nick was bought off and came to town. Anything else you need answers to son?

BAMA dude

September 9th, 2010
3:50 pm

Agreed, gdawg. You have some sense about you.

Tech magnet

September 9th, 2010
3:51 pm

Good one. If a team will play Vandy then that proves they aren’t afraid of UGA. Brilliant!!!

Tide Rising

September 9th, 2010
3:51 pm

When asked on the SEC coaches’ weekly teleconference Wednesday, Richt reiterated his belief that Georgia doesn’t need to play more than one BCS-level non-conference opponent per season.
“We’ve been doing it, but I don’t think we need to do it anymore, quite frankly,” Richt said. Sept. 2nd, 2010

Tech magnet,

And you think its the big 10 trying to avoid Georgia. Mark Richt’s own words indicate otherwise.

BAMA dude

September 9th, 2010
3:51 pm

Tech magnet

September 9th, 2010
3:50 pm
Yes, because the series was decided on long before Saint Nick was bought off and came to town. Anything else you need answers to son?

Son? You honestly think you’re intellectually superior?

Oh, my…

HANGMAN

September 9th, 2010
3:52 pm

Tech magnet

September 9th, 2010
3:52 pm

LOL,

Bama dude only agrees since he lost the stat numbers vs. number of games played debate ;)

gt

September 9th, 2010
3:52 pm

I want to hear the fury of Spike’s poking a Georgia player in the eye during that Florida game one more time. Lucky it happened in Florida, the boys down at Reidsville were dusting off the electric chair till they found it was out of their jurisdiction.

Maybe ,Tony, this kid Green doesn’t belong in college. I keep hearing how smart he is, smart like street smart like Al Capone smart, what measure of IQ are we comparing this child. He obviously doesn’t appreciate a college education, good reason for him not to be offered one. In the real world people turn down Georgia to go to Vanderbilt if they are able to pay for both, Vandy probably cost a 100,000 to go to, Georgia is free to the same in state student. In the football world they turn down Vandy or even Harvard to go to Georgia. They’re selling those jerseys at the Georgia bookstore for 1000 dollars, more reason to go to Vandy, at least the jerseys are cheaper there.

Tech magnet

September 9th, 2010
3:53 pm

I don’t think it, I know it. Given the fact you haven’t been remotely close to making any sense the whole time you’ve been on here. Again, no comparison

Give me a break

September 9th, 2010
3:54 pm

If we are talking about distinguished alumni now- what about ex Georgia star Terreal Bierria being arrested for murder in Louisiana or that fine basketball student athlete Tony Cole who has a rap sheet a mile wide? Or Odell Thurman , Arthur Marshall, Quincy Carter, all fine upstanding citizens. And sharp as tacks, too.

gdawginkalamazoo

September 9th, 2010
3:55 pm

Bama dude, “Agreed, gdawg. You have some sense about you.”

Thanks, now if you could convince my wife.

Tide Rising. Are you kidding me? Ohio State wouldn’t touch a top tier SEC team with a ten foot pole. And that includes UGA and we aren’t exactly top tier (yet).

Jake

September 9th, 2010
3:55 pm

I know that Bama folk think family inbreeding is acceptable, but it’s astonishing that they are completely clueless on the fact that these games were scheduled years ago. Back when Bama would celebrate being a .500 come season’s end.

fosterjoiner

September 9th, 2010
3:57 pm

I think the ncaa needs to fire the entire punishment committee. They need to show UGA the evidence the person is considered a sports agent and let the presidents decide if the punishment fits the crime. It is a stiff punishment for a minor crime. The ncaa needs to right the wrong and reinstate the player for this weeks game. The longer it takes the less respect I have for the NCAA. They do what is right or fire the leadership.

Tide Rising

September 9th, 2010
3:57 pm

Tech magnet,

As I just pointed out in Richt’s own words UGA will not be seeking any major home and homes with major bcs level teams. Tech is already a tough game and that will rank as one major noncon game per year which is enough for anybody since they will be a good team as with cpj at the helm.

And not to pick on Georgia but the past bcs opponents aren’t exactly the top shelf teams in their conferences. Ok state was a decent preseason top 10 pick but didn’t finish ranked. They are a middling team that has never even won their division. ASU is bad and I think finished something like 5-7 when UGA played them. Colorado- gimme a break. 4 straight losing seasons including 3-9 last year in the worst division in college football. This is not playing a team that is typically in the top 3 teams in its conference like an OU, Penn State, or VT.

like shooting fish in a barrel

September 9th, 2010
3:57 pm

Give me a break –

Please, list for me any of those that you mentioned that graduated from UGA. I’m looking forward to your response.

kauai dawg

September 9th, 2010
3:57 pm

Mr. Football. I can and I am mad at AJ. From statistics I see only a small number, under 10 athletic departments in all of college athletics made a profit.

The student athletes do recieve great benefits. Scholarships for an education. The spotlight to become known. This is getting way out of hand.

Yes agents and others have a lot to do with the culture of deception and rules violations but let’s not say the athletes are not benefiting and the small percentage that do go to the NFL can be patient for their pay checks.

Go DAWGS from a dissappointed one.

dawg fan

September 9th, 2010
3:57 pm

I’m talking numbers of arrest at other schools this year.

Give me a break

September 9th, 2010
3:59 pm

From an unbiased readers standpoint, Bama Dude is the one making sense here. We all read the quote from Richt about scheduling cupcake out of conference games going forward. And yet the morons on this blog are saying that Big 10 schools are ducking Georgia. Something doesn’t add up.

Tech magnet

September 9th, 2010
3:59 pm

Tide Rising,

Hmmm….you aren’t so quick on the uptake there are you chief? Key word you quoted was MORE. He didn’t say none, he said MORE. Just like Bama isn’t playing MORE nor anybody else.

I bet your little fat face is so red in anger right now ;)

BAMA dude

September 9th, 2010
3:59 pm

Yeah, I lost.

Moron.

Tide Rising

September 9th, 2010
4:00 pm

Jake,

That’s not quite true either. A lot of these games weren’t scheduled years and years earlier. They were generally scheduled 2 years in advance. For example Bama scheduled VT with one year’s notice. Same with Clemson and UNC-LSU was scheduled with about a year’s notice.

bawahahahahahaha!!!!!!

September 9th, 2010
4:00 pm

Give me a break is siding with the other tools on here that have been bioootched slapped silly all day!!! LOL!!!! Hilarious!!!! I’m sure Bama dude is ecstatic to be in your esteemed company, LOL!!!!!

Paul in RDU

September 9th, 2010
4:00 pm

PSU has done home and homes with Nebraska, Texas, SoCal and are doing it with ALA. I guarantee that they are not scared of UGA

WVMountaineer

September 9th, 2010
4:00 pm

Love Tony, but he’s a homer.

Tired of this whole thing about “he’s making the school millions of dollars”.

Hey, whose giving the kid the opportunity/exposure/’chance’ at stardom?

To those of you saying college players should get paid…..SHUT UP.

ARdawg

September 9th, 2010
4:01 pm

I wasn’t a football player and certainly no AJ Green but when I played some college ball and had an opportunity (never did but if) to collect $1K ANYWHERE, I would have done it. Of course a grand would go a lot farther back then than now but college life is still college life.

4 games doesn’t fit the crime when measured to the other recent incidents of other teams. AJ should pay his due but not singled out “because” he is AJ. Thats just plain wrong.

AJ, you got caught and its time to pay the piper. Life just ain’t always fair

dawg fan

September 9th, 2010
4:01 pm

AJ messed up. Big deal. He will sit out 4 games and UGA will be a happy 4-0 when he gets back.

Jake

September 9th, 2010
4:02 pm

You are correct with the fact that not A-L-L are scheduled so far in advance, but the games you are citing are due to vacancies on the schedules. Nothing more, meaning, they aren’t dropping cupcakes to replace them with out-of-conference BCS teams.

Dee

September 9th, 2010
4:03 pm

Pages and pages of BS. Whether AJ plays the next 3 games or not, he’s still going to make millions more than anyone whining about it here.

meek

September 9th, 2010
4:03 pm

Paul,

I think you actually mean nobody is scared of PSU and are happy to schedule them

takedowndawg

September 9th, 2010
4:04 pm

my apologies, reasonable. I became a rabid DAWG fan in South Georgia when there were only four TV stations available(one of those PBR). Saturday football on TV in my area consist of watching Notre Dame, Michigan, Penn State and few other teams that could afford to pay the top dollar that TV stations was requiring at the time. What interest would a southern boy, like me, have in watching these teams play?. Not much. Then, Larry Munson entered the scene and became the radio voice of the Georgia Bulldogs.. It was on radio that I became a huge Georgia fan and Larry being the prime reason for my zeal. I played seven years of football and enjoyed every minute of it. I am sure that my story was mirrored many times over by others like me were impacted by the great the Larry Munson during this time period! Larry, we miss you. Go DAWGS!!!

Give me a break

September 9th, 2010
4:04 pm

like shooting fish in a barrel- just like the GT players mentioned in here never graduated from Tech. Reggie Ball and Michael Johnson. So if they are players that don’t graduate, you don’t claim them? Again, a Dawg fan creating his own reality. Nothing new there.

DawgTired

September 9th, 2010
4:05 pm

It’s only 4 games, yes, but that’s a third of the season right there. My only hope is that we go undefeated during this stretch (ideally the whole season, but you catch my drift) and aren’t left to wonder “what if” when he returns.

ol' balls coach

September 9th, 2010
4:05 pm

What I find absurd is the NCAA making an example over “violations” such as this when you have 10 or so UT players involved in a bar brawl with two being arrested, a police officer in intensive care, and Dooley is taking very little action – other than telling them to shower! Maybe the NCAA needs to spend more time policing coaches who will do whatever it takes to keep thugs on the field.

Tide Rising

September 9th, 2010
4:05 pm

Tech magnet,

Perhaps you need some help in reading comprehension,

“Richt reiterated his belief that Georgia doesn’t need to play more than one BCS-level non-conference opponent per season.”

That means that Georgia does not need to play MORE than GT which is fine since the GT game alone constitutes one tough bcs level noncon opponent per season.

Incidentally we play 2 bcs level conference opponents this year. You might want to do a little research there little fella on top of working on your reading comprehension.

BAMA dude

September 9th, 2010
4:05 pm

What’s your point Jake? The argument was that Big 10 teams won’t schedule UGA out of some level of fear or something. But Ohio State scheduled Texas and Miami. Does it matter exactly WHEN the games were scheduled?

BOARD VOTE

September 9th, 2010
4:06 pm

Who has been the best, most entertaining blog punching bag today?

A. Turd Rising
B. Bama Dude
C. Give me a break
D. GT Scum

BAMA dude

September 9th, 2010
4:07 pm

Tide Rising, I can’t brag about Duke. They are as close to non-BCS as it gets.

Jake

September 9th, 2010
4:07 pm

I’ve made my point pretty clear. You on the other hand haven’t, which is why you are so angry and bitter.

Tide Rising

September 9th, 2010
4:09 pm

gdawginkalamazoo,

I gotta disagree. I know that LSU and UF put butt whuppings on OSU but I still don’t think they are in fear of us. They played USC which was whacking Ark and AU in embarrassing fashion just a few years earlier. And they played Texas when they had Vince Young. Does it get any harder than scheduling USC and Texas at their peaks?

dawg fan

September 9th, 2010
4:10 pm

They will be unbeaten when he comes back. The games he sat out last year UGA had much better showings on “O”. Why. Because they ran the ball more. That’s what UGA does best.

Tech magnet

September 9th, 2010
4:10 pm

Wow, stupidity really must be a Alabama thing. Maybe you should at least glance at UGA’s schedules before embarrassing yourself.

No Einstein. We play GT every year. You are forgetting the ASUs, OSUs and COs apparently.

You really aren’t very bright, are you?

BAMA dude

September 9th, 2010
4:10 pm

Punching bag? Ha…

This from some of the ultra delusional UGA fraternity who truly believe they’ll be national title contenders soon.

Tide Rising

September 9th, 2010
4:11 pm

Bama dude,

Duke is still a bcs member and were 5-7 last year. Obviously not great but kinda like Miss State where you can’t go to sleep on them like maybe San Jose State or LA-Lafayetter. Duke has won some acc games recently and to me the acc is a pretty good, well balanced conference. If you go to sleep on them they can beat you.

that was just dumb

September 9th, 2010
4:12 pm

So turd rising, are you trying to imply that Bama plays THREE non-conference BCS games every year? Really? That’s all we can take from your idiotic comments……

BAMA dude

September 9th, 2010
4:12 pm

Tech magnet

But Tech sucks, right? That’s what UGA fans are always saying. ACC ball is JV and all that, high school offense, etc. Right?

So now, GT is big time football because WMR (Warden mark Richt0 says the schedule is tough enough? Hmmm….

Paul in RDU

September 9th, 2010
4:13 pm

meek – Any idea what PSU’s record is against the mighty SEC over the last 30 years?

gdawginkalamazoo

September 9th, 2010
4:13 pm

Tide Rising, When was the Penn State game scheduled for Bama? Before 2007 would be my guess.

Tide Rising

September 9th, 2010
4:14 pm

Tech magnet,

Just how stupid can you really be?

The news conference is from a week ago. He was simply making the point going forward that he doesn’t think Georgia needs to schedule more than one non conference foe. GT is that one noncon foe and going in the future Richt doesn’t want to schedule any more noncon bcs level foes. How difficult is this for you to understand?

Xavier

September 9th, 2010
4:14 pm

Bama fans,

Need you lest forget, you went through how many coaches before you threw the kitchen sink at Saban? How many guys turned you down? Saban is a nomad, as we all should agree on. Enjoy him while you got him and I’ll leave it at that.