Nobody looks good here: A.J., UGA or the NCAA

A win over South Carolina without A.J. Green definitely would be sweeter. (Associated Press)

A win over South Carolina without A.J. Green definitely would be sweeter. (Associated Press)

In the wake of all the ranting and tweeting we UGA fans did yesterday about the NCAA hammering A.J. Green, probably the wisest thing we can do is focus on what Mark Richt told his team: The Bulldogs football program is bigger than any one player.

Sure, the loss of Green for the South Carolina game (and two more if the school’s appeal fails) will hurt. OK, it’s not as bad as losing your quarterback or both your tailbacks. As someone noted, Green probably only would have touched the ball five to 10 times in the game. But let’s face it, those could have been among the most important five to 10 touches, making the difference between a first down and punting, or between scoring a touchdown and having to settle for three points — or no points.

Green is a big-play guy and while I’m not selling Tavares King and Kris Durham short, it’s unfair to expect them to just “step up” and take his place. They’re good; he’s great.

Still, it’s a team sport, and a decidedly more troubled Georgia squad showed last year that it can do pretty well without A.J., managing to hang on and beat Auburn after he went out with injury, and beat Georgia Tech without him. And it wasn’t the loss of Green that cost the Dogs the Kentucky game. The Gamecocks write off the Georgia receiving corps minus Green at their own peril.

So, yes, the Dogs’ task in Columbia got a bit more difficult, and it was going to be tough enough as it was. But if they somehow prevail, the win will be a bit sweeter, won’t it?

As for Green, my feelings are decidedly mixed. It was a dumb move to sell that jersey, especially to an “agent,” because he knew it was wrong. When you break the rules knowingly, it’s certainly a little more than “a mistake in judgment.” He let his team down.

Back in the summer when Green was saying that all Aaron Murray had to do “just throw it. It don’t have to be a great ball; it can be whatever, and I can make a play on it,” we saw that as a confident player just stating the facts. Maybe we should have seen it as a player who’d become a bit too full of himself. Who maybe thought he was bigger than the team.

Life has a way of equalizing things, though, and so Green may miss a third of his junior (and probably last) college season.

UGA can sell his jersey, but A.J. Green can't. (University of Georgia Bookstore)

UGA can sell his jersey, but A.J. Green can't. (University of Georgia Bookstore)

And yet as culpable as he is, the situation definitely isn’t fair to Green. As others have pointed out, colleges make millions off their players and UGA sells replicas of Green’s jersey, but he can’t sell his own jersey. Yes, it’s the rule, and he knew it was the rule, but it’s just one more example of the hypocrisy that riddles college sports and the NCAA.

What’s even more unfair is the four-game suspension handed down by the NCAA, which UGA is rightly appealing. Bama player Marcell Dareus got suspended two games for flying to a party in Miami at an agent’s expense while Green got four games for selling his jersey. Both broke the rules, but somehow that doesn’t look like equal treatment.

The NCAA said it reduced Dareus’ punishment because of “mitigating circumstances.” Hopefully those amounted to more than just playing for the defending national champion.

Bottom line: If A.J. had gotten into a fight in a bar or driven drunk, he’d have missed fewer games, and that’s just ridiculous.

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222 comments Add your comment

UGA

September 9th, 2010
10:18 am

Nicole

September 9th, 2010
10:19 am

I couldn’t agree with you more. I think the punishment is way too harsh for what he did. I am a Dawg fan but I wouldn’t wish this on any team.

Okay

September 9th, 2010
10:19 am

Second — And, Bill, you are correct.

Electric

September 9th, 2010
10:21 am

Did he sell his High School or College Jersey? I am hearing different stories.

ed

September 9th, 2010
10:21 am

or punch his girlfriend in the face and get suspended one game

Former D1 Athlete

September 9th, 2010
10:22 am

UGA can sell his jersey, but A.J. Green can’t. (University of Georgia Bookstore) —Its not HIS jersey. Im sick of all this whoa is me crap when it comes to NCAA players. They get to go to school and get an education. They live for free and they eat for free, their books are paid for. And “we” feel sorry for them. They also have the ability to make lots of money VERY SOON through the NFL. Im sick of this overwhelming sense of entitlement we show these STUDENTS. The funny thing is that the media now has the consensus that these “kings” are in some way treated unfairly. WHAT A BUNCH OF GARBAGE.

Former D1 Athlete

September 9th, 2010
10:23 am

AJ Green doesnt take “HIS” jersey home, they belong to UGA. Spare me Billy.

DawgNation

September 9th, 2010
10:24 am

Before the hate posters come on I agree with you Bill. This team has enough all around talent to make up for AJ’s absence. Time to work on the plan without him and move on.

guy

September 9th, 2010
10:27 am

if he’s really hard up for $$ why cant he just do what most other college kids do and get student loans? he could pay them back immediately with his NFL signing bonus after school. i don’t buy the whole ’system is corrupt’ argument. these kids get an opportunity to get an education, as well as the facilities, training, and stage they need to showcase their talent to get to the next level, to say nothing of the free room and board, tuition, food, etc.

no excuse for it in my mind.

RxDawg

September 9th, 2010
10:28 am

I think it’s time to let players go to the NFL whenever they want to. We have to remove the temptation of all this crap going on. Let’s get players who actually want to be there.

Jeff

September 9th, 2010
10:29 am

I wonder if Coach Richt understand the ANGER of the fan base over this. AJ and his lame appology was like a slap in my face considering the amount of money I have contributed to this program. If coach Richt was smart- he would sit him the entire season. AJ is full of himself and needs to be brought back to earth. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sick of this crap. AJ is SORRY HE GOT CAUGHT! For him to talk smack like he did saying just get it close to me. I hope Richt will not let him on the sidelines I dont want to see him laughing and playing around like I did this last week.

JayDawg

September 9th, 2010
10:31 am

D1 athlete so your saying when they sell a jersey with his name on the back that the value doesn’t go up its different if they sell it with just the #8 but when they start putting his name on it the jersey is his

Glory Glory

September 9th, 2010
10:31 am

Georgia doesn’t need AJ Green to win…….

just ask Georgia Tech………….. 30………..-………..24

baldy87

September 9th, 2010
10:32 am

Boo freakin’ hoo. THIS is exactly the kind of situation where young men get taught to shun responsibility. AJ gets a free education, free books, free room, free meals – and he repays the institution learning that is giving him all this by knowingly violating rules. This is the same institution that he’ll have to thank for the millions he will make next year. I say, kick him off the team, and maybe the next young man will actually make a decent decision. Enough is enough. It’s not okay to cheat – it’s not okay to wear your pants falling down around your ankles – it’s not okay to listen to music that glorifies prison, killing policemen, and having sex with “ho’s” – it’s not okay to conceive a child and then leave that child’s mother to raise it by herself – it is not okay to be a gangster – and it’s not okay to BREAK RULES. Let’s have the slightest amount of courage to stand up and say, “no – you cheated – get out.” And yes, I’m a Dawg fan, but I’m sick of it.

RAMBLE ON!!!

September 9th, 2010
10:33 am

“And yet as culpable as he is, the situation definitely isn’t fair to Green”

Hmmm, maybe if he wasn’t such a liar, it wouldn’t have cost him 4 games.

I guess you fleabags believe he didn’t take that trip to Miami too.

There is no bottom to how pathetic you mutts will go.

One thing is for sure though, you guy’s hit and run this state.

I can see the red panties falling from the sky.

Former D1 Athlete

September 9th, 2010
10:34 am

Jay, they dont put the names on the back of the jeresey’s do they?

DAWG TRAPPED IN AUBURN

September 9th, 2010
10:34 am

great point Bill. I think we’ll still be able to hang there with south carolina providing the defense holds them . I do think the defense will show up helping murray have a close win

Destin Dawg

September 9th, 2010
10:34 am

Appeal… it was a mistake in judgement by a 20 year old… not a huge crime.. 2 games is plenty.. Go AJ !!

Dawg House

September 9th, 2010
10:34 am

Universities should put a portion of the jersey sales for each player into a fund, and give them the money after they exhaust their eligibility.

The same cut should be required by each school, to avoid a recruiting advantage.

Destin Dawg

September 9th, 2010
10:35 am

here come the PATHETIC Techies..

CHDawg

September 9th, 2010
10:36 am

Folks,
I think UGA’s receiving corps is the deepest and best to ever grace the field in red and black. We will miss AJ, but the Dogs should do great without him. This could make us that much stronger for the latter half of the year. All things work together for good…A young man made a dumb decision, but sometimes we forget how hard things are financially for some of the players. Slap his wrist, maintain a deterrent, but the NCAA needs to remember that NCAA football is paying for most of the athletic departments and a whole lot more–the sentence needs to be lightened in my opinion.

Denver Dawg

September 9th, 2010
10:36 am

wondering what his family life is like… Where are you, mom and dad???? Somebody put some SPENDING MONEY in these kids’ pockets!! Then perhaps they can quit breaking the rules and letting their entire team down!

JayDawg

September 9th, 2010
10:37 am

Someone does cause I bought one

Dawg House

September 9th, 2010
10:37 am

RAMBLE ON……

you realize you just made something up, then go mad (envious) at us for it……… you see that right??

But maybe AJ Green should have not sold his jersey, and beat the crap out of his girlfriend like GT’s Robert Hall did. Then he would only have to sit out 1 game.

GeoffDawg

September 9th, 2010
10:37 am

…or attempt to gouge out someone’s eye and get half a game.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrew DeMillo, Alex Ramati, Tim Tucker, AJC Junkyard Blawg, Gordo and others. Gordo said: DawgFan Nobody looks good here: A.J., UGA or the NCAA: A win over South Carolina without A.J. Green definitely wou… http://bit.ly/af46Tu [...]

Bill what do you think

September 9th, 2010
10:38 am

CMR could see the writing on the wall, hence the redshirt comes off Mason and Gray moves to reciever. On the other hand I look for Kris Durham to have a big breakout year. It seems like forever back before the injury bug hit Kris but his first year he would catch everything thrown near him. Gray is also going to open some eyes this year. Having people to throw too is not something Murray should worry about. Yes A.J. will be a big plus when he returns but the world will not stop turning or the sun will not come up tomorrow because A.J. can’t play. Maybe the bar was raised somewhat but we still can get over it.

Dawg House

September 9th, 2010
10:38 am

Denver Dawg….

reports are, AJ’s dad recently lost his job, like so many other families struggling. It is also believed he sold his jersey as a result of this. Do not blame his parents for him trying to help his family out.

sogadog

September 9th, 2010
10:39 am

Former D1 athlete, well said.

BAMA STAN

September 9th, 2010
10:40 am

13 NATIONAL TITLES – 22 SEC TITLES!!!

A.J. did a double whammy:
1. Sold college memorabilia – NCAA punishment is missing 33.3% of the season games.
2. Illegal contact with an Agent.

$1000.00 for a jerey = payoff from an agent.

He did this to himself and in doing so – screwed over his teammates and UGA fans. He will miss SEC league games against SC, ARK and MISS ST.

We can gripe about the NCAA all we want to – but the players and coaches know the rules and you can not justify breaking the rules by stating how unfair it is for college kids to get to play football in front of huge crowds, have their college paid for – and a chance to play professionally making hundreds of thousands of dollars – if not millions – all before they turn 22 years old. If the NFL fails – they still have opportunity and education to make a great living – just like the rest of us that paid for our own education and go out everyday to make a living.

I have been very consistent:
1. When BAMA was caught cheating – we deserved the penalties we got – and let’s face it – it could have been worse. BAMA broke the rules – we need to be held accountable. we needed to clean house and start over.
2. Same applies to all current Bama players – I have no problem with whatever suspensions were handed down to BAMA players for their actions.
They break the rules – HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE!!!

UGA has lost plenty of games with AJ GREEN on the field – and have won plenty of games without AJ Green on the field.

UGA will be just fine without him – and I still think will beat USC in Columbia.

guy

September 9th, 2010
10:40 am

dawghouse: doing that still gives a recruiting advantage to larger schools. a school like texas can offer a recruit a hell of a lot more $$ from jersey sales than one like clemson, just based on the size of their fanbase. even if the % cut is the same, larger schools will still be able to offer the promise of more $$.

RAMBLE ON!!!

September 9th, 2010
10:40 am

Dawg House,

You got me. I really can’t see red panties falling from the sky.

AthensBodhi

September 9th, 2010
10:44 am

Former D1 athlete… You are wrong about the school owning his jersey. Players get Their jerseys as a bowl gift after every season. I know because mine are framed in my parents basement. Learn your facts before u open your mouth.

RAMBLE ON!!!

September 9th, 2010
10:45 am

Robert Hall was trying to defend himself from his hot headed girl friend who lost control. He never threw a punch. Her injuries were due to her own actions.

Scott W.

September 9th, 2010
10:46 am

@Jeff if you don’t like the return on your investment quit contributing. Everyone is as tired of hearing where’s my Championship as you are of hearing the self aggrandizement by AJ Green. Do you know AJ?

just fyi

September 9th, 2010
10:47 am

Just fyi to the person who suggested it, when you’re on full scholarship and get a meal plan, you can get grant money based on need, but not a student loan for costs beyond the Pell Grant. There’s no demonstrated need for it.

thUGa watcher

September 9th, 2010
10:47 am

Players agree to obey the rules when they sign. If they do not, stuff happens. Lying increases penalty.

If this thug stuff occured at other schools, you non-alumni would be gleeful.

Scott W.

September 9th, 2010
10:48 am

Where are you Mom and Dad? Denver Dawg, ever consider that AJ’s parents can’t afford to send him $. That maybe he did this to send them $.

BAMA STAN

September 9th, 2010
10:49 am

13 NATIONAL TITLES – 22 SEC TITLES!!!

One more thing – AJ did make a bonehead decision – and is being held accoutable. It’s not like he is a now a convicted felon. Hold him accountable – then move on.

robodawg

September 9th, 2010
10:51 am

Agreed on all points. Hope we pull this one out without him. Missing that many games will knock him out of the individual awards too. A complete season with the expected highlight catches might have taken him to New York.

Scott W.

September 9th, 2010
10:52 am

With a fan base like this who needs Tech?

GO DAWGS

September 9th, 2010
10:54 am

I hope the appeal works!! I’m disappointed in AJ and ALL the Dawgs that have gotten in trouble, but I just don’t see how people can blame CMR for players actions while off the field and on THEIR own! Their scholarships don’t come with 24 hour babysitters. At some point they have to have common sense and responsibility. It makes me believe even more that college players that are on full rides should have to play out their entire 4 year career or payback the school for launching their multi-million dollar career if they leave early. GO DAWGS!

GeoffDawg

September 9th, 2010
10:54 am

“Her injuries were due to her own actions.”

RAMBLE ON!!!, your wife’s divorce lawyer probably just made a “ca-ching!” sound while pumping his fist.

AthensBodhi

September 9th, 2010
10:54 am

P.S. There are a lot of people on here taking shots at a 21 year old kid they have never met. I hope that makes you’ll feel really cool. Imagine if your worst decision was national news!? Get off your high horse!

DawgNation

September 9th, 2010
10:54 am

I wish any of you who constantly mouths off that AJ lied to prove it. What part of the NCAA findings stated he lied? Also prove he went to Miami. The NCAA did not come to this conclusion and from what he was found guilty of never mentioned the Miami trip investigation. So put up or shut up your slanderous comments unless you can provide proof.

turkeycaller

September 9th, 2010
10:55 am

I agree with your leading point that nobody looks good in this thing. I also agree the kid could have felt he was more important than the team. However, he won’t play against SC and two other games as well. Suit up and play football. This thing is history and I think the team will move on in a positive direction.

Furman Bishop

September 9th, 2010
10:56 am

Richt better get use to playing without Greene. Greene ain’t going to be around next year anyway. Come to think of it, if things don’t improve in Athens soon, Richt may not be around much longer either.

RAMBLE ON!!!

September 9th, 2010
10:57 am

btw, my red panties are size XXXL, in case any of you boys were wondering ;)

hypocracy

September 9th, 2010
10:58 am

i dont agree with the president, so i’m not going to pay my taxes.
it’s not right that the us government is using my money to fund things i don’t agree with.
when i get thrown in jail, tony, will you be writing an article on my behalf?

didn’t think so, buddy.

we got two sets of rules folks………

Gbal

September 9th, 2010
10:58 am

Former D1 Athlete – As big a UGA fan as there is, but you are correct and I can not believe the writers are defending him. Bill and Barnhart of all people. We all live by rules and pay the consequences for breaking them. They are getting a full ride education and a path/training to the NFL – A university is getting procededs from jersey sales in return to support the entire atheletic program at the school and to pay all the kids expenses. Not a bad deal at all. And not a bad rule.

He took money from an agent/supporter – A $45 jersey for $10000.

Be great to have AJ on the team but can win without him.