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

RAMBLE ON!!!

September 9th, 2010
11:00 am

I guess I was confusing AJ with the “hit and run dawg” about his drivers licenses.

It’s so hard keeping track. You know whose in jail verses whose cheating with you guys.

RAMBLE ON!!!

September 9th, 2010
11:02 am

Here comes my impostor. LOL

what a loser.

Another Steve

September 9th, 2010
11:04 am

The comparison with Bama player Marcell Dareus needs revisiting. To his credit, when Marcell Dareus first realized the party was agent related, he immediately left and was totally upfront with the NCAA investigation. The same cannot be said for AJ.

Its difficult to make an accurate assessment without all the facts.

Hobnail Boot

September 9th, 2010
11:05 am

I am a Dawg fan and AJ is a great player. I for one am sick of picking up the paper and reading this junk day after day about mistakes and bad decisions we are making. I would love for this not to be true and AJ plays this weekend but it’s not going to happen. The coaching staff have some tough decisions to make. They need to start making examples of the kids that are acting this way. I have had it!!!!!

hornblowermg

September 9th, 2010
11:05 am

Uga. should dismiss Green from the football program immediately.Is there actually a substantial insurance policy with an equally substantial premium involved? If so, then who paid the premium? If Green is more worried about jeopardizing his pro future than he is about playing winning football for Georgia, then he needs to retire from Georgia football right now and get on with his NFL stuff. There is much more to all of this than a $1,000 football jersey. The seemingly excessive penalty was probably for something that has yet to be revealed.

JBD

September 9th, 2010
11:05 am

Bama Stan… “accept the punishment”…

That’s garbage. Alabama appealed an original 4 game suspension just recently which was dropped to a 2 game suspension.

MATHDAWG

September 9th, 2010
11:07 am

It may be time for the top athletic schools to leave the NCAA. The NCAA has outlived its purpose and is ruled by the “also rans” for their benefit. There is no appreciation for what schools like UGA, UF, Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, etc have done to make college football the top sport in the USA. The NCAA is still angry at GA and OK for suing them over broadcast rights in the 1980’s. Tlhis has a lot to do with the severity of A.J.’s punishment. I say, “to hell with the NCAA and let’s form a new organization that will benefit the top athletic colleges.

RAMBLE ON!!!

September 9th, 2010
11:11 am

I’ll leave you fleabags alone now. I just love listening to how the world is not fair to the UGA football program though. It’s so entertaining.

I’ll be back next week for another round excuses and crying.

I’ll leave ya’ll now with my impostor.

Bo

September 9th, 2010
11:18 am

Not only will we miss AJ’s 5-10 “touches”, we’ll miss the opposing defense having to account for him. Which can only make it more difficult to run the ball. Hopefully Murray will catch the SC secondary sleeping on the passing game for a big play or three.

Tech Sucks

September 9th, 2010
11:20 am

Hey Former D1 Athlete… How many people bought your jerseys when you were rocking college athletics?

Frank Lane

September 9th, 2010
11:20 am

Suspend him for the season. It will cost him NFL bucks and teach a lesson that needs to be learned.

80 Dawg

September 9th, 2010
11:22 am

Our season really could rest on the game this weekend, if we lose , which I dont think we will, reshirt him for the rest of the season and bring him back next year. He is due to miss about a third of the season , so why not

bufbox

September 9th, 2010
11:27 am

Maybe he should have gifted the jersey to his dad… then dad could sell it if there was a true financial need. Surely the NCAA can’t control that… but would probably try anyway.

Dirty Dawg

September 9th, 2010
11:28 am

Hey folks, tell me just who did ‘Marcell’ think was paying for that trip and why he, of all people was being invited – along with some other ‘high-profile’ college football players – to Miami’s South Beach for a ‘partee’? I mean even if it hadn’t been ‘paid for’ by ‘agents’, he knew damned well that his momma and daddy hadn’t paid for it and for sure he hadn’t. So don’t tell me that he, all of a sudden, had an epiphany – after he got down there – and came back home (did he pay for that return trip, or use the return ticket that had been provided? And even if he did ‘reimburse’ somebody he used the money. My point is just when and where did he acquire these ‘mitigating circumstances’?

As for A.J…his ‘crime’ is getting him a third of the season…how does that compare to attempting to gouge out an opposing players eye(s) and getting one half of a Vandy game? Or claiming to be an innocent bystander to an armed robbery, or in a separate case involving another ‘playa’, a gang-bang, beat-down by eight of your teammates of an off-duty policeman, that garnered nothing in the form of punishment? Oh, by the way, don’t you find it interesting that the bi-polar coach of the ‘eye-gouging’ thug said at the time, in rationalizing his ‘punishment’, that ‘this wasn’t who this young man is’. Now we find that that same ‘young man’ – now in the pros – has a ’sex-tape’ making the rounds of the internet, so I suppose the ‘coach’ was right, the young man isn’t an ‘eye-gouging thug’ after all, he’s a shlong-swinging exhibitionist.

Urban

September 9th, 2010
11:30 am

Totally too much, should not have been over a 1/2 game suspension. If it was me, I’d send Spikes to the NCAA and let him gouge their eyes out.

bufbox

September 9th, 2010
11:30 am

80 Dawg .. he ain’t coming back next year… redshirt or not. His draft status might suffer a bit… but he will go 1st round in any scenario short of criminal or very immoral activity.

1eyedJack

September 9th, 2010
11:31 am

Dr. Adams, you need to hire better lawyers.

I can’t see where you can make any arguement that these kids are being taken advantage of. No one held a gun to their head and forced them to sign a scholarship to play football. They have the right to go to work and make money if that is what their priorities are. That scholarship does pay in the form of tuition, books, housing, and meals (all anyone really needs) for five years which is worth $100,000 or more plus lifetime earning potential.

If I write a book and sell you the rights to it for $100,000 then I have no recourse if you make $10,000,000 off of it.

Having said that, does anyone out there know if so-called “disadvantaged” student-athletes are able to qualify for Pell Grants to help with expenses? Some of my students get up to $1000 a semester from Pell to cover incidentals on top of their Hope.

West Coast Two Stars

September 9th, 2010
11:31 am

looks like Richt called Les Miles for advice, Les hung up on him

DaRick

September 9th, 2010
11:33 am

Wow! I’m glad we at Tennessee don’t do anything serious like this. If AJ was smart, he would have sneek punched and kicked tha NCAA. I got no penalty for that.

80 Dawg

September 9th, 2010
11:34 am

Yeah i know he isnt coming back …. But it will sure hit him the backside next year during the draft if he doesnt play at all this year. Plus we dont know if the NFL teams are going to be locked out next year. So why come out bufbox

bufbox

September 9th, 2010
11:39 am

Maybe cuz he tired of having to scramble for a few bucks to go see a movie and then have enough left over for Varsity

AJ Green

September 9th, 2010
11:42 am

hey , can i borrow a dollar

Coach Richt

September 9th, 2010
11:47 am

Things are looking up

September 9th, 2010
11:50 am

well guys at least were not in the SEC east……………….Oh wait

Sam

September 9th, 2010
11:53 am

Just another brotha tryin to get a dolla

RAMBLE ON!!!

September 9th, 2010
12:01 pm

No, really guys, it’s me, I really do have massive red panties, to conceal my gaping hatchet wound, from getting plowed by the entire UGA football team. I’m just bitter that none of them called me back, that’s why I’m obsessed with trolling your blogs, sorry :(

Will

September 9th, 2010
12:01 pm

I think the NCAA has their priorities out of whack. Green gets suspended for four games for selling a jersey. Numerous players have been suspended for associating with agents. However Masoli can rob someone and use drugs with no suspension whatsoever. This is a great message to send to the young atheletes of America. Way to go NCAA.

Ed

September 9th, 2010
12:02 pm

Let me be clear, the Univ. of Georgia like any other big time program is in it for themselves. But I’ve never bought the argument that the players are somehow victims. UGA is providing Green with a free university education if he’s inclined to take it, and also one heck of a venue in which to showcase his talents for prospective employers who might pay him tens of millions of dollars (before he even proves that he’s an NFL-level performer), as well as companies that might be willing to pay millions for him to endorse their products. I had to use student loans, the GI Bill, and work meniable jobs to get a degree that paid a modest entry-level salary in the real world.

The fact that Green even WANTED to sell his UGA game jersey pretty much says it all about modern players.

MIKE T

September 9th, 2010
12:06 pm

I’ll be back next week for another round excuses and crying.

Check back at the end of Nov. after we kick Tech’s ass
and win number 61.

SONNY

September 9th, 2010
12:08 pm

I LIVE FOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL–MOSTLY THE DAWGS–BUT I AM SICK OF THIS–RICHT NEEDS TO GO, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH–IT WONT CHANGE WITH HIM. IT TOOK HIM 3 YEARS TO FIRE 3 BAD COACHES. ENOUGH

Former D1 Athlete

September 9th, 2010
12:09 pm

TECH SUCKS…YOUR GIRLFRIEND SLEPT IN MY JERSEY. SHE NEEDS TO GIVE THAT BACK.

McDawg

September 9th, 2010
12:10 pm

what is all this talk of undisciplined UT players in the SHOWERS??-is this a hold over from Kiffin and crew ripping off their shirts??-a GT tickle pile??

someone needs to investigate (NCAA lawyers you may never be a US Attorney but man think of the headlines)

it is no wonder Da’Rick followed boyfriend Nancee to Knoxville

GeezusDawg

September 9th, 2010
12:11 pm

For comment, read my post on Barnhardt’s blog.

The horse is sufficiently dead. Move on ….

McDawg

September 9th, 2010
12:14 pm

BTW -it was his jersey given to him by the Independence Bowl but as far i can tell there were 2 or 3 infractions

1) selling the jersey (1 game)

2) receiving benefits from an agent (2 games)

and maybe not sure

3) obstructing an investigation by lying (1 game)

the kid from Bama simply received benefits from an agent (2 games)

Sam

September 9th, 2010
12:18 pm

Ramble on: where is the evidence that Green ever lied in this investigation? It is going to be a great day when Georgia State gets bigger crowds than Tech.

McDawg

September 9th, 2010
12:19 pm

let the dawgs run wild-the junk is back in the trunk-Garcia won’t know what hit him

ty webb

September 9th, 2010
12:19 pm

Fomer D1 athlete,
Don’t know what sport you played but you’re an idiot. If it was his independence bowl jersey that he sold, it was HIS jersey. The Jersey is a gift that the team gives to each player. You’re welcome. Save all the sanctimony.

From 11-3 to 14-0

September 9th, 2010
12:23 pm

.
————————–
Go Yellow Jackets !
————————–
.

Sam

September 9th, 2010
12:24 pm

If he got $1K for an Independence Bowl jersey, just imagine what a Sugar Bowl or BCS title game jersey would go for!!

PowerDawg

September 9th, 2010
12:28 pm

Hey, I’m a huge fan of A.J. Green.

I think he made a poor decision to do what he did and I believe he realizes it also. I also believe he is genuinely sorry for having caused the distraction for the team.

It’s true that the university makes a huge sum of cash on his name and number. Yes, he is getting a college degree and has no educational expenses because of his scholarship. But he is also a young man walking around with very little money in his pocket while he is there. I’ll guarantee you it was difficult for he and his family to come up with an extra grand to pay back his obligations. Probably very difficult, especially in this economy.

I don’t fault him for selling HIS property on e-Bay or wherever. The speculation that the person that bought it was “considered an agent” is just plain BS. Hell, I’m very interested in his promotion. I have several substantial bets with colleagues on his chances for certain accolades this year… I think he should receive serious consideration for the Heisman and believe he might be the #1 overall NFL pick..does that make me an agent?

Seriously, Dawgnation…FOUR games? AYFKM? The kid from ‘bama takes the cash and airline ticket to the party in South Beach and hangs with agents all night… well, he just has to pay back the money and gets a TWO game suspension? Seriously?

Why the difference? Mitigating circumstances? You mean like… he plays for Alabama. Hasn’t the NCAA learned it’s lesson with that school in recent years? Now they get a pass? That dog won’t hunt.

Sorry, I just don’t see the comparison as anything but biased. The circumstances are not even remotely similar. One guy was trying to raise a little pocket money by selling something that belonged to him. The other one was purely and simply trying to establish a pipeline to the NFL riches and sold his a$$ for the
privilege of rubbing elbows on the beach.

The NCAA needs to be sued out of existence if they do anything less than reduce Green’s suspension to the same TWO games as the other guy. It’s only fair.

Ed

September 9th, 2010
12:29 pm

I’m beginning to think that incidents like this (remember the ‘02 SECC rings that ended up on Ebay) and players getting arrested are just par for the course as long as Richt is the coach. It’s time for UGA to find a new coach. Richt simply has no control over this program because it’s obvious that he’s not respected or feared by the players. Heck, they freakin’ DANCE on the sidelines during timeouts. It’s obvious that Richt has tried to mold UGA using the 1980s-90s Miami Hurricane model. It’s not working out, coach.

Former UGA Player

September 9th, 2010
12:34 pm

“ty webb” speaks the truth. Every player receives their bowl jersey at the end of every season. The jerseys (valued at $50 wholesale) are given to players out of the $500 limit total bowl package gift from the University, sponsors, etc. It is HIS jersey to keep, just as I have 4 of MY OWN today. If I wanted to sell any of those four, I could… legally.

Now I wouldn’t sell any of mine, but then again none of mine are from an Independance Bowl. With his family circumstances, and the fact that he’ll have at least 1 jersey from a better bowl to keep as a personal momento…I can’t really blame him here.

Murphy

September 9th, 2010
12:36 pm

O.K enough is enough.Yes A.J broke the rules and he along with our football team is paying the price.Whats done is done. Move on. We have plenty of talent at UGA-Richt needs to use it.Put Brandon Smith out there and let him torch the USC seconadry with his speed.The USC secondary is suspect with or without A.J Defense wins championships-Time for Grantham to earn his salary! We can make a statement on Saturday! We have the talent-do we have the coaching to overcome this?

WilliamG

September 9th, 2010
12:42 pm

This is a true question, not a comment. As I understand it his father lost his job and – this is the story anyway – A.J. was trying to help. If that’s true that puts a different light on things, at least in my eyes.

OK. Now the question. It’s obvious that he’ll go high in the pro draft and that the family’s money problems should be over then. Would it violate any rules if a local bank loaned the father money – there would be no mention of A.J. in the loan at all, his future earnings would not secure the loan. It would just be an unsecured loan. But there seems little doubt that the loan could be repaid in a year or two.

Just wondering. If anyone knows let me know. I can’t see how that could violate any rules since – on paper, with the loan – there would be no mention at all to A.J.

Former D1 Athlete

September 9th, 2010
12:42 pm

Ty Webb…right or wrong. UGA has been in trouble for this EXACT thing before when the players sold SEC rings on ebay. Just dont sell your jersey till you get the millions of dollars from the league. Then youre in the clear, simple as that. Poor AJ.

Ben

September 9th, 2010
12:45 pm

If some schools took more precautionary measures when it comes to career college recruiting, they could possibly avoid incidents such as these.

bad brad

September 9th, 2010
12:46 pm

Hey former D1 athlete,
Just wondering where you went to school since they didn’t teach you the difference between whoa and woe.

boo boo

September 9th, 2010
12:50 pm

The ‘ Evil Genius ‘ is smiling in Columbia.

Virginia DAWG

September 9th, 2010
12:52 pm

Enter your comments here

Jeff

September 9th, 2010
12:54 pm

Scott W…..you’re an idiot….return on my investment????? no stupid, that was not the point. I contribute money to this institution so I and anyone else has the right to demand players/coaches conduct themselves in a way that does not put a black cloud over our university and program nor put the players that do work hard and follow the rules in the position they are in. Plain and simple….break the rules…suffer the consequences. As a former athlete- I understood that well. I also had a coach (Billy Henderson) that would not tolerate it. Its time for OUR coach to send a once and for all statement to this team and future players…..that messaage still has not gotten across…