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

Tim Rupert

September 9th, 2010
7:18 pm

As a Dawg fan, the whole thing just has me fired up even more. First the SEC officials screwed Ga in the LSU game and now the NCAA gives the Alabama Kid two games and A.J Green four and they waited the extra week so there is probabily no way Ga can get the appeal finialized before the Arkansas game. makes me wonder not only about the excessiveness of the penalty but also the timing.

I will be at the Arkansas game in Athens and A.J. Green, or not, I predict that it will be the loudest that sanford stadium has ever been. We want to win and I am sick and tired of seeing Ga treated like this. Mark Richt and Ga will turn this into motovation.

If I was Richt, I would put up a news report of the Made up from thin air call, that was made by a Tech grad on the wall and I would tell the players that the NCAA dosen’t like Ga the way they like Alabama and I would point out that Green got four games to the Alabama kid getting two.

I think we will see a very determined team this season. GO DAWGS, JUST WIN!

My Bad

September 9th, 2010
7:44 pm

point the finger at Ga Tech, the NCAA and everyone and everything else but your own program…because you justify all of it until you lose, and when that happens like I said before, you will all find religion and start pointing the finger at your own program but not until then

5150 P.O.A.D.

September 9th, 2010
8:38 pm

I guess it is official tonight. The SEC is now just a High School JV football conference. Can’t wait til the DAWGS have to play on Thursday Nights and you mutts will be just like TECH and the ACC.

ryan

September 9th, 2010
8:40 pm

You know you call UGA pups well everyone likes pups no one likes bees because you want to squash them .

Lovethemdawgs

September 9th, 2010
9:22 pm

How soon some of you forget our UGA players who sold their championship rings.

Jordan

September 9th, 2010
9:29 pm

George

September 9th, 2010
9:45 pm

A.J. – Another Jackass.

Seems like UGA has its fair share.

AltamahaDawg

September 9th, 2010
9:51 pm

Actually in this case it WAS his jersey. It’s a Bowl jersey which is listed as part of a gift package, given a value per NCAA rules, and Given to him. Doesn’t change the rule which I agree with, but it was his possession.

Pitbull

September 9th, 2010
10:36 pm

The NCAA just issued the President of SC a letter stating a further investigation today. This is bad news for SC. It could effect their morale Sat.

col fot

September 9th, 2010
10:45 pm

Mitigating circumstances for the Alabama player, i can imagine how that played out. We know somebody on that committee just LOVES the crimson Elephants. A.J. Green got screwed big time.

Baz

September 9th, 2010
11:33 pm

Tim Rupert you are right. We’ve haven’t been treated as well as the other teams. NCAA has some kind of grudge against us. Also, how can S.C. be a 3-point favorite? We should be able to run on their porous defense. GA 31 SC 17

Chuck Uga

September 10th, 2010
1:24 am

Even if he played, Georgia would lose at SC. It is just time for Spurrier to win one at home. As much as it pains me, UGA will not be winning the SEC East this year. Another loss to Ark or Miss State is also going to occur, and even moreso if Green is out for those two (he will be). UGA will have two losses heading to Jacksonville, but they may very well win that game. If not, they will finish 8-4 at best, and Mark Richt will begin what could be his final season in Athens in 2011 where he will HAVE to win the SEC Title to save his job. Hope I am wrong about this team, but I don’t believe I am. 8-4.

76-DAWG

September 10th, 2010
4:09 am

It’s time that Orson Charles and Murray step up and replay their high school championship game against SC. Charles only caught 2 balls last week and he was not able to run ,any. If Murray will throw at least 45 times I think Charles will have over 100 yards with 2 touchdowns. I think Charles is the toughest receiver UGA has after he gets the ball and turns up field.

Bama Fan #2

September 10th, 2010
6:46 am

Losing AJ Greene for 4 games may be a blessing in the long run? The team may realize that the
dawgs are not just a 1 man team and come to gather and play a team with a chip on its shoulder.
You never know how things are going to happen, just hope and pray for the best in Columbia
against the war chickens!! Good news the war chickens got the letter from the KGB about
secondary violations yesterday and that is great for Bama, both are in the led for the best player
in the country the Clowney kid!! RTR

Bama Fan #2

September 10th, 2010
6:49 am

Folks sorry bad spelling!! Need to wear my glasses!!

hangman

September 10th, 2010
10:36 am

BOO HOO….SO SAD…..

how2fish

September 10th, 2010
10:39 am

5150 P.O.A.D. we will not be like the Bugs we win Bowl games…and fill stadiums, get on TV and like girls.

how2fish

September 10th, 2010
10:40 am

hangman you must be a Bug because its GREAT to be a Georgia Bull Dog!

Dirty Dawg

September 10th, 2010
10:52 am

I suppose that among all the investigations – and now we’re hearing that more may be on the horizon from the NCAA for South Carolina, so who knows how this will ultimately play out. – the thing that got me most was the wimping out the NCAA did in the case of the Oregon QB – Mezoli, or whatever his name is – who got caught stealing lap tops and other stuff…was kicked off the team (apparently you don’t get expelled for ‘felony/grand theft’ out there)…realized that he had a loophole that would allow him to transfer and play at a major college without having to ’sit out’ a year, by 1) completing his under-graduate degree and 2) finding a school that offered a ‘post graduate’ program not available at Oregon (as if he has any intention of getting a Master’s Degree in anything but football…plus, I don’t have the slightest idea what that might be at Ole Miss, other than ‘noodling’ – that’s the word for catching catfish with your bare hands and sometimes mullets – the hair, not the fish), then 3) applying for it.

Well I thought that the NCAA had made a perfectly reasonable decision when they said ‘no’ at the last minute on the basis that ‘dodging suspensions’ wasn’t the reason that the rule was put into place, it was to enable a young man or woman to truly further their education. Only to do a complete ‘180′ and let him play (maybe it was karma when they lost to Jax State). To me the only ‘mitigation’ I think should be considered in these cases is if a kid is a ‘conniving punk’ trying to ‘game the system’, or not, and if that’s what they think of A. J. Green, then say so and we’ll move on.

dave

September 10th, 2010
11:18 am

Enter your comments here

Baz

September 10th, 2010
8:25 pm

Chuck Uga did you see Florida in their first game? The SEC East is wide open! Dogs will be undefeated going into Florida game. S.C. is overrated. In fact, UGA is ranked higher.

kdawg

September 20th, 2010
6:28 pm

My fellow dawg fans, the moment is upon us..CMR is past the typical time a coach can remain effective with a program..it is in our best interest to start looking at Gruden..If were gonna compete with Bama, The university of Urban and the other SEC teams with need a coach that is gonna get results out of these stellar recruiting classes CMR keeps getting the minimum amount done with!!!!!!! Bring Chucky in here to right this sinking ship..before we loose to Appalachian state next year!!!!!