Still no OK on A.J. to play Saturday: What’s up with that?

This is A.J. Green. He's the best receiver in the country. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

This is A.J. Green. He's the best receiver in the country. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

True confession: I wrote a little something Tuesday about college football players under scrutiny and possibly facing suspensions, and I didn’t mention A.J. Green. I didn’t forget him. I didn’t mention him because I couldn’t imagine any scenario under which the great Georgia receiver wouldn’t be allowed to play Saturday against La-La.

But here it is Thursday and the Bulldogs are, as of this writing, within 50 hours of toe-meets-leather time — sorry, I know that’s a Tech phrase, but it’s still a beauty — and Georgia isn’t sure if Green will be available. (Here’s the report from esteemed colleague Tim Tucker on Mark Richt saying nothing.)

I’m like most of you: I believed A.J. Green when he said, forcefully and often, that he hadn’t been in Miami for the agent-funded soiree that touched off this kerfuffle. But the NCAA has been a lot of places — Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina — and hasn’t yet announced any of its findings regarding agents and possible illegal inducements.

South Carolina tight end Weslye Saunders and North Carolina defender Marvin Austin won’t play in their teams’ openers, but both suspensions have been for “team violations,” as opposed to NCAA sanctions. (These could be construed as pre-emptive strikes by the Carolina programs: If a guy in question doesn’t play, that could be one victory you don’t have to vacate.)

From the start, Georgia has never seemed worried about Green’s status. Concerned, yes. You’re always concerned when the NCAA comes to campus. (Though it must be stipulated: UGA has never officially identified Green as the person of investigative interest.) Because you never know where the NCAA hounds are apt to sniff.

And now it’s midday Thursday and there has been no word from on high, and at this late date we must at least begin to consider the possibility that Green might not be cleared for the lid-lifter. That wouldn’t affect the outcome — Georgia could beat La-La with Cee-lo Green at wideout — but it wouldn’t exactly enhance an offense already missing Washaun Ealey. And the Bulldogs need to start hot and stay that way: Games 2 and 3 are against South Carolina and Arkansas.

There’s also this possibility: The NCAA could say nothing and leave the play-or-sit decision to the schools. Which would be kind of unfair, when you think about it. But the NCAA can be that way.

Please understand: I fully expect A.J. Green to partake of Saturday’s doings. But, and here I’m guessing I’m like a few of you folks, I’m wondering what’s taking so long.

186 comments Add your comment

Matt B.

September 2nd, 2010
11:23 am

Matt B.

September 2nd, 2010
11:24 am

AJ is fine. He’ll play.

Matt B.

September 2nd, 2010
11:25 am

It won’t matter if he doesn’t until Arky. Just can’t believe in SC.

Marcus Aurelius

September 2nd, 2010
11:26 am

AJ for Heisman

Mark Bradley

September 2nd, 2010
11:28 am

Kudos, Matt B.

30-24 Dawgs - We Run This State!

September 2nd, 2010
11:32 am

AJ will be found innocent – however the NCAA is waiting until the 11th hour to pass down the verdict!

DK

September 2nd, 2010
11:33 am

I think they have something on a lot of these guys including aj. More than the miami fling. Play him and risk vacating the wins. For it to be dragging on this long spells trouble imo.

jingle dingle

September 2nd, 2010
11:35 am

I wouldn’t play him Saturday….Just in case.

Hawk n the Ham

September 2nd, 2010
11:35 am

Can we get the song from the SNL skit to go with the headline?

“Whats up with that? What’s up with that? Ooooohhhh….What’s up with that?”

South Jax Dawg

September 2nd, 2010
11:35 am

3rd! Getting closer; It’s going to happen sooner or later!

South Jax Dawg

September 2nd, 2010
11:35 am

Maybe not…

Uga players HIT and RUN this state

September 2nd, 2010
11:36 am

Obviously there’s more than meets the eye with these inquiries. How long will cmr suspend ealey. Last year a guy drove a moped on a suspended and got a one game. This year ealey drives on a suspended, hits a car and flees and then doesn’t show up for a court date. He was also told not to drive. A one game susp would be a joke. But the program is in a downward spiral and cmr is a joke at leading so it wouldn’t surprise me.

BugKiller

September 2nd, 2010
11:36 am

This is the most puzzling thing of all.

I can’t help but wonder if to try and get himself out of trouble, UNC’s Austin just started naming names of ANY player, whether they were there in Miami or not, to try and get into the NCAA’s good graces as a snitch.

EVERYONE who knows AJ Green have said he’s never been to Miami. Most have even made a joke about it, as in, “That country boy wouldn’t know what to DO in Miami had he ever gone there.” He has verified, with witnesses, where he actually was during that time.

So maybe it’s time to put a little pressure on the NCAA, or maybe CMR just needs to make a statement of trust and a statement against the ridiculousness of this whole “investigation,” and play him anyway.

todd grantham

September 2nd, 2010
11:37 am

Mark, looks like you recovered nicely from last night’s weariness.

Buddy Curry made every tackle

September 2nd, 2010
11:37 am

I think the NCAA will let these schools decide whether or not to play the individuals in question. If the kids are lying to thier coaches and the NCAA finds out they are, the teams will forfeit those games. AJ better be telling the truth, or he better not play.

Mark Bradley

September 2nd, 2010
11:37 am

I’m still tired, Coach Todd. But I’ve got another game tonight. And one this weekend.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

September 2nd, 2010
11:39 am

just great something else to worry about

Delbert D.

September 2nd, 2010
11:39 am

This is getting crazy. If Mark Richt isn’t allowed to comment on AJ Green’ status, if he holds Green out as precautionary measure on Saturday, will the NCAA then say, “Aha! Gotcha!” ?

Michael

September 2nd, 2010
11:40 am

What I don’t understand is……Dez Bryant was found guilty a week after the first week’s game last year. He had 2 touchdowns in the Georgia game (Georgia coincidentally lost by 2 touchdowns). If O.K. State didn’t have to vacate that win, I’ll be damned if we (UGA) have to vacate a win to Lousianna Lafayette if we play him this saturday and they hand down the suspension later.

Delbert D.

September 2nd, 2010
11:43 am

Speaking of players on mopeds, did y’all see the video on Fox this a.m of the U of Iowa tackle hit head on at an intersection? Flipped him end-over, and he’s expected to miss the opener.

The Dude

September 2nd, 2010
11:48 am

Something smells fishy.

HugoStiglitz

September 2nd, 2010
11:52 am

There has to be more to the story then just AJ wasnt there, case closed or it wouldnt take this long. I honestly doubt AJ is guilty of anything, but you never know.

Mark Bradley

September 2nd, 2010
11:52 am

It’s hard to say, Hugo. Because the NCAA is famous for not telling you what they’re checking.

UGASlobberknocker

September 2nd, 2010
11:53 am

I’m also worried because on the surface, if it is as cut and dried as it seems, why no official announcement? If Richt thought AJ had lied, or if he knew of evidence that suggested that he might have lied, he would have already suspended him (as he did Mettenburger). I hope its just the NCAA being it’s Nazi self.

and we could beat La Lafayette with Shecky Grreen.at one wideout.

Johnny DangerDawg

September 2nd, 2010
11:54 am

It took years for the NCAA to make a decision on Southern California. By the time the NCAA makes a decision on this recent matter, all of the guys in question will probably be in the NFL.

UGASlobberknocker

September 2nd, 2010
11:59 am

I would just like to go on record as a 36 year season ticket holder to say:

THESE NOON AND 1230 KICKOFFS SUCK

Inbound trafffic is compressed into a smaller window, there is no time to tailgate, it’s too early to drink (heavily). Its too hot. Unfortunately, the new SEC TV contract is dooming the Dogs this yr to noon starts on ESPN..my prediction is that only Tech (of home games) will be other than 12 or 1220 kick. I hope Im wrong.

5150 P.O.A.D

September 2nd, 2010
12:01 pm

A. J.(a joke) Green has issues? No UGA players are a Clean and White as the new fallen snow and UGA VII’s butt. What is the good word? THWG!! HBTD? P…On Them!!!!

WindyCityDawg

September 2nd, 2010
12:02 pm

There’s nothing on AJ. The reason he isn’t clear is because the NCAA doesn’t want him talking about the interview. They don’t want Green and Richt to come in and say “yeah they asked me about this, this, and this.” My guess is this goes beyond what everybody is reporting — the agent party — and that the NCAA is exploring other events/topics that they brought up in the interview. Once he’s in the clear, I think he would be inclined to talk to clear his name, as would anybody.

Hell, he may actually BE in the clear and the NCAA may have just told Richt/Georgia/Green not to announce anything about it until the investigation is complete.

UGASlobberknocker

September 2nd, 2010
12:02 pm

Hey even Ugas butt aint white this yr..Russ is brown

bufbox

September 2nd, 2010
12:03 pm

I assume he is cleared to play unless late action is brought against him.

DAWGDOM

September 2nd, 2010
12:03 pm

The NCAA should have been disbanded years ago,look at the USC debacle,what was it five years? Its all about politics and power and is not needed! What has happened to LIBERTY?

5150 P.O.A.D

September 2nd, 2010
12:04 pm

Slobber you are stupid if you think it is haooter. Chech the weather channel. the hottest time of the day is at 3:30 to 6:30 then the temp starts dropping. I guess you are just too drunk by that time to notice. Just wait until UGA plays a Thursday Night ESPN game. Traffic will be bad and the DUI’s will make millions of $ for the state.

Charles

September 2nd, 2010
12:05 pm

Green isn’t suspended by the NCAA, so it’s up to UGA coaches to ‘clear’ him. He will play because they realize there will be no sanctions forthcoming and we won’t have to vacate wins down the line – AJ is simply a witness in the whole deal because he was invited. On the other hand, Austin and Saunders have been suspended by their respective programs for unspecified reasons because Davis and SOS know they’re going to get slapped by the NCAA. In fact, we may have witnessed Austin’s last game in pads at the collegiate level.

The UGA coaches can’t comment on the inquiry until the NCAA closes the book, but that doesn’t mean Green’s status is in limbo – maybe that’s why you’re confused, Mark Look for #8 on the field Saturday.

Dawg Tired

September 2nd, 2010
12:05 pm

Trying to use rational thinking to figure out what the NCAA is doing is a waste of time.

5150 P.O.A.D

September 2nd, 2010
12:05 pm

Damn, Hotter! Sorry didn’t proof before I hit comment.

5150 P.O.A.D

September 2nd, 2010
12:07 pm

Slobber UGA is uga and I have seen many UGAs. Russ is no UGA

Charles

September 2nd, 2010
12:08 pm

To the people asking why no official announcement…that’s because the NCAA will announce their findings of the whole ordeal at once, and there are some folks in trouble on this one. Just because AJ didn’t do anything wrong, doesn’t mean they’re going to single him out and say he’s cleared. That’s not how they operate.

chilidawg

September 2nd, 2010
12:08 pm

I agree that making him sit would look like admitting guilt. I guess it comes down to how much CMR trusts him.

Rduck

September 2nd, 2010
12:10 pm

As a Tech fan, I would hope that AJ is clear to play and won’t miss any time this season. He is a great playmaker and a joy to watch. I too wonder if there is more to this than anyone is letting on or if CMR is just playing mind games on future opponents. Only time will tell. The NCAA is really showing their strong armed tactics on programs this year and seem to be wanting to make an example of alot of people. This kind of stuff usually never ends well but in this case I hope it does. I wouldn’t want to play our bitter rival without their top player. Go Jackets…

baddog

September 2nd, 2010
12:11 pm

What does AJ and VaJayJay have in common? Nothing that I know of but it was fun to write. ;)

Dumbo

September 2nd, 2010
12:12 pm

Hey at the rate the NCAA investigates a school, AJ will be a 4th yr Pro by the time they decide.

baddog

September 2nd, 2010
12:12 pm

HugoStiglitz

September 2nd, 2010
12:13 pm

How would saying that AJ is playing Saturday be talking about the investigation? He is either going to play or he isnt. Green obviously hasnt yet been given the ok from UGA or the NCAA about playing. Maybe they are just waiting until the last minute to make their decision and let more information come in, if more is incoming.

Seriously though

September 2nd, 2010
12:14 pm

I wouldn’t play him. UGA doesn’t need him this game other than a warmup for next week. Better to be safe than sorry.
`
`

LawDawg

September 2nd, 2010
12:15 pm

Hey POAD,

We are NOT Ga Tech. We DON’T play on Thursdays. We don’t have to schedule them. We get noticed on Saturdays unlike your pathetic team.

papadawg

September 2nd, 2010
12:17 pm

Somebody tell the NCAA nerds that football season is underway and advise the teams the status of their players.Either they have something or they don’t, make a decision

"Da Real" Damon Evans

September 2nd, 2010
12:21 pm

Da boy gangsta.

He should sit out the whole season he has nothing to prove. AJ will be my first client. “show me da money” :) LMAO

Remember I will be at the north end of the stadium this Saturday selling the finest red panties you have ever seen.

roll tide.

Burdell

September 2nd, 2010
12:26 pm

“There’s also this possibility: The NCAA could say nothing and leave the play-or-sit decision to the schools. Which would be kind of unfair, when you think about it. But the NCAA can be that way.”

Yeah, no one ever accused the NCAA of being fair! Let him play…he’s probably gone next year anyway.

Chris

September 2nd, 2010
12:29 pm

Well said Bugkiller,
It is time to put pressure on the NCAA. It’s such an archaic institution still deluded by the early turn of the century ’student athlete’. They have no system of checks and balances. Appeal? With facts? Good luck.
I’d like to see Garrity and Richt say ‘we have a deadline for you to make a decision’. Bunch of congressmen kept in office way too long with no sense of the state of big time college ball. They love the minor sports because there’s no revenue involved and the kids go to class. What would be so wrong with giving a kid a scholarship just because he wanted to play ball and didn’t really want an education? Wouldn’t that free up a seat for a kid who wanted to attend class? Why would it be so wrong if they simply didn’t have to attend class? It’s just like minor league baseball…I’m not for the kids getting paid. That’s rife with opportunity to cheat but these guys are so sanctimonious and inconsistent and just bad, bad, bad. Did anyone hear Jay Bilas riff on the NCAA’s reduction of scholarships at USC? That’s one wicked smaht guy.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

September 2nd, 2010
12:33 pm

Can’t we take A.J. at his word? If he’s a stand up guy and tells the truth there should be no problem and that’s the kind of student athlete Coach recruits, right? But somewhere in the mix there’s an a$$ painter and that troubles me. How can a school like UGA have an a$$ painter running around like that? If the NCAA wants to look into that I will cooperate fully.