Live from Sanford Stadium, where A.J. Green won’t be playing

Sanford Stadium, 10:50 a.m.: If you came to see A.J. Green, you're out of luck. (Photo by M. Bradley)

Sanford Stadium, 10:50 a.m.: If you came to see A.J. Green, you're out of luck. (Photo by M. Bradley)

Athens — Another day, another missing Bulldog. Eight days ago Georgia lost Washaun Ealey to a parked car. On Friday the Bulldogs lost Alec Ogletree to an arrest warrant. And now, bright and early today, came the big news:

A.J. Green won’t play against La-La.

From the school’s release, issued moments ago: “University of Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green will miss Saturday’s game against the University of Louisiana (Lafayette) pursuant to UGA Athletic Association policy and pending a ruling from the NCAA clarifying his status.”

First, UGA deserves bonus points for the usage of the word “pursuant.” Second, what happens beyond La-La? What if the NCAA offers no clarification next week, either? What if Georgia shows up in Columbia without its absolute best player?

Season openers are supposed to be happy occasions. (Georgia State’s sure was, don’t you think?) But there’s something about Mark Richt’s program that simply refuses to take the smooth road. To quote from Tina Turner: “We never ever do nothin’ nice and easy … ”

Suddenly it’s easy to forget that Georgia has much to prove today. Can Aaron Murray play quarterback? Can Todd Grantham’s defense outshine Willie Martinez’s? Can the Bulldogs stick to business and not wind up in La-La land? But now the only name that registers is the name that won’t partake of the day’s festivities. Yes, this seems a weird season, and it hasn’t technically started.

And, on that cheery note, the figurative floor is open for questions, comments and NCAA-directed diatribes. I’ll be here all day, and I’ll let you know if A.J. Green does anything significant. Like, say, shift his weight from his left foot to his right while standing on the sideline. Join me, won’t you?

909 comments Add your comment

Thread77

September 4th, 2010
11:02 am

Red Panties Flying High

September 4th, 2010
11:03 am

First – but not from jail, unlike UGA’s players

Thread77

September 4th, 2010
11:03 am

What do you make of the AJ situation Mark? Shouldn’t the NCAA have given his status by now?

Red Panties Flying High

September 4th, 2010
11:04 am

Dangit

Oh well, enjoy your day at the Clark County Correctional Institution

Mark Bradley

September 4th, 2010
11:05 am

Kudos, Thread77.

Mark Bradley

September 4th, 2010
11:06 am

And I don’t know what to make of it. Interesting that Alabama knew about Marcell Dareus but Georgia didn’t know about Green.

Michael in Decatur

September 4th, 2010
11:06 am

The NCAA has out-lived their usefulness. Time for a change.

Objective Observer

September 4th, 2010
11:08 am

Mark-

Heard anything about the rumor that this is part of an illegal gambling ring at NCAA HQ?

collegeballfan

September 4th, 2010
11:09 am

I do not understand. Green says he did nothing wrong. He is telling the truth or not telling the truth.

This says more about UGA than the NCAA.

To me they are saying they do not believe a word he says.

Thread77

September 4th, 2010
11:10 am

Seems a bit unfair to me. It could be argued that La-La isn’t that big a team, but it would be nice to get your main players out on the field and get the ‘first game nerves’ out of the way. South Carolina will be a big one.

[...] Live from Sanford Stadium, where AJ Green won't be playing Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) – Sep 4th – 11:02 [...]

The Truth

September 4th, 2010
11:13 am

Mark you are totally right. How does Bama know and UGA doesn’t ….

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Charles Jackson

September 4th, 2010
11:14 am

Just can’t get excited about the Dawgs anymore.

DawgFan013

September 4th, 2010
11:14 am

The problem with this is what if it drags into next weekend and the South Carolina game and then the NCAA is totally messing up the season…

dcbl

September 4th, 2010
11:14 am

No, it says that they aren’t willing to risk a vacated win against Louisiana freaking Lafayette…

IF anything is found to be awry with AJ, he will have already been punished and able to play in subsequent games…

Thread77

September 4th, 2010
11:16 am

He should be ineligible from the moment his status is given. If NCAA can’t get a status out in timely fashion, the team shouldn’t be penalized for that.

Einsteindawg

September 4th, 2010
11:18 am

Thanks Mark. The NCAA is quickly accelerating their demise. Probably within the next 3 years, the ruling body of college football will be the BCS simply because it’s all about the money. The NCAA will go the way of the AAU.

Manny

September 4th, 2010
11:19 am

Could be a lot worse.

Georgia is imposing it’s own suspensions.

teams like Alabama and South Carolin, and UNC, are getting suspensions form the NCAA.

Big difference.

BugKiller

September 4th, 2010
11:20 am

The NCAA told Bama because they FOUND bad stuff that he did.

The NCAA is dragging its heels here because they’re trying and trying and trying to find bad stuff on Green, but they CAN’T.

So they’re gonna take their time until they find something (which they won’t).

This is abuse of power if I’ve ever seen it.

My theory is, to try and save his own butt, the guy in North Carolina who started all this crap, just started naming names of good college football players to the NCAA, regardless if he knew them, regardless if they actually went to Miami or not.

This is all BULLS–T!!!

Hoss

September 4th, 2010
11:20 am

Green could be cleared minutes before the game.

Manny

September 4th, 2010
11:21 am

Imagine being Butch Davis.

12 players suspended.

Talk about a program in shambles.

Bravissimo

September 4th, 2010
11:22 am

MB…You sure do get around…You need a helicopter or a James Bond like jet pack.
Any word on you being at the race?

Do they still keep players out of games under the guise of conduct detrimental to the team?

juice sourcer

September 4th, 2010
11:22 am

Show solidarity with your teammate AJ Green Georgia players. Don’t show up. Have 90,000 fans show up and refuse to play. Let the NCAA know and see who’s in charge. This would be so awesome to stick to to the establishment that is screwing these kids over.

Truthiness

September 4th, 2010
11:24 am

Have to vacate the win if NCAA finds Green did something wrong. Just that UGA won’t play him says all that has to be said: the coaches don’t believe Green’s claims of innocence, they know he did something wrong and hope the NCAA doesn’t find it, or they know he did something wrong and the NCAA has aleady found it. If everything was straight with Green, he’d be playing today.

Ted Striker

September 4th, 2010
11:25 am

I hope Richt’s conversation with Green went something like this: “We know you did nothing wrong. However just like a referee/bad call cost us dearly in the LSU game last year — a bad call by the NCAA after this game could cost us a game this year. So we’re taking it out of the hands of the NCAA for this game.”

Then I’d tell him: “Just remember, A.J. When all this is over, the next time you take the field, you not only play the opponent you get to show the NCAA exactly what you think about their decision to cost you playing time. Every time you take it to the house, turn to the camera and mouth the words ‘That TD was for the NCAA’ and smile.”

Big Harry

September 4th, 2010
11:26 am

Typical NCAA – I think they’re still upset about the lawsuit which cost them their TV rights over college football.

Dawglasville

September 4th, 2010
11:26 am

We didn’t need Green to beat the best coach on North Ave. I wouldn’t get too excited.

Defense

September 4th, 2010
11:27 am

With the new season, us UGA fans were not expecting that the strength of our Defense would be “Closing Arguments”!

Dr. Phil

September 4th, 2010
11:28 am

Things are completely out of control. Masoli can’t play, Masoli can play. NC has 15 players under investigation. Georgia has 10 players arrested since January, counting the serial woman beater, Montez. There is something going on with AJ Green. Richt does not sit a good player out unless he absolutely has to. University presidents are spineless politicians–one in particular (I will just call him Mike to preserve his anonymity) is the poster child, but he is not too different for many others. If they raised athlete admission standards to the level of regular admission, the quality of play would not suffer across the conference, and we would have fewer hit and runs, assaults, and drug and alcohol arrests.

San Francisco Dawg

September 4th, 2010
11:29 am

If the NCAA knows something amiss about Green, don’t you think Richt would know? If not, then maybe Richt knows something that the NCAA does not know? Maybe Green confessed? If none of the above, then I think this is a travesty for Green not to be allowed to play…its a game for God’s sake, his future in the NFL is at stake and fans buy tickets to see him play…

Something is going on obviously, but why but only a few people know what’s going on…

I feel sorry for A. J. Green..

Bryant

September 4th, 2010
11:30 am

The Truth Alabama knows because we are special what part of that confuses you guys. The NCAA said Marcel Dareus was forthcoming and self reporting. Sounds like AJ was not very stand up about the entire deal.

Dawglasville

September 4th, 2010
11:31 am

Red Panties Flying High I think you are over stimulated because Dragon Con is in town.

mattd

September 4th, 2010
11:31 am

I am shocked the NCAA would do something to effect the outcome of a college football season. Next thing you know they will be creating a voting system, where people who only watch a couple games a week at most decide who plays for the Championship….
I am a Tech grad and fan but I am also a fan of watching the best players play and the NCAA is ruining college football with this long investigation. Let A.J. Green play, he says he’s innocent and even if he’s not he was only getting benefits from an agent. The only problem the NCAA has with agents is that they can’t get a cut of the money paid out. How come college athletes can be used for ESPN commercials about the games but not do commercials on their own? Let’s just all admit college football is a business now and treat it that way!

Manny

September 4th, 2010
11:32 am

dogs were 4-1 without Green last year. Fine either way. Without him, lot mroe balanced, don’t force passes to 1 guy.

Big Albany Dawg

September 4th, 2010
11:32 am

it aint no violin. Its a freakin fiddle

KELLEN

September 4th, 2010
11:33 am

Wihtout AJ EALEY, KING, Georgia might lsoe this game.

Really NCAA??

September 4th, 2010
11:33 am

Masoli with a felony can play but AJ who has done everything right cannot??? Good call NCAA……

RxDawg

September 4th, 2010
11:33 am

I can’t believe this crap. Sitting AJ is admission of guilt as far as I’m concerned. I’m so sick of this season and there hasn’t even been a game yet……..I need some hitting fast.

merculf

September 4th, 2010
11:33 am

Bama is #1 and UGA isn’t that is why they know and UGA doesn’t

Drake

September 4th, 2010
11:34 am

Green didn’t win a single game for Georgia last year. He gets hurt every year. I’d like to see King go this year instead of Green.

Dawgs97

September 4th, 2010
11:34 am

This makes me sick to my stomach. The NCAA is a sickening, abuse of power organization. There’s ample evidence AJ was not at that party & hasn’t been to Miami. If you are a Georgia fan or even just a fan of fairness and college football, you should be outraged by the NCAA. Keep in mind, Gator, Auburn, Tech and any other fan who may want to make a snide comment about AJ or Georgia – this could just as easily be done unfairly to one of your star players.

Rog

September 4th, 2010
11:34 am

NCAA not suspending AJ proves his innocence.

mattd

September 4th, 2010
11:34 am

Dr. Phil, do you really believe raising admission standards would not hurt the quality of football across the conference. Why do you think schools like Vanderbilt, Duke, and most of the ACC can’t compete with the ACC and can’t get the same caliber recruits? If you also look at it most of the players arrested on the UGA team were 4 or 5 star recruits coming out of high school.

Frank

September 4th, 2010
11:35 am

Just in, AJ will play!

Crimedog

September 4th, 2010
11:35 am

Defense, your “closing arguments” comment is worthy of Tina Fey!

Mark Bradley

September 4th, 2010
11:36 am

And some people wonder why big-time players leave with eligibility remaining to go make money in the NFL.

k9

September 4th, 2010
11:36 am

I hope I am wrong, but this type of behavior just indicates a total lack of concern for the team by the players, and in turn, shows how coach Richt hasn’t got his players focused on what matters the most, the team.
I don’t think that portends well for Georgia, and coach Richt.

Salty Dawg

September 4th, 2010
11:36 am

Kudos to UGA for doing the right thing here. As the quote says, “pursuant to UGA Athletic Association policy and pending a ruling from the NCAA clarifying his status”. That means that they have decided to follow their policy even if it isn’t conducive to winning games. Green says he wasn’t in SB and I believe him until the NCAA produces evidence to the contrary. UGA doesn’t have that luxury and this is why they have a policy that prevents them from being duped by a player who swears he didn’t do it only to find out later that he was full of it. Some programs out there would have no problem starting their star player under these circumstances. I think it says a lot about the integrity of UGA athletics that they aren’t putting winning first.

Now the NCAA, I wish I could say I respected their position on the matter. These open ended witch hunts are b.s. and they shouldn’t have the authority to do that crap. Either you have evidence or you don’t. If you don’t, come clean and admit you tarnished a player’s name based on suspicion and rumor. As someone stated, Bama already knows because the NCAA has evidence of wrongdoing. Apparently that’s not the case for Green, but rather than clearing his name they have opted to leave a cloud of doubt hanging over the young man while they hope to find some dirt. Regardless of your allegiance when it comes to football teams, this is a young man and potentially a future professional athlete that is having his chain jerked by the NCAA and we should all expect better from them.

Coffee Bluff DAWG

September 4th, 2010
11:36 am

It’s time for the NCAA to stop with the secret meetings and the arrogance. They should have made a decision weeks ago.