AgentGate follows Georgia, others around SEC Media Days

HOOVER, Ala. –- Georgia coach Mark Richt and star wide receiver A.J. Green showed up at SEC Media Days Thursday morning, less than 18 hours after UGA received word of an impending NCAA investigation.

If Richt or Green is worried about what’s ahead, they weren’t showing it to the hundreds of reporters here.

Richt said he doesn’t believe the NCAA investigation will necessarily bring bad news for the Georgia program, and Green said he has “never even been” to Miami, scene of a sports agent’s party that has drawn much scrutiny from the NCAA.

Georgia officials were informed by the NCAA late Wednesday afternoon that investigators will come to the UGA campus to conduct an “inquiry” –- the latest in a series of investigations of possible improper benefits received by players from agents. Investigations also are underway at North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Alabama.

“I don’t know if it is [bad news] or not, quite frankly,” Richt said of the NCAA inquiry at Georgia. “I don’t necessarily think it is bad news.

“I’m sure they’re gathering information,” he added, “but we’ll see what they gather.”

Green, the Bulldogs’ top pro prospect, has acknowledged that he was asked by a UGA official on Tuesday whether he was at the agent’s South Beach party, which reportedly was attended by players from North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. Green gave reporters the same answer Thursday that he provided UGA on Tuesday: He was not in Miami for that party or any other time, he said.

“I’m not even focused on that,” Green said of the NCAA probe. “I’m just focused on getting ready for the season.”

He added that high-profile athletes know “you have to keep your nose clean” because people “are just looking for something to get you on.”

Asked if he is worried about the investigation, Green answered simply: “No.” He said Internet rumors linking him to the probe are “just random stuff, but it’s not a hassle.”

Indeed, Green and Richt seemed to enjoy themselves at Media Days.  On his way to the plane that would carry him, Richt and two other Georgia players back to Athens, Green posted on Twitter: “Media day went pretty good…. I had lil fun while I was there.”  And on his way out of the Hotel Wynfrey, a relaxed Richt stopped in the lobby to sign autographs and pose for photos for Bulldogs fans.

Green and Richt declined to answer most questions regarding the impending investigation. UGA associate athletic director Claude Felton said Georgia was asked by the NCAA not to comment on the matter until the inquiry is completed.

Asked if that restriction is difficult, if there is more he would like to say, Green replied: “It’s not my place to comment on that. I don’t feel like I need to.”

Richt did say that he doesn’t believe the investigation will be a distraction for the Bulldogs, who begin preseason practice Aug. 2. Richt said “I don’t know at all” when asked how many UGA players the NCAA plans to interview.

If a player is found to have received money or other benefits, such as transportation or lodging, from an agent, he could lose his college eligibility.

Asked if Georgia is concerned about having players declared ineligible at this point, Richt would not answer, saying: “I’m not going to make any comment about anything having to do with an investigation.”

Georgia is in a similar situation as at least four other college football programs that are waiting to see what comes of inquiries into current or former players’ dealings with agents.

The NCAA is investigating whether current players at North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama violated rules by attending the Miami party. In addition, the NCAA is looking into an allegation that former Florida offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey accepted $100,000 from an agent’s representative between last season’s SEC Championship Game and the Sugar Bowl –- an allegation that Pouncey has denied and called “absolutely ridiculous.”

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Thursday that the Gamecocks player under NCAA scrutiny, tight end Weslye Saunders, “went with several players” on a trip to Miami.

“I guess the question is, who paid for it?” Spurrier said. “Who paid for what they did while they were there? When the investigation is finished, I guess we’ll find out about all the guys.

“I’ve talked to [Saunders] briefly. He told me he’s done nothing wrong. So we’ll see how it plays out.”

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino, also appearing at Media Days on Thursday, said his program has not had any inquiries from the NCAA about agent issues.

“Knock on wood,” he added.

But Petrino said the relationship between players and agents “is a concern you have every single day as a coach.”

Said Spurrier: “Sometimes you just got to, you know, trust your players know the rules and can wait till after their final [college] game before they take the money. If you can get through your senior year . . . you can accept all the dough they want to give you.”

On Wednesday, Alabama coach Nick Saban lashed out at agents who jeopardize players’ college eligibility by offering inducements, asking: “How are they any better than a pimp?”

Richt, characteristically, was much more measured in his comments about the agent issue.

“If there was an easy answer,” he said, “we already would have found what it is.”

112 comments Add your comment

DawginLex

July 22nd, 2010
4:14 pm

Im hearing that AJ is off the hook but that other players might be involved?

Can this just please go away?

Dream Team

July 22nd, 2010
4:15 pm

Dream Team

July 22nd, 2010
4:15 pm

Sign Cochran from Morgan County!

dawggirl

July 22nd, 2010
4:18 pm

If you’re going to say “I’m hearing this”, at least have the decency to say where it came from.

DawginLex

July 22nd, 2010
4:20 pm

I have a family member at the university. That is the word he is getting. It is all just rumor at this point.

destin dawg

July 22nd, 2010
4:22 pm

Hey they should be enjoying Media Days… things are going great at UGA… New De coaches… great recruiting class !! Athens = great college town !! good education+++ Best looking women & parties… that used to be a GOOD thing…. What’s not to like ???

Calhoundawg

July 22nd, 2010
4:22 pm

Just how many guys does the AJC employ milking this s*** ?

PTC DAWG

July 22nd, 2010
4:24 pm

Obviously, the NCAA is bored.

ForsythDawg

July 22nd, 2010
4:26 pm

Did anyone actually talk to Richt or the players about FOOTBALL??! I’d like to hear some updates about the team and player development. Anyone?

AJGREENFAN

July 22nd, 2010
4:26 pm

Will UGA beat SC and Ark both this year?

Dawgtards ruin this state

July 22nd, 2010
4:28 pm

Mr. Adams, NCAA on Line #1 and Jim Harrick III is here for his AD interview.

ForsythDawg

July 22nd, 2010
4:30 pm

More trolling Techies around. Couldn’t get the blow-up doll to inflate, Dawgtard?

Dawgtards ruin this state

July 22nd, 2010
4:34 pm

How many things do thUGA athletics wish could go away? You are unethical scum and this is what happens to scum. Red panties, Damon Evans, Jim Harrick X2, Jan Kemp, NCAA investigations, 10 players arrested per month, players that don’t know their middle name, Drunk drivers without valid drivering permits, AD sleeping with ex-athletes, Cheating @ Dawg night!

Great off season for thUGA!

Hmmmmmmm

July 22nd, 2010
4:34 pm

Anyone wondering why the NCAA left USC and went directly to Lane Kiffin’s rivals in the SEC? After Lane’s “dream” job imploded I’m sure he was more than happy to “cooperate” with the NCAA.

Russ

July 22nd, 2010
4:35 pm

Either supply pictures or video or proof, or stop accusing AJ Green of being in Miami. No evidence, by anybody, anywhere, he was in Miami, ever.

Dawgtards ruin this state

July 22nd, 2010
4:36 pm

Reading about yet another NCAA inquiry at thUGA is hardly trolling, in fact thUGA news is free laughter!

Mikey in the SAV

July 22nd, 2010
4:36 pm

Couldn’t agree more, Forsyth.
Jeez….this non story is getting all the air time.

ugag is irrelevant

July 22nd, 2010
4:45 pm

another nothing story about a nothing school

DawginLex

July 22nd, 2010
4:45 pm

Dawgtards we laugh at you constantly as well. A 350 pound zit faced nerd who dates blow up dolls and works at the Varsity.

What’ll you have what’ll you have???

DawginOH

July 22nd, 2010
4:49 pm

Well said, destin dawg. They should be enjoying themselves if there’s nothing to worry about back in Athens. AJ’s philosophy is perfect- just get ready for the season. Go Dawgs!

Insider

July 22nd, 2010
4:49 pm

Richt needs to start worrying. This story has barely started to unfold.

PULPWOOD

July 22nd, 2010
4:52 pm

“ugag is irrelevant” obviously takes the time to read the “nothing story” about what he perceives as a “nothing school”. Don’t know about you guys, but I spend lots of my time surfing the net to read nothing stories about irrelevant schools that I don’t care about. Today alone, I took the time to read multiple stories about Army, Toledo and Boston College! Tomorrow, I’m planning on reading some more nothing stories about WAC and Mountain West teams!! Can’t wait!! “ugag is irrelevant” must be a happy, fun and important guy! What a complete freakin moron.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

July 22nd, 2010
4:54 pm

Dawgtards A she she Football. Is there any intelligent life on North Ave?

mike mooney,joe hamilton,reuben houston,robert hall,8outof9,nerdsnerdsnerds

July 22nd, 2010
4:55 pm

Tech nerds obsession with UGA continues. Can’t beat UGA so they get on the blogs and talk tough even though they are little woosy pansies. Never seen panties in their life except for mom’s.

ugag is irrelevant

July 22nd, 2010
5:08 pm

hey pulpwood I just saw your sister on the “my name is earl” rerun

wpww dawg

July 22nd, 2010
5:11 pm

to hell with the NERD HERD!!!

bware

July 22nd, 2010
5:11 pm

I was told today from a Ga. Tech student that if you buy season tickets for this year and next year you can buy extra tickets to the UGA game next year. Funny that Ga. Tech cant sell tickets this year because UGA game is in Athens and using UGA to sell more GA tech tickets.

wpww dawg

July 22nd, 2010
5:12 pm

nerd herd hot line 478-228-0677

AltamahaDawg

July 22nd, 2010
5:14 pm

I can see the rumor getting around campus that if the NCAA is coming to to investigate, it probably has something to do with some student-athelets of some kind.

AltamahaDawg

July 22nd, 2010
5:17 pm

could be worse….. It could be the Dept of Homeland Security coming to “inquire”.

Dawgtards ruin this state

July 22nd, 2010
5:18 pm

I’m just laughing at the trainwreck that is thUGA athletics. Hello NCAA!

Dawgtards ruin this state

July 22nd, 2010
5:20 pm

DawginLex – you know your job well, now back to the Fryer!!!!

Herchel

July 22nd, 2010
5:22 pm

We all know that Yechmites have a well deserved inferiority complex. However, try not to strain the credulity of everyone with an IQ over 4. UGA has been found guilty of nothing. Have you forgotten your academic scandal or your drug dealing DB? What was your graduation rate again?

On the bright side, you can’t spell Dragoncon Convention without GT.

Hang em All

July 22nd, 2010
5:36 pm

Let the bleeding begin. $EC

Steve Spurrier

July 22nd, 2010
5:39 pm

$EC? A Tarhole running his mouth on Twitter started this mess. Yes, it started from the ACC.

Calhoundawg

July 22nd, 2010
5:41 pm

Dawgtards, your first post was actually very funny, thereby qualifying for “in good taste,” in my opinion. It kind of went downhill from there. Meaning, not funny and in bad taste thenceforth. Believing that Georgia is the greatest state in the union as I do, I try not to get caught up in the “hating Tech” thing. Techtards such as yourself make that difficult to do at times. Kind of reminds me of that old Freudian philosophy called “**nis envy.” Enjoy trying to win the “Grapefruit League” again this year. We Run This State. Go Dawgs !!!!

Saben

July 22nd, 2010
5:41 pm

I believe Richt and his players were selling red underwear.

DawgPound74

July 22nd, 2010
5:43 pm

All of you Tech fans need to worry about selling tickets at that crap site Prehistoric Grant Field instead of talking about UGA. It’s August so it’s getting close to the Buy 1 Ticket Get 3 Free plus 4 Hot Dogs, 4 Cokes, and a Program Promotion isn’t it? Focus on Marketing your Crap Program.

Suckers are First

July 22nd, 2010
5:43 pm

Mike Jay

July 22nd, 2010
5:46 pm

O”n the bright side, you can’t spell Dragoncon Convention without GT.”

Haha that was classic.

It’s being reported on the radio that the investigators are coming to Athens because of the recent pictures taking of recruits hanging with coaches by a certain member of the media who just happens to work for the paper that can’t stop running ’stories’ (rumors at best) that AJ Green is under some sort of investigation. Greene was interviewed about the party because some friends of his made comments on his facebook page about said party. He DID NOT ATTEND. Sorry techies you will have to wait for the next minor UGA hiccup to beat your chest about because this is much ado but nothing. Or you could concentrate on your own teams inability to beat their biggest ‘rival’ more than once a decade. Though pointing out the negatives of said rivalries is much easier than admitting ones own shortcomings.

GT is now a 6TH RATE HIGH SCHOOL TEAM

July 22nd, 2010
5:55 pm

Those BuZZards are envious again of more media attention on UGA good or bad. hahahahahhahahahahahhaha

Joey

July 22nd, 2010
6:14 pm

Nice objective read, Tim.

Joey

July 22nd, 2010
6:17 pm

Techies wish the police would catch them with red panties in their laps . . .

How convenient

July 22nd, 2010
6:19 pm

How convenient that the writers for the AJC neglect to mention that they might have been the people that has gotten UGA in trouble by taking and posting pictures from Dawg Night. Instead they try to manufacture an NCAA investigation about AJ Green when to this point no proof has been provided that he was in Miami at the agents party. We KNOW that players from other schools were in Miami, but a rumor about possible UGA infractions has taken all those stories away. The other schools got what they wanted when ESPN ran a ticker that said NCAA investigators were headed to Athens. It doesn’t matter now whether UGA did anything wrong because the coaches from schools that have players who clearly did wrong will be able to say to recruits that UGA is being investigated also.

70 Dawg

July 22nd, 2010
6:35 pm

Just heard that a QB who has been touted by his fans for the Heisman and who plays his home games near the Varsity in Atl, may have been in Miami when the party occurred and may receive his own inquiry soon.

Dawg man

July 22nd, 2010
6:44 pm

A.J. will be just like Hershell, deny it until the agent proves it.

Herchel

July 22nd, 2010
6:47 pm

A.J. will be just like Hershell, deny it until the agent proves it.

Who?

Lashauntavious

July 22nd, 2010
6:50 pm

I was there in Miami with Rontavious, Dontavious, Shy-D and Mookie.

Ringleader

July 22nd, 2010
7:00 pm

I like the comments Saban had………..Wonder if that is what he feels about his agent after the screwing he put on Mich State, LSU, and Miami.

Nothing but a pimp…..that makes Saban a …..

NorthGADawg

July 22nd, 2010
7:04 pm

Whoa Whoa Whoa DawgTurd, there’s a Jim Harrick III?