Still no answers at UGA on NCAA inquiry, Green’s status

ATHENS – Three days before Georgia’s opening football game, coach Mark Richt still had no answer to the persistent question of whether an NCAA inquiry launched in July will affect the status of star wide receiver A.J. Green.

“Are you expecting A.J. to play Saturday?” Richt was asked at his post-practice media briefing Wednesday evening.

“A.J. Harmon? Yeah,” Richt replied, referring to a backup offensive lineman.

“Green,” the questioner corrected.

“You know I can’t talk about that,” Richt said. “It’s a good try, though. I just can’t talk. I don’t know the answer to anything other than I’m not supposed to talk about the situation. And I really don’t know.”

The NCAA informed Georgia in late July that it was launching an inquiry at the school -– part of a series of probes at multiple schools about football players’ dealings with agents. An e-mail from the NCAA to UGA stated that investigators planned to interview one Georgia player. Green has said that UGA officials asked him if he attended an agent-affiliated party in Miami and that he told them he did not.

Green repeatedly has declined comment, at Georgia’s instruction, about the NCAA matter.  On Tuesday, Green was asked if he has any doubt he’ll be able to play Saturday despite the inquiry. He replied: “No. I don’t know. I can’t say anything.”

Green was the first of six players mentioned by Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo when he was asked after practice Wednesday what the Bulldogs’ receiver rotation will be in Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Lafayette.

The NCAA also has issued no rulings on agent-related inquiries at North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama.

Two players linked to the investigations, North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin and South Carolina tight end Weslye Saunders, have been suspended from their teams’ opening games for what their coaches called “violation of team rules” unrelated to the NCAA probes.

A July e-mail from Marcus Wilson, the NCAA’s assistant director of agent, gambling and amateurism activities, to Eric Baumgartner, Georgia’s assistant athletic director for compliance, instructed Baumgartner to “refrain from disclosing the details of the investigation . . . [to] anyone except your athletic director and/or president” and to inform them “of the necessity of protecting the integrity of the investigation as well.”

The e-mail said the Georgia player would be interviewed “to determine his knowledge of or involvement in, directly or indirectly, any violations of NCAA legislation.”

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Freshman Hutson Mason will play Saturday if Georgia uses a second quarterback against Louisiana-Lafayette.

“God forbid, [if] something happens to our starting quarterback Aaron Murray, Hutson would definitely play,” Richt said Wednesday night.

It’s not clear if Georgia would play Mason in the game without an injury to Murray.

“Hutson is the No. 2, and if the No. 2 goes in, it will be Hutson Mason,” Bobo said. “For me to sit here and say, ‘Hey, he’s going to play,’ I can’t. We got to play the game.”

Mason has worked throughout preseason practice as the No. 2 quarterback. Last season’s backup quarterback, Logan Gray, moved to wide receiver and missed much of preseason practice with a sprained ankle.

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Branden Smith will open the season as Georgia’s No. 1 punt returner, Richt said.

Smith, a sophomore cornerback from Atlanta, welcomed the news.

“I’ve been wanting to play punt return ever since I got up here,” he said.

He said he takes a three-pronged approach to the job: “The No. 1 thing is catching the ball. No. 2 is holding on to the ball. And No. 3 is just do my thing. With my speed and the blocking up front, it should not be that hard.”

Carlton Thomas is Georgia’s No. 2 punt returner, Richt said.

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When asked on the SEC coaches’ weekly teleconference Wednesday, Richt reiterated his belief that Georgia doesn’t need to play more than one BCS-level non-conference opponent per season.

“We’ve been doing it, but I don’t think we need to do it anymore, quite frankly,” Richt said. “And I don’t think anybody in the league needs to do it.”

Georgia’s non-conference schedule this year includes two games against BCS-level opponents: the annual game against Georgia Tech plus a trip to Colorado.

Richt rejected the idea that weak non-conference schedules could pose a public-relations problem for the SEC nationally.

“Let me ask you this: Who’s won the last, what, four national championships?” Richt said. “It’s been SEC teams. And I don’t think those teams have gone overboard on what they’re playing out of conference.”

ALSO: It’s showtime for Georgia’s new defense.

289 comments Add your comment

The Woodlink

September 1st, 2010
8:08 pm

Ok NCAA, finish off the 3 martini lunches, come down ftom the ivory tower, and tell this young man if he can play ball or not.

The Woodlink

September 1st, 2010
8:15 pm

Oh, and one more thing NCAA, the apparent grandstanding you took in delaying your “judgement” on Masouli is reprehensible….

Dawg_Mike

September 1st, 2010
8:20 pm

Nothing to see here folks…keep moving along, or as Flo says…”and we’re walking…we’re walking”…

Dawg_Mike

September 1st, 2010
8:22 pm

What I’m really trying to say is that the next trouble number 8 gets in will be the first. He is a good citizen and a damn good dawg.

SSIgator

September 1st, 2010
8:25 pm

No point in even trying little dogys the Gators are going to repeet as SEC champs again this year.

DoubleDownDawgFan

September 1st, 2010
8:26 pm

Fulmer Cup Champs and NOW THIS TOO!! Thanks a lot Coach Richt! Good riddance!

SSIgator

September 1st, 2010
8:26 pm

make that SEC east champs.
Go Gators!

SSIgator

September 1st, 2010
8:27 pm

forget it I hate all of you

Mick

September 1st, 2010
8:27 pm

Nah what was reprehensible was Masoli burglarizing someone. POS needs to sit out a year.
Weird that nothing has come out from this with just 3 days left.

DawgNation

September 1st, 2010
8:28 pm

SSIgator it is doggies not [i]dogys[/i] and repeat not [i]repeet[/i]. Good Lord if you are going to try and trash talk at least learn to recognize what the red line under your miss spelled words indicate.

DORKS

September 1st, 2010
8:31 pm

Worm

September 1st, 2010
8:33 pm

AJ is a non story..Now whose with North Carolina tomorrow is different..Butch will not give out any info and the ACCer’s will use players absence for the waxing they’ll receive..I smell a SKUNK-As in ZERO!

ryan

September 1st, 2010
8:41 pm

Its been well documented that AJ Green was in SC on Memorial Day weekend not Miami

Aunt Bea

September 1st, 2010
8:43 pm

If it’s been so well-documented, why hasn’t he been cleared already?

DoubleDownDawgFan

September 1st, 2010
8:46 pm

we are going to lose AJ for the whole YEAR!! Goodbye RICHT and good riddance!!!

hunker down

September 1st, 2010
8:54 pm

NCAA…makes up their own rules and then can’t seem to tell you anything.

ryan

September 1st, 2010
8:57 pm

You people jumping to conclusions he was in SC are calling him a liar.

Grey

September 1st, 2010
8:58 pm

Weird that no one has been cleared so close to opening week. In fact, SC plays tomorrow night. The longer it goes, the worse it is IMO.

5150 P.O.A.D

September 1st, 2010
9:01 pm

Richt don’t know if his player will listen to him when he tells then not to drive on a known suspended drivers license, How the F does Richt know what the NCAA will do? The only thing Richt knows for sure is that the beleives in God and accepts Christ as his Savior, but after that he don’t know crap. Wait, he knows he will never get a head coaching job at the NFL or SEC level bettrer than he has now.

Dawg

September 1st, 2010
9:04 pm

S@%T OR GET OFF THE POT, MY MOTHER AT 80 IS FASTER THAN THE NCAA!

Hunter

September 1st, 2010
9:08 pm

Yeah you’re right ryan. He has no reason to lie. Only several million reasons why.

Red

September 1st, 2010
9:08 pm

After years of just pathetic enforcement and picking and choosing who they harassed the NCAA is finally making up for lost time and holding EVERYONE by the pigskins. If you happen to be under ANY scrutiny right now, you might as well give up. Even looking the wrong way sends the NCAA popo after you. Credibility is shot and the athletes and the schools suffer for it. This place is run like some corrupt union.

Kurt

September 1st, 2010
9:11 pm

Strange that Richt couldn’t say as of right now, he will be playing.

gcs

September 1st, 2010
9:17 pm

Still nothing on Alabama’s marcell Dareus, South Carolina or North Carolina either. What are they waiting? Kickoff?

.

Brad

September 1st, 2010
9:18 pm

How dumb for the big 10 to split mich and oh st. So if mich returns to their old winning ways, you could have their end of year game meaningless. They would meet the next week in the champ game. They should have done like the sec with bama and auburn and put them in the same division or at least play the game during the middle of the season.

Bride of Chucky Knapp

September 1st, 2010
9:21 pm

NCAA is worse than the Ministry of Magic under Cornelius Fudge.

TallyDawg

September 1st, 2010
9:24 pm

Congrats to UGA on winning the Fulmer Cup. Now get that BS outta your heads and win some damn football games.

DawgNation

September 1st, 2010
9:25 pm

Brad,

They didn’t. At least for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. OSU and Michigan will still play each other on their last game.

Mark "Crimson Crier" Ingram

September 1st, 2010
9:26 pm

It’s just a bunch of NCAA racist BS! AJ Green said he never been to Miami, never tried no Miami, never inhaled no Miami and don’t even know where Miami be at.
My knee feels betta already!

ryan

September 1st, 2010
9:27 pm

NCAA is like Obama calling the US the worst human rights violators NCAA what a joke .

Brad

September 1st, 2010
9:27 pm

dawg
Did you read what I wrote. Where did I say they wouldn’t play each other. The problem is they play the last game against each other. If both teams have the champ game locked up when they meet, or one does, it makes the game meaningless since they will play again for it all in a week or two. It’s going to happen eventually and based on history, could happen quite often. They should play during the beginning or middle of the season like FSU Miami do.

Overrated CMR

September 1st, 2010
9:29 pm

terrible piece

POAJ

September 1st, 2010
9:30 pm

The only thing I know is we got a bunch of chicken hearted know it all’s on this blog that acually think they know more than CMR,and the NCAA. DoubleDownDawgFan….we don’t want you as a Dawg fan…please don’t ever set foot in Athens or Sanford Stadium again. Go follow Tech or Ga. State but stay away from the Dawgs. What a pu$$y you are…I’ll bet that you are always telling people what to do all the time…ever notice how many friends you don’t have?..What an idiot you are!

DawgNation

September 1st, 2010
9:32 pm

Yes Brad I did read your post. OSU and Michigan are both in the same division so it will be impossible for them to play each other for the Big 10 championship. Now the final game can determine which one will play for it.

NJ

September 1st, 2010
9:33 pm

I hear the meal plan is amazing!!

DawgNation

September 1st, 2010
9:34 pm

While you ponder that I am heading off to bed. Good night.

Raul

September 1st, 2010
9:43 pm

NCAA is a joke – Teams are preparing to travel and some games start tomorrow yet they won’t tell school’s the results of their investigation.

Give me a break

Richt is in Trouble

September 1st, 2010
9:46 pm

So Colorado scares Richt!? What have they ever done??? So he wants to keep scheduling the Idaho States and La.Tech’s of the world….show he is circling the wagons and realizes his job is on the line. To think I ridiculed UT fans for dropping UNC and our coach is afraid of BCS teams like Kansas State. My 22 years as a season ticket holder and donations are likely at an end. Need a coach to fit our talent and upside.

Richt is in Trouble

September 1st, 2010
9:49 pm

Kirby Smart we need you! Van Gorder we need you! Surely the Head Coaching job would entice one of them to come back and show some backbone rather than running scared from middle of the pack or lower tier BCS teams over the Georgia Southerns, Idaho States, etc. of the world.

Harry the Hat

September 1st, 2010
9:55 pm

What I’m really trying to say is that the next trouble number 8 gets in will be the first. He is a good citizen and a damn good dawg.

You are going to feel like such a stupid dawgtard when you have to eat those words. Green is guilty as hell.

Say bye bye to Green.

Unfortunately.....More to come

September 1st, 2010
9:56 pm

The NCAA officials camped at UGA is more than the Miami trip that did not happen. Trust me, we don’t want to play AJ and later forfeit the wins. We can win without him, but I hate the scum Agents that corrupt these kids. This is about the other action that AJ took – Not MIAMI.

NCAA Suspensions are going to be a huge hit for our program if this materializes like some on the inside fear it may.

Dana

September 1st, 2010
9:58 pm

“I hear the meal plan is amazing!”

In the Athens jail, yes.

NCAA Absurdity

September 1st, 2010
9:58 pm

Too bad AJ doesn’t play in Tuscaloosa. If he did, he’d be able to drive a Bentley with an NCAASUX tag and post youtube videos of himself taking money from agents and the NCAA would busy themselves elsewhere.

Brad

September 1st, 2010
10:02 pm

Next time do your homework before sounding off like an ignorant fool.

Any Michigan man will tell you, there is nothing quite like beating Ohio State. Every Buckeye agrees, a win over that team from up North is priority No. 1.

Well, now Michigan and Ohio State could get two chances in a season to beat their fiercest rival.

What would Woody and Bo have thought of that? A rematch!

The Big Ten announced its divisional breakdown for football Wednesday night, and Ohio State and Michigan will be in different six-team divisions when the league expands to 12 members in 2011.

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Neither division has been named, but they break down like this: Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern in one; Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Purdue and Indiana in the other.

BRAD STEVENS

September 1st, 2010
10:13 pm

Knowing more than most about AJ Green it would not surprise me with anything. Good guy and hard worker with an excellent talent but not bright. His nickname amongst all of his former high school teammates and all around Summerville was AJ “cant read” Green. He always hung around a bad crowd and wouldn’t be surprised if he has done anything stupid to hurt UGA. Have any of you even looked at his birthdate and realized that he was 20/21 years old as a true freshman at Georgia? That should tell you something…

Eric

September 1st, 2010
10:22 pm

Huh he’s 22 as a junior. 2 years older than most. Not as bad as chris weinke. lol The fact it’s still going on suspects me to believe they will come out with something tomorrow or Friday. Doesn’t look good that it’s taken this long.

law dawg

September 1st, 2010
10:25 pm

The ignorance of some who post here amaze me. AJ has been cleared to play. The NCAA in their infinite wisdom has requested UGA to not comment until they are finished with everyone else. UGA would not put AJ on the field if he had not been cleared. Believe me. He will take the field Saturday.

chazzo

September 1st, 2010
10:26 pm

Florida hasn’t traveled outside the region for a regular season game since 1991 when it played at Syracuse.

John

September 1st, 2010
10:32 pm

If he was cleared to play law, then richt wouldn’t say no comment or I can’t talk about it. Dumba$$.

Ahmed

September 1st, 2010
10:40 pm

I no understand AJ is the best! I want for AJ to score 4 touchdown saturday! Go Dog!