Green receives four-game ban; UGA plans appeal

(Updated 8:40 p.m.)

ATHENS – The NCAA came down hard Wednesday on A.J. Green, ordering Georgia’s star wide receiver to sit out four games as punishment for selling a game jersey to a sports agent.

Green sold the jersey he wore in last season’s Independence Bowl for $1,000, according to the facts of the case stipulated by Georgia.

The school plans to appeal the NCAA ruling in hopes of having the length of the suspension reduced. The appeal could be heard next week, coach Mark Richt said.

Green was held out of last week’s season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette, pending the results of the NCAA investigation, which began in July. He must sit out the Bulldogs’ next three games -– Saturday at South Carolina, Sept. 18 at home vs. Arkansas and Sept. 25 at Mississippi State –- unless the appeal is successful.  He will be eligible to return for the Oct. 2 game at Colorado.

“Certainly I’m disappointed with the outcome,” Richt said. “However, we have games to play, and that’s where our focus needs to be in the coming days and weeks. Other players will have to step forward, and I’m confident they will do that.”

Richt informed his players of the NCAA ruling shortly before Wednesday’s practice.

“He assured us we have the talent on this team to play with or without [Green],” tight end Aron White said.  “We’re still Georgia. One player doesn’t make Georgia. That’s something [Richt] made very clear to us, that he still has complete confidence in us.”

The NCAA did not name the individual who bought the jersey from Green but said the person meets the organization’s definition of an agent -– “any individual who markets or promotes a student-athlete.” That put Green in violation of the NCAA rule against receiving benefits from agents.

Selling a jersey to a non-agent also would violate NCAA rules, which prohibit student-athletes from receiving money for memorabilia.

Green has donated $1,000, the amount he received for the jersey, to charity, the NCAA said.

The four-game ban is at the top end of the range the NCAA typically imposes for this type of violation.

The NCAA said it reviews each case “on its own merits based on the specific facts. Staff decisions are made based on a number of factors including . . . the student-athlete’s responsibility for the violation, as well as any mitigating factors presented by the university.”

In another recent case, the NCAA last week suspended Alabama defensive end Marcell Dareus for two games for accepting almost $1,800 in benefits from an agent. In that case, the NCAA said Dareus received a two-game ban, rather than four games, “based on mitigating circumstances.”

Green will be allowed to practice with the Georgia team during his banishment from games and, in fact, did so Wednesday.

”I want to apologize to my coaches, teammates and the Georgia fans for the mistake in judgment,” Green said in a statement. “I very much regret all that has taken place and the distraction that’s been caused. I’ve learned a valuable lesson and hope others can learn from my mistake. I can only focus my attention now on practicing and looking ahead to getting back with my teammates as quickly as possible.”

Green did not meet with reporters. Richt summed up Green’s reaction: “He’s hurt. He’s sad. He’s sorry for what happened.”

Wide receiver Tavarres King said the Green news was “pretty shocking” to him and vowed to help pick up the slack in the star player’s  absence.

“I got to step up and make plays to fill the void for A.J.” King said. “Big shoes to fill. Huge shoes to fill.”

Green, a junior from Summerville, S.C., was named to preseason All-SEC and some preseason All-America teams. He is projected as a high first-round pick if he enters next year’s NFL draft, as most observers expect him to do.

Green caught 53 passes for 808 yards and six touchdowns last season, when he missed three-plus games with injuries. He caught 56 passes for 963 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman in 2008.

Georgia’s appeal will be heard by the NCAA Division I Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement, which is comprised of representatives from NCAA member schools. Green cannot play in games during the appeal process.

As is standard procedural form in such cases, Georgia declared Green ineligible and the NCAA set his penalty and the terms of his reinstatement.

The NCAA informed Georgia on July 21 of the Green investigation — one in a series of probes at a number of schools into dealings between athletes and agents. Green said on July 22 that he was asked by Georgia officials if he attended an agent-hosted party in Miami that triggered investigations at several schools. He said he did not.

1,225 comments Add your comment

Rusty Mac

September 8th, 2010
4:40 pm

First..and this sux

Hotdawg

September 8th, 2010
4:42 pm

Imagine that, another Bonehead mistake by a Georgia player. Getting old isn’t it?

Lauren

September 8th, 2010
4:42 pm

yes, big time. Appeal!

DawgRecruiting

September 8th, 2010
4:42 pm

Is this punishment on par with what others have recently been given for agent related benefits? Seems like I’ve seen 1-2 game suspensions handed out and 4 seems awfully harsh.

mike

September 8th, 2010
4:43 pm

What a load of horse manure. Attending the Miami agent party = 2 game suspension, and he gets 4 for this…….

Kyle in Alabama

September 8th, 2010
4:43 pm

This is terrible. Hopefully we will win the appeal and he’ll be able to play in the Arkansas game.

Dawg_Mike

September 8th, 2010
4:43 pm

The hypocrisy of the NCAA is unbelieveable.
You can find replicas on line for $74.95..

????

September 8th, 2010
4:43 pm

hmm, so Marcell Dareus can take $2,000 worth of good from an agent, but AJ can’t sell a jersey of his for $1,000…yeah that makes total sense NCAA

Hotdawg

September 8th, 2010
4:43 pm

Oh, by the way, SECOND! Go Dawgs! As usual, somebody else will have to step up.

UGAgrad71

September 8th, 2010
4:44 pm

Dumb and dumber. I would dismiss him from the team and let him find an agent.

Mike

September 8th, 2010
4:44 pm

Stan

September 8th, 2010
4:44 pm

I can’t believe it took the NCAA so long to make a decision on this…APPEAL!

JC

September 8th, 2010
4:44 pm

What a crock

Dawg_Mike

September 8th, 2010
4:44 pm

It’s ok for Nike and UGA to make millions from replicas of his jersey.

Rick

September 8th, 2010
4:44 pm

My God! What was he thinking?!?!? If this is true, it was monumentally stupid and he deserves what he gets.

PMC

September 8th, 2010
4:44 pm

The NCAA should then not profit off of the sales of #8 jerseys or any video game he’s a part of for 4 games either.

Of course. That’s ok. They are indentured servants after all…

Josh

September 8th, 2010
4:44 pm

Wow, this is terrible.

ddawgdavis

September 8th, 2010
4:44 pm

Heaven forbid the kid makes a buck on the side.

Dawwgrl

September 8th, 2010
4:45 pm

I agree that he should be punished for selling the jersey but this seems a little outlandish compared to the 2 game suspension the Bama player received. Shouldn’t they be the same if both involve agents and were 1k or more in repayments?

Eddie

September 8th, 2010
4:45 pm

This is absurd. He must sit four games for selling his jersey on eBay? How is that calculation determined? The NCAA rules are nuts.

WTF?

September 8th, 2010
4:45 pm

WTF??? Are you serious? This could be a good thing…Maybe this will keep him a Georgia his senior year.

Oh well

September 8th, 2010
4:45 pm

Word has it Durham is going to honor AJ by wearing his number “8″ jersey similar to how he honored Q. Banks last weekend…keep the good luck streak going. Word around campus is that he’s already taking on the nickname the “The White AJ Green”

Josh

September 8th, 2010
4:45 pm

Enter your comments here

Worm

September 8th, 2010
4:45 pm

Pretty severe..gonna’ cost us one of the next two games, if not both.

Just crazy

September 8th, 2010
4:46 pm

Oh, no. Next Schultz will be blaming it on Richt, as he always does. This makes no sense for his punishment to be greater than others.

SmyrnaMan

September 8th, 2010
4:46 pm

Sold a jersey to an agent, man that sounds really shady

Billy

September 8th, 2010
4:47 pm

Just another brotha trying to get a dolla…..

Anonymous

September 8th, 2010
4:47 pm

You first and seconds are losers

ryan

September 8th, 2010
4:47 pm

Thats bull crap Masolii has a rap sheet a mile long all AJ did was sell a jersey gets 4 game suspension

PMC

September 8th, 2010
4:47 pm

Good thing it took them 7 weeks to conclude all of this.

SimpleDawg

September 8th, 2010
4:47 pm

It was a stupid thing to do……AJ knows better.

I’m not sure that the punishment fits the crime…..

…..it’s still a stupid mistake.

Rural Education

September 8th, 2010
4:48 pm

I think Green lied to the investigators when first questioned about the incident. From what I understand the Alabama player was very honest and upfront with his transgression

Tale of Woe

September 8th, 2010
4:48 pm

Why not just fine him a game check and be done with it

DawgGoneFishing

September 8th, 2010
4:48 pm

Yep-a real team building bone head act A.J.You ought to be used as the blocking dummy !!

Leave now please !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sprouse27

September 8th, 2010
4:48 pm

Ouch that hurts. I hope he can get it reduced on appeal. South Carolina and Arkansas are a couple of the games we’ll need him most IN.

Mike

September 8th, 2010
4:48 pm

K Durham ain’t no AJ Green. Something else must be going on behind the scenes. Wonder if he lied about it, etc.? 4 games just seems too much for the offense.

david

September 8th, 2010
4:49 pm

now watch sc players be able to play.

Scott

September 8th, 2010
4:49 pm

I’m just upset he got caught, sounds like he was doing the right thing if he was trying to help his family out. Certainly can’t blame these kids for going pro early, the NCAA is a one terrible, terrible example of humanity.

UGAgrad71

September 8th, 2010
4:49 pm

Could not wait three months. Would have been a multimillionaire. May still get millions in a pro contract. I would dismiss him today.

lawzoo

September 8th, 2010
4:49 pm

You can delete my comments but you will not be able to stop ‘Em dawgs from being deleted on Saturday.

PMC

September 8th, 2010
4:49 pm

Keep your head up AJ.

T Dawg

September 8th, 2010
4:50 pm

what a bunch of BS….this will go down as the year of “The Idiots”.

Sean

September 8th, 2010
4:50 pm

4 games – Really??? The NCAA is inept at best. Okay, you’ve got a convicted felon (Masoli) allowed to play for Ole Miss. You’ve got Dareus for alabama only getting 2 games for going to the party in Miami. I guess the UNC players will get 1 game time served for the same thing. Pathetic.

bigcalidawg

September 8th, 2010
4:50 pm

Whatever happened to the athletes with landscaping jobs, watching the automatic sprinklers go off, making $40 an hour?

Whatever happened to the off campus luxury condo’s and open lines of credit?

Boobie Miles got offered $100,000 annually, FOR LIFE for signing with (either UT, or OK) not quite sure.

A.J. supposedly sells a game worn jersey to someone who is close enough to being an agent for it to count, and gets 4 games?

How many guys like A.J. are gonna forego their Senior year?

the truth

September 8th, 2010
4:50 pm

How does the guy from ALABAMA take $1800 and a trip and only get 2 games but AJ gets 4 this is true BS!!!

bulldawgbill

September 8th, 2010
4:50 pm

THIS IS NOT FAIR! UGA SHOULD APPEAL. WHY IS A.J.’S SUSPENSION TWICE AS LONG AS THE ALABAMA PLAYER’S?

DOES ALL THIS GO BACK TO THE TIME YEARS AGO WHEN UGA BROKE THE MONOPOLY THE NCAA HAD ON TV RIGHTS TO GAMES? I THINK SO.

Rob

September 8th, 2010
4:50 pm

I think his dad lost his job. When we’re having hard times financially, the first thing I do is try to sell stuff. I know its against the rules, but I can’t really blame AJ. The NCAA needs to give these kids a little stipend since they make so much money for the schools. Maybe this might raise that issue.

Billy Howard

September 8th, 2010
4:50 pm

This may be selfish, but this might keep him here another year!

Spence

September 8th, 2010
4:50 pm

UT players put cop in ICU, most are not punished.

AJ sells a piece of property he owns and gets 4 games!?!?

The NCAA has some serious issues.

http://deadspin.com/5633141/aj-green-jersey-sales-and-the-ncaas-hypocrisy-in-eight-easy-pictures

Good Grief

September 8th, 2010
4:51 pm

So Masoli, a FELON, gets to play immediately at Ole Miss and Green has to sit out four games for selling a jersey? Really NCAA?