Archives for October 2014

The University of Georgia, Todd Gurley, and the NCAA’s growing credibility problem

Todd_Gurley_cropped

Running back Todd Gurley

[FULL DISCLOSURE: I am an alumnus of the University of Georgia, but not affiliated with the university in any official capacity. These comments merely represent my personal opinion and nothing more.]

I need to vent my frustrations, before my head explodes. I need to express my anger, even though I have no idea how demanding the right thing be done will actually help or accomplish anything, except it might make me feel a little bit better.

We can save the argument for another day about whether the NCAA should allow players to be paid. Though I think that players should be allowed to have some sort of income, it’s irrelevant to the point that I intend to focus upon today.

Likewise, for the time being, we can also ignore that the NCAA earns nearly $1 billion dollars per year in revenue, in spite of the fact the organization is treated as a non-profit by the IRS.

Right now I don’t even want to bring up the relevance of the Ed O’Bannon court decision to this suspension, even though the ruling would seem to be quite pertinent. It’s also helpful and important to note that the NCAA lost that case.

However at the moment, I only want to figure out the answer to one question: what is the NCAA going to do about its very serious and growing credibility problem?

And what message did Mark Emmert and the NCAA think they sent the college football world by increasing Todd Gurley’s suspension from two to four games?

I agree with Bill King of the AJC, when he says their message is “honesty doesn’t pay.

While I believe most Georgia fans are proud of their school, their coach, and especially Todd Gurley this morning, we are also  frustrated.

According to the NCAA webpage when they describe themselves in the section “About Us” under their “Fairness and Integrity” policies in what the NCAA claims they do, it says,

No one is above the rules. The consequences for breaking them need to be clearly defined and consistently enforced.

NCAA President Mark Emmert

NCAA President Mark Emmert

Really? What does the word “consistency” mean to you, Mr. Emmert?

It’s pretty easy to see our head football coach has taught his players that honesty, integrity, and doing the right thing are more important than winning or losing.

You even commended Coach Richt for it, right before your organization dropped the hammer on Gurley with a suspension of four total games, with two more to sit out.

coach Mark Richt

coach Mark Richt

Georgia fans are disappointed the NCAA benched the best player in college football for two more games when other programs seem to get away with murder, but we’re proud of the way our team has dealt with this adversity. We’re proud they won two tough SEC road games in spite of the fact Todd was suspended.

And we’re proud to say that Mark Richt, a man with the utmost integrity, is the coach of our football team.

But we are confused when we see that a player accused of domestic violence currently remains eligible to play for FSU tonight, when Todd Gurley won’t play Saturday because he broke a silly rule that a lawsuit seemed to say was illegal.

Even worse, there’s absolutely no reason to believe FSU will ever suffer any consequences for their program losing control, because the NCAA appears powerless to do anything when the people that break the rules don’t report themselves.

Some of us Georgia fans are concerned about the obvious lack of a level playing field. Our guys get suspended. Other guys don’t.

Compared to Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity and coach Richt’s handling of the Todd Gurley matter, the situation down in Tallahassee appears a train wreck, but there’s no reason for us to have any confidence that the NCAA will do something about it.

A. J. Green

A. J. Green

Ironically, Todd Gurley has received the exact same punishment that was given to former Georgia wide receiver A. J. Green in 2010 for essentially the same infraction.

Make no mistake — A. J. Green broke the rules. And Todd Gurley broke the rules, whether or not we agree with them. So they both deserved punishment.

But hasn’t Gurley been punished enough, especially compared to how others aren’t being punished? For example, contrast the Gurley situation to the ongoing saga of Jameis Winston down at FSU.

Todd missed the Missouri and Arkansas games so far for signing autographs and then admitting what he did. Jameis missed the game against Clemson for a completely different offense that could not be denied because of multiple witnesses.

But Winston denies signing autographs for money and remains eligible to play, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t get away with it. The precedent has already been established. Remember when Johnny Manziel dug in his heels in spite of the overwhelming circumstantial evidence against him? He got off with a slap on the wrist by simply refusing to tell the truth. Apparently  NCAA investigators have never heard of an invention known as a lie detector, the polygraph machine, which might help them get to real truth when someone appears to be lying through their teeth.

photo from 247sports.com.

Kolton Houston

The NCAA forced Georgia offensive lineman Kolton Houston to undergo risky elective surgery in order to remedy a doctor’s mistake to gain his eligibility. So why can’t these players who appear to obviously be lying receive a shot of Sodium Pentothal, also known as truth serum, before they get interrogated?

Seeing the pathetic incompetence of the NCAA’s investigation into the Manziel case reminded me of Sergeant Schultz from the old TV show  Hogan’s Heroes:

Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel

Manziel does have a rich father, and that seems to have given him just enough plausible deniability to convince the NCAA that $7,500 a broker allegedly paid him to sign could have conceivably come from his daddy.

Nothing to see here. Move along. The NCAA claimed they bought into his story hook, line, and sinker.

In reality, it appears they simply couldn’t prove Manziel took the money.He stonewalled them, in spite of the fact that more than 4,400 signed pieces of memorabilia were found advertised for sale on the internet with his authenticated signature on them.

Yeah, he really suffered the consequences, all the way to New York where he picked up his Heisman Trophy.

Except for the NCAA investigators, a few sadly deluded Texas A&M fans, and possibly Jimbo Fisher, nobody with half a brain believes that Manziel signed thousands of sequentially numbered autographed pieces of merchandise purely out of the goodness of his heart.

And nobody except Jimbo Fisher can believe that Jameis Winston has signed more than 2,000 items of autographed memorabilia without receiving some cash under the table for his time and trouble, either. But Winston says he didn’t do it, and that’s gonna be good enough for ole Jimbo because obviously, in every other respect, Jameis is a paragon of virtue.

Jameis Winston doing something he does best

Jameis Winston doing something he does best

Please. Even Inspector Clouseau could figure out that a really bad smell is coming out of Tallahassee.

It’s called the stench of corruption. When the wind changes direction, it starts blowing in from Chapel Hill.

Come on, this isn’t rocket science. Jimbo has more than half a million reasons to turn a blind eye to Winston’s shenanigans.

He doesn’t think it’s a problem that 2,000 pieces of authenticated memorabilia are currently available for sale on the internet with his quarterback’s name on them, because Winston simply follows the example set by Manziel and claims that he took no money

Todd Gurley told the truth. He admitted breaking NCAA rules.

And his reward will be to sit home for two more weeks and watch while liars get to play.

The REAL war on women — Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking

actor Denzel Washington

actor Denzel Washington

Whenever I hear one politician accuse another of participating in some “war on women” by somehow threatening to infringe upon their “reproductive rights”, it makes me want to vomit.

Anyone who says something that stupid obviously does’t have a clue about the real war being waged on women by terrorist thugs like ISIS or Boko Haram, who kidnap, rape, and enslave young children.

Unfortunately, dangerous predators who prey on young girls also lurk within our midst, right here at home in America.

But instead of kidnapping their victims, these domestic predators usually prey on young teens who have run away from home.

So yesterday, my son and I went to see The Equalizer in the plush, gorgeous and brand new AMC Theaters at North Point Mall and it became one of the best experiences in a theater that I’ve had in years. The chairs were very comfortable leather recliners, and the theaters and lobby were impeccably clean.

The bar was even open for business, though it was a little too early for alcohol.

The very best part of my experience was watching the movie itself, though — I really needed to see Denzel Washington wipe out a gang of Russian mobsters getting obscenely rich selling young girls into prostitution.

I will concede that I probably enjoyed the film more than I should have. I’m quite sure that I’ve seen better movies.

However, I chose that particular movie specifically because I anticipated the plot would prove to be cathartic, given the nature of my experience the previous evening, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens

The night before I attended a symposium on domestic minor sex trafficking held at at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Alpharetta that featured Attorney General Sam Olens, as well as Scott Gates of Street Grace Ministry, Fulton County Assistant District Attorney Camilia Wright, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Asst. Special Agent Brian Johnston, and Mary Frances Bowley of Wellspring Living.

This panel of experts presented information about the sexual abuse of children that was enlightening, but also depressing to learn.

Attorney General Olens has worked with state legislators to strengthen Georgia’s laws against sex trafficking, making the potential sentences for conviction among the toughest in the nation. He is quite passionate about prosecuting this heinous crime.

Street Grace is a nonprofit faith-based organization that educates people to increase awareness of this pernicious element hiding within our society, working to help put an end to domestic minor sex trafficking.

Wellspring Living rescues and rehabilitates the young victims of this sordid business, providing them with a safe place to stay while mentoring them while the kids complete their education and prepare them to become self-sufficient, .

Assistant D.A. Wright serves as the head of the Fulton D.A.’s Human Trafficking department. Think about the implications of what that means — in Fulton County, the problem has become so bad that an entire department within the organization has been dedicated to prosecuting one specific crime.

How bad can this problem really be? You might ask…so let me tell you.

Our panel of experts opened more eyes than mine, educating us by sharing some very alarming statistics. For example:

  • 300,000 children are sold into prostitution every year.
  • The child sex-trade industry earns $150 billion dollars per year in the U.S.
  • The average age of recruitment for a child prostitute is between 12-14 years old.
  • The average life expectancy of a child coerced or forced into prostitution is only seven years.
  • Between 70 and 90 percent of the victims were sexually abused at home before running away.
  • Over 90 percent of the victims stay in school, where they often try to recruit other victims at the behest of their pimp.
  • 42 percent of the “buyers” of these children are wealthy or upper middle class white men from the suburbs north of I-285 — in other words, people who could be my neighbors.

The evening’s news wasn’t all depressing — Ms. Wright also told us about a recent prosecution of sex traffickers resulting in a sentence of life without parole for the “recruiter”, and a sentence of 30 years with a minimum of 25 to serve for the person who marketed the young girl.

The buyer paid for the sexual encounter with $79 and a soft drink. For his crime, he received a sentence of ten years with a minimum of five to serve. He is scheduled to be deported upon his release due to his status as a foreign national.

You might be wondering, what can average citizens do to help put an end to this awful business?

Tell our legislators how much we appreciate the new, tougher sentences for the sex traffickers. Let them know we would also appreciate them increasing the penalties available for people who pay to have sex with underage children.

Discourage any potential buyers you suspect. Exert a little peer pressure by making sure your friends understand how sick, despicable, and pathetic you think anyone who pays to have sex with a very young girl must be.

Donate time, money, or both to support Street Grace and Wellspring Living. Both are worthy nonprofit organizations dedicated to an excellent cause, the eradication of childhood prostitution.

Report suspicious activity involving children and especially potential sex crimes to the Georgia Cares hotline at 404-602-0268.

Or, you may also call the National Human Trafficking Resource center hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

The real war on women is happening before they become women, while they are still vulnerable young teens.

I know it’s a shame, but we can’t expect Denzel Washington to kill all the bad guys who exist in the real world.

We must put an end to this evil ourselves.

Fossilized rabbits in the Precambrian

Haldane

J. B. S. Haldane

In his book The God Delusion, prominent atheist Richard Dawkins wrote, “As J. B. S. Haldane said when asked what evidence might contradict evolution, ‘Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian.'”

But how does Haldane’s rather sarcastic and flippant remark translate into English?

Well, consider that the Precambrian describes the geologic period of time between the origin of life and the Cambrian explosion.

According to our experts in paleontology, this particular period of time during the Earth’s development was dominated by single-celled organisms that descended via asexual reproduction from LUCA, an acronym referring to our Last Universal Common Ancestor, formed by a secular miracle of chemical reaction.

So a fossil showing the presence of a more complex and modern product of sexual reproduction, such as a rabbit or a human, shouldn’t be found in rocks formed long before that particular creature could have come into existence, according to these “rules” of evolution.

When Darwin famously suggested that “monkeys make men“, he could have claimed that protozoa make men, but his idea presented in The Origin of Species would have been harder to defend using comparative anatomy as the only weapon in Darwin’s arsenal of evidence to argue in favor of common descent rather than common design.

The idea that every living organism is related through common descent is the very heart and soul of Darwin’s theory — the belief that simple organisms can gradually evolve to become more complex, given the vagaries of time, through variety created by descent with modification via natural selection, of course.

By employing that same logic and extrapolating from the same evidence only a little bit further, one could also reasonably assert that “bananas make men.”

In fact, in his book The Greatest Show on Earth: the Evidence for Evolution, Richard Dawkins said as much when he wrote,

Evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eyewitnesses to the Holocaust. It is the plain truth that we are cousins of chimpanzee, somewhat more distant cousins of monkey, more distant cousins still of aardvarks and manatees, yet more distant cousins of bananas and turnips…continue the list as long as desired.

Because I didn’t fall off the turnip truck this morning, personally I find this “fact” called evolution more than just a little bit hard to believe. Usually I’m a fairly reasonable person, and yet I have very good reasons for expressing my doubts that Mr. Dawkins’s above claim is true.

For example, another theme central to Darwin’s theory says that if we can look far enough back in time, we can see evidence that ancestral creatures went through radical morphological changes at some point in the distant past. This phenomena allows evolutionary biologists to “predict” when a critical divergence occurred — such as when dinosaurs evolved into birds, or when fish magically mutated into tetrapods.

For whatever reason, it has been generally assumed that Haldane’s comment more or less applied to any fossil evidence that was found in rocks where it didn’t belong, and Darwin’s theory would fall under new scrutiny should that occur.

However, that may have been a foolish assumption.

For example, when fossil footprints were found in Poland that appeared to be 20 million years older than Tiktaalit, the alleged transitional fossil that purportedly bridges the gap between fish and all tetrapods. That seems to strongly suggest that Tiktaalit was not some miraculous intermediate species that magically crossed the boundaries between two phyla.

Crocoduck1

Creationists have been harshly criticized and ridiculed for allegedly demanding that evolutionists produce a crocko-duck transitional fossil.

However, the so-called “educational” website produced by the University of California-Berkeley described Tiktaalit as having “the head of a crocodile and gills of a fish,” and no one seemed to think that sounded remotely absurd.

Protoavis

Protoavis

This extinct specimen pictured on the left has been dubbed Protoavis, which means “first bird.” It allegedly lived during the late Triassic Period, approximately 210 million years ago.

When my friend Landon posted the picture of Protoavis as shown on the left, I suggested that he’d only created a massive headache for himself. After all, he had just pointed to yet another equivalent of a “Precambrian rabbit” that might finally get people questioning the conventional wisdom of Darwinism once again.

Archaeopteryx

Archaeopteryx

This is because Archaeopteryx has been widely accepted as the transitional creature from dinosaurs to birds, and it lived during the late Jurassic, only 150 million years ago.

That makes Protoavis the second “first bird” fossil. However, it looks a lot more like a bird than Archaeopteryx.

How does the die-hard evangelist for evolution respond to such evidence? Most will probably parrot P. Z. Myers, who seemed to be suggesting that evolution theory will not be successfully challenged or debunked until a Precambrian rabbit has literally been found.

And not before.

 

Todd Grantham versus Jeremy Pruitt — which Defensive Coordinator would you rather have?

Georgia legend Erk Russell

Georgia legend Erk Russell

It’s a good thing I don’t drink coffee.

This morning during breakfast when I read Michael Cunningham’s article in the AJC that was published a couple of weeks ago, suggesting that Todd Grantham has done a better job of coaching defense at Louisville than Jeremy Pruitt has been doing this year at Georgia, I would have spit that coffee all over my keyboard.

Water cleans up much easier. Nor does it hurt very much if you laugh while swallowing and some goes up or down the wrong way.

Was Mr. Cunningham serious? Has he actually watched the two defenses play, or simply looked at the raw statistical analysis? In his defense, Mr. Cunningham normally writes about the Atlanta Hawks and professional basketball. He must have wandered a little bit out of his comfort zone.

That’s the only way I can guess someone might think Todd Grantham could do a better job at Louisville than Jeremy Pruitt has been doing this year at Georgia.

He simply can’t have watched Todd Grantham coach a defense before.

However, I have. In fact, I watched Grantham in action for four mostly painful years,  from 2010 – 2013, every game the Bulldogs played.

And in my personal opinion, Georgia won the freaking lottery when Grantham left and they hired Pruitt to replace him.

Coaches Pruitt and Richt -- AP photo

AP photo

Now it simply isn’t fair to Grantham to compare him to Jeremy Pruitt, a man who has proven he knows how to coach a national championship caliber defense. Grantham’s work should be measured against Willie Martinez, the guy he replaced.

Grantham was a slight improvement.

But I am sure that I can recognize a well-coached defense when I see one, and I never saw one being coached by Todd Grantham.

Not even once.

During Grantham’s tenure with Georgia, typically Aaron Murray and the offense put up enough points to win in spite of the defense, not with their help.

More often than not under Grantham, our play in the secondary resembled the Three Stooges, instead of a disciplined unit working as a team. I still have nightmares about 4th and 18 at Auburn.

Then after I wake up in a cold sweat and finally go back to sleep, I have more nightmares about the 99-yard bomb Nebraska threw in the bowl game.

In comparison, the vast improvement in Georgia’s defense from week to week with Jeremy Pruitt at the helm has been obvious and remarkable, beginning with the season opener against Clemson.

By the time the second half against the ranked Tigers ended, I could tell that we had seriously upgraded our defensive coordinator.

In the Clemson game, I saw glimpses of brilliant defensive play reminding me of glory days and  legendary Junkyard Dawg defense, coached by Erk Russell.

Now I freely admit that I haven’t watched Louisville play very much this year, simply because I don’t find their games against Wake Forest, Murray State, or the Little Sisters of the Poor very interesting.

At the time Mr. Cunningham wrote his column, Louisville had just defeated Wake without the Demon Deacons scoring an offensive touchdown — with a passing offense ranked #105. Their rushing offense is even worse, ranked #128 averaging only 31 yards a game.

It isn’t difficult to look good against really bad competition. Louisville has only played two difficult games and lost both of them.

In four years of watching Todd Grantham at work, I never saw any effort from his players that reminded me of Erk. His defenses managed three shutouts in four years, all in Sanford stadium.

By  contrast, Pruitt’s defense shut out two opponents in half a season, the most impressive of which being on the road in Columbia last weekend.

The Junkyard Dawgs showed up again last Saturday, proving at ranked Missouri the Clemson game wasn’t a fluke. This time, the effort was sustained for all four quarters.

Missouri would have been in the driver’s seat for the SEC East title, plenty of incentive to win at home. Instead, Georgia’s offense played well enough to win, and the defense absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage and suffocated the Tiger offense from the opening kickoff to the final whistle.

It’s much too early to compare Pruitt to coach Russell at this point of his career — it seems more appropriate to compare him to Brian VanGorder, the best defensive coordinator under Richt,

Until now.

After Pruitt has had the opportunity to recruit a couple of shutdown corners and shore up the secondary, the sky may be the limit.

 

 

The really big money in politics

Charles-David-KochNow if you only get information from uber-liberal media sources like Mother Jones or Media Matters, you might have the impression that the Koch brothers (pronounced “Coke” like the soft drink) are probably the most powerful and corrupting influence out there, when it comes to the really big money in politics. Right?

No, you would actually be wrong.

Wait a minute — even if the Kochs are not the absolute biggest individual political donors on the list, they must at least be in the top 10, correct?

Nope. Not even close.

But hold on now — when Rolling Stone magazine suggested these e-e-e-vil brothers are trying to “buy up our political system” with ill-gotten profits of their “toxic empire,” there must be some truth to those allegations, or their printed accusations would constitute libel, wouldn’t it?

Maybe. I’m not a lawyer. Nor do I play one on television. But if I’m reading the definition of libel correctly from the dictionary, perhaps a lawsuit looms in the magazine’s near future.

So, if not even in the top 10, where exactly on the list of big money donors do the Koch brothers fall?

Well, according to OpenSecrets.org, a website published by the Center for Responsive Politics, Charles and David Koch rank 59th out of the top 100 political donors with donations of slightly more than $20 million dollars from 1989-2014.

According to that same list, the largest single political donor is ActBlue, which alone donated over $100 million dollars more than the Koch brothers.

Unsurprisingly, given their name, 99 percent of ActBlue’s $121 million in total donations went to Democrats. None went to Republicans.

In stark contrast, the Koch brothers were a little less biased, donating at least 8 percent of their total political contributions to Democrat candidates.

Now if one simply looks at the list and the top ten donors and adds the total donations of the ten largest political donors, it becomes easy to determine that well over a whopping $400 million more went in big money campaign contributions from lawyers, big business, and labor unions to Democrat candidates.

So remember this information, the next time a political candidate tries to win your sympathy and your vote by demonizing the Koch brothers.

Their paltry (in comparison to the others on the list, of course) $20 million dollars is just a drop in the bucket of big money in politics.

The entrapment of Todd Gurley

Todd_Gurley_croppedWhen media reports were published claiming the man accusing UGA running back Todd Gurley of accepting improper payment to autograph sports memorabilia had hired an attorney, my initial reaction to the story was one of surprise.

The first, most obvious question that popped into my head was this: Why does the guy who allegedly entrapped Gurley need an attorney?

It turns out that apparently by accusing Gurley, this person has tacitly admitted violating a Georgia law passed in 2003 that would make him legally liable for damages incurred by the University of Georgia through his deliberate causing of recruiting or regulation violations to occur.

Now the conventional wisdom of pundits in the media currently seems to be that Gurley may have played his last game for the University of Georgia. However, I’m not convinced that #3 won’t be suited up again next week for the Dawgs fairly soon, perhaps even as soon as next weekend against Arkansas.

The rationale for my thinking is simply this: unless there is a smoking gun like video of money changing hands or cashed checks showing a direct payment of cash by the accuser to the accused, how will the NCAA justify giving Gurley more than a one game suspension, considering how similar recent cases have been handled?

Reports in the media have emphatically indicated that the video allegedly showing Gurley autographing merchandise does not show any money changing hands. These reports suggest it is only the word of one accuser described as disgruntled and unscrupulous versus the best player in college football, Todd Gurley.

And most people who enjoy college football want to see Todd Gurley play.

Interestingly, it appears that Gurley’s accuser cannot repeat his allegations on the record to the NCAA without incriminating himself, which may be why he hired a defense attorney.

Unless I’m missing something, the best move for this memorabilia dealer would be to retract his accusation or simply refuse to repeat it for the record. If he’s smart, he won’t cooperate with any investigation for fear of exposing himself to the risk of personal financial loss.

Here’s why — if this guy repeats his allegations, without hard evidence to corroborate his claims, the NCAA will be hard pressed to accept his unsubstantiated allegation on face value and impose a drastic punishment…and this guy will have made himself vulnerable to civil lawsuit.

You might ask how much might the University of Georgia expect to recoup if they sued Gurley’s accuser and won? Well, consider the fact that the school spent $40,000 alone just for an insurance policy to cover their prized running back for the 2014 season.

Room, board, tuition, lost Heisman publicity — the potential damages could add up quickly.

Given this information, what is the likelihood Gurley has played his last game for UGA?

Consider these precedents set by the NCAA with their handling of similar recent cases: former Alabama players Julio Jones and Mark Ingram were let off with a slap on the wrist, donating “restitution” for allegedly accepting improper benefits. Neither player missed any game time.

Former Auburn Tiger and Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton‘s father demanded hundreds of thousands of dollars for Cam to sign with Mississippi State, but because there was no evidence Auburn paid him or that he knew of his father’s demands, the player was suspended and reinstated by the NCAA without missing any game time.

Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M was only suspended for one half of one non-conference game for basically being accused of the same thing as Gurley.

Jameis Winston of Florida State University has only been suspended for one game by the NCAA for far more egregious behavior. Without hard evidence to substantiate these allegations against Gurley, it would hardly seem fair nor defensible for the NCAA to punish him more harshly than any of these other players.

After all, missing the entire Missouri game probably cost Gurley his shot at the Heisman Trophy. It should be noted that the very same memorabilia dealer making these accusations against Todd Gurley has not mentioned Jameis Winston, but allegedly has quite a few of Winston’s autographed items for sale on Ebay right along with Gurley.

Why rat on one guy, and not the other? Why pick on Todd Gurley?

As the story goes, greed is the motive. This particular individual was allegedly upset with Gurley because he wasn’t making enough profit off sales of his merchandise to suit him.

The whole sordid story poses an interesting question: does the NCAA really want to allow this precedent to be set?  Do they want to allow serious allegations to ruin the college career of a player without requiring concrete proof that the allegations are true?

If this is despicable practice, allegedly coercing athletes to break the rules and then framing them, is allowed to succeed,the integrity of college sports will be called into question.

Think about it — if this sort of manipulation is allowed to succeed, how long will it be before a die-hard Auburn fan makes a similar allegation in order to get the best player on Alabama, or vice versa, disqualified right before the Iron Bowl? Or a USC fan sets up a UCLA player, or Buckeye does something like this to a Wolverine?

For these reasons, unless that proverbial smoking gun can be produced proving Todd Gurley took money for his autograph, I think the NCAA has little alternative but to reinstate him.

Even if that evidence proves to exist, the NCAA should think long and hard about revising the rules so people with an ulterior motive can get away with the malicious entrapment of a college kid. After all, college football is essentially semi-pro football, especially in the SEC.

Why can’t the players get paid for their autograph, if some fool is willing to pay for it?