[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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.