In defense of the NCAA

Let me be clear: I love AJ Green. In my humble opinion, he is the best receiver in Georgia history and is likely to go on to be one of the top 25 receivers in NFL history. There are few individuals playing on Saturday here in this great nation that have more talent than AJ. To top it off, he sacrifices his body for the better of the team every Saturday, without hesitation, without reserve, and without any thought towards his NFL future.

AJ Green sold a game jersey. To an agent. There is no way that AJ thought this was okay. In fact, he undoubtedly knew or should have known this was a violation of NCAA rules. After the 2003 debacle wherein a number of our past heroes sold their SEC CG rings, AJ absolutely knew this type of transaction was against the rules. He knew the rules and he violated the rules. And he deserves to be suspended.

To top it off, the sale was not to some random person on eBay. It wasn’t to some fan like….me….or any of my friends. It was to an agent. Frankly, the reports out now don’t even make it sound like it was that much of a mystery: it wasn’t a go-between or a friend of an agent. The sale was to an individual defined as an agent under NCAA rules.

The NCAA took a long time to reach a decision on this. That’s because the infraction involved a) an improper benefit received by a player; b) that stemmed from an improper transaction; c) that involved an AGENT. My guess is they investigated the sale, the method of sale, and the individual (who turned out to be an AGENT). They probably spent another week figuring out the punishment. I think this is an appropriate, albeit frustrating amount of time to reach a just conclusion and result. Sale without an agent = 2 games. Agent interaction, no money in hand = 2 games. Sale + agent interaction = 4 games. I don't see any problem with this.

I wish AJ was playing this week, but he isn’t and he shouldn’t be. He shouldn’t play week 3 or week 4 either. What he should do is apologize to his family first, his teammates second, and his fans third. I hope he stays; he doesn’t owe anybody anything, but it’d be nice to have a full season of AJ Green before we see him off to his profitable and, hopefully, glorious NFL career. I love watching AJ play, but this is an appropriate consequence of a poor decision.

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