It's official: Georgia tailback Todd Gurley has been suspended indefinitely from competition pending an investigation of possible NCAA rules violations.
That's all we know with any certainty at this point.
****STOP HERE IF YOU WANT JUST THE FACTS MA'AM****
However, there have been rumors floating around for several weeks that Gurley may have signed some memorabilia for money. We here at Dawg Sports couldn't verify any of it. In fact, we cruised the old internet and found a good bit of Gurley memorabilia for sale. But we also found plenty of Amari Cooper and Mike Davis memorabilia for sale. So we didn't think too much more of it.
So how long is indefinite? No one knows. Cam Newton was suspended indefinitely in 2010 after his father solicited cash for Newton's commitment and it lasted a couple of days. Johnny Manziel signed his name to some stuff at least knowing that it would be sold and was suspended for a half. A.J. Green sold some stuff to an agent, and that netted him four games.
So, again, we don't know that this is what is going on. This is rank speculation. (EDIT: Still working on this, but I'm now a little more confident that the issue involves memorabilia sales, though not necessarily to an agent). But the other likely species under the genus "rules violation" are academic issue (highly unlikely, especially given that Gurley's never been ineligible and has a good number of classes under his belt at this point), and agent contact (Oh God, no. Anything but that.)
We'll be back with more as it develops. Until then . . .um. . .Go 'Dawgs???
SI's Andy Staples is reporting that an individual came forward recently to say that he paid Gurley $400 to sign 80 items on campus last spring. I'm not sure why this guy came forward now, though I could speculate that it had something to do with waiting until he had the utmost leverage over Gurley in order to not come forward.
****UPDATE 12:10 a.m.****
The autograph dealer who allegedly paid Gurley $400 for his signature wasn't terribly bashful about it, approaching multiple media outlets, including SB Nation with his story. In doing so he conceded that there was no photo or video evidence of Gurley accepting payment for his signature.
****UPDATE 10:50 A.M. Friday morning****
Seth Emerson has confirmed that Todd Gurley is not on the team plane to Missouri. So, apparently, he's officially out for Saturday.
Todd Gurley is not on the trip to Missouri, team spokesman confirmed. Georgia flying out of Atlanta shortly.— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) October 10, 2014
****Update 1:45 pm Friday****
The AJC posted an article citing a source saying Todd Gurley is "likely to miss the rest of the season. The headline has now been changed to state that he "may" miss the rest of the season. I don't think anyone didn't know that was a possibility while the NCAA and UGA Athletic Association slog through this. Bottom line, a lot of people are guessing about what occurred and how the NCAA might react to it. But it is, in the end, guesswork.
****Update 6:35 pm Friday****
UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity has released a statement. You can view the whole thing here. It obviously doesn't reveal a lot of new information, but here are a few relevant points:
There is currently a lot of misinformation about this matter in the public domain, and many pundits are offering opinions that are based on incomplete or erroneous information.
[. . .]
While the University does not tolerate any violation of NCAA rules, the University has supported and continues to support its student-athletes. As just one example, when this matter arose, the University offered separate legal counsel to Todd; the University recommended -- and Todd retained -- counsel with vast experience with eligibility matters; and the University continues to pay for Todd's counsel, as permitted by NCAA rules.
We have made clear to Todd that regardless of what happens with this case, he is still a member of the Bulldog family, and we will support him in every way we can.