UGA and Todd Gurley Suspension: Separating fact from fiction


Now that we’ve had a day to digest the fact that Todd Gurley has been suspended, it’s time to gather up all the noise and nonsense floating around the internet and airwaves and clear up what is actually truth, and what is fabricated fecal material.

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Here’s what is absolutely known to be true, and what is just speculation or even blatant lies.

FACT: Todd Gurley has been suspended by the Georgia Athletic Association indefinitely due to an ongoing investigation involving alleged improper benefits received from autographed memorabilia.

It’s important to note that the NCAA has not suspended or even investigated Gurley at this point. This is an internal investigation and will be self-reported to the NCAA by the University of Georgia. The NCAA can choose to accept Georgia’s report at face value, or opt to open their own investigation.

FICTION: Gurley’s suspension will end his career at Georgia.

We don’t know this for sure yet. We don’t even know if he’s guilty of the allegations. The number of games he will serve will be dependent on the amount of money (if found guilty) he received. Larger or “substantial” sums of money could make the suspension long enough to last the rest of the season, but its also possible that he will serve only one game.

FACT: Gurley will not play in the game against Missouri this weekend.

Not only will he not play, but he is not with the team. He didn’t fly with the team to Missouri, and unless he is exonerated in the next 8-12 hours, he’ll likely not be on the sidelines.

FICTION: There is photo evidence proving that Gurley signed autographs and received payment for them from a memorabilia dealer.

Right now there is an accusation from a dealer, and supposed photo/video evidence that is under examination. To date, no one has offered definitive proof that Gurley is even the person in the photos or that he took money for the autographs being signed. It is all speculation right now.

FACT: NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes from using their likeness or autographs to generate personal profit, or profit for a dealer/broker.

Despite the fact that the NCAA (and the school) generate millions of dollars using the athlete’s likeness, they are not allowed to profit from it themselves. Gurley knew this, and if he’s guilty of violating this rule, he is in the wrong (despite how ridiculous and hypocritical the rule may be).

FICTION: This suspension will hurt Gurley’s status in the upcoming NFL draft.

Gurley was going to be a first round pick before the suspension and he will still be a first round pick, even if suspended for the rest of the season. He has put together more than enough highlight reel material, and GMs are probably happy right now that he stands less of a chance of being injured or worn out this season.

FACT: Georgia can still beat Missouri and win the SEC East without Todd Gurley.

Nov 2, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt talks with running back Todd Gurley (3) on the sidelines against the Florida Gators during the second half at EverBank Field. Georgia Bulldogs defeated the Florida Gators 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Will it be harder? Absolutely. But there is a lot of talent and a lot of heart on this team. Nick Chubb will do an excellent job of filling in for Gurley, and when Sony Michel is back from his shoulder injury, he’ll be a big help as well. More pressure will land on Hutson Mason, and certainly more pressure on the defense, but Georgia is still one of the best teams in the SEC.

FICTION: Todd Gurley has been unjustly suspended, and seems to be guilty until proven innocent.

The suspension handed down by Mark Richt was to protect the entire program. Once the allegations were made public, and the investigation began, Richt had no choice but to suspend his star running back. Had Gurley played in any games while the investigation was ongoing, and were eventually found guilty, then any wins during that time would be forfeited and Georgia would be ineligible for postseason play, and would likely receive further NCAA sanctions.

That’s all we know, and what we don’t care to hear anymore.