Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thoughts on the A.J. Green Suspension

So the link that I posted yesterday to Chuck Oliver's website that said A.J. would be declared eligible was obviously incorrect. That's unfortunate. Today the NCAA made the ruling that A.J. Green would be suspended for 4 games (1 game has already been served last week against UL) for selling his Independence Bowl jersey to an "individual who meets the NCAA definition of an agent."

I have a lot of thoughts both ways on this. The fact that this involves an agent makes it very murky. First off, if he did in fact sell his jersey to someone who is employed as an agent then a suspension is definitely warranted. Four games feels steep (especially when Marcell Dareus got 2 games for receiving benefits I've read were almost twice of what A.J. received). A.J. is no doubt at fault no matter what personal reasons were behind what he did. A question that needs to be raised is what happens to this "agent" who has at most clearly taken advantage of a young adult and at least was an accessory to an NCAA violation. There's so much about this that we do not know. Who approached who? Did A.J. know that this individual was in fact an agent? Why isn't this agent's name being dragged through the mud for this violation instead of just A.J.'s? At minimum, the agent's name should be made public. Coaches and parents have a right to know who the agent is so that they can steer their players and children away from this individual.

In the wake of A.J. missing the next 3 games (@ South Carolina, home against Arkansas and @ Mississippi State) the immediate thoughts go to how will the team survive missing their best player? I think this would be a bigger deal (not that it's not a big deal) if this happened last year as Joe Cox needed A.J. Green more because Georgia did not have an established OL, consistent RBs and TEs who are among the best in the league. Georgia is a better team then they were last year and have more play-makers than they did at the beginning of last year. That being said, this puts added pressure on redshirt freshman Aaron Murray. Murray will not have Green to turn to as his security blanket (he will have to decide if that will be Tavarres King, Kris Durham, Shaun Chapas or Orson Charles). We also don't know how Murray will react when he sees an SEC defense. This week Georgia plays at South Carolina. South Carolina is historically a middle of the road SEC team that always has a good defense and has a passionate fan base. South Carolina is looking to make a run this year. In only the second game of the year could this be the turning point of Georgia's season?


J.Martin said...

FWIW, Dareus was due to receive a 4 game suspension, but had it reduced by 2 for "mitigating circumstances" and being 100% compliant and truthful with investigators.

I think the main difference between Dareus and Green is that Dareus received his benefits unknowingly, whereas Green obviously knew what he was doing when he sold the jersey for a grand. Whether he knew he was dealing with an agent or a runner or whatever, he should have known that's a violation. That's Compliance 101.

Kevin said...

I do find it interesting that if AJ would have done something like say...beat up a cop....he wouldn't have missed any games. But I guess that's just in Tennessee.

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