The Georgia Bulldog Club meeting was a blast. Great turnout, and everyone there was gracious. I didn’t trip walking to or from the podium and the speech was well received.
Many thanks to Kevin Clark and the rest of the Club for extending me the invite. And if you’re ever in the neighborhood when there’s a meeting, drop in.
By the way, if you ever need somebody to fire up a Georgia crowd with a little Gator hate, Eric Zeier is your man. He killed it last night.
I’m heading out in less than an hour, so I thought I’d make my short-term farewell here. Y’all behave while I’m gone, and if I’m in the mood, I’ll throw a couple of posts up for your viewing pleasure.
If the Dawgs keep doing what they’ve been doing – win the turnover and field position battles – they should win comfortably on Saturday. If not, then it’s closer. But I don’t see how that Florida offense can win a game by itself.
Enjoy the rest of the week. I intend to do so.
Now that we know his fate, I’ve grown tired of the subject. The Dawg fan in me hopes that Mark Richt is reading the situation correctly and that Gurley intends to return for the Auburn game (think the crowd will be nuts if that happens?); the part of me that shakes his head over the NCAA’s hypocrisy wouldn’t blame him a bit for calling his college football career over and looking out for number one. But here are a few last points I want to throw out.
- To the “Georgia should have done what FSU is doing” crowd: Yeah, we all know that it’s highly unlikely Winston signed hundreds of autographs that are now up for sale out of the goodness of his heart. But knowing and proving are two vastly different things. As long as the FSU athletic administration can wrap itself in the cloak of plausible deniability, it has the luxury of doing so. Once Bryan Allen showed up on Greg McGarity’s doorstep, Georgia lost that luxury. I can’t say that Georgia handled the investigation and the subsequent report to the NCAA perfectly – although I’m sure the Open Records requests to find that out are being prepared as you read this – but to insist that McGarity should have sat on his hands and dared the NCAA to do something is ludicrous.
- To the “Georgia once again is the shining city on the hill” crowd: You people really need to get over yourselves. Bryan Allen cuts both ways here. Once he threw his stones, Georgia had no choice but to suspend. There was nothing noble or heroic about the decision. Mark Richt is a stellar person, but this incident isn’t about him doling out justice to a kid who’s never been in trouble with his coaches. If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe Mark Richt.
- To the “Gurley will be forever stained by this incident” crowd: AJ Green is amused.
- To the NCAA: Forget O’Bannon. Forget your defense of an obscene and anachronistic amateurism model that even you and your members don’t defend among yourselves when the doors are closed. What really sucks here is that people like Mike Slive, Jim Delany and Mark Emmert solemnly vowed several years ago that players like Todd Gurley deserved to be compensated for the total cost of attendance and since then, nothing has been accomplished on that front. Todd Gurley was found to have received three grand over a couple of years. The extra money you promised would have been at least that much. Had you been sincere about it, we wouldn’t be sitting here angry right now because Gurley wouldn’t have needed to resort to autograph sales to put a few bucks in his pocket. Just on that basis, if you had any sense of shame right now, you’d reconsider the punishment that’s been meted out in your answer to Georgia’s appeal. But the NCAA and a sense of shame… who am I kidding here?
Time to move on. I am. I hear this Nick Chubb is pretty good. Think he can run on the Florida defense?
Whether it’s by luck or design doesn’t matter to me – it’s just weird to realize that seven games into the season, people are trying to make Michael Bennett feel guilty about having Georgia’s only fumble so far.
Let’s hope he’s still being as defensive after Saturday.
From our selfish standpoints, the one big change in Bill’s picture is that he’s now showing Auburn with a 68% chance of winning in Athens. Missouri projects to having less than a nine percent chance of going 7-1, so the odds of Georgia playing in the SECCG are still strong.
The West still looks like it’s up for grabs, and will probably stay that way until the end of the regular season. Fun times for all…
I’m not sure why it’s important to play the blame game with Todd Gurley, but since there are plenty besides Jeff Schultz who want to do so, is it worth my time to point out that the reason Todd Gurley was in a position to violate NCAA rules for making money selling his autograph is because we – fans, athletic directors, media members alike – have made his name and likeness valuable?
As Andy Staples puts it in this excellent piece,
The players didn’t turn college football into a multibillion-dollar business. The conference commissioners and athletic directors did. Now, those administrators must deal with the consequences, and one is people are more willing than ever to pay for the autographs of the players they see on television every Saturday. The players are going to sign. The money is too easy and the likelihood of negative consequences too small to stop them.
No doubt the situation sucks. Gurley broke a rule he was well aware of. Indignation is something I can understand coming from everyone. It’s the righteous part that isn’t justified. At least not if you don’t blame yourself along with Gurley.