But give the folks at Butts-Mehre plenty of credit. They’ve finally gotten off up their butts and decided to do something for Todd Gurley.
And it’s a beautiful thing.
Georgia running back Todd Gurley has retained attorney William King of the law firm Lightfoot Franklin & White of Birmingham, Ala., a person with knowledge of the matter told USA TODAY Sports.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity due to privacy concerns.
Gurley was suspended indefinitely by Georgia on Thursday during an ongoing investigation into an alleged violation of NCAA rules.
King was the lead attorney on eligibility cases involving Auburn quarterback Cam Newton and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, both of whom were reinstated after a quick NCAA investigation.
Unlike the Manziel case, where King worked on behalf of the school, he has been retained by Gurley. Georgia announced Friday that it was paying for Gurley’s representation.
Way to go, fellas. Institutional support of Gurley is the right move. Of course, it should have been the right move for AJ Green, too. What this suggests, though, is that the school has finally learned the lessons of NCAA enforcement history over the last four years and intends to play the game according to the new rules. That is a very encouraging development. Also – and I don’t want to get too optimistic on you here – does anybody really think that Georgia’s athletic department spends money on a cause it knows is clearly lost?
And that’s only half the story. Yesterday in one of the comment threads, somebody asked me what I thought Greg McGarity ought to say right now about the situation. Well, upon reflection, I think he ought to say something like this:
I would like to make a few additional comments about yesterday’s announcement regarding the suspension of Todd Gurley.
While we have made extensive efforts to gather all relevant facts, this is still an ongoing and obviously sensitive matter involving a student-athlete. Because of federal privacy laws, NCAA rules, and the ongoing nature of this matter, there are limits on what I can say at this time. While we unfortunately cannot get into details, there are a few things I would like to make clear to those who support the University of Georgia.
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 that is unfortunate and while we can’t control the pundits, I want to assure the Bulldog Nation that from the time this matter arose and continuing through today, University of Georgia personnel have worked tirelessly, making every effort and taking all appropriate steps to support our student-athletes and our coaches and to act in the best interests of the University of Georgia.
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.
Rest assured the University is continuing its efforts to resolve the eligibility matter as expeditiously as possible and in a manner that is in the best interests of the University, its coaches, and its student-athletes.
We will continue our proactive and extensive program of rules education for our student-athletes, coaches, and staff.
Because of the ongoing nature of the matter, unfortunately I cannot make any more comments at this time.
I encourage the Bulldog Nation to continue to pull together during this difficult time and support all of our coaches and student-athletes as we move forward.
That is… pitch perfect. It serves to calm the waters with the fan base and put the focus back on supporting the program. It lets Gurley know the school has his back. It lets us believe that McGarity isn’t being a passive observer this time – and sends that same message to the NCAA.
Honestly, as much crap as I’ve thrown McGarity’s way, when he gets something this right, he deserves nothing but praise for a job well done. I hope this is a sign of the start of better things for the program on a host of different fronts, but that’s carping right now. This may turn out to be Greg McGarity’s finest hour and I’m okay with that. Nicely played, sir.