While I don’t doubt Vince Dooley’s sincerity in his support for the current NCAA amateurism model – hell, I even give him credit for consistency (“I don’t agree with the fact that you should be selling jerseys with their names on the back of them, the school or NCAA,” he said. “I don’t think that’s right.”) – it’s more than ironic, considering that he was a primary player in the matter that set the wheels in motion for the battle over amateurism.
Category Archives: The NCAA
Obviously, as Georgia fans, the Gurley suspension has hit us in a personal way. But as John Infante points out, it’s likely to hit the NCAA differently.
But while a majority of people are opposed to paying student-athletes, that majority is getting more silent (if not smaller) by the day. Few people have spoken out against Gurley’s actions. And many who have invoke only a “rules are rules” explanation, less along the lines of “do the crime, do the time” and more along the lines of “come on, what did you expect would happen?”
There are a lot of factors involved in these types of changes in public opinion but the NFL’s tumultuous summer and start to the season looms large. Scandal fatigue with the NCAA began setting in a long time ago. The long wait for penalties in the USC case started it; the Penn State penalties, misconduct in the Miami case, and lack of action on UNC’s academic scandal were other major milestones…
… The result is we can expect support for the NCAA’s enforcement of its amateurism rules to hit a new low. That seems to be playing out with the Gurley accusations. Faced with a crisis that might one day represent an existential threat to the sport (and thus college athletics), it is easy to understand people who wonder why the NCAA is worried about some autographs.
Here’s an example of that kind of sentiment (h/t Lrgk9).
Throw in the antitrust road map on which O’Bannon is just the first mile marker, and it’s easy to see why the NCAA is finding less public support – if not downright hostility – for its amateurism policy. All of that adds up to something Ed Kilgore wrote a couple of days ago:
Reading various comment threads collecting the reactions of an overwhelming white, male, and conservative fan base, I’m struck by the extent to which I am reading expressions of fury at the economic exploitation of poor African-American young people by powerful institutions. There’s almost zero support for the NCAA’s existing (if legally zombie-like, given recent court decisions all but tearing up its “amateurism” doctrine) policies prohibiting sale of autographs and likenesses of “student-athletes,” and a great deal of anger at both the NCAA and its member-colleges for harvesting this material for enormous profits. Indeed, the general feeling is that Gurley’s being punished less for breaking rules than for threatening the power of a cartel…
Ed’s not sure that’s going to lead anywhere on a general basis, but I can think of one place where it’s very likely that it might. Politicians may not be good at many things, but they’re usually very gifted at sensing which way the winds of public sentiment are blowing. If the feelings Gurley’s situation are stirring up continue to develop, don’t be surprised in the least if that factors into the reception the schools and the NCAA get from Congress as they inevitably seek an antitrust exemption. It isn’t hard at all to see how sympathy for kids like Gurley can be generated from both the left and the right.
How ironic would it be if Gurley’s college legacy not only included his brilliant playing career, but also his impact on the history of player compensation?
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.
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.
If the Georgia Way was a supposedly confidential investigation that leaks like a sieve, that is.
A person familiar with the investigation of the possible violations by Georgia running back Todd Gurley told the AJC on Friday that it’s a “significant” case of the sale of memorabilia and there is a possibility that Gurley may not be cleared to return to the field this season.
Unlike the case involving Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, the source says, there is evidence that wasn’t available in the Manziel case.
Nothing like letting the cat out of the bag prematurely. I would say that I await Greg McGarity’s presser next week, except we’ll probably know everything by Tuesday, anyway.
I was prepared to move on at the blog – really, I’ve vented and there’s not much more to be said – but then Jeff Schultz found it necessary to weigh in with this turd of a column. So it turns out I’ve got more.
Yeah, he starts out with the obligatory “okay, we all know the NCAA sucks”, but his heart’s not in it.
Here’s the reality. Todd Gurley is a supremely talented football player. However, his two primary opportunities for being paid for his services both happen to be cartels that operate in a way to depress labor costs, the NFL legally and the NCAA in violation of federal antitrust laws, to make billions and millions in profit. (Both also receive government subsidies that add handsomely to the bottom line, but that’s a complaint for another post.)
That’s not all. Gurley’s astonishing skills have caught the public’s attention. If he were anywhere other than in college athletics, just like any other American, he’d be able to market his name and likeness for whatever Nike or anyone else was willing to pay him. Solely because of the NCAA’s atavistic refusal to share income with its student-athletes, something that’s going to be prohibited in the near future, Gurley can’t. In the meantime, Gurley, just like every other observer of the college sports scene, has seen the half-assed ways the NCAA has chosen to enforce its amateurism rules in the cases of Manziel and Newton.
That’s not the most absurd part of this farce. Four hundred dollars. That’s the amount suggested that Gurley was paid for whatever he delivered. Four hundred dollars is less than what he would receive if Georgia compensated him for the full cost of attendance, something that’s been promised by the president of the NCAA and the commissioners of all five power conferences. They’ve got their autonomy; they just haven’t delivered. Be patient, though, Todd. I’m sure that’s coming any day now.
In a fair world… no, check that, in a world in which the NCAA and its member institutions merely avoided behaving in ways that violated federal law as have already been determined in court, Todd Gurley wouldn’t have been tempted to risk his eligibility for four hundred dollars. Because he would have cashed a check every year from EA Sports and another check from the school or the conference to compensate him for his likeness being used in broadcasts.
Well, fuck me. That’s ridiculous. And shame on any of you who think Schultz is right.