Paper trail

Reading the Twitter feeds from the various beat writers covering A.J. Green’s meeting with the press before practice today, I can draw one quick conclusion – when he says that he really didn’t think much about selling his jersey to Chris Hawkins, I believe him.

Consider that (1) he deposited the money he received from Hawkins into his bank account (2) provided the NCAA with copies of his bank statements when asked and (3) explained to the NCAA where the $1000 came from when they saw the deposit entry.  That’s not exactly how you’d expect somebody who knows better to act.

Which leads me to wonder what Georgia’s compliance staff has been doing all these years since Ringgate went down.


UPDATE: I’m not holding my breath that he’ll actually do this, but if he did, it would electrify the fan base (not to mention his teammates and coaches).

… One of the top NFL draft prospects in the country, Green said there’s a part of him that feels like he owes the school and the fans another season.

“When I lay down sometimes, I feel like I owe the fans and maybe should think about coming back [next year],” said Green, a certain first-round selection if he comes out this year. “I just feel like I owe the fans for missing those four games.”


Filed under Georgia Football, The NCAA

57 responses to “Paper trail

  1. anon

    Well, I understand that at least one of the compliance staffers is a florida graduate, so probably not a damn thing.


  2. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Which also makes me wonder why he would get suspended for 4 games (1/3rd of the season) when he co-operated fully and obviously did not think what he was doing was wrong.


    • DWH

      Exactly. I figured the 4 game suspension was due to him not be forthcoming when asked about the jersey sale. Obviously, now we know that wasn’t the case. This is nothing more than confirmation that the penalty was excessive. Unreal.


    • heyberto

      Seconded (or thirded). I don’t get that at all. The Bama player didn’t know an ‘agent’ was paying for his trip to SB = mitigating circumstances. AJ not knowing C. Hawkins was an agent = not. Seems shady to me.


      • The amateurism guidelines don’t specify that a player can’t sell to an agent. A player can’t sell his jersey to anyone.


        • heyberto

          I know.. but wasn’t the reason it was so severe was because he sold to an “agent”? The basis for the bama player’s successful appeal was ‘mitigating circumstances’, and I fail to see how the same standard couldn’t be applied here.


        • Mike

          Which seems to be an obvious point, one that every single scholarship athlete knows from day one.

          I find Green’s assertion “he did not know” to be incredibly unconvincing. I have heard the young man speak in an interview and he seems to be bright enough to understand basic rules.


      • No One Knows You're a Dawg

        He gets hit because the NCAA knows UGA won’t fight back. With only limited resources, the NCAA only whacks programs dumb enough to sit there and take.

        Pushing back against the NCAA with savvy (not outright lies) is the way to respond to an NCAA investigation. But at UGA that might make the higher ups look bad (especially if a higher up has coveted the NCAA presidency). So the UGA way to respond is to roll over and provide info on possible violations the program hasn’t even been accused of. Athens truly is the Happy Hunting Grounds for the NCAA.

        I hope McGarity will put an end to our overly compliant ways, if not, I see many more investigations in our future.


        • That might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read by a commenter here. And that is saying a lot.


        • Athens truly is the Happy Hunting Grounds for the NCAA.

          As opposed to North Carolina, South Carolina, Southern Cal, Alabama…

          Even AJ says he deserved a penalty. We all need to move on here.


        • SCDawg

          That is just an uber-persecution complex.


        • Brandon

          Just another example of how our program is not “aggressive” enough and lacks a killer extinct, LOL.


        • PMAC

          “So the UGA way to respond is to roll over and provide info on possible violations the program hasn’t even been accused of.”

          “I hope McGarity will put an end to our overly compliant ways…”

          I can hardly find the words to respond to such idiocy. Nevertheless, NOT providing info on possible violations is a darn good way to get yourself into really hot water. I could have sworn that I read something recently about a basketball coach that at best hid the truth and at worst told outright lies and now his program is in real trouble with the NCAA. Was it Tennessee? Hmmm. Just can’t remember…

          Second, “overly compliant”? Seriously? There isn’t any “due process” or Fifth Amendment claims you can make with the NCAA. There isn’t any such thing as being able to force the NCAA to prove your guilt by claiming that you can’t be forced to admit that you did no wrong until proof exists otherwise. There really isn’t a grey area with respect to compliance. You either did it or you didn’t and if you did it you confess or the penalties are much worse. I think that I’m thinking about another story last year. Oh yeah. Dez Bryant or something along those lines. Didn’t he lie to the NCAA and get booted for the remaining half of the season?

          And all that isn’t even commenting on the basic tenet of being truthful.


  3. tduga1

    I didn’t know that the NCAA had the power/authority to access private bank statements.


    • Normaltown Mike

      They don’t.

      AJ could’ve told them to F-off and they would declare him ineligible to participate as an NCAA scholar athlete.


      • If he’d simply put the money in his pocket and never deposited it, the issue never would have come up.


        • 69Dawg

          As a former IRS Agent that is exactly what he should have done. If you are a dishonest person at least be smart enough to know how to hide it. AJ was naive to say the least. Our complance staff should end all their lectures with the statement “but if you do don’t deposit any of it.”


  4. Biggus Rickus

    Again, this is a really stupid rule. Unless the kid is paid something obscene for a collectible that he owns, he should be allowed to sell it. And that includes Championship Rings, however unseemly it may be to you or me.


    • NC Dawg

      $1,000. Isn’t that slightly obscene?


      • Biggus Rickus

        For the game jersey of a sure-fire top 5 pick (barring injury)? I don’t think so. I did a game jersey auction search and saw a Trent Dilfer game jersey from his ’99 Tampa season. Bidding was up to $215.


  5. Rusdawg

    I’ve got to ask this hypo:

    So A.J. owned the jersey after the bowl game. Say he gave that jersey to his dear mother. Then spring break comes around and A.J., hard up for cash talks to his mom, and said mother, feeling bad for her son, sells said jersey and gives him the money, and tells him what she did to get the money. Does the NCAA find cause to suspend him then?


  6. Castleberry

    I think something kicked the compliance office in to gear after the AJ thing. Did anyone else get the email “NCAA Booster Rules Education” on 9/20?? I remeber seeing something like this before, but it’s been a while.

    Hello from Athens! As you know, the NCAA expects each institution to educate its “boosters” regarding permissible/impermissible activities with current and prospective student-athletes. Please review the Athletic Associations Guide to NCAA Rules from the below link. If you ever have any questions, please let us know. Thank you. Eric Eric Baumgartner Assistant Athletics Director


  7. ugafan

    “I can draw one quick conclusion – when he says that he really didn’t think much about selling his jersey to Chris Hawkins, I believe him….That’s not exactly how you’d expect somebody who knows better to act.”

    Wait a minute. In the ajc article ( Green fully admits that he knew it was wrong to sell the jersey: “Green did not deny knowing it would be against NCAA rules to sell the jersey, saying only that he didn’t think it through.”

    He even goes on to say “Green said. “I thought it was just something minor.” and “Green said he had been approached about selling items before, “but I didn’t do it. But, like I said, it was spring break. So, you know, extra cash.”

    Does anybody bother to check facts before commenting or writing blog posts condemning the UGA compliance office anymore? Guess not.

    Fact is, AJ knew full well what he was doing was wrong & had resisted the temptation prior. He saw a quick way to make spring break cash & did it, never thinking he’d get caught. This isn’t the fault of the UGA compliance office, this is the fault of an adult AJ Green, and no one else.


    • I didn’t write that he denied knowing – I wrote that he didn’t see the sale as anything significant, i.e., “he really didn’t think much about selling his jersey to Chris Hawkins”. And, yeah, there’s a flaw in Georgia’s compliance set up if somebody who’s destined to be a top five pick in the NFL Draft doesn’t know how vulnerable he can make himself and the football program if he doesn’t understand how serious this rule is – particularly when he’s enrolled at the damned school that caused the rule in question to be created in the first place.

      Do you bother to read what I post before popping off a comment blasting me? Guess not.


  8. baltimore dawg

    i don’t have any special knowledge about compliance processes and procedures at uga, but i would be surprised–shocked, actually–if aj’s nonchalance about the jersey sale were a result of compliance people not doing everything they can to keep student-athletes inside the lines. the stakes are so high that there is enormous effort expended on compliance. maybe uga is different in that regard.

    but it sounds to me like aj actually made a calculated risk, and once he knew he was caught there was no point in compounding it.


    • My comment wasn’t made to absolve A.J. from blame. I’m interested in learning what he had drummed into him about the amateurism guidelines.

      My bet is that most compliance departments across the country have just been shocked into paying more attention to this area in the wake of Reggie Bush and Agentgate.


      • baltimore dawg

        my guess is that aj was well educated on these matters; at least that’s what i’ve observed from other compliance operations.

        compliance is education not monitoring so much. i’ve seen compliance people pulling their hair out because no matter what they do some of their charges seem incapable of internalizing even the most rudimentary aspects of the rules. and for those of us who have been in higher ed for a long time, there is one eternal truth when it comes to college students: drum them all you want; that doesn’t mean anything is going to stick.

        maybe uga’s people haven’t been assiduous, but the compliance people i’ve known over the years have all been extremely conscientious since it’s really their jobs at stake if there’s a break-down.


        • aristoggle

          And, the current “compliance people” are very conscientious.

          We have to remember that they are dealing with kids in their late teens and early twenties who make stupid decisions … just like I did when I was a student.

          The days when Kasay could go down to jail and bring them back to McWhorter Hall after a fight at Cooper’s are long gone.

          The staff can only train them … they can’t keep them on a leash.


  9. Brandon

    Play on A.J., one more year, play on for the children, play on for the cheers!


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Play on for the money, too. Your draft position will be enhanced significantly by an entire season of pass catching rather than 2/3 of one.


      • Pardon my French, but that’s utter bullshit. Sam Bradford and Dez Bryant both proved that completely wrong last year. Don’t let your selfish desires to see AJ in Athens one more year clout your judgment. It doesn’t matter whether he played 12 games or none. He’s going to be a top five pick next year.


  10. Will (the other one)

    Our only hope for a 4th year of Green is an NFL lockout.
    As Arky wouldn’t be on the schedule and we wouldn’t have to face a senior-year Mallet, I’m hoping for the lockout.


    • Prov

      If the NFL owners seriously push for an 18 game regular season without major expansion of the rosters I think a lock out is a very real possibility. Problem is that it may not be a certainty until after AJ has to declare.


  11. hassan

    If this team doesn’t on the right track, it won’t matter if Green comes back or not. Bad football is bad football…no matter how many play makers you have. I would actually feel bad for him if he came back for another year of watching this crap. Maybe we automagically become winners when he gets back in the lineup, but I am not sold that he’s the only answer.


    • Puffdawg

      One thing to consider though is how conservative Bobo would have actually been had (and if next year) AJ was around.

      Our defense would appear much stronger right now had the O picked up a few more first half first downs in every game.

      Not saying there aren’t problmes, but the underlying theme is our problems with moving the chains early on in games, due to ultra conservative play calling, in my opinion.


  12. Lane

    He owes us another season just like Richt owes us competent coordinators.

    I’ll believe it when I see it, but AJ should be off to the NFL where someone appreciates, and knows how to use his talent. He comes back to Georgia, he’s just hiding the inadequacies of an alumni that lucked into the O-Coordinator’s role.

    Knowing what we know now about our team minus Green, what would our record have been last year without him?

    Losses to SC, Ark, AzState for sure, possibly others.

    Please find some other playmakers somewhere on our roster.


    • Dawgwalker07

      I’m pretty sure you wreck you own argument by saying “AJ should be off to the NFL where someone appreciates, and knows how to use his talent” followed by, “Knowing what we know now about our team minus Green, what would our record have been last year without him? Losses to SC, Ark, AzState for sure, possibly others.”

      Sounds like we appreciated and used his talent well enough to win at least 3 games last year.


  13. Gen. Stoopnagle

    Somebody needs to explain the concept of “opportunity cost” to AJ.


  14. 69Dawg

    AJ’s a nice kid but if I’m his Mama I’m having a long talk with this boy. We can’t afford the insurance to keep you playing for a UGA team that is marginally average. If the draft happens before the lock out then the NCAA needs to suspend the rules. Otherwise college football will lose a lot of really good players that will not be doing anything for a year.


  15. Sep

    I think he is probably a good kid but he ain’t coming back. That would make him a d.a. kid. Even high morals which he has been reported as having can’t change that. Needed money? He’ll make some.


  16. Dawg

    TMZ couldn’t have been the only source leading the NCAA to AJ and Hawkins b/c of the Miami party. Did the NCAA find out from Hawkins about the jersey and try to entrap AJ into lying when they already knew?…or just stupid coincidence?


    • The Realist

      TMZ turned them on to AJ about the South Beach party. As part of the inquiry, they checked his bank statements over the past year or so. There, they found a $1,000 deposit, which was clearly out of the ordinary. They asked him about it. He told the truth. He gets a 4 game suspension.

      So, while AJ shouldn’t have done what he did… I feel like some of my ire (if not blame) can be directed toward North Carolina, Marvin Austin, TMZ, the entire city of Miami, and Frank Gore. I wish serious ill towards all of the aforementioned.


  17. Ausdawg85

    OK, many of us live in a world of compliance (securities, professional licensing, education, trucking, etc.) and understand there is often no “due process” as an individual enjoys in a court of law….under the presumption that you are enjoying a privilege to participate in your endeavour and protections/guidelines are needed (i.e. to protect the public), so therefore you must obey the rules.

    But an open-ended fishing expedition with a top draft choice player based on a ridiculous rumor….that reeks to high heaven. If we (UGA)got ourselves into this mess, I’d like to see our alumni at Spaulding, etc. bring a class-action against the NCAA (again!) to get us out of it.

    I hate lawyers…except when they are defending me, my friends, my team, my school….or writing great blogs. 😉


    • PMAC

      Class action suit for what? Asking to see his bank records and after he voluntarily provides them suspending him for four games? I don’t discount the fact that if he refuses to provide the bank records they could suspend him for the season, but nevertheless, they asked and he gave them up. This is the NCAA. By playing for a university, you give up certain rights afforded by the Constitution and federal and state law (actually, you don’t give them up, but you can’t stand on those laws and principals and expect to continue to play sports – not unlike using company property for personal use and getting fired or getting fired because your Facebook page has pictures of you flashing your breasts to a crowd of men while holding a cigarette in one hand and a beer in the other).


  18. diving duck

    He doesn’t owe us anything. You get your money, A.J. You’ve earned it.


  19. EB

    Could you see a situation where Richt is on the chopping block at the end of the season and AJ makes the the Jimmy Chitwood pronouncement to Bulldog nation: “I play, coach stays. He goes, I go.”



  20. sUGArdaddy

    I really can’t believe how some Dawg fans see this situation. AJ’s a great kid. I think part of him does feel like he owe it to the Bulldog Nation. Nothing wrong w/ that. If he leaves, we’ll never see him play an entire healthy/non-suspended season. Even if we win out, unfortunately, his legacy will be of greatness marred by injury and suspension. If he comes back and leads us to an SEC title…well, we’re talking DJ Shockley, #34, Theron Sapp status then.


    • AthensHomerDawg

      sorry…..if I’m AJ its show me the money.
      just sayin’


      • sUGArdaddy

        I’m glad you’re not AJ. I’ve got a feeling the Buff’s top corner can cover you.

        Seriously, though, there’s something in me that thinks AJ wants to do something good for UGA because he loves this place. And I think he feels geniunely bad.

        No hard feelings if he heads to the league, but there will always be a lot of ‘what ifs’ in his career. There are no guarantees in life. If he leaves, he’s not guaranteed he gets drafted high or by the right team or doesn’t get hurt in training camp or becomes a star.

        If he stays, there’s no guarantee he stays healthy or doesn’t lose draft stock or has a good season.

        The only guarantee is that if he leaves he will never get that senior year back. Maybe he’s thinking about that.


  21. Phocion

    “That’s not exactly how you’d expect somebody who knows better to act.”

    So it the stupidity defense, is it? Well, not exactly the first time that will have been tried.

    Kid did it, got punished for it…move along. Nothing more to see.