I’ve already mentioned my lack of appreciation for the so-called “Todd Gurley bill” that Governor Deal just signed into law. But I thought I’d add one last little tidbit about how dumb this whole thing is and will be.
Angered that a dealer — and a Florida fan at that — had not only arranged for the signature sales but then tried to sell the story to the highest media bidder, state Rep. Barry Fleming, R-Harlem, started thinking about drafting a bill to prevent future shenanigans.
“That’s what really got most peoples’ dander up,” said Fleming, a rabid Bulldogs fan with undergraduate and law degrees from UGA. “I was disappointed when it happened. But I understand the young man comes from a very humble background. His mother didn’t have funds to properly repair the roof on the trailer she raised him in.”
The law has two possible penalties, one criminal, one civil, Fleming said.
“We plugged it into a law about alumni being overzealous,” he said. “Now it’s a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. It can be up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
“On the civil side, the university can sue the person who does this for any damages sustained, like losing a TV contract, not going to bowl games.”
So, Georgia could sue some shady autograph dealer if a player were forced to sit due to taking money and the team missed out on a bowl game? If it were a case of having to settle for a bowl game of lesser prestige (and presumably lesser money), how would the conference sharing bowl moneys fit in with a calculation of damages? And would the University, in an amusing turn of the pen, be forced to argue that the name on the back of the jersey does in fact matter sometimes, as in, “if we’d have had good ol’ number 3 suited up, no way Georgia misses the CFP field”?
Of course, the truly amusing thing here is that the party with the reserve fund can sue for damages, but the kid of humble background? I guess he doesn’t really get Barry’s dander up. At least he can paper the roof of momma’s leaky trailer with a copy of the bill.