Now, with respect to how A.J. has been punished, I am completely baffled. The way I see it, there can only be 5 possible explanations:
There is more to this story that we do not know. For example, maybe the NCAA has proof that there was, in fact, some sort of under the table agreement made with an agent via this scum bag Chris Hawkins. Or maybe it's just simply that A.J. truly did know that he was indirectly dealing with an agent. Or maybe, since we now know this Hawkins dude dabbles in the powder, A.J. got $1,000 and a little blow. Regardless, if there were truly more, what possible reason could the NCAA have for not divulging that information when they initially released the results of their investigation? None. And don't say 'to protect A.J.'; we all know the NCAA wouldn't put the best interests of the kid first. No sale on option 1
Maybe A.J. lied to the NCAA during the investigation. Remember that first game of last season? We played a game out in Stillwater and the Cowboys had a wide receiver named Dez Bryant. Oh yeah, ringing a bell? He missed 10 of Oklahoma State's 13 games last year for lying to the NCAA. AND HE DIDN'T EVEN ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING WRONG. He just panicked and lied about his relationship with Deion Sanders. If A.J. had lied or even simply misled the NCAA during the course of the investigation, combined with his actual transgression, I truly don't believe we would ever see him in the Red and Black again. No sale on option 2
Conspiracy Theory #1 - The NCAA likes what Nick Saban has cooking in Tuscaloosa and wants the Tide to navigate its way back to the National Title game. That's why Marcell Dareus was only suspended 2 games for accepting airfare, lodging, meals and transportation during two separate trips to Miami valued at almost $1800 from an ACTUAL AGENT. This one is just plain dumb. I may be extremely UGA-biased, but there's no way I think the NCAA is in any way biased in favor of Alabama. No sale on option 3
The NCAA is making an example of Green about how serious they regard dealings with agents. Well, this explanation could hold water ... if it weren't for the Dareus situation. What we know about what Dareus did was just as egregious (unless you buy into option 1 above), so how could it possibly make sense that they would make an example of Green, but not Dareus? I know the NCAA has made a rather infamous habit of 'not making sense', but I just simply can't accept this horribly inequitable explanation. No sale on option 4
Conspiracy Theory #2 - The NCAA created the rule about profiting from memorabilia as a student-athlete in response to the UGA players who sold their SEC Championship rings on Ebay back in 2002. The NCAA tried to punish UGA for that then, but without the rule in place, they had no basis for a penalty. They have finally realized their first opportunity to stick it to UGA since that event, and they are not letting it pass them by. I am truly not a conspiracy theorist, and I realize this is a bit far-fetched. But, it really is the only explanation I can conjure up that makes the slightest bit of sense. I understand that different NCAA panels review and pass judgment for each case, so that could explain the difference in punishments for Dareus and Green; however, the review committee is in place to level out these imbalances. Upholding the ruling does nothing but make me question the NCAA's true motives in this case. SOLD on option 5 (though I'll be holding onto the receipt in the event I decide I need to return or exchange this item)
The other thing that has me all fired up this evening is how disappointed I am in Richt and McGarity for simply bending over and taking it from the NCAA. McGarity - "We respect the committee's decision and will focus on moving forward." He should have just come out and said what he really meant, "Thank you sir, may I have another?" Look, I know the last thing we need is the NCAA back in here poking around because our head coach or AD spouts off to the media. However, I think it is well within the realm of reasonable that the AD make it known that they disagree with the results (which from what I've heard and read the athletic offices definitely disagree). We not only come off looking like a rogue program, we also look like we have weak leadership.
Having gotten all this off my chest, obviously, huge game tomorrow. Hopefully we can notch another A.J.-less win and take care of an overrated Hawg team. I'm thinking something like 27-23, Dawgs (what, you didn't actually think I'd pick against Georgia, did you?)