Georgia suspended Lil Bronzie frontrunner Todd Gurley yesterday for allegedly signing up to 500 pieces of memorabilia for profit. According to the ESPN report, Gurley was actively complicit:
One source in the autograph industry told ESPN's Darren Rovell that it was known that Gurley was seeking in between $8 and $25 per signature, charging less to an autograph dealer if he signed more pieces.
Two things about this: 1) Darren Rovell is a self-branding shitbag, and 2) look at that wording: "in the autograph industry" and "it was known."
First of all, when you use the term "autograph industry" you're asking me to accept a pretty liberal application of the word "industry." Just be honest, you're either making it up or you asked your neighbor, Tommy St. Randy, who still buys Beckett magazines to track the worth of his Fred McGriff rookie card. Second of all, "it was known?" Are you kidding me? A source told you "it was known" and you're okay with calling that journalism? Jesus, what do you consider entertaining television, First Take? I'm in the "blogging industry," so if I tell you "it's known" that Darren Rovell has a button weiner would you print that? Go f#ck yourself, ESPN, I find that insulting.
Okay. Now, just for the sake of argument, assume that--shoddy journalism aside--the story is true. Gurley was all give me money for signing these mini-helmets. The question you have to ask yourself is: who gives a shit?
Yeah, I get that it's against the rules. I seriously do. But the rules--and the people who made/enforce these rules--are a joke, just ask North Carolina, who has taken down its pants and showed its ass to the NCAA's term "student-athlete." Ask Dez Bryant, who didn't do anything wrong but got nervous when the NCAA asked if he'd had dinner with Deion Sanders at Primetime's house, and said he didn't, at which point the NCAA ended Dez's college career; meanwhile, coaches like Rick Pitino and Bobby Petrino can nationally embarrass their universities, programs and the NCAA itself through actual transgressions and actual lies of omission, and have absolutely zero pushback from the NCAA. Yes, Arkansas AD Jeff Long, probably the best AD in the country, cut Petrino loose faster than Rick Pitino could (redacted: vulgar) down his leg, but the NCAA sure as hell wasn't going to do anything.
Georgia and Mark Richt acted admirably. Before this could become a full-blown scandal, they suspended Gurley. They shouldn't have, nor should they now that it's come out. What is the NCAA going to do--stomp its feet?
POWER POSITION: Start Gurley against Missouri Saturday, Georgia. The NCAA has been tiptoeing on a precipice between existing and not so much with the existing for years. Push them off because STOP THE MADNESS. #FreeGurley