Rumors that the NCAA would clear Georgia's star wide receiver A.J. Green in time for Week 2 appear to have been premature: Green has been handed a four-game suspension for selling a jersey to a person with questionable agent-like characteristics. Via Bulldogs Blog, here's the NCAA statement on the decision:
The university declared the student-athlete ineligible for violations of NCAA agent benefits rules. According to the facts of the case submitted by Georgia, the student-athlete sold his Independence Bowl game jersey to an individual who meets the NCAA definition of an agent. Green has repaid the $1,000 value of benefits to charity. According to NCAA rules, an agent is any individual who markets or promotes a student-athlete.
SB Nation's DawgSports, it should be noted, saw this coming a couple hours ago, and laments that the appeals process is already underway at Georgia with a quickness that may not save them:
Last Saturday's season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette reportedly will count as the first game of the suspension, the remaining three games of which will be served during the Georgia Bulldogs' upcoming contests against South Carolina, Arkansas, and Mississippi State. I am informed that Green is scheduled to return for the Bulldogs' game against Colorado on October 2. I am told that the University will appeal, although it is unlikely that the suspension will be reduced, and, obviously, no reduction could come in time for this weekend's game in Columbia.
Comparisons are about to start flying fast and thick. Jeremiah Masoli's clearance will be invoked. More and more folks will start to wonder why the university can make money off Green's name but he cannot. What Georgia fans need to worry about immediately, however, is the speed of the appeal. South Carolina and Arkansas are two of the most difficult hurdles on the Dawgs' 2010 slate, and the fourth scheduled absence for Green, at Mississippi State, has high trap-game potential.
Follow this story as it unfolds, here and on SB Nation's DawgSports.