"That country boy ain’t never been to Miami!!!"
I wish Mike Moore was talking about all of the Georgia players. Losing AJ to a suspension or DQ is huge. Having to forfeit games because a player or players not named AJ are dressed for them, but then are declared ineligible, is a whole different matter. Hopefully, UGA compliance gets to the bottom of this mess, lets the NCAA find out what they want to find out and everyone in Athens is clean. If someone isn't clean, then let's address it and move on before the season starts.
The story is that AJ assured Coach Richt he spent Memorial Day in South Carolina with family. The Zach M issue should demonstrate the dangers of lying to Coach Richt about stuff like this. If AJ told Coach Richt he was in Greenville on Memorial Day, I feel pretty good about that being the case. Hopefully, the offensive line, Ealey, King, Murray, Charles, and the linebackers were with him there.
The Last Thing the Bulldgogs Need.
I have violated my no Jeff Schultz links policy to show the depths the writers at the AJC go to for hits. I guess it has worked in this instance. Shorter Jeff Schultz: this warms up Mark Richt's seat even more. Now, I am sure in Jeff's mind, things like dropped interceptions in warm ups and the sun rising also warms up the seat, so anything that actually might stretch to fit the narrative is gold.
Of course, it is the last thing Georgia needs. But kids going to a party 700 miles from campus over a long weekend is only tangentially related to the head coach, at best. Now, if the compliance program doesn't warn of such dangers or if the school doesn't fess up if it finds out, then we can talk. Anyone really think that is the case here?
But like Saban said, if your compliance program is solid, and this is happening despite the program's best efforts, the blaming the program or coaches is asinine.
Let's put aside Schultz's quoting TMZ...TMZ! Never mind.
So who is Marvin Austin?
The rumor (and that is all it is right now) that North Carolina defensive lineman Marvin Austin is a ring leader in all of this is disturbing. I am not going to denigrate UNC's compliance or Butch Davis' character by assuming they didn't specifically counsel their players on this. I do have to wonder how long, if this proves to be true, Austin's relationships with agents have been going on and what did they know and when. As it has been noted by many athletes, including my wife, the schools and the NCAA often make a great deal of money off of the athletes and the student athletes usually live off Pell grants. I know, it is hard to feel bad for them getting their college for free, but while I was paying for college, the only thing UGA made off my likeness was the one time the corner of my head was on a game program for basketball. Be honest, the temptation would be very difficult to ignore, right?
Agents are constantly in star players' ears about the money the schools make off them and that they should get theirs. I am not saying the players conducted themselves properly here (and I really hate agreeing with Nick Saban twice in one post), but what is a college athletic program to do? Now, if Austin showed up with a new Bentley this season, we have a different issue. Then it is much harder for UNC to take the stance Alabama has in regard to Marcell Dareus. Plus, (if true) it looks like Dareus took all the right steps once he knew what was up.
Austin looks to be gone for his senior season. Look for anyone else involved here to pin the blame squarely on him (I'm specifically talking about Weslye Saunders, right now). When that happens, it will get ugly because Austin will have no reason not to be completely and totally open with the NCAA and more importantly, the NCAA will start asking for cell phone and text records. Then, there will be blood.
If I'm the agent involved, now I'd be nervous.
No questions from the NCAA to Tech.
It does make you wonder if Dan Rad was over in his bunker on North Avenue calling asking and hoping they were, right?
As the Senator said, draw your own conclusions from that.