Ok, so we know the facts: 1) AJ Green will not play against South Carolina on Saturday; 2) the NCAA gave him a four game suspension for selling a jersey to someone that fits the NCAA's definition of agent; and 3) UGA is appealing the suspension.
Until more comes out, which it will sooner or later, that is all we know.
A couple of quick thougths:
AJ brought this on himself. I love AJ Green. He is a Damn Good Dawg. I'd like to think he sold the jersey to fund a mission trip for mohles so no Florida football players have to perform circumcisions on Bataan. In reality, it doesn't matter what it was for. AJ sold a jersey to someone. For at least $500 (based on the punishment being handed down) and likely to be $1000 (based on what he donated to charity). That alone is a no-no (thank Fred Gibson). Doing so to an agent is as close to pissing in Myles Brand's open casket as you can get.
The NCAA didn't do this to AJ. See above.
The NCAA seems to have acted according to their own guidelines. Gentry Estes writes a good post on this. Marcel Dareus got four games for a benefit of $1700+.
The NCAA's punishment seems likely to get reduced. If Marcel Dareus can get a reduction to two games for going to a party with agents, paid for by agents, then it does offend the basic senses of fairness that AJ Green would get four games for selling a jersey to an agent. As Paul Westerdawg put it, "When A.J. Green sold his jersey for $1,000 did he leave a live [sic] baby in it or a dead hooker?"
If the NCAA doesn't, then I'll be pissed. As a lawyer, I am a big fan of fairness and due process. The NCAA found 'mitigating' circumstances in Dareus' case. While they didn't say so, those circumstances involved his contrition and cooperation. If AJ did those things and has plausible deniability about this person being an agent, he should get the same consideration. Dareus' grandmother didn't play into the NCAA's decision, though. In a weird way, it did help him out. Put it this way, if she doesn't pass away, Dareus may well be in Marvin Austin trouble. But because he didn't stick around for the whole party, he isn't.
Other information comes out that indicates AJ didn't cooperate or tried to hide something. Then he won't get the reduction, he'll serve the four games and will probably be in Coach Richt's doghouse. I won't be mad at the NCAA (see AJ knowing this was wrong).
There are a number of reasons the NCAA took nearly two months to figure this out. Most that I can think of but one (they were completely swamped with the other stuff going on in Columbia, Tuscaloosa, Chapel Hill and Oxford) doesn't seem to present mitigating circumstances to get the suspension reduced.
While I don't think this is the last time I'll write about this, until we get more information I don't see what else there is to say other than I hope he cooperated. God, I hope he cooperated.
-Shorter T. Kyle King: NCAA Overkill (Dawg Sports)
-Chris Low's take (ESPN)
-Who was the agent? (Sports Agent Blog)