The NCAA and hypocrisy and inconsistency – it’s back, and Tennessee has a pretty good reason to be upset about this one.
Georgia running back Todd Gurley, who has already missed two games, will be forced by the NCAA to sit out two more for accepting “more than $3,000 in cash from multiple individuals for autographed memorabilia and other items over two years.” So that’s a four-game suspension for taking over $3,000.
There’s could be a 5,000-word essay on why that’s absurd in the first place, but as a site that covers primarily Tennessee, we want to take a different angle.
Remember UT defensive tackle Maurice Couch? It was just over a year ago that news broke, via Yahoo!, that Couch allegedly accepted improper benefits from a go-between party for players and agents. The report stated Couch took four payments that totaled $1,350.
Couch was later ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA, a decision that UT appealed, but was not able to get overturned. In total, Couch, who was a senior at the time, was forced to miss 10 games of his final year of eligibility and his collegiate career came to an end.
These cases obviously aren’t 100-percent parallel. Gurley’s payment was from autographs, while Couch’s came from the agent representative. But at the end of the day, Couch used his position as a big-time college football player to gain $1,350. Gurley used his to gain over $3,000. Couch missed 10 games. Gurley will miss four.
We’re not privy to all of the details behind the scene. There could be more to the story that justifies the extra suspension, but that’s a pretty big long shot that the NCAA can justify more than doubling one player’s suspension who took less than half of the benefits. So while many are frustrated again with the NCAA for its handling of the Gurley case, Tennessee fans can join the chorus due to the NCAA’s inconsistency.
*Hat tip to my colleagues Reed Carringer and Houston Kress who originally brought this point up on RTI Radio Wednesday morning. Be sure to listen in every weekday from 10-11 AM ET.