Richt not restricting player autographs

ATHENS - Whether at a gas station or while eating at Cracker Barrel, Georgia wide receiver Michael Bennett has been recognized and asked if he would sign an autograph.

And Richt is OK with instances like that. Even if Gurley still remains suspended for allegations he was paid for signing memorabilia.

“We’re not going to say you can’t sign anything from people,” Richt said Wednesday. “We’re not going to tell a little kid who comes up to you and wants you to sign their shirt or something We’re not going to do that.”

Gurley practiced Wednesday, but his status for Saturday’s game against Arkansas remains in limbo.

Richt said Georgia has addressed improper benefit rules including that players can’t accept money for their autographs.

“We have exhausted every opportunity in my opinion to put all of that and other things in front of our young men,” Richt said. “We do that a lot. We have a list of topics that tend to get guys across America—college pro, people in business. Things that happen. We have a systematic way of hitting every single  one of them on one more occasion throughout the year. We get it on the calendar way out in advance most of the time, but sometimes something will pop and we’re like, hey, let’s get this guy in here, this person in here to talk about a certain subject.”

Players say Georgia reminds them about what they can and can’t do under NCAA rules.

“They educate us pretty well on it,” quarterback Hutson Mason said. “I think most of the stuff that we kind of encounter it’s pretty obvious what an illegal benefit is or not. Georgia does a really good job of educating us.”

Said tight end Jay Rome: Everyone pretty much knows the rules. Compliance does a great job of mapping out what you can and can’t do. If you have any questions about it, they advise you to call.”


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