Gurley's October... What I Learned

ATHENS - Thankfully this saga is about to end one way or another.

And not soon enough.

Todd Gurley, who made a mistake that young people make, picked Wednesday to file for reinstatement to play the final few games of his career. While we don’t know every detail out there I do have some feelings on the matter.

A. Gurley should have been suspended if he took money for autographs.

In life there are ramifications of every action or inaction we take. Gurley made a mistake. Obviously he’s paid the price; in no way was he babied. Can we say the same about Jameis Winston?

B. Bryan Allen is a loser.

I don’t really think I have to go into much detail, but I will hit the low points on this clown. First he pays a star for his autograph. Then he gets mad at that star for something (we still don’t know what the truth is here). Then, like a 15-year old girl who was dumped, runs to tell on him. What a little bitch.

C. The NCAA’s rules are outdated.

The rules were outdated 15 years ago when I was playing small college sports, and there were all sorts of dumb rules we had to live by… and trust me when I tell you that there was no TV audience for my games. The rules are antiquated and are the reason the big schools like Georgia are either going to leave the NCAA or making such sweeping changes that we no longer recognize the organization.

D. Mark Richt understands how to guide a program.

The only thing missing from Mark Richt’s mantle in coaching is a national title as a head coach. This news certainly helps his cause this season. But even if that doesn't happen, in the two games that Gurley missed Georgia picked up its game and found itself. Richt is the reason why. Frankly, he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for being as good for as long as he’s been. Looking back - it can’t be super surprising that Richt’s program dealt with this matter so well. The players on the field fought with a chip on their shoulder. But the true mark of a Richt-coached team is that the players simply will not give up.

E. Every star player is a target

Women. Adolescent-like losers. Agents. Hangers on. If you play football in the SEC you had better get ready to deal with those things. If you are a star… i.e. Todd Gurley… you had better know that you will not be allowed to breathe when leave your residence. Everyone wants to know and touch greatness. They want it to be a part of their life. Students want to be around football players in class, while eating or while partying. That’s just life at an SEC school. But the truth is that no one is to be trusted that you don’t already know. If this matter doesn’t underscore that I don’t know what will.

F. Gurley’s signature scandal was getting old

Mark Richt has done a great job with managing his team, but the will-he-or-won’t-he nature of this matter was draining. One person in the program yesterday said to me: “Just play him or let him leave. One of the two.” I think a lot of people were getting to that point with the entire thing. Obviously, Georgia fans, partisans and players wanted him to play. But more than anything they want to get on with what is turning out to be a pretty impressive season.

G. The future is very, very bright

Make no mistake - this season could go down as one of the most special in the history of Georgia football. The program can add its sixth (or third) national title. The program can add its third Heisman Trophy winner. Those two things are still very possible. I am going to tell you that if Gurley is playing - and playing at the level he was when he left - he’s going to be No. 1 on my Heisman ballot. And anyone who penalizes him for this after voting Jameis Winston No. 1 last year is a total hypocrite (don’t worry… we will get some of those charlatans; because, after all, allegedly raping someone is the same as taking money for your signature). Bigger than that, though, is that Georgia controls its own destiny from here on out. They could very possibly beat the likes of Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, Oregon, Mississippi State and others without Gurley, but having him in there makes this a little easier.

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