((HT: SBNation/Hall, Godfrey))
In the land of college football here in the south, the HQ knows a few things from all of our years of covering it.
1) People are insane when it comes to their teams
2) People are insane when it comes to narcing out other teams to the NCAA
3) People are just flat out insane when it comes to their support of their teams and equally vitriolic in their hatred of others
Because, as we have always known and said: What is the word "fan" short for...???
And another thing that people are fanatic about is the memorabilia industry and the almighty Yankee dollar- catch the flash-in-the-pan, buy low, sell high, grab material in bulk and try to corner the market.
Which, apparently, one gentleman tried to do with Georgia running back Todd Gurley and then turned heel on him in the middle of the ring in front of God and country.
Kinda like this
So, apparently, a memorabilia dealer sent an e-mail to Hall in late September
I have video of Todd Gurley doing a private autograph signing ***. He has been paid thousands of dollars for his stuff over the last 18 months. I personally paid him for this signing on the video. I have bought and sold game used equipment from him.
I want no compensation. Just want someone to leak this story that's deserving. If you have any interest, give me a call or email. I attached a photo of him in my car signing a mini helmet that I just sold last week on my eBay store.
All I ask is some privacy until we can touch base.
I live on Georgia and would crucified if my name was released.
The video is about 5 minutes long but doesn't show the money exchange.
My cell is **********
I believe this would be the lead story on sports center if ESPN got their hands on this. Hope to hear from you soon.
Hall wanted nothing to do with this since, like most folks think these days, the rule for athletes not being in control of their own person is out-of-date, arcane, and completely unrealistic.
Over $400 and 80 items, this dealer decided to narc on Gurley and is now in hiding.
Andy Staples over at SI has more details:
A check of the James Spence Authentication database revealed 90 consecutively numbered pieces of Gurley-signed memorabilia (J19709-J19799), as well as another lot of 20 consecutively numbered pieces (H85318-H85338) of Gurley-signed memorabilia. JSA is one of the leading autograph authentication services. Consecutive authentication numbers suggest all the items were submitted at once following a large-scale signing.
Athens is up in arms over it- and the HQ isn't just talking about the school.
Yes, the Manziel comparisons will return.
Yes, the Northwestern union discussion will return.
Yes, the O'Bannon case discussion will return.
But, until, and not a moment before the rule makers change their own rules- and only forced to by someone else's hand- because you know the power brokers were only brought into the light kicking and screaming will this change...
And that won't be soon...
PM UPDATE: Looks like the violation may keep Gurley out for the season...
From the AJC and Chip Towers, the news isn't good if you're a Bulldogs fan:
It’s a “significant” case of the sale of memorabilia and there is a possibility that Gurley may not be cleared to return to the field this season.
Other sources familiar with the investigation say a determination of punishment should be made by early next week.
Towers also quotes from the NCAA rule book about how the suspension could play out
NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52.6 sets specific guidelines for such penalties:
1. Value of the benefit ranges from greater than $100 to $400 = withholding of 10 percent (of games) and repayment;
2. Value of the benefit ranges from greater than $400 to $700 = withholding of 20 percent (of games) and repayment;
3. Value of benefit ranges greater than $700 = withholding of 30 percent (of games) and repayment.
Now, we all get to figure out what the definition of "significant" is as we all move forward...