And now it’s officially official.
According to multiple media outlets, Georgia running back Todd Gurley did not travel with the team to Little Rock for UGA’s game Saturday against Arkansas. Thus, the All-American and former Heisman front-runner will not play for a second week in a row.
Gurley was held out of last Saturday’s win against Mizzou as the university investigates allegations that he accepted payment in exchange for his signature on various pieces of sports memorabilia.
The absence of Gurley on the road trip comes as little surprise.
After briefing giving UGA faithful a flicker of hope the night before, head coach Mark Richt tweeted Thursday morning that he is “[n]ot anticipating [Gurley’s status] to change this week.” Later that day, UGA released a statement that, as it pertains to Gurley’s eligibility moving forward, “[t]here is no new news at this time and no further comment is necessary.”
Depending on the report, Gurley allegedly received anywhere from $400 to $2,000, total, for his Herbie Hancock. Per NCAA bylaws, and as it pertains to FBS players, a one-game suspension is called for if the amount of impermissible benefits falls between $100 and $400; a two-game suspension for impermissible benefits of more than $400 on up to $700; and a four-game suspension if the impermissible benefits exceed $700.
Gurley has not yet been suspended for any games as UGA is still in the investigative portion of the process. After this weekend’s matchup with the Razorbacks, and a bye next weekend, the Bulldogs will have five games left in the regular season.
Should this probe continue to drag on for a couple of more weeks without any resolution, and Gurley is ultimately found to have received more than $700 in impermissible benefits, it’s conceivable he could miss the remainder of at least the regular season.