Breaking news around college football that Georgia star running back Todd Gurley has been suspended indefinitely from the Bulldogs due to an investigation into an alleged violation of NCAA rules. It is inferred that the UGA Athletics Administration issued the suspension in response to the investigation, as an effort to cooperate with the NCAA and distance the university from Gurley’s actions. Further details have not yet been brought forward about the specific infraction Gurley is being investigated for.
Through six games, the junior running back has totaled an outstanding 773 yards and nine total touchdowns on just 93 carries. He is in the upper echelon of Heisman candidates, his name constantly swirled amongst the likes of Mariota, Cooper, etc. Mel Kiper recently had Gurley as high as No. 9 on his annual mock draft “Big Board.
Head coach Mark Richt released a statement regarding the developing news.
“I’m obviously very disappointed. The important thing for our team is to turn all our attention toward preparation for Missouri,” Richt said.
Without their top offensive threat, the No. 13 Bulldogs face serious danger heading into their matchup against the No. 23 Tigers. Prior to the news, Missouri was listed as a four point underdog, but that will likely change as a result of Gurley’s suspension. Many in the UGA community are drawing comparisons to the A.J. Green suspension from his time in Athens, speculating that Gurley’s infraction mirrors the one committed by the current All-Pro wideout and former Bulldog.
If Gurley misses any further time, he could potentially miss games against two ranked opponents including a contest against No. 2 Auburn. The Bulldogs will turn to Sony Michel to carry the load in his absence, and quarterback Hutson Mason will have to be sharper in his execution of the offense – one that is no longer balanced between the pass and run. Missouri will surely be inspired by the news, giving them an extra inch of confidence for their date with the Bulldogs this weekend. That extra inch may be all they need to pull this off.
*****Update, 8:48 PM: Sources say that Gurley signed upwards of 80 autographs for roughly $400.
*Section Photo credit to Scott Cunningham, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Grantland