The notion of a gone Gurley is sad beyond measure

Herschel ran over a Vol; Gurley jumped over one. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC photo)

Herschel ran over a Vol; Gurley jumped over one. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC photo)

Herschel ran over a Vol; Gurley jumped over one. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC photo)

Herschel ran over a Vol; Gurley jumped over one. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC photo)

If Todd Gurley has indeed played his last game for Georgia — quoting a source, the AJC is reporting that he might not be allowed to return this season — the sensation would be the same sadness as in February 1983, when the greatest collegiate player ever jumped to the USFL with a year of eligibility remaining.

With this difference: Herschel Walker had already lifted the Bulldogs to a national championship and three SEC titles. Todd Gurley, the greatest Bulldog since the matchless Herschel, hadn’t done any of the above. Gurley had come close to the SEC part in 2012, when five more yards against Alabama would have put Georgia in the BCS title game against Notre Dame — and yes, it was against Notre Dame on Jan. 1, 1981, that Herschel gained 150 yards with a bum shoulder and secured one of the most improbable national championships ever.

If I hadn’t seen Herschel with my own eyes each of his three seasons, I might have been tempted to declare Gurley his equal. Every week,  No. 3 would do something — jump over defenders, helicopter five yards for a touchdown, complete a 50-yard pass — that would leave me with the same sense of awe that came from watching No. 34.

Walking up the Sanford Stadium steps last Saturday, I told Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph and Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that I thought Gurley was going to win the Heisman, which is something I’d never really believed about any Bulldog post-Herschel. (Not Eric Zeier, not Garrison Hearst, not Matthew Stafford, not Knowshon Moreno.) I’d gone beyond thinking Gurley should win to believing he absolutely would. Now he probably won’t. And that, pardon the bad pun, is a doggone shame.

A two-game suspension might still leave him with a Heisman shot. Missing four games would not. Missing any games will compromise his team’s ability to win, but that goes without saying. So why did I say it? Because sometimes being sad makes you state the obvious just to make yourself feel sadder.

I’m sad that the greatest Bulldog since Herschel might be leaving like Herschel, who was revealed to have signed with the New Jersey Generals of the fledgling (and short-lived) USFL after insisting he hadn’t, without achieving like Herschel. I’m sad that Gurley could have cut short his Georgia career to sign memorabilia for money, as if the example of A.J. Green wasn’t still fresh among Bulldogs. I’m sad that Gurley might have hurdled his last collegiate defender. I’m sad that this season of promise — as of 5 p.m. Thursday, Georgia had to be considered the SEC East favorite –could, as so many UGA seasons have, leave everyone wondering, “What if?’

The NCAA rules may be picayune, but they’re clear: Beyond the cost of your scholarship, you cannot profit as a college player. If you do, there’s a chance you’ll no longer be a college player. It’s a shame that this happens so often, but a student-athlete should know better. Gurley had only three months to go before he could declare for the NFL draft, an option that wasn’t available to Herschel in 1983. If it turns out Gurley just couldn’t wait that long, the shame will fall on him.

If we no longer get to watch Gurley in Red & Black, the sadness will be ours, and by that I mean us neutrals as well as Georgia backers and even opposing fans. It’s not often any of us get the chance to see true greatness. We’d seen true greatness, at least on the field, from Todd Gurley this season. If he wasn’t quite as great as Herschel, it was only because Herschel was the best there ever was.

Herschel left having done it all — elevated his team to the highest heights and hoisted the Heisman to boot — and the remorse over him leaving early soon faded. Even after being caught in a lie, the man from Wrightsville had done Georgia proud. Todd Gurley had put himself and his team in position to work similar wonders, but there’s a real chance he is — pop culture reference — a gone Gurley.

If so, he’d be gone too soon, like Herschel before him. But unlike Herschel, who did it all, Gurley would be gone having left so much undone.

Reader Comments 0

229 comments
HotDawg
HotDawg

Debate the rules, to possibly change the rules. But DO NOT break the rules while they're in place.

Gurley knowingly and willingly chose to break the rules.

Be a man and accept responsibility, along with the consequences.

Anyone that thinks it is ok to tell young people (in particular) to cheat, because you don't like a rule, is enabling that person for future failures. Every adult knows that is not a good lesson or message to send.

As for Gurley's motives and the excuse making crowd....Gurley, nor any UGA athlete is deprived of the necessities in life. They eat better than many families. They are afforded free housing. And yes, they get free stipends, that does amount to more spending money than myself and many others ever had, while paying for school. It is good that they learn how to budget their money, as every person does. They'll have to know how to do that the rest of their lives. Learn early.

Everybody wants more money. That is understandable. But don't give the excuse, he needed more money.

There is a difference between WANTS and NEEDS in life. Again, every adult should know this. And young people should learn the difference. Even if it must be through a costly lesson.

Gurley wanted this money. He didnt need this money. Another tattoo or skateboarding trip in L.A. are needs for more money? He apparently had money for those things.

I do believe the agents and memorabilia dealers that prey on athletes before their eligibility ends, should be brought up on criminal and civil charges. For trying to solicit athletes, even if the athlete says no.

And that is where the responsibility lies within the athlete

The ability to say NO.

ColumbusDawg
ColumbusDawg

With regard to Keith Marshall, ya'll had better know what you are wishing for on his return. Marshall is NOT ready to be an effective SEC running back this year, and Richt will waste valuable downs putting him in an important game. Douglas looked very good in his carries on Saturday, and deserves more of the load. He is in no way injured and is ready to roll. This is NO time for Richt to feel sorry for an injured player to get him carries he does not deserve at UGA's expense. There are still plenty of folks looking for Richt to earn his money. Richt needs to make decisions based on what is best for UGA, an not individuals at this point. I am not sure if he is smart enough to realize that or not, but if he screws up this season, I know some folks that are going to let him know it flat out at years end.

LuxLucisofVerum
LuxLucisofVerum

I guess most of us know that UGA has an attorney representing Todd over this. And before any of the weirdos go, "OH! SEE! UGA is trying to get him off!" This is not an uncommon practice, especially when the facts are not established. Treon Harris has an attorney as well at UF. As have others. In a case like this, if you don't defend yourself against the NCAA they will just run over you without any regard. IF Todd did do this I am all for some punishment. But to lose the entire year over something like this? Doesn't seem reasonable or equitable when you see some of what other players have skirted. Maybe I'm a little biased on this one. 

MooreBulldog
MooreBulldog

Unfortunately people make choices that affect their lives and that of their team mates, school and family.  I hope when more is revealed  we find this is just some disgruntled individual trying to discredit a kid.  

RED DOG 77
RED DOG 77

@MooreBulldog  I think you're right, but I would venture to guess this individual is trying to discredit the University of Georgia. Todd Gurley knew the rules and is responsible for his own discredit.

MooreBulldog
MooreBulldog

@RED DOG 77 @MooreBulldog  Yes you are correct and what bothers me even more is to watch how some schools deal with these situations.  Most recently the Winston suspension.  Not only did the FSU allow him to be on the sideline first in full uniform only to be sent back and return to be featured on the sideline by an inept coach, thje ACC conference and ESPN. and NCAA. If in fact Gurley did sell autographs and other items he should have to pay a price.  Suspension for the Year?  I do not know when you see how this seems to grow year after year.  When is the NCAA and these schools  going to get serious on this activity and far worse activities..  

HotDawg
HotDawg

Moore.....A couple decades ago, a few states tried to put laws on the books to penalize the agents that preyed on athletes. Some criminal penalties and others civil. It was brought up earlier in week that GA has a civil statute on the books.

I don't know how much bite any of these state laws have had, but there definitely needs to be more teeth put into these laws.

Starting with strong criminal charges against anyone just for soliciting an athlete to jeopardize his eligibility.

Not a cure all. But a good start.

icedawg
icedawg

Gurley who?  Let the Chubbinator loose.  And the D has made improvements each week.  They are tackling  much better than in the Grantham and Martinez eras.  Go DAWGS!

RED DOG 77
RED DOG 77

@icedawg  Youbecha........Got to move on, Gurley probably gone..........Chubb, Michel, Douglas..........and don't forget Keith Marshall..........Me? I'm over Gurley........hoping Brice Ramsey gets a chance to show his wares, or Hutson Mason rears back and chucks the dadgum football.................We are going to have to throw the ball some if we are to get past Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Auburn and Georgia Tech

RED DOG 77
RED DOG 77

I can't disagree with all of you who refer to the guy who "set-up" Todd Gurley as a scumbag, or even romancing the glory that was Todd Gurley in Red and Black [Bradley]..........But one important question: Does Todd Gurley bear any responsibility here?........was he told very plainly what the rules were?..........You see folks, if Todd Gurley had kept his nose clean, he might have won the Heisman Trophy, led Georgia to a championship, and in his position of influence, made a lot of noise about the unfair rules of the NCAA.............But he apparently got several hundred dollars, let his team, coaches, fans, and yes little kids down, will go down in Bulldog Nation history as that "Sick Feeling"..........rather than "Feel Good"............Yep...........I hold Todd Gurley responsible for Todd Gurley............RED

LuxLucisofVerum
LuxLucisofVerum

@RED DOG 77 not much to disagree with...I only hope that some additional info on the case will show that although Todd made a bad decision, he was helped along by a vindictive, back stabbing scum bag.

HotDawg
HotDawg

RED....All this stuff makes me wonder how many "star" athletes around nation are getting away with this. Noone would have known Todd did it, if the loudmouth, scumbag, dealer didn't squeal on himself and Gurley.

He may go down as the most stupid businessman of all time. Probably would have recouped any perceived losses had he waited for season to play out, and Gurley won the Heisman.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Also, I would never buy any signed memorabilia from a rip off dealer.

I'm supposed to believe that's a real signature? Why? Because he has a picture of an athlete signing a couple helmets? How do i know the helmet he's trying to sell me is the one the athlete signed? He can have 50 more helmets in his back room that he forged signatures on.

And signed items from a store have less meaning to me than actually meeting and getting an autograph from the athlete. And I'm not out to sell it, so I'd rather it be personalized.

Unless I'm in possession of some million dollar auctioned Babe Ruth item, for example, I don't care about the monetary value of my memorabilia. It's worth more to me as a personal value. Hard to put a cost on that.

CountryFirst
CountryFirst

a failed sports shop owner, and small time punk, and he hires a $300/hr attorney...this is a set up big time!  Oh, if the truth be known....

ResidentGeorgiaFan
ResidentGeorgiaFan

Bryan Allen wants to hear from the Georgia Nation  .... bryan.allen@gmail.com

lithoniaguy
lithoniaguy

So much for GURSHALL!  HAHAHAHAHA...who will be the next "Herschel" now?

CHDawg
CHDawg

If Tech had a Heisman candidate, the number 1 candidate in the nation, and a Georgia fan got him to sign something, taped him secretly and then shopped his "story" to anybody who would listen, saying that he didn't want compensation--he just wanted to get the news out. Then you find another quote where he reportedly said, 

>>>"Just wanna recoup some of my money."<<< as justification. Then, he hires a famous attorney, who millionaire sports figures used. You guys wouldn't shut up for the next 100 years. Who is paying this guy to ruin Gurley?  Who is paying for the expensive attorney?  Why would he leak this info if he knew how much it would cost him?  I am just using the analogy, as this guy is reportedly a Gator fan who called Georgia the "puppies," after Gurley and company beat his Gators. 

LuxLucisofVerum
LuxLucisofVerum

@CHDawg we can only hope the NCAA takes all of this into consideration. But don't hold your breath.

SinceVince
SinceVince

Im already looking forward to next year..We will don our new silvah britches!

DoubleDawg
DoubleDawg

Still very deflated.  This is just about the worst thing that could have happened.  Tough to lose the best player in CFB and not feel an impact.  Of course marshall and michel are out so it makes this game a very difficult one to win but beyond that this is bad news on a much bigger scale than winning or losing one game.


I rarely ever take up for these players who break rules but I have long thought that Gurley is a good person.  All people make mistakes and there is no good excuse but he is still a good person and does not remind me of the typical rule breakers.  That said, it will be interesting to see what his legacy is at UGA.  


Has anyone heard anything new about the longevity of the suspension?  Do we really think his college career is over?

LuxLucisofVerum
LuxLucisofVerum

@DoubleDawg I think Todd is a good kid. The more I see the more I think he was set up by this goof ball. Still, he knew the rules (as outdated as they are) and knew better. Still, considering all of the info I have seen, I would think the NCAA would be lenient considering the number of thieves, druggies and dare I say, pending rape cases, (I know, not an NCAA issue) that are still flinging the ball around the country. If you are willing to end the college career of one of the finest athletes to play in recent memory over a few hundred bucks (the figure we have hard) then I think the NCAA is a totally misguided and screwed up bunch of old farts. Just my opinion. We will know in a few days what has been decided.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@prosend Now your on the right track.......associating TG with JW............hope that works for ya.

Harlemdawg
Harlemdawg

Those mizzou student in the other article seemed very confident huh? And admittedly our stable of backs is now down to chubbs and mighty whitey.....but dont forget chubbs was a higher rated recruit than our primadonna John Hancock..they may be in for a surprise!

Of course that still wont help the d against those big receivers they seem to keep stocked over there

DawghaveMange
DawghaveMange

Yes!  The Rule is archaic!  No doubt about it.  Yes, the rule needs to be change or modified in some degree!


But......


For any player to put themselves and their personal gain above the team is allowing that player to become scrutinized and possibly penalized.

Gurley knew the rules, had been preached to by the UGA Compliance office along with every other player. Gurley knowingly broke the rules and got caught.  Was he set up?  Probably!  But with every reward there is always a risk and he took the risk, not UGA! 


I have a very long disdain for any player who puts themselves above his/her team and that is what he did.

You can cry and complain about McGarity, The NCAA, The SEC or anyone else, but this falls on the shoulders of Todd Gurley and no one else.


Character mean more than anything else.  Herschel took the money and no one could ever blame him and he epitomizes Good Character. 

turftoe
turftoe

Stupid is as stupid does. Show me the money!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@turftoe Mama always said stay out of the backseat of cars unless i was with JENNY.......we were like peas and carrots.

ResidentGeorgiaFan
ResidentGeorgiaFan

Anyone got proof Gurley got $400? Show me a check signed and posted or forget it. 

58Supersports
58Supersports

@TomResidentGeorgiaFan  Are you a lawyer, judge, NCAA or just a fan. No one has to show you the proof.  It's not the end of the world, you a dawg fan stand up for what right and support  your team.

DawghaveMange
DawghaveMange

@TomResidentGeorgiaFan 


I guess you are one of those who like Lewis Grizzard would say:  Believe the Moon Shot was fake and Wrestling is real since you cannot see it!

Peachs
Peachs

There are players you see with your own eyes and know are special and you know as long as that player in on the field you have no chance, Herschel was one of those, Cam Newton was one of those. Gurley though he was good was not, Calvin Johnson though he was good was not. Gurley didn’t have the stamina, Richt had to hold him back for the fourth quarter, and he was Eddie Lee Ivory which ain’t bad but not the workhorse of even Eddie Lee. Maybe if Gurley had played for Dooley, but I doubt it, he would have been in the same sentence with the truly greatest I have ever seen, Herschel, but better teams played Hershel and if you beat him which didn’t happen often you had to almost kill him and yourself to do it.Gurley though good was not that good and Georgia can win today without him, may even be a better team.Missouri better not be listening to all this stuff and show up, they will need everything they got to win today.

grillkicker
grillkicker

might be time to step off of the high horse dawgdummies...UGA IS JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER PROGRAM!!!!

nbrdrdnk
nbrdrdnk

$400? The going price for a Heisman is $400 now?  Reggie Bush at least got a house for his mom.   

58Supersports
58Supersports

@nbrdrdnk  he is not Bush but could be one day.  400 is what they said he got...don't matter the amount he broke the rules..   Hell, I don't like it but the world is full of sorry a@@ rules.. Look at Ferry with Hawks, they wanted to hang  him for reading what a scout wrote and Mark B was the biggest one pushing it. Now he is gone.

58Supersports
58Supersports

It really is so simple...You got rule and all the players know the damn rules (unless they stupid). Gurley knew the rule and broke it anyway for $400. He put the $ ahead of fans and his team and HT.  I hate it for UGA, Richt and team mates but he Gurley made the call..  now he must pay the price along with everyone else.

Stop the crying, he dd it on his own.. The damn Dawg are not a one man show..be a man and fight and win. They can without him. He did it to himself.. Get up and fight like hell , Gurley threw you under the bus for $400.

anotherdawg
anotherdawg

This is ridiculous!  Stealing crab legs - no problem.  Sexual assault  - , just deny it.  Smoking pot - 1/2 game suspension.  Your daddy offering your services to play - just don't be aware of what daddys doing.  But, just the accusation of signing autographs, gets a possible college playing death penalty?  And, from what I have read, nothing has been proven.  Something is bad wrong with a system that distributes penalties in such an arbitrary manner. At the very least, Gurley should be allowed to continue to play until found guilty.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@anotherdawg I think he has probably admitted his guilt already............to his coach.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

This is sad. The NCAA needs to be updated. If they can have a million rules than they should be able to determine between real jobs and cush jobs.

OOH-IO
OOH-IO

NOW my buckeyes will win it all!  I was scared to play UGA and Gurley since we can't beat an SEC team but it is over now!  2014 National Champs!

buztech
buztech

And Bradley continues in mourning this morning.  Word has it, his house is draped in black crepe with all the blinds drawn, not answering the phone. He is soooo sad.

grillkicker
grillkicker

why are you dummies so shocked...this incident just shines more light on "the Georgia way"....