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Georgia running back Todd Gurley’s indefinite suspension sent shockwaves through the college football world yesterday. Allegedly, from what I’ve gathered, Gurley profited some $400 for signing his name 80 or so times. This, in any other instance of business in America, would be encouraged to the fullest, and certainly commended. Not under the NCAA’s watchful eyes, though. Not unless it was getting a cut of the cash that Gurley was probably using to pay for groceries, or a bar tab or two.
The suspension immediately brought into question the future of the Bulldogs’ season moving forward, as losing the Heisman front-runner, who had so far contributed 973 all-purpose yards and nine touchdowns to the team’s high-powered offense, will surely see Georgia’s scoring production hampered immensely as it moves full-steam ahead into a rigorous SEC schedule.
With the season seemingly hanging in the balance with regards to what is to come of investigations into the allegations against Gurley, it looks as if loyal Georgia fans are doing anything in their power to get him back on the field as quickly as possible. From citing previous precedents in which players involved in similar situations weren’t punished as harshly, and even accusing rival SEC fans of being complicit with the scandal as a means to deter the Bulldogs’ championship dreams, the Georgia faithful won’t stop at any resort to remediate the situation.
This includes filing a petition directly to the White House, seeking to “pardon Todd Gurley for any possible wrongdoings and ordering the NCAA and UGA to cancel any investigations.” While conventional wisdom will tell you that most fans in the UGA demographic probably wouldn’t say they supported Obama if asked, well, they certainly would support him seeing this through and lifting Gurley’s imposed suspension.
I have to be blunt with my feelings here, though. If you’re a fan of football, regardless of where you loyalty lies, you should sign this thing–whether you think it’ll result in actionable consequence or not–if for nothing more than allowing an exemplary player to showcase his skills and blow your mind when you watch SportsCenter’s top 10 on Sunday mornings. It’s a serious injustice to the sport if this kid misses playing time for making money, especially such an insignificant amount, for solely signing his name to make a few bucks–something millions in this country do every day in their workplace.
Every signature this petition gathers will only reiterate to the figureheads of the NCAA, sitting up in their ivory towers, counting sequentially numbered $100 bills on the daily, that things urgently need to change with respect to the basic liberties–which every other person in this nation is entitled to–that are consistently stolen away from collegiate student-athletes in America as a means for building those aforementioned ivory towers higher.
Whether they’re too high to listen, well, that’s another question..
[via The White House]