Georgia's star wideout A.J. Green is two games into a four-game suspension for what the NCAA termed taking money from an agent, and for Georgia fans, that's two games too many; the Dawgs are 1-1 and facing a pivotal game against 12th-ranked Arkansas at Sanford Stadium on Saturday.
Georgia fans will be crossing their fingers on Friday, then, when Green will have his appeal heard by the NCAA . While nobody's saying a decision's going to happen at the conclusion of the call, and the team's preparing to play without Green, the temptation to hope for Green's immediate return is certainly there:
School spokesman Claude Felton said the appeal will be heard over a conference call, making it possible that Green could return Saturday when Georgia (1-1) faces No. 12 Arkansas in a crucial Southeastern Conference game.Asked if he's looking to get a ruling in the case before kickoff, coach Mark Richt said, "I can only hope that."
And yet, it's kind of hard to figure out what grounds Georgia has to stand on; while it's certainly weird that Chris Hawkins , the guy who bought the jersey, is also awaiting trial for cocaine trafficking, that's hardly a relevant factor for the NCAA to consider in whether to reduce Green's suspension. If anything, the only hope Georgia's got is that the NCAA reconsiders whether Hawkins can--or should--be qualified an agent.
There's really no telling whether Green will have any luck on that front. Sure, there probably isn't much evidence to suggest Green and Hawkins made that transaction with the promise of further business, but if that were the only condition needed by the NCAA, nobody would ever be suspended. Hawkins gave money to Green, and even if he did so under the auspices of a collector, that's probably all the NCAA's going to need to uphold the four-game suspension.