Georgia Player Must Sit Out 4 Games for Selling Autographs

October 30, 2014

Todd Gurley, a football player at the University of Georgia, must sit out a total of four games -- or 30 percent of the season -- for selling autographed memorabilia, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Wednesday. The NCAA is also requiring Gurley to donate a portion of the $3,000 he earned to a charity and complete 40 hours of community service.

Georgia, which had already suspended Gurley for two games, is appealing the decision. "In determining the appropriate reinstatement conditions, a 30 percent withholding condition is consistent with precedent in similar cases," the NCAA stated. "Additional withholding was strongly considered because the violations occurred over multiple years with multiple individuals and the student received extensive rules education about the prohibition of receiving payment for autographs."

No matter the punishment's consistency, many fans and observers criticized the sanction as treating Gurley like a criminal. "Please consider the insanity of the NCAA, which is not a judicial body and does not consider Todd Gurley an employee, punishing a guy by forcing him to part with money he'd literally made off his own name," Tom Ley wrote at Deadspin. "What are they going to do if he doesn't pay? Book him and throw his $3,000 in an evidence locker?"

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