The University of Georgia has suspended running back Todd Gurley indefinitely amid accusations he made money in exchange for signing various sports memorabilia — a violation of NCAA rules.
A statement from UGA didn't go into any details, only citing an "ongoing investigation into an alleged violation of NCAA rules."
But, according to Sports Illustrated, one person "paid Gurley $400 to sign 80 items on campus in Athens, Ga., one day this past spring. The person claimed to have a photo and video of Gurley signing the items, but neither the photo nor the video showed money changing hands." Plus SI say they caught wind of a database that reveals "90 consecutively numbered pieces of Gurley-signed memorabilia."
The official NCAA guidelines applies stricter punishments depending on how much money was made from signing team memorabilia. Hypothetically, if the allegations are true, Gurley could face anywhere from a one-to-four game suspension though tougher penalties could still be applied.
UGA football coach Mark Richt gave a brief response in the University's statement, "I'm obviously very disappointed. The important thing for our team is to turn all our attention toward preparation for Missouri."
This is a sizable blow for the number 13th-ranked team in the nation, as they now head to the 23rd-ranked Missouri Tigers for a showdown between the top two teams in the SEC this weekend without the services of their best player.
Gurley has had a monster season thus far. He currently leads the Bulldogs with 773 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.
ESPN currently ranks him atop the list of potential Heisman trophy candidates — the award given annually to the best player in college football.
This video includes images from Getty Images.