McGarity speaks about Gurley case

Photo by Chris Collins

For the first time since the NCAA issued its ruling on Georgia running back Todd Gurley’s eligibility, UGA J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity spoke about the case. This provided the opportunity for us to find out what went into the investigation, suspension, and then decision by the NCAA.

This was the opportunity for McGarity to as he says “humanize” this story. It started as a chance to put the timing of events into order leading up to the conclusion of Gurley finding out that he would be suspended four games for getting paid to sign autographs. That is how McGarity opened up this press availability.

“We found out the information on October 7 late that evening,” McGarity said. “On October the 8th, just happened to be the same day we were meeting in this room (conference room inside the Butts-Mehre Building) going through the particulars of our committee of infractions hearing with (Swimming and Diving Coach) Jack Bauerle, preparing for the following week’s meeting in Indianapolis. We met from probably 8:30 until 2:00 or 3:00 that day on that matter. Immediately after that we focused on Todd’s situation, because we had just dealt with it. The first inkling we had anything was going on was late night on the seventh (of October).”

If you will remember, it wasn’t until that Thursday October 9 when the school had decided to suspend Gurley indefinitely. On October 8, Gurley had already decided to accept attorney William King as his legal representation. That Tuesday night (October 7) is when the UGA compliance office had received an email from an individual, followed by a separate email containing a video of Todd Gurley signing autographs in a car. McGarity would only say the video came from an “individual.”

McGarity called the video “bothersome” when asked if he felt the video was conclusive. With this being the case, McGarity as mentioned in the previous quote says they didn’t waste any time trying to get out in front of these accusations. He went into more detail later.

“Our investigation was over on the 9th (of October),” McGarity said. “So we were able to gather information in a hurry. That information was gathered, verified, and Todd acknowledged it.”

The process of asking for reinstatement came on October 22, after Gurley and his attorney William King had the chance to look over UGA’s report they would submit to the NCAA. A week later is when we found out that Gurley would miss four games (Missouri, Arkansas, Florida, and Kentucky). Also, that he would be forced to repay part of the $3,000 received and complete 40 hours of community service as part of his reinstatement.

While some say that the NCAA gave Gurley a very harsh punishment. McGarity says you could look at it, as they were given a lesser penalty for them being out in front of the matter.

The NCAA even mentioned that in their report that it didn’t punish Gurley even further because of his honesty and the school’s handling of the matter. Continuing on by saying these violations happened over many years with many different individuals. Plus, he had received education to know that it would be a violation of student-athlete rules.

In terms of how the matter was handled by the school, McGarity says that Georgia has their way of dealing with situations like the one that Gurley faced.

“We’re just about telling the truth around here,” McGarity said. “I don’t understand it when people are getting upset with someone that’s being honest, truthful, wants to run their program the right way, and abide by the rules. I’m not so sure I understand that argument.

When the topic of fans getting upset over that fact that other players in other programs have faced or might be facing some of the same charges that were lobbed at Gurley. McGarity had an answer for that as well.

“There’s probably eight or nine people on this campus that know what went on with Todd Gurley’s situation,” McGarity said. “No one really knows what goes on, its just hearsay. At all these other institutions I couldn’t tell you what goes on. You don’t know. So a lot of people assume and that’s just the World we live in now. There’s just assumptions there and no one really knows. So, I can’t sit and be in judgment of other programs. We have a hard enough time dealing with our own issues.”

What we learned from the meeting with Greg McGarity is that there was a process of events that lead to the conclusion of Todd Gurley missing four games this season. They found out about the accusations against Gurley, investigated it, suspended him indefinitely, asked for reinstatement, and found out his punishment.

We also found out what we should have known all along. That is that Georgia is an athletic department that handles itself with honesty in all situations, like the one just faced by Gurley.

The school also found out from the NCAA that all necessary steps were taken in the matter and will not be subject to any further consequence.

McGarity did add during his press availability, that the school’s legal department is considering option’s like legal action against the memorabilia dealers.


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