UGA asks NCAA to reinstate Gurley from suspension
ATHENS, GA (WTVM) - In a statement posted to the university's athletic website Wednesday morning, the University of Georgia is asking the NCAA to reinstate tailback Todd Gurley from his indefinite suspension.
"Since completing its initial review of the eligibility matter involving UGA student-athlete Todd Gurley on Oct. 9, the University has been supporting Todd and cooperating with his legal counsel as they review the matter," the statement said.
Gurley, who is a junior and formerly a Heisman trophy candidate, has "confirmed his desire to seek reinstatement," and UGA supports his requests.
"I want to thank the University, coaches, teammates, and the Bulldog Nation for their patience and support," Gurley said. "I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made, and I can't thank the University, my coaches, and teammates enough for supporting me throughout this process. I'm looking forward to getting back on the field with my teammates."
UGA, Gurley his lawyer, William King, hope to have a prompt ruling from the NCAA.
"Todd has taken responsibility for his actions and is ready to rejoin his teammates. The University has been great throughout the past two weeks and has done everything it can to support Todd," King said.
The NCAA can make one of two decisions: they can either accept the two-game suspension as sufficient and reinstate Gurley, or extend the suspension.
Gurley was suspended on Oct. 9, facing allegations he broke NCAA bylaws by signing autographs for payment. Since then, it was thought unlikely that Gurley would return to the field for Georgia.
The NCAA rule in question is Bylaw 220.127.116.11.6, or Preferential treatment, benefit or services, which states: "Preferential treatment, benefits or services because of the individual's athletics reputation or skill or pay-back potential as a professional athlete, unless such treatment, benefits or services are specifically permitted under NCAA legislation."
Gurley had rushed for 773 yards on 94 carries and eight touchdowns through five games this season prior to his suspension.
Among his season highlight are a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown and a 50-yard touchdown pass. Gurley was among the top of the ESPN Heisman Watch list for 2014.
The Bulldogs are currently 6-1 (4-1 SEC) heading into a bye-week before its Nov. 1 meeting versus the Florida Gators in Jacksonville.
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