Aaron Murray offers take on Todd Gurley suspension
When Kansas City Chiefs backup quarterback Aaron Murray was starring for the University of Georgia, he asked for a name each time he signed an autograph. Basically, no one was going to profit off of his likeness if he wasn't allowed to.
That's the central issue surrounding UGA running back Todd Gurley, who is being investigated for taking money for signing autographs for a man named Bryan Allen. Gurley is indefinitely suspended but did resume practice with the team on Monday.
Murray, in an interview with The Athens Banner-Herald, said that there are a lot of shady folks trying to get top college players to sign items that will later hit the marketplace.
“There’s always people wanting to be sneaky and have you sign stuff,” Murray told the newspaper. “That’s why after games or whenever I see people, I always asked them, `Who am I signing this to? Give me a name.’ If they couldn’t produce a name, I’m like, `Hey, I’m not going to sign it.’ But there’s tons of temptation out there, there’s tons of people that are wanting to make a profit. And as an athlete, we work hard to represent ourselves, to build a great brand.”
Murray also said he hopes the NCAA will address this issue at some point. The SEC's all-time leader in passing yards made the point that while players are offered a scholarship that inclues a meal plan and room and board, players are still restricted with what additional income they can bring in.
It could take some time, however, for the NCAA to allow players to use their own likeness to profit monetarily. In the recent Ed O'Bannon case, it was determined that the NCAA can still restrict the players from doing so based on the objectives of the organizations.
The courts may side with the NCAA, which means the NCAA itself would have to change its mind on the stance.
“I guess I could speak for all players: We feel like if we represent ourselves and make a great brand on and off the field that we can hopefully profit from it a little bit," Murray said. "It stinks, but it’s a big issue and the NCAA needs to look into it a little bit more.”
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