Georgia AD issues statement on Todd Gurley suspension

The biggest story heading into this weekend's slate of college football games is that of Hesiman frontrunner Todd Gurley being handed an indefinite suspension over allegedly accepting money for autographs with a man that used to own a memorabilia store.

Gurley reportedly did not travel with the Bulldogs to Missouri for Saturday's noon kickoff. Freshman Nick Chubb will start in his place.

Earlier Friday, ESPN.com reported that Bryan Allen is the name of the man who is alleging he paid Gurley to sign autographs.

Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity issued a lengthy statement defending the university's handling of the matter.

The statement:

"I would like to make a few additional comments about yesterday’s announcement regarding the suspension of Todd Gurley.

"While we have made extensive efforts to gather all relevant facts, this is still an ongoing and obviously sensitive matter involving a student-athlete. Because of federal privacy laws, NCAA rules, and the ongoing nature of this matter, there are limits on what I can say at this time. While we unfortunately cannot get into details, there are a few things I would like to make clear to those who support the University of Georgia.

"There is currently a lot of misinformation about this matter in the public domain, and many pundits are offering opinions that are based on incomplete or erroneous information.

"While that is unfortunate and while we can’t control the pundits, I want to assure the Bulldog Nation that from the time this matter arose and continuing through today, University of Georgia personnel have worked tirelessly, making every effort and taking all appropriate steps to support our student-athletes and our coaches and to act in the best interests of the University of Georgia.

"While the University does not tolerate any violation of NCAA rules, the University has supported and continues to support its student-athletes. As just one example, when this matter arose, the University offered separate legal counsel to Todd; the University recommended -- and Todd retained -- counsel with vast experience with eligibility matters; and the University continues to pay for Todd’s counsel, as permitted by NCAA rules.

"We have made clear to Todd that regardless of what happens with this case, he is still a member of the Bulldog family, and we will support him in every way we can.

"Rest assured the University is continuing its efforts to resolve the eligibility matter as expeditiously as possible and in a manner that is in the best interests of the University, its coaches, and its student-athletes.

"We will continue our proactive and extensive program of rules education for our student-athletes, coaches, and staff.

"Because of the ongoing nature of the matter, unfortunately I cannot make any more comments at this time.

"I encourage the Bulldog Nation to continue to pull together during this difficult time and support all of our coaches and student-athletes as we move forward."

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