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Friday, September 17, 2010

Green and Dareus

Amid all the consternation over A.J. Green's situation, the name that keeps coming up the most among disgruntled Georgia supporters is Marcell Dareus.

Dareus is the Alabama defensive end who, like Green, was ruled to have received an improper benefit from someone defined as an agent. Dareus was ruled to have received a greater benefit - nearly $1,800, vs. $1,000 for Green - but the Crimson Tide player only had to sit out two games.

(The improper benefit, in Dareus' case, was a trip to the infamous South Beach party reportedly sponsored by an agent.)

So, what gives, you say?

Dareus' suspension was cut in half by the NCAA because it decided there were "mitigating circumstances." Basically, it decided that there was enough evidence that Dareus didn't know it was an agent-sponsored party. He claimed that a friend gave him the trip to cheer him up after the death of his mother.

In Green's case, the NCAA apparently decided there weren't enough mitigating circumstances. Let's take the jersey-buyer's associations out of it. (Chris Hawkins has denied he works for any agents, but the NCAA defined him as one anyway.) Even if Hawkins wasn't an agent, or he was but Green didn't know, the NCAA decided that Green knew (or should've known) that receiving money for his game-worn jersey was an improper benefit.

That leads to the next common question: Why would Green get a harsher penalty when his improper benefit was a little more than half of Dareus'?

The answer to that is in the NCAA's sliding-scale guideline. Anything over $500 falls under the four-game penalty statue.

Is that fair? Good question. But for whatever reason those are the guidelines the NCAA has established.

Green's case is analogous to another one that came down the pike this week: Middle Tennessee quarterback Dwight Dasher was suspended four games for receiving a $1,500 loan.

Meanwhile, just remember that it could be worse. South Carolina's Weslye Saunders remained in limbo until he was finally dismissed from the team this week. And North Carolina still has a slew of players awaiting rulings.

But I'm sure that's only a little solace to Green, or Georgia fans.

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