NCAA Forces Suspension of Star Running Back Todd Gurley for Signing His Autugraph

Source: /ESPN

Georgia tailback Todd Gurley has been suspended indefinitely pending an investigation into an alleged violation of NCAA rules, the school announced Thursday.

A source told ESPN’s Joe Schad that the NCAA investigation centers around whether Gurley was given money for autographs, memorabilia or the use of his likeness. Georgia officials did not reveal the alleged violation.

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“I’m obviously very disappointed,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said in a statement. “The important thing for our team is to turn all our attention toward preparation for Missouri.”

One source in the autograph industry told ESPN’s Darren Rovell that it was known that Gurley was seeking between $8 and $25 per signature, charging less to an autograph dealer if he signed more pieces.

Noted autograph authentication company James Spence Authentication (JSA), meanwhile, has authenticated at least 500 Gurley signed items with certificates of authenticity, including more than 300 jerseys, more than 30 mini-helmets, more than 70 photos and even 10 baseballs and nine Nike cleats, ESPN has learned. ESPN verified the authentication through JSA’s website, which allows the purchaser of an authenticated item to type in the serial number on the card provided with the item and match it with the authenticator’s records.

Items with serial numbers L39251 to L39551 all showed up as Gurley-signed jerseys, meaning it was likely done at one time and sent in by the same person or company. Whether Gurley received money for them, however, is unknown.

A representative with the company could not immediately be reached for comment.

Georgia announced Gurley’s suspension Thursday, two days before the No. 13 Bulldogs (4-1, 2-1 SEC) face No. 23 Missouri (4-1, 1-0) in a crucial Eastern Division game.