Todd Gurley suspension upheld; Return set for November 15 against Auburn


UPDATE #2: The NCAA has upheld the suspension of Todd Gurley, officially leaving him on the sidelines until November 15.


UPDATE: The University of Georgia will reportedly appeal the ruling in an effort to make Todd Gurley eligible to play against Florida.


Todd Gurley is back. Sort of.

The Georgia Bulldogs will welcome their best player back into the fold against the Auburn Tigers on November 15, as it was announced via NCAA release that the junior running back will be fully reinstated to the football program at that time. In the release, it was put forth that Gurley will be suspended for 30 percent of the season (i.e. four games) “for accepting more than $3,000 in cash from multiple individuals for autographed memorabilia and other items over two years”.

It was big-time news when UGA officially applied for Gurley’s reinstatement last week, but in advance of one of the biggest rivalry games on the schedule against Florida, Bulldog Nation is sure to be scuffling on the heels of an announcement that will force their star player to miss the action in Jacksonville. In addition, it should not be overlooked that Todd Gurley will also miss the team’s next game on the road against the Kentucky Wildcats.

Prior to the suspension that cost Todd Gurley two games of action, he was arguably the leading contender for the 2014 Heisman Trophy. The 6-foot-1, 226-pound ball-carrier is averaging a robust 8.2 yards per carry on the season, and Gurley has amassed 773 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in just five games of action. For more context, that rushing total and number of touchdowns on the ground still place Gurley among the top 30 players nationally despite the suspension hiccup.

In his stead, freshman running back Nick Chubb stepped up in a big way with 68 (!) carries for 345 yards and three touchdowns in just two games, but quite obviously, his workload was unsustainable over a full season, and Gurley is arguably the best running back in America. It is certainly valid to suggest that Gurley’s absence was lessened by the presence of a top-flight player in Chubb, but at the same time, there is no argument against the Bulldogs being a better ball club with Todd Gurley in the fold.

It will be exceedingly interesting to see how Gurley performs in his first game back, but unfortunately, that date is still more than two weeks away. Still, expectations will be exceedingly high for Todd Gurley in his return, even amid the unfortunate delay that will likely cost him any chance at re-entering the Heisman race.

Welcome back, Todd Gurley. It’s just a shame that it won’t be for a couple of weeks.