BREAKING NEWS, UPDATED: Georgia’s Todd Gurley Indefinitely Suspended For Signing Items, Getting Paid $400 To Sign Them

Another high-profile collegiate athlete will get some time off via suspension.

CBS Sports has reported that University of Georgia’s Todd Gurley, currently considered one of the leaders for this year’s Heisman Trophy, is being suspended by the University of Georgia Athletic Association as part of an investigation for violation of NCAA rules and regulations.

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

He has 773 yards rushing, ranked No. 6 in the country, and eight rushing touchdowns, tied for seventh nationally this season. The junior has 973 all-purpose yards on the season, which is No. 2 in the FBS, and nine touchdowns.

Gurley was part of an investigation about two weeks ago. The Big Lead reports Gurley was investigated, and cleared, of an assault allegation made in the early morning hours on Sunday, arising out of an incident at an Athens bar. A student who was taking selfies at the bar got into an altercation with Gurley in the background. When his hat got knocked off, Gurley reached down to pick it up, and the student directed a racial epithet at Gurley.

The student accused Gurley of punching him, but police reviewed the surveillance tape and determined that Gurley was not involved and did nothing other than pick up a hat. An unidentified white male was the one who punched the accuser at the bar.

“In consideration of all the information, to include statements and video recordings from the incident location, Todd Gurley’s involvement in this report is unfounded,” the detective wrote in a supplemental report. “Based also on the information … I was able to see clearly that Todd Gurley had no involvement in this case other than trying to give an individual his hat back.”

NBC Sports is reporting that there is no word on the nature of the alleged NCAA rules violations, but they’re unlikely to affect Gurley’s draft stock. Plenty of high-profile players, like Dez Bryant and Cam Newton, have been first-round picks despite allegations that they violated the NCAA’s byzantine rules about player eligibility. If anything, sitting out the rest of the season might improve Gurley’s chances of going high in next year’s draft, because an injury is about the only thing that could derail his draft price.

Georgia now has to prepare for opponents without its most productive athlete for an undetermined period of time. More as information becomes available.

UPDATE: The Bleacher Report states Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples revealed the cause of the suspension.

“ has learned that a person confirmed to Georgia’s compliance office this week that he paid Gurley $400 to sign 80 items on campus in Athens, Ga., one day this past spring. The person claimed to have a photo and video of Gurley signing the items, but neither the photo nor the video showed money changing hands. NCAA rules require schools to immediately declare a player ineligible if they discover a violation has been committed. Schools may then apply for the player’s reinstatement. Reached by text message on Thursday afternoon, Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity declined comment.”

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