Off the Record (OTR)

Gurley suspension is good for him

I know, I know, the headline sounds pretty stupid at first, doesn’t it? University of Georgia running back Todd Gurley got caught doing something incredibly stupid and is now paying the price for it.

Gurley was suspended by the team indefinitely after they found out that he was getting a few dollars for his likeness and signing some autographs. Oh yes, it’s a beyond-stupid NCAA rule and just another instance in which these athletes are taken advantage of. Let’s be clear on that, the rule that these guys can’t even get a few bucks when someone else is profiting from them makes me want to punch every single NCAA employee in the face, even those that have nothing to do with the creation or enforcement of said rule. Yes, even the janitors.

Again, that said, Gurley knew the rule. He absolutely did. He made the decision and now he gets to pay the price. The biggest of which is probably the Heisman Trophy. It’s a stupid award for several reasons, but if I was a college football player, I’d probably want it.

But, could the suspension be a good thing? Gurley is now shelved for the season for an offense that just about all NFL teams would easily overlook. It’s not like he raped a girl with stolen crab legs. The actual violation could be explained away and if teams are sold on his overall character (hell, even if they aren’t), he’s still probably going to go in the top 20 in the NFL Draft.

Yes, even in the age of the devaluation of the running back, Gurley is good enough that someone will still use a first-round pick on him.

Another benefit? No risk of injury. Ask Marcus Lattimore if he would have loved to be suspended. We saw Jadeveon Clowney apparently duck playing in his last year as to avoid injury. It’s not stupid. This is your livelihood! Why risk getting hurt and affect your draft status (aka paycheck)?

For who? For what?

It’s also less wear and tear. How much tread did Ricky Williams lose on his tire at Texas? Cedric Benson? As I mentioned before, the running back position has already been devalued in the NFL for a number of reason, not the least of which is that they don’t last long. What team wants a running back who has taken more hits as opposed to less? Give me the fresh guy any day.

It doesn’t look like Gurley’s stock will take a huge – if any – hit on draft day. So, this suspension, other than costing him a shot at the Heisman, might actually help him in the long run. If he shredded his ACL next week, he’d be praying that he was suspended.

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