Todd Gurley Suspension: Small Money, Big Problem(s)


The indefinite suspension of Todd Gurley, the University of Georgia’s star running back, that was announced Thursday (Oct. 9) allegedly happened over $400.

Signing of memorabilia by Gurley allegedy is involved.  But we’re really talking about money.


Now, ask yourself how much money the Bulldogs will bring in during their next home game, which is Nov. 15 vs. Southeastern Conference rival Auburn.

Let’s do some quick math: Sanford Stadium seats about 93,000. And remaining tickets for Auburn are currently going for about $200, per ESPN. So you could estimate that ticket revenue for that game would be about $18.6 million.

Per Wikipedia, Division I FBS schools like Georgia are limited to 85 scholarships. So … you could say each football player is generating about $218,000 for UGA during the Auburn game. Now, allow for the fact that not all ticket holders will pay $200. Using $100 for an average ticket price still yields a per-player revenue figure of $109,000. For one game. (Feel free to check my math.)

And this revenue estimate does not include in-stadium concessions, souvenir sales — or television.

The point is that the NCAA rule that is applicable in Gurley’s case is silly. A similar situation arose in 2013 involving Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Major college football programs are in reality pro sports on college campuses. Rules like this that claim to enforce an amateur status are obsolete and insulting. The players already are compensated by the schools in the form of scholarships. And individually and collectively, they generate tons of revenue.

They’re pros.

Rules like this need to be scrapped. Ask yourself how much more money the schools could make if they were allowed to hold memorabilia signing sessions involving their athletes,  with the players getting a cut. Note that I didn’t say “student-athletes.”

Such events would reduce or eliminate tempting black-market scenarios like those involving Gurley and Manziel.


Disclosure: I’m a University of Georgia graduate.

What do you think about the Todd Gurley situation? Leave a comment below.




About Steve Burns

I live in the Atlanta area. I also lived for many years in Southern California. I'm into mainstream media, social media, sports, business and politics. I worked for AOL's Patch, but this is my personal blog. I'm on Twitter (@bsteve76), Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. See ya 'round!
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