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Post The NCAA needs to fish or cut bait in Athens

Monday August 16, 2010

With the NCAA going back for seconds at the Carolina schools, I wondered whether A.J. Green was ever interviewed in the first place. We knew that the NCAA had asked for permission to interview someone at Georgia, but it isn’t clear whether the NCAA ever followed through on that interview request. We’re led to believe that they never did follow through. Other schools have been able to confirm when their players were interviewed. Last week reporters got basically another “no comment” from Green who made it clear that he was under instructions not to elaborate on his involvement in the investigation.

Kyle’s right here when he notes that as long as this investigation remains unresolved, Green’s character and judgement are taking an unfair hit. It’s fortunately not that large of a hit thanks to the quick response and strength of Green’s alibi for the weekend in question. I don’t blame UGA for the “gag order” – that’s prudent with any ongoing investigation. It’s not as important to me whether Green ever addresses this story again. If he’s clear, that’s the end of it as far as I’m concerned.

The important issue here isn’t Green being freed to tell all. It’s clearing his name and letting him move on. The ball here is in the NCAA’s court, and they’ve held it for nearly four weeks. While other schools remain up in the air about the eligibility of their investigated stars for the season opener, Mark Richt seems confident enough that he won’t have similar concerns. If the NCAA wants to double back and focus on a second round of questions at other schools, that’s fine. Just don’t leave A.J. Green twisting in the wind. He has a season to start in three weeks, and he and the Georgia program don’t need the distraction if his role in the investigation is settled.

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