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Post Jones decision a big shot in the arm for Georgia’s defense

Tuesday August 9, 2011

We’re not used to good news on the NCAA/compliance front, so we had to read it a few dozen times. The AJC reports that linebacker Jarvis Jones has been cleared to play and will not have to miss any games as a result of an investigation into possible improper benefits received from a Columbus recreation director.

The investigation stems from a June report in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. While there doesn’t seem to have been much of a dispute about Jones receiving a benefit, there was a question about the existing relationship between Jones and the men alleged to have provided the benefit. According to Eric Baumgartner of the UGA compliance office, “Georgia’s investigation showed that there were not improper benefits for Jones, a sophomore, based on his prior relationships before he became a prospect.” Because there was an established relationship before Jones entered the ninth grade, the benefits were allowed. Ninth grade is when kids become prospective student-athletes in the eyes of the NCAA.

Jones is expected to jump right in and start at SAM linebacker after sitting out the 2010 season as a transfer from Southern Cal. Jones suffered a neck injury during the 2009 season, and the Trojans would not clear him to play. While much is expected of Jones this year, that neck will be something worth watching as his career in the Red and Black gets underway. He’s gone through a full year of practice including spring drills, and no problems have yet manifested themselves. We hear great things about his progress and readiness, and now we learn that Georgia will have one of their fast-rising defensive starters for the season opener.

It should be noted, and it was mentioned by the AJC, that things are still up in the air for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the incoming Georgia basketball freshman who was named in the same Columbus report. I’m sure most fans consider this case closed now that Jones’s part of it is resolved, but Caldwell-Pope’s availability is central to the outlook of Georgia basketball this year. His absence, relatively speaking, would be of much greater impact to his team than Jones’s absence.

And while we’re at it, it would be nice to get some resolution from the NCAA Clearinghouse on Kent Turene. The longer his exile drags on, the worse it looks for his chances of joining the football team this year.

One Response to 'Jones decision a big shot in the arm for Georgia’s defense'

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  • I’m expecting Kentavious to be punished by the ncaa, given what we know about the paid phone bill. But how many games do you think he’ll have to sit out? Or are you thinking this could be a season ending suspension?