ATHENS — The date of A.J. Green’s appeal is now Wednesday, while the facts around his four-game suspension remain somewhat in dispute.
The star receiver’s appeal is set to be heard by an NCAA subcommittee, made up of members of other schools and conferences. It was not clear whether Green and Georgia would get a swift ruling.
Head coach Mark Richt told radio station WSB in Atlanta on Monday that he now understood the appeal would be heard Wednesday morning.
Meantime, the NCAA disputed the account of Chris Hawkins, who purchased Green’s jersey for $1,000, leading to the suspension. Hawkins told The Telegraph last Friday that he never spoke to the NCAA, and “they never really came to me.”
But Stacey Osburn, an NCAA spokesman, said Monday that the organization contacted Hawkins on “several occasions.”
“However, he was not responsive or cooperative,” Osburn said. “He did not return the four different phone calls attempting to gather information. He also cancelled a conference call with the NCAA and a member institution and failed to join the conference call when it was rescheduled.”
Starkville time set
Georgia will play its first night game of the year at Mississippi State, the SEC office announced Monday. The time for the Sept. 25 game was set at 7 p.m., and will be televised by Fox Sports Net.
Georgia’s first three games were all scheduled for noon or 12:21 p.m.
The Oct. 2 game at Colorado is also slated for an evening start, 7 p.m. EDT.
Planning for Green
Richt said Sunday his staff is putting together its gameplan as if Green will not play. But Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino said he’s preparing for the opposite, just to be safe.
“We’ve gotta plan as if he might be there. I guess there’s an appeal up and they’re trying to get him eligible to play,” Petrino said. “He’s as explosive a player as there is.”
Razorback junior safety Elton Ford, who is from Alpharetta, said it “would be a miss” not playing against Green.
“He’s an electrifying athlete. We all know that,” Ford said.
Petrino vs. Grantham
Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who spent the previous 11 seasons coaching in the NFL, will be facing a former NFL head coach for the second straight week.
But unlike South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, Petrino never squared off with Grantham.
Part of that is because of Petrino’s short pro stint — he quit with two games left in his first and only season with the Atlanta Falcons.
“I don’t know him at all,” Petrino said of Grantham. “I know that we spent the summer studying Dallas Cowboy video, trying to get a feel for the 3-4, and what they do in the 3-4. And then we watched the spring game. And now their first two games.”