ATHENS — Georgia president Michael Adams declined to criticize the NCAA’s decision on A.J. Green and said the school did everything it could in the appeal process.
Adams also feels that it’s time to “move on.”
“It’s certainly not too light,” Adams said of Green’s four-game suspension, which was upheld on appeal Friday. “And yet I’m not in the position to criticize the NCAA. They are trying to send a message (about) contact with agents or runners or representatives. And I don’t think A.J. knew what he was dealing with. And I think that’s part of why they stuck with the four games.”
Pressed on the issue, Adams said he would “be surprised if (Green) knew this guy was an agent.”
“Frankly I think it’s time to move on. I’m not exactly sure, you guys could probably explain this to me better than I could to you. He’s a star player, he’s an important player, I understand all of that,” Adams said. “But we’re gonna have 85 more out there (Saturday), and I think they’re ready. They are stars, but you don’t build one season around one player. And I think it’s time to move on. And as I said, maybe at the end of the year, maybe he’s fresher than some of those defensive backs that are covering him. I’ll try to look on the bright side.”
Green is set to return for Georgia’s game at Colorado on Oct. 2.
Adams didn’t have any specific details of the Green case, saying he was not on the appeal call to the NCAA, which happened Friday.
“There’s just not much that somebody in a position like mine can do on something like this,” Adams said. “You can spend the money, you can get the best counsel and get the best advice you can get and make the appeal. I will say I think the university did everything to help him that the university could.”
Adams said he spoke within the past couple of weeks with the entire athletics department, including the football staff, about the number of arrests of players.
Nine Georgia football players have been arrested this year, including two in the past month.
“They don’t like it any more than I do,” Adams said. “And I think they’ll deal with it. You’re dealing with 19-year-olds. We have more in the general student population than I would like. We’ve had too much in the football program. We expect coaches and the A.D.s to provide role models and leadership for their players. And I told the whole athletic association that.”
Adams said there are three basic rules — follow NCAA and SEC guidelines, go to class, and stay out of trouble.
“You don’t have to be Phi Betta Kappa. But you have to do those three things to play here,” Adams said. “We expect people to represent us in a positive fashion on and off the field. That’s not an unrealistic expectation.”
And what could the athletics staff do to stop the rash of arrests?
“I don’t tell them how to do their jobs, and they don’t tell me how to do mine,” Adams said. “I think the message there is very clear.”