Video footage and photographs of autograph sessions that allegedly resulted in Todd Gurley's suspension Thursday are being shopped, according to a report. The 20-year-old University of Georgia football star purportedly received thousands of dollars for the signed memorabilia, which would constitute a violation of NCAA rules.
The footage shows Gurley signing memorabilia inside a car, individuals connected with the video told TMZ Sports. The photos were allegedly taken at two separate autograph sessions that each happened “fairly recently.” Gurley purportedly received nearly $2,000 for the two sessions.
Meanwhile, an unidentified individual told the University of Georgia’s compliance office that he paid Gurley $400 to sign 80 items during an on-campus autograph session, Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples reports. The person claimed to have photos and a video of the event but said neither showed an exchange of money.
University of Georgia officials announced Thursday that Gurley was suspended indefinitely pending an investigation into unspecified misdeeds. The NCAA’s investigation is focusing on whether Gurley received money to sign memorabilia, a source told ESPN’s Joe Schad.
“I’m obviously very disappointed,” said Mark Richt, head coach of Georgia’s football team. “The important thing for our team is to turn all our attention toward preparation for Missouri.”
A source familiar with the situation told ESPN’s Darren Rovell that Gurley sought $8 to $25 per signature for signed memorabilia. James Space Authentication, a noted name in the autograph authentication industry, said it has verified at least 500 items that were signed by Gurley. James Spence told ESPN Friday that he is “positive the signatures are real.”
James Spence, whose company JSA authenticated 500+ Gurley signed items, tells ESPN he is positive the signatures are real.
— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) October 10, 2014
Gurley, a junior, is sixth in the nation with 773 rushing yards this season. He leads the Bulldogs with eight rushing touchdowns. Georgia (4-1) will face No. 23-ranked Missouri (4-1) on Saturday.