July 21, 2010

South Beach excursion denied

HOOVER, Ala. - Allegations that Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green or any other Bulldog was in South Beach for the now-famous party hosted by an unknown sports agent were met with quick denials Wednesday night.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one current Bulldog player told UGASports that both notions were preposterous ones.

According to the source, one group of Bulldog players did go to Florida, but their destination was the Gulf Coast and not South Florida.

"From what I remember they went to Panama City for Spring Break and I don't think any of the players went to Miami, especially not for Memorial Day," the player said. "The coaches make sure that they know where a lot of the players are going for holidays and encourage us to travel in groups when we go. We understand how important it is that we represent the university well and keep our nose clean."

Contacted by UGASports Green denied ever being in Miami.

Green's Facebook page has pictures of the Bulldog receiver at home in Summerville, S.C. earmarked when the South Beach Party was supposed to have taken place.

Earlier Wednesday, UGA associate athletic director Claude Felton revealed that the NCAA was making an "inquiry" regarding alleged illegal contact between agents and members of the Bulldog football team.

The same source told UGASports blamed the media for "throwing players under the bus."

"I doubt anything comes of this, and this will only hurt the media because it seems like they just keep throwing random names out," the source said. "It's like if you are the best player on any team you are in jeopardy of being caught up in something. The media takes a hunch and they just start to run with it. Then it's a battle of good reporters versus bad reporters, but there is a lot more bad than good."

But unscrupulous agents are a concern.

According to one Bulldog currently in the NFL, unscrupulous agents and their runners are a bigger problem than many might think.

"I don't think people understand how much the agents come at the players. We can be at a random party in Atlanta and we have people trying to pay our way into clubs and buy us drinks," the former Bulldog said. "They always come at you and you have to be a good judge of character to be able to tell the shady people. A lot of people give you anything you want just to get next to you just to take a picture with you just to say they know you."

The player explained how athletes could be tricked into doing something wrong.

"It was not until I made it to the NFL that I realized what was going on and how they take advantage of college players. They will have a NFL player hosted party paid for by agents, if any college athletes come to that they can get in trouble, but who is at fault?," the player said. "If a famous NFL alumnus from your school has a party you don't know that it is thrown by agents. Agents are on campus, sitting next to you in restaurants, bumping into you after the game and somebody has to stop this. It is only hurting the players not the universities."

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