All That and a Bag of Mail: Todd Gurley’s Suspended

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Sep 27, 2014; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley (3) reacts with the fans after defeating the Tennessee Volunteers at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated Tennessee 35-32. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports Dale Zanine USA TODAY Sports

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for the mailbag. Also, it’s time for all of you to pretend to work while you actually read the mailbag.

Ain’t life grand.

Our beaver pelt trader of the week is Georgia’s Todd Gurley because it’s beyond stupid for him to be suspended at all. 

Without further ado, let’s dive into the Gurley question that a bunch of you have already been asking. 

Rebecca writes:

“Clay –

I would have preferred my first mail-bag e-mail to you to be some clever/hilarious question that you would really enjoy answering/pontificating on.  Now, as it happens, I just have a legitimate question. 

I’m pretty sure you’re gonna get similar e-mail from countless UGA fans, but can you shed some light on how this whole NCAA investigation process works?  During the course of the investigation, is the school required to bench the player?  How long do these investigations typically last? 

As I recall, when similar allegations surfaced about Manziel, Newton, and various Alabama players in recent years, the players were still allowed to play and/or received INCREDIBLY lenient punishments.  Is this just Mark Richt being Mark Richt?

What’s your best guess re: (1) how long Gurley is suspended, and (2) Georgia’s overall record without Gurley.  I’m sort of afraid of your answer.”

First, can we start saying that someone “Georgia’s it” whenever they have everything going for them and still screw up? For instance, let’s say you’ve got an awesome out of the country vacation planned, you get to the customs check in and suddenly realize that you’ve forgotten your passport. That’s a vintage Georgia Bulldog move right there. You totally Georgia’d that vacation planning. Or you’re standing over a one foot birdie putt, it’s almost impossible to miss, and then you push it just past the lip, it rolls five feet away, and you miss the par putt and end up bogeying the hole. You Georgia’d it.   

Every time things are going well and you inexplicably screw something up and have no one else to blame but yourself, you Georgia’d it. I’m going to start saying this too. 

Anyway, my guess is a 1-2 game suspension. The likelihood of the NCAA being able to prove he was paid is very low. Unless, of course, Gurley posed Price Is Right style holding the cash and an autograph marker in his hand. If I was representing Gurley in a case like I’d pretty much advise him to lie. Because if he admits to everything he did, his career is over. I believe Johnny Manziel lied, Cam Newton lied, just about every decent Alabama player who has gotten paid by T-Town Menswear over the past six or seven years has lied. Everyone lies to the NCAA. Just lie, baby.

I don’t blame the players for lying because when you investigate a kid for improper benefits all you’re really doing is ensuring that despite his talents, a poor kid is staying poor. I can’t think of a more anti-American investigation. Our entire capitalistic system is predicated on getting as much money for your labor as you possibly can. Except when it comes to college kids in football and basketball. And don’t tell him to just wait. How much money is Marcus Lattimore going to end up making because he waited? How about Tyrone Prothro? Football players aren’t guaranteed any actual money. 

You know what’s never an improper benefit? A rich family. If your family’s wealthy you already have everything you need on campus. There’s no need to get paid a few thousand dollars for autographs. 

So, provided there isn’t a huge amount of evidence to prove he took cash, I expect Gurley will end up missing a couple of games at most. The real hindrance here, honestly, is that these investigations can take a long time to complete. We’re in the middle of the season. I would think he probably misses Mizzou and Arkansas and is back for Florida.  

By the way, you know what would be really wild? What if Gurley got an autograph broker to turn him in because Georgia already lost a game, he knew they weren’t good enough to win an SEC or national title, and he wanted to make sure he didn’t get injured before the NFL draft? This would be genius. Because if he stopped playing all the NFL scouts would lower his draft rating by saying he “didn’t love football,” or “put himself above the team,” or “lacked mental toughness.” Basically all the stuff they threatened Jadeveon Clowney with if he didn’t play his junior season. But if Gurley got suspended for the rest of the year because he was signing autographs no one in the NFL would care. In fact, it would make people root for Gurley even more. 

I don’t think Gurley is diabolical enough to make that move, but, man, it would be genius. I wouldn’t blame him for doing it at all.  

DF writes:


I need the advice of a gay muslim who is also responsible for so many Tennesseans being homeless this week. “Your” welcome. 

Back story: I am a 32 year old who received a Masters degree at UT a few years back. I’m also a season ticket holder to UT football games and have sat in the same section and seats for about 10 years now. 

This weekend, I took a friend (who’s the same age) with me to the UT/UF game. We tailgated pre-game. I am an experienced tailgater and know exactly how much I can/should drink and eat while tailgating to feel a little buzz and have a good time. My friend, who is a rookie tailgater, decided to go all-out at our tailgate and had about 8-9 drinks in the span of 2 hours while having eaten nothing all day leading up to the 12:00 noon kickoff. In no particular order he was drinking beer, mixed drinks, then taking jello shots. (You probably see where this is going.) 

About midway through the first quarter of the game he gets sick (predictably) and pukes all over the people sitting beside us and in front of us. I think about 5 people got hit. We had to leave the stadium with people in our section cursing at us. Subsequently, I spent the rest of the day taking care of him throwing up. By the time he was feeling better, the game was over and the day was a complete bust. 

Here are my questions:

1) Should there be an age cutoff in which this type of behavior is acceptable? I feel like many college age students who drink “overdue” it at some point. I know I did in my young 20’s. However, after age 30 I feel it’s ridiculous and embarrassing for a mid-career, working professional to get that hammered. 

2) At the next home game, the folks who know me and have sat near me for years might still be pissed. Even though it wasn’t me who personally puked on everyone, I still feel somewhat responsible since I invited him. Any advice on how or if I should address it? Since I will be sitting near the same people moving forward, I would prefer to be on good terms with these folks.” 

You shouldn’t puke in public from drinking too much after the age of thirty. Having said that, I have puked in public after drinking too much after the age of thirty. In my defense it was after an entire day of drinking at Nashville’s Steeplechase. I was 34 years old and showed up at two in the morning on my front doorstep, having lost my shoes somewhere, ringing the doorbell barefoot. You can imagine how impressed my wife was.

But I have never actually thrown up on someone.

You can’t throw up actually inside an SEC football game after the age of thirty. You just can’t. (You can however throw up at an SEC tailgate. It’s frowned upon, but it can happen. If this happens and you throw up, as soon as you finish throwing up just say, “That cheese must have been out in the sun too long.” Stick to this story for the rest of your life, even if there was no cheese at the tailgate.)

Your friend’s behavior was inexcusable. In fact, I’d argue you weren’t obligated to take care of him afterwords either. A couple of years ago in Las Vegas one of our buddies got too drunk at Encore Beach Club and threw up in our cabana. They have no real rules in the Encore Beach Club cabanas except you can’t throw up. So they kicked him out. No one left with him because we were all having too much fun. Our bikini clad waitress — who might have been the most attractive woman any of us had ever seen — said, “Is no one going to help him get back to the hotel?”

And my buddy said, “He’s 34 years old. He’s been this drunk before. He’ll be fine. It’s on him.”

So he had to get home on his own.  

I think that’s the right call. 

As for your second question, you have to apologize to everyone who sits around you. I’d suggest you buy a bunch of “Butch, Please,” t-shirts and humbly bestow them upon your seat mates. (This is a pretty funny gift. If your seat mates don’t have senses of humor or are really old, I would pass out some Calhoun’s gift certificates. $20 to each person that got puked on would probably be a decent gesture. Every single UT fan alive loves Calhoun’s. It’s uncanny).  

Kevin writes:

“Let’s assume the story painted by Treon Harris’ attorney is true and accurate€” that it was purely consensual, that the woman was the aggressor, that no facts exist to indicate Treon did anything to break the law (ignoring, for a minute, Treon’s extremely poor judgment in having sex with a girl that had just had sex with another man), etc.  As dumb as his actions were, it wasn’t illegal, and the same thing probably happens on college campuses more than we’d like to admit.  So…. a prominent player is wrongfully accused by a woman, and because of the times we’re in, the school (rightfully??) errs on the side of extreme caution and immediately suspends him indefinitely.  How do we deal with a situation like this? How do we reconcile protecting a player’s rights to prevent wrongful accusations/punishment while also wanting to administer proper and swift punishment when it’s justified? In a case such as this, it seems any girl that has had any sort of sexual encounter with a prominent player can therefore ruin a team’s season by simply concocting a story of sexual assault because she knows the team will immediately suspend the player. Is this the fate we’re resigned to given the social media atmosphere of the day?  Are we just catering to the Twitter mobs while ignoring constitutional principles like Due Process? Will a player be given the benefit of doubt ever again? This issue is so complicated and has so many layers. Your thoughts?”

You ask a series of really smart questions here. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I’ve thought about the new social media era we’re in quite a bit. For pro sports I would say that if you’re charged with a violent felony you should be immediately suspended until the felony’s resolved. I think that’s a pretty easy standard to apply because it puts the onus on the criminal court system to conduct the investigation and determine an outcome. Pro athletes will have good criminal attorneys and, let’s be honest, if you get charged with a felony despite lawyering up, there’s a very good chance you did it. Now, you may beat the charges in a criminal court because beyond a reasonable doubt is a really difficult standard of proof for someone with a good attorney (or you may plea it down to a much less serious offense as well), but there’s solid evidence you did it if you’ve been charged. 

Cases like these are much tougher for college kids. For one thing, you’re going to school with the woman who is accusing you of assault. Pro athletes aren’t going to be in close proximity to their accusers. It’s much easier for non-collegiate accusers to also maintain their anonymity. Word spreads in a hurry on a college campus so everyone knows who the accuser is. I guarantee you ten thousand or more kids on Florida’s campus know who this girl is right now. Some of them are reading the mailbag right now. That’s why I don’t think false accusations are very common. On a campus that’s crazy for college athletics, does anyone want to accuse a star athlete of a crime and face the onslaught of indignation and anger? I think it’s much more likely that a star player would rape someone and the girl would never speak up than that a woman would make a false accusation against a star player. Plus, and this is key to me, I just don’t think college kids make up sexual assaults very often at all. Sure, it happens, but it’s incredibly rare. Getting a rape kit done is a dehumanzing and horrible experience. If you go through the entire investigative process, you believe you’ve been raped. Now, it still might be he said, she said and from a criminal perspective charges may not be filed, but I don’t believe false accusations are very common.  

I’d like to see these investigations take place with little publicity, but that seems increasingly difficult to manage in our present era. Given that fact, I think Florida’s probably doing the right thing — suspending a student from the team and from being on campus while letting him take online classes as the investigative process plays out. It’s not a perfect result, but I think it’s the best possible result under the circumstances. 

Basically, Florida and Gainesville police did the exact opposite of everything that Florida State and Tallahassee police did with Jameis Winston. Which means Florida has done everything right and FSU has done everything wrong. 

Branden writes:


Looking at LSU’s remaining schedule, there’s a good chance that they will go 7-5 on the season.  If this happens do you think that Les will bolt to Michigan?  If so, who do you think will take the LSU coaching job?”

LSU’s 4-2 with games remaining at Florida, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Alabama at home, and then finishes at Arkansas and at Texas A&M. I don’t see LSU going any better than 3-3 in these final six. And right now I’d say 2-4 is probably the most likely outcome. So that would knock LSU all the way down to 6-6. Plus, would it really shock you if LSU went 1-5 in these games and only beat Kentucky. So 5-7 or, gulp, 4-8 could even be in play.

As a result of a poor season, I think Miles will look really closely at Michigan. Would Michigan hire Miles? That probably depends on who else would be intrested in the job. Don’t forget that Dan Mullen is from Pennsylvania. Could he be interested in going back to the Big Ten? 

As for who LSU would hire, great question. This would be a fantastic job opening up. I think the most likely hire would be either Dan Mullen or Hugh Freeze. That’s a no brainer to me. You cut the legs out of one of your SEC West opponents and bring in a coach that you know can win and recruit in the conference. Other names I’d go after that might be willing to jump — Jimbo Fisher at FSU — remember he was at LSU for six years — and Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State. Also, why not make a run at Art Briles? Waco to Baton Rouge isn’t that far of a geographic distance.

LSU’s a hell of a job, I think there would be a ton of people interested in taking it.  

Want a real wild card? What about replacing Les Miles with Bo Pelini?

Anonymous writes:

“Is it wrong that I want to see Ben Affleck’s penis in “Gone Girl?” Since your a gay muslim does this make me gay too?”

Yesterday I told my wife I went to see “Gone Girl” while I was out in LA — this is the only place I can go see a movie — and she mentioned that Ben Affleck’s penis is in the movie. I never felt more straight in my life because I didn’t even notice his penis in the movie. (Unfortunately I did notice Doogie Howser’s penis though. And it’s such a disgusting scene that I honestly can’t stop thinking about his penis. I don’t want to spoil the movie for you, but it’s pretty awful.) Anyway, my wife said Ben Affleck’s penis was in the movie and I didn’t think it was so I googled the phrase “Ben Affleck’s penis in Gone Girl,” which is probably the most humiliating Google search I’ve ever conducted. (And I’ve conducted a ton of humiliating Google searches, let me tell you. This is actually a great Outkick column, write about the most humiliating Google phrase you’ve ever searched. We could do an entire month on these stories and I don’t think they’d get old.)

Anyway, it turns out Affleck’s penis is in the movie, but it’s in close proximity to a naked woman and I was focused on the naked woman because I kept expecting to see her nipple and everybody knows it doesn’t count as seeing a boob unless you see the nipple too. (You don’t see the nipple, instead you see a penis). So I missed the Affleck penis.

Now, to respond to your question — I don’t think it makes you gay to want to see another man’s penis — I mean, don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t help you be straight — but the vast majority of the people who clicked to see Bret Favre’s penis were men. It’s just natural curiosity. I think men are more curious about other men’s penises than women are.

Certainly men are more curious about other men’s limp penises than women are.   

Kerolus writes:

“As I am grabbing lunch at the Chipotle in Brentwood, TN (I’m no stranger to the area as I live here) I can’t help but think that the Chipotle or Starbucks in Brentwood are probably the most motivating field trips for our young kids coming up. I mean if you sit here for about 5 minutes, you’ll notice that every milf that walks in was a good 9 or above in her days and she still has it. If Donelson had a chipotle, I highly doubt the number of great-looking milfs would be any where near as it is for a wealthy area. Can you think of a more successful way to motivate our young boys than to say ” hey you want a hot girlfriend, stick to the books?” Hell, it motivated me, got me in the concord library and I’m a junior in college!”

Every 13 year old boy who isn’t paying attention in algebra or chemistry or English class ought to go on a field trip to Whole Foods. You take him through the store to go shopping, show him how much the food costs, and then buy him an organic cookie and one of those fancy smoothies and let him watch the stream of hot women in yoga pants go shopping. 

After a little while you turn to him and say, “If you want a hot wife, you better get good grades so you can go to college. And just to be sure, you’re probably going to want to go to grad school too. That means do your homework, it means study. It means get a good job and don’t be an idiot. It means make some money too. Whole Foods ain’t cheap, kid.”

Because right now there are so many hot, college-educated women with good jobs that can’t find a guy to date or marry. That’s because there are too many dipshit loser dudes in our country. Tons of women are reading the mailbag right now, nodding their heads. Women are kicking our asses in terms of advanced degrees, intelligence, in pretty much every statistical measurement of academic accomplishment, women are crushing men. And it’s only getting worse every year. Boys are falling farther and farther behind. 

Basically we have to do whatever it takes to motivate boys to be smarter. Looking at hot women in Whole Foods just might work.     

MJ writes:


Was falling asleep watching Full House last night, powerful episode where Danny forbids DJ from seeing Steve any longer, then breaks into wrestling practice to talk about it with Steve, while wrestling Steve, and eventually getting his ass kicked. Question is, do you think Danny and his long time GF Vicki ever got it on? Did DJ and Steve? Expand it to other shows, Zach Morris and Kelly Kapowski? AC Slater and Jessie Spano? Side question, who pulled more tv show tail? Eddie Winslow or Uncle Jessie?” 

Hell, I would have slept with Uncle Jessie. He was awesome. That’s no contest between he and Eddie Winslow. Most people don’t even remember Eddie Winslow. Although, of course I do. Do you think I ever missed an episode of Family Matters?

Hell to the no. 

I just assume that all of them hooked up with each other. If you’re single and you work together all the time and you’re all attractive and you eventually start drinking then you hook up. That happens whether you’re famous or not. There is a 100% chance that Zach and Kelly slept together. AC Slater slept with Jessie too. If I can bet on the premise — did two attractive single people who spend a lot of time together sleep with each other, I’m always betting yes.

Okay, y’all are in for a treat now. I didn’t realize that I could receive messages to my Clay Travis page on Facebook. So I had hundreds of unread messages in there. Some of them were nice, but many of them were very hate-filled. I have linked to the profiles of the people who actually sent the hate messages. Because the only thing more remarkable than getting hate mail is getting hate mail from people and then being able to click on their profiles and see what they’re actually like. 

This is extraordinary. Here we go.

Suzette and Rick Vinyard writes:

“You are a no good piece of shit and if you ever show up in WV we will show you how dumb we really are in person. We hope you choke on that cock you are sucking you asshole!!!”

I’m assuming the husband had to write this, but he wrote it from a joint Facebook account he shares with his wife. 

I mean, can you even make this stuff up? I lost when I clicked on their Facebook page. 

Shawn Layne writes:

“Clay,I am deeply upset and offended by your senseless,stereotypical assault on my team,and my state.As a lawyer,one would think you would have more empathy towards a state devastated by recent regulations,such as the EPA war on coal on the already poverty stricken Eastern half of the state.I am honestly disgusted that a man can promote this kind of human-degrading,preconceived view about an entire state on a network such as fox sports.You,sir are the Donald Sterling of broadcasting.You need banned for good over your childish statements.”

There’s nothing I like better than white people calling me racist. 


Cruz Lane Walker:

“Fuck you. You need raped by 3 large black men. Have a good day cocksucker”

Not just raped, mind you.  

But raped by three large black men. 

Have a good day cocksucker is one hell of a salutation though. 

Zach Fluharty writes:

“Your a no good son of a bitch. West Virginia might not be the best state to live in but it sure beats the hell out of livin with a bunch if drug loving peace loving long haired hippie fags in New York City or San Diego or some bullshit. I don’t even know why fox sports would pay a sorry excuse of a journalist like you”

How many people do you think have moved from New York City or San Diego to West Virginia in the past fifty years? Twenty? Less?

Jessie Walker writes:

“Dude your a cunt…come to WV talkin all that you get smacked back just as hard”

Your a cunt is one hell of a phrase to try and decipher. 

Adam Fleck writes:

“You are an ignorant piece of shit. You should do the world a favor and put a bullet thru your brain so you are not dumbing down the gene pool with your racism and complete lack of decency. This is in regards to your “article” about WVU fans. You are ignorant, ill informed and I would call you retarded but that would be an insult to all the other mentally handicapped people. You are nothing but trash who hides behind a computer. Come to WV and run your mouth and see what happens. Fuck you and everyone you know and care about!”

I love when people tell me to kill myself and then I click on their Facebook pages and there are lots of Bible verses. 

I must have missed the Bible verse where it said, “And then Jesus said lo unto you and the disciples, “Fuck you and everyone you know and care about.”

Robbie Carpenter writes:

“I live in WV so I guess I am a dumb hillbilly. Well this dumb hillbilly is not going to stop until you never write an article for Fox again.”

I wrote Robbie back and said. “Hey, you dumb hillbilly, I’m still writing for Fox. Did you stop?”

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.