What was meant as a protest of the NCAA by several Georgia offensive lineman in Saturday‚Äôs game didn‚Äôt exactly create a stir on the team.
Georgia tight end Arthur Lynch (88) runs for a touchdown as Georgia takes on North Texas at Sanford Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, in Athens, Ga.
Quarterback Aaron Murray, tight end Arthur Lynch and receiver Chris Conley said Tuesday they didn‚Äôt know about it beforehand. Lynch said he didn‚Äôt know what APU ‚Äî All Players United ‚Äî meant.
‚ÄúIf you want change that way, it‚Äôs not going to come by disorganized hashtags on your wrist,‚Äù Lynch said.
Offensive lineman Kolton Houston and several other linemen wrote APU to wear on wrist bands. They were joined by players at Georgia Tech and Northwestern in the protest that was organized by an advocacy group seeking NCAA reform.
‚ÄúIf you want action, you‚Äôre going to have to collectively get [together] as a group,‚Äù Lynch said. ‚ÄúIf you want something done, legitimize yourself, present yourself as a common cause and really try to bring some legitimacy to the issue. Don‚Äôt, in my opinion, write it on your wristband. That just doesn‚Äôt get much done.‚Äù
Lynch did say that he thinks players need to be advised better before signing a letter of intent.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm signing away the same right I basically have when I sign with an agent at the end of the season,‚Äù he said.
Offensive line coach Will Friend didn‚Äôt know about the protest.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôre their own people,‚Äù he said.
Georgia coach Mark Richt said he was like many who saw about the protest ‚Äúon the ticker after the game. I just have to educate myself a little better with what it‚Äôs all about. We have freedom of speech in our country, but the question is what‚Äôs the most appropriate way of doing it, so that‚Äôs the only thing.‚Äù
Richt said their concerns ‚Äî including better health care for athletes and more scholarship money ‚Äî seemed ‚Äúpretty legitimate. … Whatever they are trying to accomplish is being done in a respectful way, so that‚Äôs all I really know.‚Äù
Georgia‚Äôs offensive lineman haven‚Äôt been available for interviews this week and last. Friend said players made that decision because ‚Äúthey want to be a quiet group right now.‚Äù
Conley, who serves on an NCAA student-athlete committee, said he wanted to speak to others committee members about the issue before voicing an opinion.
‚ÄúThe way that the system is set up, it could have an impact,‚Äù Conley said. ‚ÄúIt also might not. We‚Äôll have to see how some of these things play out over time. We will definitely be watching and it‚Äôs definitely going to be something that‚Äôs going to be talked about.‚Äù