UGA’s Murray, family on mend after trying few days

Aaron Murray’s weekend already was ruined.


The Georgia quarterback had one of the worst games of his career in a 35-7 nationally televised shellacking at South Carolina.

He returned home early Sunday morning to discover that the home he shares with four teammates was egged and rolled with toilet paper, presumably by an upset fan or fans.

That was nothing compared to the news his parents told him Sunday morning.

His father, Dennis, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and needed to have surgery on Monday.

“My head was about to explode at that point,” Murray said Wednesday. “Just a lot of craziness.”

Murray and his brother Josh, a former walk-on Bulldogs safety, made the unscheduled drive home to Tampa, Fla., Sunday so they could be there for the Monday morning surgery. Their sister, Stephanie, remained in Athens because of a heavy load of schoolwork but stayed in touch.

“My parents were begging us not to come,” Murray said. “They really didn’t want us to mess up our routine. …We’re a very tight family. We were not going to miss this surgery”

Murray’s father was walking around Tuesday night and discharged from the hospital on Wednesday, Aaron said.

Dennis Murray, 52, is a civil engineer who owns his own company.

“He’s doing well,” said Murray, who said a scan in a few weeks will determine if the cancer spread. “It’s a very treatable cancer. …Hopefully we got it early enough that it was just in the thyroid and now that’s removed, it’s gone. Just praying that’s the case.”

Murray thinks his parents didn’t tell him before Sunday because they didn’t want it to weigh on his mind leading up to the top-10 matchup.

“They knew, but to get actually everything that was going on, they didn’t find out until Friday,” Murray said. “They wanted to make sure they knew everything for sure before they told us as well and also wait probably for the bye week, so it wasn’t too much on my mind heading into a game.”

His parents were at the South Carolina game and then came to his Athens home on Sunday morning to let him know about his father.

“My parents are calling me, I’m not picking up the phone, I don’t want to talk to anyone, see anyone and finally they came over,” Murray said. “I’m still not getting out of bed. They were trying to push me, ‘Aaron, get your butt up and get some food.’ I was like, ‘No, just leave me alone.’ I was just being a little baby. Then finally they came in and sat down and told me.”

Murray said he didn’t think even think about football or the game the night before anymore.

“There’s never a good time to hear about your father having a situation like that, but it does help you get everything else in perspective,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “Football’s really important. It is important to us and to him, but it still kind of pales in comparison to the health of your father.”

Said linebacker Christian Robinson, who shares a house with Murray: “Aaron was going through a tough time and we really wanted to be there for him. A lot of fans heard what happened and just surrounded him and told him we’re praying for you.”

His teammates offered their support as well.

“Everybody just swarmed around him and showed him a lot of love because we’re a team,” said Chase Vasser, whose grandmother died last week from cancer.

Murray was back for the first practice of the week on Tuesday afternoon.

His trip back was delayed by a speeding ticket in, of all places, Gainesville, Fla.

“Just as I’m going by, like the four exits for the University of Florida, I get pulled over,” Murray said.

He was already going to go home Friday for the bye weekend and will return home as planned.

“Happy to be back with the teammates practicing and playing football,” Murray said. “It was a crazy few days. Things are going on the rise right now, so that’s a good thing.”

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