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Morning Coffee: One key theme

Wednesday, July 27

Jarvis Jones played one year at Southern Cal before transferring back to Georgia. Part of the alleged benefits in question include plane tickets to Los Angeles during Jones' time there.

Greg McGarity was naturally careful in his word selection Monday night while discussing UGA's ongoing in-house investigation into the Columbus situation and alleged possible benefits received by UGA football Jarvis Jones and UGA basketball player Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

But McGarity did have this to say when asked of the notion of a pre-exisiting relationships in this case: “I’m sure that will be part of the report” UGA turns in to the NCAA.

Remember that reply.

And for now, let's focus on Jones as the more pressing dilemma of the two athletes in question, since his team's season opener arrives much quicker and with far more general significance for his season.

UGA compliance has investigated by examining Columbus' police report and conducting various interviews. As a compliance staff, first you establish if violations occurred before anything else.

So did a violation occur with Jones?

The NCAA Bylaw in question here appears to be 12.1.2.1.6, which outlaws “Preferential treatment, benefits or services because of the individual’s athletics reputation or skill or pay-back potential as a professional athlete."

Basically, was Jones or his guardian provided extra benefits solely because he was a top-notch recruit and player?

Now look at an interesting and informative Q&A posted Tuesday by UGA writer Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph, who interviewed high school writer Chris White of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

White not only referred to former parks and rec director Tony Adams (who is accused of payments) as a "longtime father figure" for Jones, but he also dropped a quote that could very well be a cornerstone of UGA's attempt to keep Jones eligible for the Boise State game ...

"The relationship between Jones and Adams, the former parks and rec director, goes back to at least Jones’ middle school years, as far as I know. Jones’ legal guardian was a 10-year employee of the parks and rec department when all of this became news, and so of course Adams was her supervisor and knew both of them.

"I haven’t been able to get a clear answer as to how Adams’ relationship with Jones began and whether it started as more of a personal mentor or strictly as a coach. But this late in the game it’s almost a moot point arguing which came first or where the line is drawn.

"From my experience – and I used to deal with Adams regularly and talk to Jones whenever he was home on break – the two were very close. Wherever Adams went, I could find Jones hanging around. If I was trying to reach Jones for a story, I’d call Adams and two minutes later hear back from Jones. And seeing them interact it was clear, at least to me, that their relationship was deeper than the average coach-player relationship and more along the lines of a father-son relationship."

Remember those lines too.

If you're a UGA fan, you might as well highlight them, underline them and give them a little smootch.

Because if Jones' relationship with Adams can be proven to indeed go back to middle school and be tied to the family, then it likely qualifies as a pre-existing relationship in the eyes on the NCAA because it existed prior to the ninth grade, which is where the line has been drawn.

And if there was a pre-existing relationship by the NCAA's definition (and Adams isn't found to be a UGA booster or sports agent or anything along those lines), then it probably wouldn't matter how much Adams spent on Jones during the years, because payments would likely be legal in the NCAA's eyes.

So as McGarity suggested, expect the idea of a pre-existing relationship to be a central theme in the report presented by UGA to the NCAA, which must then sign off on whatever UGA presents and determine Jones' eligibility.

It's worth saying now: None of this, of course, guarantees anything.

The NCAA likes to use the term "mitigating factors," and it truly does view enforcement situations on a case-by-case basis. So there could be much more behind the scenes to the case, and any pending ruling by the NCAA can turn on any number of factors.

UGA could have found more to it. The NCAA could also find more to it.

And if the NCAA for some reason does not accept the notion of a prior relationship, Jones could be subjected to penalties based on the dollar amount received, as A.J. Green was last season.

But if the question of a violation being committed or not hinges on a pre-existing relationship between Adams and Jones, it does appear UGA has that aspect in its favor.

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ON THE AGENDA

Georgia is hosting a round of media interviews this morning with Mike Bobo and several players. As usual, you can check the board for live updates.

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TWEET(S) OF THE DAY

Are you dependable? Can your teammates count on you? If you need to think about your answer then your not on the bus yet.

Senior C Ben Jones

I'm dependable, my teammates can count on me! COME JOIN ME ON THE BUS! #GODAWGS

Freshman DB Chris Sanders

bout to open this Barber Shop with my Boy @_KingStan87 Called "J&J's Diversified Hair Center"

Freshman WR Justin Scott-Wesley

Got to sleep in until 8 today! Greatest feeling ever

Freshman OL Watts Dantzler

Seriously considering moving into the gym

Hoops forward Marcus Thornton

Ahhh words can't express how ready I am to play football.. it's eating me up on the inside !!

RB recruit Keith Marshall

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