A.J. Green's status is no longer in limbo, as the NCAA announced late Wednesday afternoon he will be suspended for Georgia's next three games.
According to an ESPN report, Green was being investigated for allegedly selling a game-worn jersey. The report claimed the All-American candidate was forthcoming with investigators, but added the case took some interesting twists and turns.
As Georgia looks to build on its impressive opening win against Louisiana Lafayette, the Bulldogs will at least finally be able to prepare for the game knowing for sure Green won't be part of the game plan.
Here's a look at how A.J. Green's suspension is putting Mark Richt's team on hold.
Before we assume Green is absolutely dying to get back to the field and help his teammates, let's at least consider the possibility the talented receiver might feel somewhat content to sit and watch for a couple of games.
Assuming the ESPN report citing a source close to the situation is accurate, Green has done everything to be honest with investigators. Assuming he told the truth, the investigation probably wouldn't have required additional in-depth examination.
Something isn't adding up here.
Although Green isn't helping his NFL status by sitting on the sidelines, he won't be costing himself millions by missing just four games of the season. He might have been content to let the investigation run its course and play it cool.
But without any tangible evidence to the contrary, it seems unlikely Green would be selfish enough to happily sit on the sidelines and watch his teammates go into battle without him.
There is considerable disagreement regarding just how hot Mark Richt's seat is in Athens, but the last thing the coach needs is an unwanted off-field distraction.
Green's actions have kept Georgia in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. Instead of focusing on the improvement of a the team and a promising young quarterback, discussions around Georgia have centered on Green's issues.
Even with the suspension handed down, Green's actions have put both his team and his coach in a tough spot.
The NCAA like a really annoying friend who never wants to leave at the end of a horrible night out.
The Green investigation seemed to be fairly clear-cut, but dragged on for weeks before officially ending Wednesday afternoon. It's not believed investigators were snooping around elsewhere, but the notion that a prominent member of the team was under investigation has to be a bit unsettling.
Remember that the NCAA investigation into North Carolina's program started off in very simple fashion and suddenly mushroomed into a season-killing fiasco.
At least the Green investigation has finally reached closure.
Aside from the struggles at quarterback last season, Georgia lacked the traditional assortment of proven play-makers.
Even in what was somewhat of an underachieving season, Green still totaled 53 receptions for 808 yards and six touchdowns. His ability to run after the catch helped him average an impressive 15 yards per reception.
The Bulldogs have a number of talented youngsters at receiver and running back, but Green clearly remains the best big-play threat on the team.
Aaron Murray looks like he will be a very good quarterback in the SEC in the not too distant future, but it would help if he had a reliable, proven target at his disposal as he continues to develop.
Murray's composure will be tested in this weekend's battle against South Carolina. Until Green returns, Kris Durham will function as the Bulldogs go-to option.
Converted quarterback Logan Gray could become another steady target for Murray, but neither player is capable of beating the defense with as much consistency as Green.
Saturday's win over Louisiana Lafayette was a nice start to the 2010 season for Georgia. Things are about to get much, much tougher.
Georgia faces big hurdles in the next two weeks with a trip to Columbia, and a challenging home contest against a potent Arkansas team.
After that, things get considerably easier. Green's absence later in the season, after other players have developed and Murray has gained experience, would be much easier to swallow.
If the Bulldogs hope to be in the SEC East race down the road, they must win at least one of the next two games on the schedule.
South Carolina is a talented team that has underachieved in recent seasons and has finally found talent at a key position on the offensive side of the ball. Sound familiar?
Steve Spurrier's squad appears to have discovered a running game and is quickly becoming a trendy pick to sneak to the head of the pack of the SEC.
A road win against the Gamecocks would validate Georgia's return to glory in the SEC, knocking a talented opponent down a notch in the process. But without Green on the field, Mark Richt and Aaron Murray could be in for a long afternoon.
Since a win at South Carolina appears unlikely, beating Arkansas is imperative if Georgia wants to stay in the SEC East mix.
The Razorbacks have found a lofty ranking in the polls despite a defense with more questions than answers.
However, there are no questions regarding the offense, with Ryan Mallett able sling the ball all over the field and an underrated collection of talent at running back.
The Bulldogs will need to be productive on offense to hold off the invaders from the SEC West. It would certainly be nice to have the best offensive player on the field.
After playing Arkansas, Georgia heads to Starkville to face a young Mississippi State team. Road games are never easy, which is another reason why Georgia can ill-afford a home loss to the Razorbacks.
Before College Football fans totally write off John Brantley after an underwhelming performance in his debut as a starter last Saturday, they should remember that the season is still very young and the Florida offense isn't likely to remain dormant for long.
But there is no question that the SEC East is ripe for the taking this season, with Florida in retooling mode and on the decent chance South Carolina reverts to its inconsistent ways.
Elsewhere, Kentucky is in somewhat of a rebuilding phase under first-year head coach Joker Phillips and Tennessee and Vanderbilt are headed straight to the basement.
With A.J. Green in the lineup, Georgia clearly has enough talent to end Florida's reign in the East.
The SEC East is ripe for the taking, but barring a miracle performance in the next two games, it appears Georgia will once again be forced to catch the leaders from behind.
Mark Richt has worked steadfastly to erase the shortcomings of recent years. Entering the 2010 season, it looked as if his work was going to pay off.
Instead, Green's three-game suspension might be enough to prevent the Bulldogs from rediscovering success in the SEC.
It will take Richt's finest coaching job yet for Georgia to survive the early challenges while Green sits.