ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- The NCAA ruled Wednesday that Georgia star running back Todd Gurley must sit out until Nov. 15 for accepting more than $3,000 for autographed memorabilia and other items over a two-year period.
The school applied for Gurley's reinstatement after he missed the last two games while the school investigated allegations of improper benefits.
But, in a decision sent to the school late Tuesday afternoon, the NCAA said that Gurley must serve a four-game suspension, or 30 percent of the season, for accepting cash from multiple individuals. He also must repay a portion of the money to a charity of his choice and complete 40 hours of community service in order to be reinstated for a huge Southeastern Conference home game against No. 4 Auburn in 2 1-2 weeks.
Georgia said it would appeal the ruling immediately.
If the suspension is upheld, Gurley will miss Saturday's game against Florida, as well as a Nov. 8 contest at Kentucky, effectively ending his Heisman Trophy hopes.
Gurley was considered one of the leading Heisman contenders when he was indefinitely suspended just 48 hours before a game at Missouri. He has rushed for 773 yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 8.2 yards per carry; ranks third on the team with 11 receptions; returned a kickoff for a 100-yard TD; and even completed Georgia's longest pass of the season, a 50-yarder.
The Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1 SEC) carried on just fine with Gurley on the sidelines. Freshman Nick Chubb starred in a 34-0 rout of Missouri and a 45-32 victory at Arkansas, combining for 68 carries, 345 yards and three touchdowns.
Now, it appears Chubb will have to carry the offensive load for at least two more games.
When the school applied for his reinstatement last week, Gurley released a statement acknowledging that he broke NCAA rules.
"I want to thank the university, coaches, teammates, and the Bulldog Nation for their patience and support," he said. "I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made, and I can't thank the university, my coaches, and teammates enough for supporting me throughout this process. I'm looking forward to getting back on the field with my teammates."
Georgia pushed for the NCAA to accept a two-game suspension.
Instead, the governing body opted for a harsher penalty.