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Injury, Suspensions Leave UGA With Ex-Walk-Ons At RB; Were The Suspensions Delayed?

Georgia is in a world of hurt at the running back position this week.  Good thing they’ll be facing New Mexico State.

First, Richard Samuel — who really made a difference in Saturday’s win over Florida — is likely to miss the rest of the regular season after undergoing surgery on his left ankle today.  UGA’s second-leading rusher hurt the ankle on the final play of the game.

“Richard really had probably his finest performance in a really big game and for it to happen on the last play is just sad for him,” Mark Richt said.

The injury to the tailback-turned-linebacker-turned-tailback is especially rough considering the news that broke a bit later in the day — Georgia has suspended three tailbacks for Saturday’s game due to a violation of team rules.

That group includes Isaiah Crowell and backups Carlton Thomas and Ken Malcome.  And that leaves Georgia with two former walk-ons to carry the ball this weekend — sophomore Brandon Harton and senior Wes Van Dyk.

“We have certain standards in all that we do and their actions do not reflect the Georgia way,” Mark Richt said via statement.  “They will serve their suspensions, learn a lesson and I’m sure be better men for it.”

As we always ask in situations like this — Did the players’ rules violations occur after Saturday’s game with Florida?  Or did Richt simply decide to hold off on the suspension until after his team had played its biggest SEC rival?

UPDATE – Rumors had swirled on Georgia messageboards last week that Crowell and other players had failed a drug test.  Some outlets are reporting today that the three players did fail a drug test.  Coincidence?

Marc Weiszer of The Athens Banner-Herald asked Georgia AD Greg McGarity if the players’ punishment had been delayed until after the Florida game last weekend.  “Absolutely not,” he responded.  “It was all timing.”

Well, if the school knew the players were going to fail the test and they said, “Don’t show me the results until Monday,” it wouldn’t be the first time that kind of thing happened in the SEC.

And that’s one more reason — get ready for us to beat our favorite drum — that the SEC should implement a uniform drug policy for all of its member institutions.  Instead, we’re going to be dealing with a lot of questions regarding who at Georgia knew what and when did they know it.  That kind of publicity isn’t good for the conference on the eve of its mega-game between Alabama and LSU.

 


40 comments
GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Excuse me but why are my posts being removed? They contain no inappropriate language.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

I would agree except that you have yet to do that gator.

Gator
Gator

Well, I can't make you read.

Good luck against New Mexico State.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Something else you can’t do is make a cogent argument.

ThisIsFootball
ThisIsFootball

Richt is trying to save his job.

Even if it means forgetting to check the drug test results until after the biggest game of the year.

It's not unusual in college football, it just stands out because of how he likes to act like he's got higher standards.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Chris Rainey came back from being kicked off the team for threatening to kill someone just in time for last years game and had a career day, so I don't think many UGA fans would feel too bad about this even if it is true.

Gator
Gator

Rainey is a great example.

He got in trouble right before the Tennessee game.

Rather than pretend it didn't happen (Richt style) until after the game, he was suspended from the team indefinitely until he got his legal issues squared away.

He missed Tennessee, Kentucky, LSU, Alabama and Miss St.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

And since Rainey is such a great example, why is that he was even allowed to return to the team after threatening to murder his girlfriend, which was never a fact in question?

Zach Mettenburger, who had no history of discipline issues, was kicked off the team for drunkenly touching a girl's boob in a Valdosta bar. He's now LSU's QB for 2012.

Georgia also has the SEC's strictest policy on drug testing for athletes. Florida has the laxest. Sorry gator but you've got nothing valid to contribute to this discussion.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Keep posting and keep proving that you can't follow a simple conversation.

Georgia followed standard operating procedure. You have an initial test which has a high rate of false positives, if there’s a hit, you then send it off to an outside lab for corroboration. Following verification, punishment is applied.

Am I being punked? Are you really this dense?

Gator
Gator

The allegations stemmed from last week.

So you don't want those allegations to count.

Gotcha.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Try again gator. I’m referencing Georgia’s policies based on the allegations. They’re published, look for yourself. Not being able to follow the discussion doesn’t make it a circle.

Gator
Gator

Then again, you are on here arguing about how strict and great UGA's policies are based on UGA giving no information out to the media about these suspensions.

Keep talking in circles, Geoff.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

The real “lol” is that you are glossing over the fact that your real agenda is putting forth allegations of a cover-up despite no supporting evidence and while all history of the program under the current administration implies otherwise. Sour grapes poor gator. Sorry the facts on the table don’t match your self-serving world view.

Gator
Gator

lol

So far my agenda has been to point out to the UGA fans who are "proud" of how this cover up has been handled are a little skewed in their view of the world and look silly trying to justify it.

No righteous indignation. I'm not the one up here claiming that my program's policies are "the toughest" or my coach is "beyond reproach" despite the fact that evidence suggests otherwise.

You might be right about these kids, maybe they didn't fail drug tests. Maybe the rumors that came up last week have no connection at all to the unspecified suspensions of the same players this week.

It might be pure happenstance.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Rainey’s text: "Time to die, b----" Meyer and now Muschamp can run their program as they see fit but Georgia’s policy on violence against women is zero tolerance.

And you realize that if in fact these suspensions are due to a failed drug test, which is still just pure speculation, then under Florida’s policy, the players involved would miss no time at all for a first offense and wouldn’t be dismissed from the team until the fifth failed test. Georgia’s dismissal comes on the third failure. It’s hard to buy any righteous indignation from Florida fans over this.

By the way, Coach Richt’s reputation of integrity among the media is also beyond reproach. That’s why he’s being given the benefit of the doubt over this by the people who are paid to be objective. Your agenda makes your opinion a bit skewed.

Gator
Gator

As far as strict drug policies... it seems to just be words from UGA.

Everyone knew last week that those guys failed yet they played anyway.

I agree with Mr. SEC that there should be uniform policies.

UGA doesn't seem to be doing any worse than the rest, but it might be time for Dawg fans and their coach to get off of the pulpit.

Gator
Gator

You realize that it was an angry text not. Not an actual threat to murder his girlfriend and he had no prior record, yet he rightfully missed 5 games while clearing the legal issues.

Sorry to hear that Zach was thrown under the bus. I thought it had more to do with the large list of charges against him, not just the battery that they pled it down to in the end.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Brandon Spikes is another great example....oh wait, it's not.

Gator
Gator

Let me go ahead and remind you that I have never excused what Spikes has done.

This is simply another case of you stating something blatantly false (Meyer refused to punish Spikes), me pointing out that you are 100% factually inaccurate, and you attempting to shift the argument again rather than admit that you were wrong.

Gator
Gator

I already said that I didn't know who the player was and I'd have to see if I can find video of it.

But it was acknowledged to have happened by everyone and Richt excused it. So I find it interesting that your strategy right now is to say that it didn't happen.

Actually, I really don't based on your other posts on here.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Spikes' actions were not game related, were premeditated and malicious, and occurred against a defenseless player. Do you disagree? I see a whole lot of speculation on your part being used as justification.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Again, name the player. Show me the video (like we have of Spikes) of this phantom player intentionally trying to gouge out an eyeball. Spikes' actions were not game related, were malicious and premeditated, and came against a player that couldn’t defend himself. I understand your kneejerk reaction to rationalize such behavior when it works to your benefit but that’s disgusting.

Speaking of quotas, what’s yours for avoiding the question at hand? What’s your evidence? You have none yet are intent on pressing forward. If you’re not inclined to take my word for it, refer the next article up the page.

Gator
Gator

All history suggests otherwise?

Glad we got your hyperbole quota out of the way for that post.

One of your prime examples in this very thread involved a Gator player being punished and Richt making excuses for his players rather than punishing them.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Are you not the one that’s alleging a cover-up despite no evidence while all history suggests otherwise? That’s not a flaw in your mind? Pot, meet kettle.

Gator
Gator

Actually, no I didn't. Someone else chose to bring up Rainey.

I simply pointed out how Rainey is a good example of a player getting punished before big games, which didn't happen here.

Then you pulled Spikes as an example and I simply pointed out how Spikes was punished but no UGA players were.

Seems that Georgia fans keep trying to argue integrity. All I've been doing is pointing out the flaws in your arguments.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

You’re the one that made this an integrity issue. If you think that a half game suspension is appropriate, then that says more about you than I possibly could.

You can also squawk all you like and try to misdirect this to be about something it’s not but you have yet to disprove anything I’ve written. Until you can do that, I would suggest that you stop embarrassing yourself.

Gator
Gator

Is there a rule where every post has to have hyperbole? UGA has the "strictest" policy, Rainey threatened to murder someone, Spikes was trying to blind someone, Richt is "beyond reproach."

Spikes punishment was based on what the league recommended to Meyer.

I don't expect you to remember what happened to Spikes. You've turned misremembering everything that's happened in Georgia and Florida football into an art form.

I was wrong before when I said Richt refused to comment. Richt did comment about the incident when Spikes helmet was ripped ripped off and he was poked in the eye earlier in the game, "it was totally unintentional" and "they were totally just playing ball."

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

I know. A half game suspension for intentionally trying to blind someone. Color me impressed. I also don’t recall any allegations of someone ripping off Spike’s helmet which, since I’m assuming you watch football, would know happens during game action all the time. Give me a name, I know it wasn’t Ealey like you stated, and I’ll be happy to try to look it up.

Your whole intention here is to imply a lack of integrity hence your insistence at a cover-up despite no evidence. You can take a leak on someone’s face but don’t tell him it’s raining.

Gator
Gator

Meyer did suspend Spikes, Geoff.

I may be wrong about it being Ealey. It might have been someone else. Spikes way trying to rip off Ealey's helmet in retaliation for someone doing that to him earlier in the game.

As far as I recall, Richt refused to even comment on that incident.

Never suggested Richt had a dearth of integrity. Merely pointing out that Richt is not hovering above all like you have constantly stated while giving poor examples.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Yes, it’s related to Meyer’s refusal to punish Spikes for attempting to gouge out the eyes of a defenseless player (Ealey) trapped under a pile. If you’ll recall, Spikes himself, following enormous public outrage, volunteered for a stiffer punishment. Also, what exactly are you implying that Ealey should’ve been punished for? Hurting Spike’s fingers with his eyeballs? Ealey was released this preseason for discipline issues that are unrelated to this game. Speaking of which, in what is widely regarded as a make or break year for Richt, he lost his two starting tailbacks, Ealey for discipline and King for academics. This is while Samuel was still playing LB and Crowell hadn’t even stepped foot on campus yet. If he has such a dearth of integrity like you’re alleging, why in world would he get rid of the only proven rushing commodity he had left?

Gator
Gator

Is this related to the suspension he received for the incident(s) with UGA's Ealey while Richt chose not to punish Ealey?

That is another great example.

emo
emo

John, you of course realize this would be a non issue at every other Sec school save Kentucky, since Uga and Uk are the only two Sec schools that mandate suspensions after the first filed test. So sure lets all get uniform in our policies but I doubt its the UGA policy that will be chosen. It really irritates me to no end that UGA has the strictest policies on these matters and suddenly Richt and McGarity get their collective integrity questioned because of it. If you have proof they are lying produce it, otherwise I find your implication that they are lying a bit insulting.

Dawgfan
Dawgfan

I agree the SEC needs a uniform drug testing policy, but Georgia does not provide evidence for the argument. It is the model university when it comes to this issue.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Absolutely agree. Georgia and Kentucky have the strictest drug policies in the conference.

JoP
JoP

Georgia only has four scholarship WR's available... Maybe they'll just punt on first down...oh, wait, their special teams have been terrible too.

Perhaps it's time for UGA to have an open tryout for RB's. Gotta be a kid on a flag football team in Athens that can handle a few carries this weekend...

Janson Roberts
Janson Roberts

As long as they serve their suspensions, it is a none issue. If there were coverups that kept them from getting suspended at all, then maybe you would have a story, but in this case, they broke the rules and have to serve their suspension. End of story. Why make a big deal out of this? Let the Universities handle their own business. As long as they handle what they need to handle in a timely manner and fairly, why beat up on them?

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

MAYBE these three guys merely had a little too much fun celebrating the Florida victory. Otherwise ...

I'm usually hard on Mark Richt, but even if he waited until after the Florida game to suspend these kids for something that happened earlier, then I don't have a problem with that. Let's be honest: these kids are brought on these campuses to win football games, Richt is by far the highest paid state employee in Georgia for the same reason, and sitting them in the biggest game of the year in order to make some point about "having integrity", "doing things the right way" etc. would be self-serving and sanctimonious (in addition to providing a ready-made excuse had they lost). Doesn't matter which games they actually miss so long as they do miss a game. Missing this romp will harm Crowell's shot at 1000 rushing yards and 10 TDs, plus this probably would have been the most carries for Thomas (whose career high came this year at Coastal Carolina) and Malcome's only shot to add to his sole carry of the season.

So, Richt both metes out meaningful discipline to his players while not bothering to pretend that football isn't the sole reason why he, Crowell, Thomas and Malcolme are at UGA in the first place. Of course there are limits: if it is a serious crime or discipline problem, then set them no matter what. (And yes, the severe disciplinary problems that have plagued Richt's tenure is one of the main reasons why I bash him.) Otherwise, folks who get bent out of shape over stuff like this should just advocate for their schools to drop scholarship athletics and go the Division III route.

Daddyrich
Daddyrich

Must have been doing the hot new fad. Smoking fake weed!

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

I predict a lot of four wide receiver sets and fullback dives.

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