In college sports there are arrests. Then there are arrests. Alcohol-related issues, driving on without a license, even beating up a fellow student… all are survivable.
Being arrested and charged with two felony weapons charges (as well as a third non-felony) at 3:37 in the morning? Uh, no. That’s not survivable. At least according to what one person in the University of Georgia administration told MrSEC.com in the 10 o’clock hour. And that’s bad news for Isaiah Crowell.
The oft-troubled — and oft-rumored-to-be-even-more-troubled — former top tailback prospect in the country will be immediately suspended thanks to UGA’s strict student-athlete handbook/code of conduct. But from what we’ve been told, this is the straw that will definitely break the camel’s back.
Here’s the skinny from Chip Towers of The AJC on the arrest:
“According to Athens-Clarke police spokesperson Hilda Sorrow, Crowell was arrested as the result of a “vehicle check-point stop” — a road block — on East Campus Road at Green Street at 2:20 a.m. Friday. Officer Kristin Thornton reported smelling the odor of marijuana in Crowell’s 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis. Crowell gave consent to search the vehicle, himself and four other unnamed occupants. No marijuana was discovered but a 9-mm Luger handgun with an altered serial number was found under the driver’s seat. Crowell was immediately arrested and taken to jail and the car was impounded.
Sorrow said the police report was not yet available and she was not allowed to identify the other four occupants of the vehicle.”
So there could be a few more Dawgs facing some form of discipline just for being with Crowell in a bad situation if any of those four people in the car were UGA players. That’s still a mighty, mighty big if at the moment.
As or Crowell, Georgia AD Greg McGarity refused to comment earlier today. Expect the school to jump through all the proper hoops, get the player’s side of the story, and then act. That act will likely be a dismissal from the squad according to our source.
Crowell was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possessing a weapon in a school zone and possessing a weapon with an altered ID mark. The altered serial number could prove to be a big issue for the player. Ballistics tests will be run on that gun. Crowell had better hope his gun’s never been used in a crime.
For SEC fans, this is remarkably reminiscent of the New Year’s Day, 2010 arrest of four Tennessee basketball players. The team’s star player, Tyler Smith, was charged with “unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm with an altered serial number.” Three players survived their arrests for alcohol and marijuana issues with suspensions. Smith was booted from the team for being the man who owned the heater (always wanted to call a gun a “heater,” Mugsy.)
Crowell rushed for 850 yards last season in Athens but he was suspended from the team twice (in the first quarter against Vanderbilt for an unspecified rule violation and for the entire New Mexico State game for what was reported to be a failed drug test.) In the past, when this site has referred to Crowell as a bit of a head case who needed to get his act together, the Bulldog Nation rallied around their own. UGA fans could suggest the freshman was a knucklehead, but no outside media type could. Well, this is the kind of thing we and so many others in the media were hinting at last season.
There’s what you can report because you have solid facts and there’s what you sit on and hint at because it’s simply what people close to the situation are telling you. That’s the line the media is supposed to walk. Yet when a media member tries to hint at trouble on the horizon for a young man, that person becomes the villain for supposedly smearing a player’s name and reputation. Well, here’s some inside baseball for you: Most respectable, professional media members won’t publicly suggest/hint/speculate that a kid’s got problems if they haven’t been told by people close to that player that he indeed does have real issues.
In Crowell’s case, he was one Dawg who’d already been given considerable leash. He had a reputation on UGA’s campus for being a bit of a lone wolf when it came to discipline and practice/film room habits. At MrSEC.com, we were told on more than once occasion that it would be unlikely — barring some serious growth on the player’s part — that he would finish his career in red and black.
This spring, everyone from his coaches to his teammates to Crowell himself had said he’d matured. On the field, apparently so. But rolling around town in the early morning hours with an unregistered pistol under your seat is hardly a sign of maturity. Or intelligence for that matter.
And that will likely force Georgia to dismiss Crowell from the Bulldog team once and for all.
If that happens, Dawg fans will be hoping Mark Richt’s latest hotshot tailback prospect — true freshman Keith Marshall — can take care of business on and off the field better than Crowell has. Or did.
Stay tuned to find out who else was in the car with Crowell. Stay tuned to see just how long Crowell remains on the team before he’s most likely given the boot.
UPDATE — The Athens Banner-Herald reports that Crowell was granted a $6,000 bond this morning and placed on a 10pm curfew.