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UGA Gets Commings, Vasser Back… But Richt’s On The Injured List

After serving two-game suspensions, Georgia cornerback Sanders Commings and linebacker Chase Vasser are returning to the Bulldog team.  Both players were arrested during the offseason and received their suspensions as a result.  Now they are — in the words of Vasser — “free.”

According to The Macon Telegraph, Commings will likely step right back into the starting lineup, but Vasser’s suspension “might have cost him a starting spot at outside linebacker.”  (The suspension status of starting inside linebacker Alec Ogletree and starting safety Bacarri Rambo is still unknown, but it’s been reported both players will likely sit for two more games.)

Vasser was arrested for a DUI.  Commings was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery, but his issues were later settled.  Richt still chose to suspend him for two games.  According to the coach:

 

“He needed to be disciplined for what he did.  It’s one thing to miss a game, and that hurts them. They don’t like it, but also part of the punishment is what you have to live with as a person because of all the attention that it gets.  You have to look your parents in the eye, you have to look your teammates and coaches in the eye, you have to go to class.  There is a lot of embarrassment to what happens when everything comes to light and is talked about over and over and over.

He certainly didn’t behave the way he should, and he’s paying his debt to society, he’s paying his debt to the program, in my opinion.  I’m glad he’s handled everything the way he’s handled it, and I think he’ll move forward and be a positive person and a positive teammate.”

 

Speaking of Richt, he’s on the DL with “an abrasion and slight contusion of the chin” which he received during a celebratory hug with Richard Samuel during last Saturday’s win over Missouri.  “I think my chin just rubbed back and forth on his shoulder pad and the meshing of his jersey and just wore a hole there.  But that was a lot of fun.”

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UGA’s Smith May Fight Weed Charge

Georgia will definitely be without suspended starting cornerback Sanders Commings when it opens SEC play at pass-happy Missouri this fall.  You can bet Mark Richt doesn’t want to be without both starting corners.

And maybe he won’t be.

Earlier this month, corner Branden Smith was arrested for misdemeanor possession of marijuana.  But UGA has announced not official penalty for Smith yet.  Perhaps that’s because Smith has now hired a lawyer and a date for a bench trial in April has been set, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Smith’s lawyer said he and his client have not decided how to proceed as of yet.  “We haven’t made any decision about whether he’s going to plead or ind some alternative dispute resolution or what,” Hamp Baxley said.  “We’re at the very beginning of the process right now.”

Expect Georgia coaches and fans to be watching said “process” very closely.  Missouri’s coaches, too, for that matter.

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SEC Headlines – 3/21/12 Part One

1.  Here’s more on the promotion of Greg Sankey to Executive Associate Commissioner and COO of the SEC.  (Along with word that future scheduling formats for sports not named football and basketball should come out soon.)

2.  Florida’s Billy Donovan is proving again that he’s among college basketball’s coaching elite.

3.  Mike Gillislee is working on his pass protection skills while readying to be the Gators’ top running back this fall.

4.  The legal issues of Georgia starting corner Sanders Commings have been resolved.  (Probation, small fine.)

5.  With all eyes on UGA’s running backs position, Isaiah Crowell is the #1 back and he wants to make “a Heisman run.”

6.  Here are five questions about Kentucky as the Cats open spring drills.

7.  With UK preparing for a rematch with Indiana in the Sweet Sixteen, this writer looks back at how the Big Blue lost to the Hoosiers in December.

8.  Uh, wow.  Like Bobby Knight actually uttered the word “Kentucky” and Twitter shook.

9.  The results of South Carolina AD Eric Hyman’s previous coaching searches: Mixed.  (Of course, that’s pretty much the case with every other AD out there.  Hush Gator fans… remember Ron Zook?)

10.  Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall reportedly turned down a Nebraska offer worth nearly $2 million per year.  (And that type money might take him out of the Gamecocks’ price range.)

11.  With the season complete, Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon had knee surgery yesterday.

12.  Renaldo Woolridge received a medical redshirt from the NCAA, but he’s leaving UT (and another spot is about to open up on Cuonzo Martin’s roster).

13.  Missouri’s Gary Pinkel says he’s not worried about what quarterback James Franklin’s health will be come fall.

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Another CB Arrested, UGA Could Face Mizzou Passing Attack Short-Handed

Another Georgia cornerback is in trouble with Johnny Law today.  Starting corner Branden Smith was arrested early this morning in Alabama for possession of pot.  Smith was pulled over for following too closely and for not having a tag light, but the police officer found a “baseball-size package of marijuana” when he looked in the back seat.

UGA’s other starting cornerback — Sanders Commings — has already been suspended for the Dawgs’ first two games next season following a January arrest for striking a woman outside a downtown Athens club.  Two other freshmen who were slotted for the secondary have been dismissed from the team and another player — Jordan Love — who was expected to get some playing time in nickel and dime packages has transferred away.  (Sounds like Smith was getting ready for the nickel or dime bag packages.  Rimshot.)

Due to depth issues, Georgia was already toying with moving Malcolm Mitchell from receiver to corner.

The Bulldogs open the 2012 season at home against Buffalo before traveling to Missouri to serve as the Tigers’ first-ever SEC opponent.  Mizzou is expected to debut top receiver prospect Dorial Green-Beckham the week before against Southeastern Louisiana.

If Mark Richt can’t manufacture some corners quick, Green-Beckham’s SEC debut could be a good one.


UPDATE — Richt announced today that Mitchell will indeed be a cornerback this spring.  He was the Dawgs top receiver last season.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the fall whether he’ll go exclusively defensive back or not yet, but you can’t be in both meetings at the same time,” the coach said.  “Early on, we’re going to have to have him help at corner.”

Which is a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

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SEC Headlines – 2/23/12

1.  Florida will have to adjust its frontcourt with Will Yeguete injured and out.

2.  Georgia cornerback Sanders Commings — already suspended for two games by Mark Richt — has been put on probation by the school and will have to attend anger management classes and do community service.

3.  Kentucky’s basketball team is known for its defense, but those guys play a little bit of offense, too.

4.  John Calipari says senior Darius Miller is the glue to his team.

5.  Former South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia says he’s spoken with the Atlanta Falcons and several other NFL teams.

6.  The Gamecock basketball team needs to hit 3s… but it can’t.

7.  Tennessee has now won 11 out of its last 12 at home after beating Ole Miss.

8.  Seldom-used Dwight Miller came up big for the Vols last night.

9.  With last night’s win over South Carolina, Vanderbilt has now held three SEC foes to under 50 points.

10.  Alabama’s basketball team is moving forward.

11.  Arkansas will be looking for a confidence-boosting win when Bama visits Bud Walton Arena tonight.

12.  Freshman guard BJ Young says the game with the Tide is a “must win.”

13.  LSU showed resiliency in its win over Georgia last night.

14.  Once on the NCAA Tournament bubble, Ole Miss has lost three in a row and appears headed to the NIT… at best.

15.  Reginald Buckner wasn’t himself due to knee pain in last night’s loss at Tennessee.

16.  This writer wonders why MSU hasn’t played all season with the passion and heart it showed against Kentucky this week.

17.  MRI tests have revealed a deep bone bruise to Rodney Hood’s knee and State officials aren’t sure when he’ll return.

 

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Alcohol Involved In Arrest Of UGA CB

When a college athlete finds himself afoul of the law, it’s usually safe to assume that alcohol or marijuana will be mentioned somewhere in the police report.  No surprise then, that’s exactly what University of Georgia police are saying about the arrest of Bulldog starting cornerback Sanders Commings.

Commings was arrested on misdemeanor charges of domestic violence and simple battery Saturday morning.  The police report claimed that Commings “made unwanted physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature” with a 23-year-old UGA student who happens to live with him.  The incident occurred in downtown Athens.  According to police, “Bystanders got involved (in the disturbance) and separated the parties and it became apparent that during the separation of them that (Commings) struck her in the face.”

A police report obtained by The Athens Banner-Herald states that the investigation into the incident concluded that alcohol did play a role.

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SEC Headlines – 5/30/11 Part Three

1.  Starting Georgia cornerback Sanders Commings — who worked out for the San Francisco Giants baseball team over the weekend — says he’s focused on football first, baseball second.

2.  Cuonzo Martin continues to add bodies to Tennessee’s depleted roster.

3.  This Nashville writer says the SEC has “gotten back to the bad old days” of cheating and skirting rules.

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