UGA associate head tennis coaches’ suspensions come amid police investigating mishandling of prescription medication

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia’s tennis teams are hosting the NCAA championships this week with both programs under the cloud of a police investigation involving prescription medication.


Men’s tennis associate coach Bo Hodge and women’s associate head coach Drake Bernstein are suspended amid the ongoing investigation.

University of Georgia police were contacted by men’s head tennis coach Manuel Diaz on May 7 to report “the possible theft and mishandling of prescription medication involving a number of individuals within the tennis program,” according to a police incident report obtained Tuesday morning by the Athens Banner-Herald. Hodge and Bernstein were serving suspension already during early round matches last weekend in Athens.

Police are investigating possible theft of drugs valued up to $1,500 and possession of a schedule I or II substance, which is a felony.

The online daily log of the UGA police department lists the location of the reported incident as the “UGA Tennis Complex.”

Hodge and Bernstein are both former Georgia players under Diaz, who was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame this year. Neither Hodge or Bernstein are mentioned in the police incident report.

“Unfortunately, I can’t really comment on that,” Diaz said during media availability Tuesday. “It’s an ongoing investigation and we just have to let the law enforcement folks do their job. We’ve counseled the kids, the kids are in a good place and we’re moving forward.”

Diaz also noted that NCAA is not involved. “I’ve been told that there is no NCAA investigation whatsoever,” Diaz said.

Hodge is a former all-American who played from 2001-04. Bernstein played from 2008-2011 and was team captain as a senior.

Hodge, an Athens native, is in his second season on the Georgia coaching staff after serving for four seasons as associate head coach at Oklahoma.

Bernstein is in fifth season on head coach Jeff Wallace’s women’s staff. Bernstein, from Winder, was promoted to associate head coach in 2016.

The No. 13 seeded Georgia men’s team takes on No. 4 Southern California Thursday at 4 p.m. in its round of 16 match. The No. 5 Georgia women play a round of 16 match Friday at 4 p.m. against No. 12 Pepperdine.



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