Richt suspends three UGA players

Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011 2:43 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 3:49 AM
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ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia star freshman Isaiah Crowell and two other tailbacks are suspended for Saturday’s game against New Mexico State, the school announced Tuesday, making a walk-on and former walk-on the top available players at the depleted position.

Georgia's Isaiah Crowell is one of three tailbacks who will not play Saturday against New Mexico State.  John Amis/Associated Press
John Amis/Associated Press
Georgia's Isaiah Crowell is one of three tailbacks who will not play Saturday against New Mexico State.

Crowell, Carlton Thomas and Ken Malcome are suspended for one game for a “violation of team policies,” the school said.

Second-leading rusher Richard Samuel will miss the rest of the regular season after undergoing surgery on his left ankle Tuesday morning, according to coach Mark Richt.

Crowell is fifth in the Southeast­ern Conference with 689 rushing yards and has scored five touchdowns this season. Samuel has rushed for 240 yards and Thomas has run for 200.

That leaves former walk-on Brandon Harton (5-foot-6, 174 pounds) and walk-on Kyle Karem­pelis (5-9, 180) at tailback.

Fullback Zander Ogletree could also play there, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said.

“You know there’s going to be certain things that we’re not going to be able to do and we’re going to have to find out what our best personnel is and get them on the field,” Bobo said. “That’s what we’re in the process of doing right now.”

The leading rusher available is actually a cornerback. Brandon Boykin has rushed for 95 yards this season. Cornerback Branden Smith also has run the ball this season.

Bobo said that “we might have a couple of surprises,” of players who could get work in the backfield.

Bobo said freshmen defensive backs Nick Marshall and Damian Swann, who played offense in high school, could also be in the mix.

“Just got to figure out what we can do best and work hard at it this week,” Bobo said.

ESPN.com, citing an unnamed source, reported that the three suspended players were disciplined for failing a drug test.

“I have no comment on any of that,” Bobo said.

Harton, a redshirt sophomore from Tattnall County, has rushed for 33 yards on 11 carries, all against Coastal Carolina. He was No. 3 at tailback in the preseason, Bobo said, behind Crowell and Samuel before sustaining a severely sprained ankle.

Karempelis is a true freshman from The Wesleyan School in Norcross who has yet to play this season. He rushed for more than 5,000 yards in high school and is sixth in Georgia state history in career touchdowns.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him run on Saturday,” Bobo said. “He’s been on the scout team mostly but today he got out there and ran behind those big boys and they did a good job of opening up holes for them.”

Georgia will run against a New Mexico State (3-5) team that ranks 111th out of 120 FBS teams in rushing defense, giving up 214.4 yards per game.

Richt did not mention the latest suspensions when he talked about the tailbacks during his weekly noon news conference Tuesday before the suspensions were announced.

Richt declined a request Tuesday afternoon to comment, but Georgia issued a statement from him.

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

It’s the latest off-field trouble for Georgia’s tailback position.

Crowell, a Columbus native, was held out of the first quarter of the Vanderbilt game on Oct. 15 because of an undisclosed off-field issue. This is the second suspension this season for Thomas. He was suspended for the season opener for violating team policy.

Washaun Ealey, the leading rusher the past two seasons, was suspended twice before parting ways with the program this spring.

Caleb King, the team’s No. 2 rusher in 2010 and 2009, was declared academically ineligible in July. He was suspended for two games last season and missed the bowl game for missing a fifth academic appointment.

Another tailback, Dontavius Jackson, transferred out of the program in July, 2010, four days after he was arrested by university police on charges including DUI and hit and run that drew him a six game-suspension.

There was speculation leading up to the Florida game on Saturday that Crowell was facing a possible suspension, but he played.
Athletic director Greg McGarity said “absolutely not,” when asked Tuesday if discipline was held over until after the Florida game.

“This had nothing to do with the Florida game or anything,” McGarity said. “It was all timing.”

Georgia said it has strict policies that suspensions “as a result of team or Athletic Association policies are immediate and occur at the next scheduled competition.”

The suspensions of the trio have left the Bulldogs’ coaching staff to gameplan with a makeshift backfield.

Comments (24) Add comment
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Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/01/11 - 02:46 pm
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In other news, the third

In other news, the third string kicker has been named the starting running back.

LemonJello
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LemonJello 11/01/11 - 02:58 pm
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Soooo, with Richard Samuel

Soooo, with Richard Samuel hurt for the remainder of the season, and now ALL three RBs are suspended....I wonder if this action was held until AFTER the Florida game. Funny that we are playing New Mexico State when this is levied!...and even more funny that all three will be back for Auburn! I guess Brandon Boykin or Brandon Smith will line up at RB. Boykin will be a threat!

CarlA
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CarlA 11/01/11 - 03:24 pm
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I got a feeling these

I got a feeling these violations of team rules occurred prior to the Florida game. Hmmm. Took a little while for the "investigation". How convenient punishment is handed down for NMSU!

justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/01/11 - 03:35 pm
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So CarlA, you have a

So CarlA, you have a "feeling"? Based on what?

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 11/01/11 - 03:59 pm
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You know what? This is

You know what? This is EXACTLY what all the other schools do, in so far as an infraction and the subsequent punishment. Personally, I'm satisfied with the way Georgia is handling it. If all those other schools handle it this way and get away with it, then so be it. Every school in the SEC (and most likely in the other conferences) have people punished at "oppurtune" times. BTW, the infractions were discovered just before the Florida game, and by NCAA rules, aren't required to be divulged until the beginning of the following week. And let's not forget, Georgia players went all off-season without ANY type of violations. Maybe we're just catching up.....alittle too fast for my comfort though!

justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/01/11 - 04:07 pm
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JMO said, "BTW,the

JMO said, "BTW,the infractions were discovered just before the Florida". Do you mind if I ask where you got that info?

Sweet son
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Sweet son 11/01/11 - 04:08 pm
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@justthefacts, none of us

@justthefacts, none of us have your socalled "facts" but I am with the rest of those who commented. It is good that Richt is punishing those who violate team rules but I'm with the rest and wonder about the timing. This punishment is probably levied out as fast as our criminal justice system. Not: "Swift and sure!!!"

justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/01/11 - 04:09 pm
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Unreal.

Unreal.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/01/11 - 04:13 pm
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“This has nothing to do with

“This has nothing to do with anything that [happened before] the Florida game,” McGarity said. “Absolutely not. We don’t pick when we do certain things. Certain things are found and we act right then.”

Sweet son
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Sweet son 11/01/11 - 04:15 pm
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You know what! It is amazing

You know what! It is amazing how the glitz and glamour of being a Division I football player gets in the way of just common good sense. I am not making excuses for these guys who have a full free ride to college but I guess I have to remember that they are between the ages of 18 and 22. If they have any parents that are worth calling themselves a parent then those "parents" need to be talking!!! PS: Not meant to pee anyone off just thoughts!!!

Sweet son
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Sweet son 11/01/11 - 04:19 pm
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just the, maybe the rest of

just the, maybe the rest of us are wrong!

justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/01/11 - 04:22 pm
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Apparently so. On a related

Apparently so. On a related note, Issiah Crowell may be the latest in a long line of College Athletes to throw away a promising career. Hope I am wrong about that.

Sweet son
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Sweet son 11/01/11 - 04:46 pm
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We can agree on that

We can agree on that most!!!!! Have a great evening. JTF!

IsAnyoneAlwaysRight
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IsAnyoneAlwaysRight 11/01/11 - 04:51 pm
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Dawgs are thugs. Period

Dawgs are thugs. Period

eagle
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eagle 11/01/11 - 05:09 pm
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Maybe, just maybe, these
Unpublished

Maybe, just maybe, these athletes will learn from their mistakes. I doubt it, but can always hope. As a Gator fan, the timing of this suspension is a little suspect. However, better late than never and the Gators had their chance to win the game and they blew it. Enuf said!!

secretagentman
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secretagentman 11/01/11 - 05:38 pm
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Oh my.Not a good sign for

Oh my.Not a good sign for UGA. But, If UGA acted within the rules as far as suspensions/timing etc, then you cant chastise them for it. If they used the rules correctly to benefit themselves as far as Fla or the Auburn game, who can blame them. If not- hammer 'em.

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 11/01/11 - 05:43 pm
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I knew about it because it

I knew about it because it was told to me AT the Florida game. And if the "Dawgs are thugs", then so is every other team. Now eagle, you're questioning the timing of the suspension...how about a couple of years ago when Florida had a guy who was SCHEDULED to be suspended AFTER the South Carolina game? Do you remember him? He was the guy that blocked the Carolina field goal in the last moments of the game that would have won it for Carolina! See...not everyone has angels on their team, do they? And speaking of Carolina, well, I shouldn't have to mention the multiple times Garcia was given a waiver to rejoin the team just before the season started. Look, I'm NOT saying that Georgia is perfect, but I am saying that we all tend to forget about our own team's transgressions and then want to ridicule somebody else's program when some pinhead teenagers/young adults make stupid mistakes. And eagle, I'll be the first to admit that Georgia won that game despite our "sorry" QB playing slightly better than your "sorry" QB! But, GO DAWGS!!

justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/01/11 - 05:58 pm
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JMO, what were you told the

JMO, what were you told the infractions were?

Jake
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Jake 11/01/11 - 06:32 pm
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First thing this morning

First thing this morning there was the Georgia dog on LSD and now this. Not a good day to be a Georgia dog or dawg.
This school seems to have a LOT of discipline issues with their football players. Head coaching maybe?

shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 11/01/11 - 06:38 pm
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Riverman that was funny as

Riverman that was funny as HECK!!!!
And if that doesn't work we'll get the 4th string punter. He ran for 2 yards when he dropped the snap in practice one day.

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 11/01/11 - 07:26 pm
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justthefacts, I appreciate

justthefacts, I appreciate your curiosity on this, but I really don't think it'd be wise to provide more fodder for the accusers. No, I'm not dodging the issue...instead I realize that fans of other schools are biting at the bit to use anything against Georgia, or any other opponent. Let's just say that these guys made some stupid decisions that are against school/team policy....not egregious enough to land them in jail, but enough to get their hand slapped and to be put in timeout. There..is that clear as mud for ya? Remember, their punishment is ONE GAME, so that should tell infer the level of the infraction.

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 11/01/11 - 07:31 pm
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Question. When you see a
Unpublished

Question. When you see a Georgia football player wearing a suit, what are the first words to come out of his mouth? Answer. Yes, your Honor.

shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 11/02/11 - 05:37 am
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Let me enroll real quick and

Let me enroll real quick and I'll play tailback on Saturday.

Scott Michaux
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Scott Michaux 11/02/11 - 07:34 am
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Riverman, I think it would be

Riverman, I think it would be more prudent to name the third-string kicker as the first-string kicker.

Craig Spinks
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Craig Spinks 11/02/11 - 08:25 am
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What do we call the financial

What do we call the financial grants made by university football programs to recruited football players? Athletic scholarships, right? Inferentially, one who receives such a scholarship would be a scholar athlete, right. So if we lose three scholar athletes, let's replace them with three scholars who are also athletes.

Why doesn't the UGA Athletic Department find three scholars with football backgrounds to play tailback? Coach Richt could grant financial aid to, and sign up, three former HS tailbacks from UGA's University College, its highly acclaimed academic program for top-tier applicants, to play tailback.

At least, Coach Richt's doing so would add some degree of credibility to the term "athletic scholarship?"

Ugahater715
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Ugahater715 11/02/11 - 09:26 am
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Needs to be a universal NCAA

Needs to be a universal NCAA drug policy similar to the NFL. Fail a drug test in the NFL its a automatic 4 game suspension do it again its the season. If you do it in college you sit out against south west school for the blind.

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