Isaiah Crowell returns for Georgia

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ATHENS, Ga. — Isaiah Crowell is back in the Georgia lineup.

Georgia's Isaiah Crowell, the team's leading rusher, will start against Auburn after he sat out last week because of a suspension.  File/Associated Press
File/Associated Press
Georgia's Isaiah Crowell, the team's leading rusher, will start against Auburn after he sat out last week because of a suspension.

Now, the freshman has to show he can stay there.

Crowell, who leads the No. 14 Bulldogs and ranks fifth in the Southeastern Conference with 689 yards rushing, has largely lived up to the hype when he’s on the field. But disciplinary problems have marred his debut season. Last week, he and two other tailbacks had to sit out a victory over New Mexico State after reportedly failing drug tests.

“When you take away playing time, it hits a guy hard,” senior tight end Aron White said Tuesday.

“That can bring you back to Earth in an instant.”

Crowell will start Saturday’s crucial game against No. 24 Auburn, which could bring the Bulldogs a step closer to clinching a spot in the SEC Championship game. The Bulldogs (7-2, 4-2) have won seven in a row to take over first place in the East, and they can wrap up the division title by winning their next two games against Auburn (6-3, 4-2) and Kentucky.

There’s no doubt Crowell has been a spark to the Georgia offense, but his actions away from the public eye have been troubling.

He was held out of the first quarter against Vanderbilt, apparently for some sort of violation of team rules then he failed a drug test that resulted in an automatic one-game suspension under athletic department rules.

Crowell wouldn’t discuss specifics of his case, but he apologized to “my family, fans and the Bulldog nation.”

“I made a mistake and it will never happen again,” he said. “I want to prove to the fans that they can trust me.”

Coach Mark Richt said he’s confident that Crowell has learned a valuable lesson for all his mistakes.

“It’s hard to be a true freshman in major college football,” Richt said. “… You’re competing at a level that you’ve never competed at before. You’re learning things that you’ve never learned before. You’re being pushed by your coaches. You’re being pushed to your limits because now there’s a lot of great athletes out on the field compared to maybe what it was like in high school.”

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wildman 11/09/11 - 05:16 am
I wish but I doubt he makes

I wish but I doubt he makes through next year. No discipline.

IsAnyoneAlwaysRight 11/09/11 - 08:58 am
Wildman, apple don't fall far

Wildman, apple don't fall far from the coaches tree :)

Why not hold him out during a game that counts? New Mexico State High School?

Give us a break; hope dawgs don't back into SEC East because of this unethical punishment. I was actually pulling for them prior.

scoopdedoop64 11/09/11 - 10:45 am
Richt, has always been pretty

Richt, has always been pretty consistant when dealing with punishment for infractions. Give the coach the benefit of the doubt that he knows best. As for Crowell, he is a tremendous player but if he don't get his act together he will be just another good athelete that wasted his life.

LemonJello 11/09/11 - 02:34 pm
If Crowell had been at any

If Crowell had been at any other SEC school except Kentucky, his first offense for a positive drug test would have been to do nothing. He would have been given a warning and would have missed no playing time. UGA's policy plainly states that you forfeit the right to play in the next game on the schedule once a positive test is received. He was tested on Thursday before the UF game, and the results were confirmed Tuesday before the NMSU game. ANY other school saving Kentucky and no one would have heard a word about any of this, and he would have played against NMSU. For a look at school policies at all of the SEC and ACC schools, go to under college football. If he tests positive again, he will be required to miss 50% of games. His first run-in with trouble that led to sitting out on one quarter of a game was not drug related. UGA's policy and that of Kentucky are mirrors of each other, and are more stringent and 'ethical' than most other insititions...even Tech, even SC, even Clemson, etc. etc. etc.

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