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Mark Richt Addresses Player Arrests, Offers Little About Their Futures

 

Mark Richt vs. Missouri

Photo: Rob Saye/BI

University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt addressed the media after his team held its first of 15 practices this spring, where he commented, but offered very little about the futures of the four players who were arrested this past Monday night.

“Obviously we have some guys who did something foolish, and there will be consequences for that,” Richt said. “You’re disappointed, obviously, and you have to start deciding what you are going to do about it.”

Richt was referring to Tray Matthews, Jonathan Taylor, James DeLoach, and Uriah LeMay, who were arrested Monday night for “double dipping” their stipend checks by depositing them on a mobile banking app, and then cashing them with a check cashing service.

“Guys aren’t going to be perfect and when they do something that needs discipline, we are going to follow through on it,” said Richt.  “We always try to educate our players and discipline them appropriately. Similar to when you are dealing with your kids, some of them learn things by watching and some of them learn lessons by doing. We stick with the goal of punishing, educating and loving all that come through here.”

While many speculate the inevitable penalty of the players, whether it be internal discipline, game suspensions, or even the dismissal from the team, all four of the players involved were present on the practice fields and participating fully in drills Tuesday.

Richt was specifically asked during his press conference if there was any chance one or all of those players could potentially be dismissed from the team.

“Some of our discipline is very public, and some is not,” Richt said. “I am not yet sure where this is going to fall. There is a process I follow for discipline, and sometimes it happens quickly, and some times it does not.”

Richt has a history of remaining very coy on suspensions or disciplines of players who have run into trouble with him. His usual protocol is to not reveal anything until a suspension has already occurred, whenever one is warranted.

Just last summer, when sophomore kicker Marshall Morgan was arrested for a boating incident involving alcohol, Richt refused to discuss anything about his suspension until after Morgan sat out the first two games of the 2013 season. Currently, wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley is also questionable for a suspension next season stemming from a marijuana arrest in his dorm during the Georgia-Florida week, whereas Scott-Wesley was already sidelined for the season due to a torn ACL. When asked recently if Scott-Wesley would be facing the mandatory 10% of scheduled games suspension as to adhere to the student conduct guidebook, Richt once again refused to comment on the matter.

So do not expect any type of swift announcement regarding discipline for the four newest cases within the UGA program. That’s not to say Richt won’t suddenly decide to announce his decision the next time he speaks to the media, but it is also very likely that you will not know the status of any player facing discipline until you check for yourself to see if they are on the field during the first few plays against Clemson in Sanford Stadium on Aug 30th, 2014.