After two separate suspensions this past season, offensive tackle Phil Smith will not play for Georgia Tech in the 2012 season.
“(After) his violation of team rules at the bowl game, I think he and Coach (Paul) Johnson decided that it’s probably best for him to concentrate on his studies,” associate athletic director Wayne Hogan said.
Smith, a redshirt junior from Tampa, Fla., was a starter for the Yellow Jackets in the 2010 and 2011 seasons and started a total of 20 games in his career. He helped the Jackets lead the nation in rushing in 2010 and finish No. 2 this season.
Smith is on track to earn his management degree this semester and would be immediately eligible to play his final season at another FBS school if he enrolled in its graduate school.
Johnson suspended Smith for the first two games of the 2011 season for violating team rules. He sent him home from the Sun Bowl for breaking team rules in El Paso, Texas. At the time, Johnson called Smith’s actions “disappointing” and said that he would address further discipline after returning to Atlanta.
Smith split snaps with tackles Tyler Kidney and Ray Beno this past season. Those two players will return, along with every other offensive lineman on the roster.