Crowell’s recruitment aside, Washaun Ealey did this to himself (Update III)

Washaun Ealey is in a deep hole with coach Mark Richt.

Washaun Ealey is in a deep hole with coach Mark Richt.

(UPDATED AT 7 p.m. with Mark Richt statement.)

For the past two months at least — or since about the time most believed Georgia would land running back Isaiah Crowell in recruiting — there have been rumors that Washaun Ealey might transfer to Georgia Southern.

But what happened Tuesday when Ealey was suspended indefinitely isn’t about Crowell. It’s about Ealey –and maybe a little about coach Mark Richt.

Ealey has been inconsistent as a player,which is why the Bulldogs so desperately needed to land Crowell on national letter of intent day. But the more significant issues with the sophomore relating to his future in Athens have been off the field. Ealey’s arrest for a hit-and-run incident last summer — after multiple warnings about driving with a suspended license — infuriated Richt.

Rumors have been flying for the past 24 hours that Ealey last week missed a “punishment run,” which are handed out for things like missing tutoring sessions. Rumors morphed into conclusions that Ealey was kicked off the team. If that’s true, nobody is saying it. Georgia’s official response for now is only that Ealey is still on the team.

UPDATE: Here’s a statement from Richt:

“We have certain expectations and standards that apply to all our student-athletes. We expect them to do things the right way, the Georgia way. If Washaun does things the Georgia way, he’ll be back in good standing.”

But Ealey might want to take this as a hint, and transfer. He has two years of eligibility left and he’s in a pretty deep hole with Richt. Working his way out of that now might be impossible and transferring might be his best option. Richt has become increasingly “tough on crime” in the past year, which is a good sign.

Since signing day, we’ve learned to what lengths Richt went to land Crowell. Debbie Crowell, the player’s mother, confirmed to our Steve Hummer that Richt had Georgia players line up in an offensive formation in the new indoor practice facility during Crowell’s official visit. The only vacant position was running back. An excerpt from the story:

The 18-year-old and his family were shown to Richt’s new office, overlooking the recently completed indoor practice facility. As they visited, the Crowells noticed activity down below. Players began filing onto the practice field.

“We got up and looked out,” said Debbie Crowell, Isaiah’s mother. “I didn’t know what was going on, but Isaiah could tell that they were getting into formation. And there wasn’t a tailback.”

The stage was set. Richt escorted the family down to the field. Crowell was handed a Georgia jersey — No. 1 on the back — and a helmet and asked if he wanted to take that empty spot in the backfield. Debbie Crowell remembers Richt painting the scene of next season’s opener against Boise State, asking her son if he could see himself in that jersey and helmet, behind that offensive line, starting his career in the din of the Georgia Dome.

“Yes, sir, I can,” Isaiah said.

“My baby was excited. He was ready to go,” Debbie said.

Assuming Ealey learned of that, he couldn’t feel too great about his future in Athens.

Another running back, Caleb King, has been a disappointment and rumors of his exit also have circulated. The difference is that King has only one season of eligibility remaining and it might not be worth it to transfer.

When Richt recruited Crowell, he told him to imagine himself as Georgia’s starting running back. The coach then went public after his signing, saying Crowell could be “carrying the rock” as the starting back in the opener against Boise State.

But this is not all about Crowell’s potential. It’s about the way Ealey has imploded. There was a time it was his job to lose — and he lost it.

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

806 comments Add your comment

SECfan

February 8th, 2011
10:52 am

Lowcountry Dawg

February 8th, 2011
10:52 am

Richt, please just kick him off the team. It is time to turn things around in Athens, and this is just as good a place to start as any.

Greenville Dawg

February 8th, 2011
10:54 am

Tom

February 8th, 2011
10:55 am

And the regulars at Coleman’s Pond are saying, “What?….you’re surprised? We’re not.”

SECfan

February 8th, 2011
10:56 am

My question is will it hurt the Dawgs if Ealey transfers or is booted from the team? I would think not but you can never predict injuries or bust for that matter. Georgia fans should just hope Crowell is as good as everyone thinks he will be.

bill

February 8th, 2011
10:56 am

Ealey is a member of the Richt’s Knucklehead Dream Team…time for him to take the hint and drive to Statesboro.

Trashy

February 8th, 2011
10:58 am

Ealey, time to grow up.

MOG

February 8th, 2011
10:59 am

Bye bye Ealey!!! lol

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thetruth

February 8th, 2011
10:59 am

Saint Mark, waits for 2 years letting this kid do anything and get away with it, until he signs the Savior, then immediately kicks the kid off. Wow!!! There’s a mighty fine coach there!!

Kenny

February 8th, 2011
11:00 am

It is about time that CMR get’s tough on the subject of the off field crimes. CMR has made an example of Ealey, I just hope that the rest of the team will get the hint and straighten up. Keep it up CMR.

jim

February 8th, 2011
11:00 am

go go go we will be better without you,spoiled brat.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

February 8th, 2011
11:01 am

stars are aligning from crowell to start. i’d use crowell and malcome as your starters this year. i’m curious is to what the “punishment run” stems from?? still going back to the hit & run??

Will

February 8th, 2011
11:01 am

Richt would never suspend Murray indefinately for such a minor issue.

Blatant favoritism.

SouthSide Dawg

February 8th, 2011
11:02 am

I thought King was done due to academics? No?

UGA students are telling me that he’s not in class.

david

February 8th, 2011
11:02 am

dumb asssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

Biggdawg33

February 8th, 2011
11:02 am

But haven’t all of yall loudmouth folks been screaming for Richt to get tougher on players? This is the chance for Ealey to transfer to Southern and make all parties happy. I think that Caleb can stay and make it work if he can stay out of trouble and learn to hold on to the ball. Not only do we have Isaiah coming in, but also the guy we redshirted last year that word was that Richt was close to taking the redshirt off him to put him in.

Berzerk8dawg

February 8th, 2011
11:02 am

that did not make sense bill…

Will

February 8th, 2011
11:02 am

Note to other recruits:

If you’re better than Richt’s favortie guy, he’ll kick you off the team.

See Mettenberger & Ealey for details.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

February 8th, 2011
11:02 am

richt needs to set the tone this year for punishing players, especially after last year’s debacles with 12 arrests. get the word out now that if you mess up, your suspended or kicked off the team..period, no freakin excuses!!!

82Dawg

February 8th, 2011
11:03 am

How STUPID can Ealey be…… don’t let the door hit you..

Rusty

February 8th, 2011
11:04 am

Ealey’s unhappy that Joe T is working him too hard? If true, and he’s content with last year’s results…good riddance.

Halsey

February 8th, 2011
11:05 am

I just can’t help but wonder if Ealey would still be suspended, and possibly kicked off, had Crowell chosen to go somewhere else.

Oh, and why does Ken Malcomb never get mentioned? He was a ‘4 star’ RB out of high school. Is he being moved to fullback, or what?

RDUCK

February 8th, 2011
11:05 am

Wasn’t it just a couple of years ago that Caleb King and Ealey were the RB’s that would carry UGA to the SEC title? Just sayin’ that you never know until they get there just how they will pan out. Best to not put the crown and all that pressure on Crowell just yet. Let him come in and adjust to college life and football before proclaiming him to br the next #34…

Crushmore

February 8th, 2011
11:05 am

With #3 & #4 nutting up like this, I certainly wish that The DAWGS had signed a few more backs!! Bless Carlton Thomas, but kind of hard to pound it up the gut in the Power-I with a bantamweight back.

Sick & Tired Dawg

February 8th, 2011
11:05 am

Its time to Washed-Up Ealey to go. On another note, who the heck names their child Washaun, Knoshaun, or LaShaun? What happened to plain old Shaun? I predict this will be Richt’s last season in Athens. The inmates are running the asylum and he has lost control. But at least he still has that Ford Tough commercial and the Carpets of Dalton gig going.

82Dawg

February 8th, 2011
11:05 am

@the truth….your crazy he has had plenty or warnings this has nothing to do with Crowell. Don’t try and twist it that way…go back to the Tech board…

KeepDreaming

February 8th, 2011
11:06 am

Here we go…..must be the offseason!!

GStateBen

February 8th, 2011
11:06 am

Both were 4 star recruits who failed to live up to expectations.

Three parts to a elite program:
1) Coaching
2) Recruiting
3) Player Development

bjohndawg

February 8th, 2011
11:06 am

so he does not show up for punishment? Then he might decided not to show up for case. Or he might decide to drive without his license again.

He is not off the team yet, but looks like he might be on his way out. Heck like Branden Smith play too way as starting safety and backup RB with King ( if he sticks it out) and Crowell and Thomas and then if Ealey cannot or will not follow the rules and the punishment for breaking them…send him on his way to his next destination.

cantondawg

February 8th, 2011
11:06 am

I hope for Washaun’s sake that he will learn from this mistake and be better for it. People need to realize that this is a young man’s life we’re talking about. First of all, i hope he changes for HIS sake to become a better person. Secondly, i hope this will make him a more productive player for the dawgs.

We will learn alot about him during this suspension. Either he will learn from it and become better or he will quit. Either way the Dawgs will be better for it.

WDE

February 8th, 2011
11:07 am

This doesn’t surprise a single observer of the UGA program.

Word is now that upperclassmen are not reacting positively (aka, using it as motivation) of the heralded “Dream Team”. Coaches pretty much threw the current roster under the bus for those guys.

And if you were a tailback, and a coach got your teammates to line up information without you to show a high schooler how bad they want him, would you feel the need to give anything back to the team?

Richt threw the current team under the bus for 25 18 year olds where only 3 will get noticeable playing time.

I love the direction things are going haha.

D A DoubleU G

February 8th, 2011
11:07 am

Bring on the Yellow Jackets to tell us what a Thug he is, and how Richt has lost control of the program…..

As a VERY realist Dawg fan I think getting rid of Ealey would be a positive thing for the program. We need a hammer to drop on immaturity and what better example than now.

I expect Caleb King (assuming he gets his act together) to take the first snap of 2011, and Crowell to be taking majority of snaps by week 4. Ken Malcolm, will get a few here and there.

And finally, only the Yellow Jacket dorks expect the “Dream Team” recruiting class to have major impact this year. They are salivating uncontrollably to point to it at the first hiccup from the Dawgs. But thr people in Athens, such as myself, who truly understand how college football works, know that the class brought in will not truly be felt until 2012 at the earliest.

Richt….. Do what you have to do with Ealey. Nobody will be upset if it’s harsh.

GO DAWGS!!!!

Rusty

February 8th, 2011
11:07 am

Will, you’re a moron.

Jiggy Smaha

February 8th, 2011
11:07 am

Don’t let the door hit you in the backside on your way out of Athens, Washaun….good riddance. Nothing but a selfish, immature prima donner. Addition by subtraction!

bruce

February 8th, 2011
11:07 am

adios, clown! what a waste of talent.

RedPantyDawg

February 8th, 2011
11:08 am

Hey, Washaun, watch out for that door knob…bye, bye, now…

Will

February 8th, 2011
11:08 am

If Murray or Crowell had done the same thing, I’m sure the punishment would have been nothing.

McGarity's Son

February 8th, 2011
11:08 am

Kick him off the team,or please transfer to Southern! Me and everyone else are sick and tired of Ealey’s shenanigans. See ya Washaun.

TommyJack

February 8th, 2011
11:08 am

Richt has always been iron fisted. Bwahahahaha
No team underachieves like the dawgs. No team.

Will

February 8th, 2011
11:09 am

Anyone playing behind Murray, Crowell or Jenkins, go ahead and transfer now.

If in doubt, talk to Mettenberger or Logan Gray.

82Dawg

February 8th, 2011
11:10 am

@Wil…see comment at 11:07…but I will repeat it …your a moron..

D A DoubleU G

February 8th, 2011
11:10 am

I do like how thie was the opening “At this hour” story on SportsCenter.

Do you think this would be news if it happened at Tech??

Thought so.

auburnbound

February 8th, 2011
11:10 am

Come on down to the Plains Washaun! We’ll whoop you back in gear and ride you to another NC!

RambleOn84

February 8th, 2011
11:10 am

Let’s not kid ourselves, Schultzie…

Richt is “increasingly tough” on benchwarmers.

This is Ealey’s, what, SIXTH strike? Yeah kicking him off the team at this point is not really tough at all.

Richt is a Bobby Bowden disciple…”boys will be boys.”

D A DoubleU G

February 8th, 2011
11:11 am

Will,

Could you give us a fact or two to back up your racism claim???

Thanks.

collegeballfan

February 8th, 2011
11:11 am

With all the problems UGA had in recent years with player “responsibility”, the suspension of Ealey is not the way to start off 2011.

It appears UGA has recruited a lot of players lacking any sense of responsibility. I trust the 2011 class is an exception to what has become the rule.

WinderDawg

February 8th, 2011
11:11 am

Hopefully this class of incoming freshmem will be the new standard of recruits. Seems that we’ve been recruiting too many “project” kids, those with talent but questionable attitudes / work ethics. Project = those who Richt’s trying to save, not where they are from.

I’m tired of seeing the names of UGA athletes in the newspaper every week. Find some guys who have respect for authority, can remember whether or not they have a license to drive, and want to play for UGA because it’s THEIR school!

But we can not wait or begin with the incoming class; those players who are already here must be held accountable to the highest standards of conduct both on and off the field; those incoming players will be looking to the upperclassmen as mentors and role models and those guys must provide the right kind of leadership; I have not read about any of our current basketball players or other student-athletes in the paper; let’s get our house in order … I want our football teams … all of our teams … to win and be successful on the field; but it is imperative that we be winners off the field by showing character and class …

Winning with student-athletes of questionable character is not acceptable; Losing with student-athletes of questionable character will not be tolerated; I would rather lose with young people doing things the right way and giving their best effort rather than win with young people who choose not to act or conduct them selves properly.

Sooner or later, playing with young people that you can not count on to do the right thing will result in bad consequences for everyone involved with a team or program.

papadawg

February 8th, 2011
11:11 am

The last two seasons our running backs have sucked. Our oline has been critized for not blocking but I think most of the blame falls on the running backs who can’t find the holes and run timid. Time to man up or transfer

D A DoubleU G

February 8th, 2011
11:11 am

RambleOn…

Please name all “six”.

Thanks.