Georgia (dismissals, arrest) setting bad offseason pace (update II)

This thumbs up by Mark Richt came long before the recent offseason incidents by his players. (AP photo)

This thumbs up by Mark Richt came long before the recent offseason incidents by his players. (AP photo)

(Second update at 10:45 a.m. with third player being kicked off team and Mark Richt’s statement.)

So much for the feel good atmosphere in Athens.

After a bounce-back season and another strong recruiting class, the relative serenity of the football program has been blown up.

Three freshmen players, defensive back Nick Marshall, wide receiver Sanford Seay and defensive back Chris Sanders, have been kicked off the team.  Marshall and Seay reportedly stole money, possible from teammates. It wasn’t immediately known if Sanders was linked to the same incident.

Our Chip Towers confirmed Marshall was dismissed after speaking with the player’s former Wilcox County High School coach, Mark Ledford. Seay’s exit was first reported by Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph.

All of this comes only two weeks after the arrest of starting cornerback Sanders Commings, who was booked by campus police on charges of domestic violence/simple battery for an incident with his girlfriend. (The subsequent release of documents left the door open that it might not have been the first domestic violence complaint against Commings.)

Georgia coach Mark Richt did not give a reason for any of the dismissals. His statement said only, “It’s a privilege to play college football and to be a part of this team and University. Along with that privilege comes certain responsibilities. Mistakes were made, and part of our job is helping them learn from mistakes. Going forward, we are committed to assisting them find opportunities where they can continue their education.”

This much is certain: Georgia, after a welcome and relatively quiet offseason last year in terms of off-the-field incidents, is setting a bad pace already this year. That’s three dismissals and one arrest (nothing has been stated about Commings’ future).

The momentum the Bulldogs built up during last year’s 10-4 season  — notwithstanding the two finishing losses to LSU (SEC championship game, expected) and Michigan State (Outback  Bowl, not expected) — is threatening to be derailed by more dumb player decisions that plagued  the program in previous years.

Richt did the right thing by acting swiftly in dismissing Marshall, Seay and Sanders.  But having four players involved in incidents in the last two weeks isn’t a good sign — and we’re barely into February.

(MORE UPDATES TO COME)

By Jeff Schultz

652 comments Add your comment

david

February 3rd, 2012
9:38 am

Good for coach, bad for the kids. I guess that month off idea may have to be revisited. And to nick Marshall, who had TONS of potential, the only thing that you can say to that guy is “CMON MAN!”

No doubt trooper taylor has already sent them both a text…

Tom in ATL

February 3rd, 2012
9:38 am

OK – I’ll bite. First? Never had one of those…

Redcoat

February 3rd, 2012
9:39 am

These kids have everything given to them and they go and throw it away. It’s a shame…

Gambs

February 3rd, 2012
9:39 am

UGA is bound and determined to reclaim their Fulmer Cup Title from two years ago.

Tom in ATL

February 3rd, 2012
9:40 am

Oh well – it will remain an illusive dream – Marhsall will wind up at another SEC power – wasnt Bama pushing hard for him in recruiting? And ZM will be leading those Bayou Bengals this year -

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

February 3rd, 2012
9:41 am

I lock up my bowl when I go out. It’s a bad element. One of our newest players said it best, “The best thing about UGA is the food.”

oldngold

February 3rd, 2012
9:42 am

DawginLex

February 3rd, 2012
9:43 am

Which way do you want it Jeff?

“Richt is too lackadaisical and soft in his discipline”

or

“Not a good way to start the offseason with 3 problems already.”

So he overlooks it and you bash him

or

he deals with it head on and you bash him.

I’m glad he dealt with it. Hate it for the 2 kids. hopefully they learn and move on.

P-Man

February 3rd, 2012
9:43 am

Disappointing, and will only open the door for haters and trolls to bash UGA. I will never understand how kids can throw away an opportunity like this. Very sad…

UGA72

February 3rd, 2012
9:43 am

Too bad, both blew tremendous opportunities. Richt acted properly. Doesn’t get more vampirish than stealing from your teammates (if that’s what happened}. I’m not as concerned about the issue of discipline. Richt took swift action, and I think the leadership on the team will hammer home the message for others to stay out of trouble. Go Dawgs!

Bobo is Not the Problem

February 3rd, 2012
9:43 am

What? And Saint Mark is such a nice man. Shocking that he would lead kids into this kind of behavior.

FIRE MARK RICHT.

Richard

February 3rd, 2012
9:43 am

At least our coaches aren’t being fired for cheating … that is a positive!

EJ

February 3rd, 2012
9:43 am

This is such a sad moment. Having seem both in high school those guys are some great talents on the field. Hate that they are that dumb off the field. Marshall I think has a great chance to play this year and be an NFL star to come. He was the best athlete on hte field and he played both side QB and DB in high school. Seay has glue on his hands and makes great catches. I wish the best for these boys hopefully they will learn from there mistakes.

david

February 3rd, 2012
9:43 am

nice try fools. only one real first.

PS- it wasnt that exciting being first.

Bobo is Not the Problem

February 3rd, 2012
9:44 am

Momentum is a meaningless emotion.

College fb in this state: what a joke

February 3rd, 2012
9:45 am

But,but, but … at least we don’t oversign! Hahahahaha … while pompous, arrogant Georgia and Georgia Tech fans are HAMMERING Saban for doing stuff that’s WITHIN THE DAMN RULEBOOK, consider:

***at GT coach fires himself for improper texts while TECH is on probation

***Georgia’s HC commits a violation bc apparently he doesn’t know when he can and when he CAN’T talk about recruits

***two thUGA players get the boot for being thieves

Yep, I’ll take our two crystal trophies and our HC and you keep your and keep running your program like you do. Everyone laughs at y’all. Pompous asses.

Evansdawg

February 3rd, 2012
9:46 am

Jeff – Can you face it that when its the offseason, these kids are bored and more prone to trouble??? Is Richt supposed to be at their side at every minute of everyday???? There is no discipline problem at UGA as long as action is swift and players see players getting kicked off the team. This was the correct and most effective way Richt could have handled it. How about saying that, instead of saying we are being “derailed.” I’d say that Richt’s actions keep us right on the track.

Simeon Rice N Gravy

February 3rd, 2012
9:46 am

Already, Kermit? Wow! You must be thrilled something unfortunate happened in Athens.

How many more da articles will you write on this matter? I’m guessing 4-9 more.

You are the worst “sports” writer at the AJC. That is why I will never buy that rag.

Go work for TMZ in your native Cali, loser!

TG

February 3rd, 2012
9:46 am

Looks like Tech dodged a bullet by Marshall deciding to go to UGA. Sad to see all that potential go to waste in Athens.

DogDawg

February 3rd, 2012
9:47 am

What a waste…. Surely all the players know the rules & the consequences of breaking them. I am sure Richt is really bummed but such is the life of a coach trying to steer young men with special athletic abilities through the independence of college days.

DawginLex

February 3rd, 2012
9:47 am

FIRE BOBO IS NOT THE PROBLEM

JackDennis

February 3rd, 2012
9:48 am

Athens: Permanent home of the Fulmer Cup.

joe

February 3rd, 2012
9:49 am

The off season (post signing day) is two days old and UGA leads the SEC in arrests already with 2. Uh oh, dream team has a new meaning now…in the Penitentiary league. Going to be a very interesting off season in Athens. New over/under on arrests is now 16.

Evansdawg

February 3rd, 2012
9:49 am

“Pompous asses?” There is the pot calling the kettle black! What are you, 12? Grow up, idiot. Go kill a tree or teabag an LSU fan!

DDPO

February 3rd, 2012
9:50 am

Its ok because Coach February (CMR) can hook these guys up with the new recruit who doubles as a bail bondsman… It all about relationships.

All three of these guys will be allowed back on the team after spending some time in church. Their punishment, they’ll each have to sit out for the National Anthem in their first game against some directional college. (sacrificial lamb)

tallydawg

February 3rd, 2012
9:50 am

Is there no end to the drama the is UGA football under CMR? Do other programs sweep this stuff under the rug or do they have better control of their players. Either way, CMR needs to over-recruit every year just to account for such player stupidity. Instead, he leaves schollys on the table every year so he can reward walkons. No doubt we’ll see both these guys playing for Auburn, Tenn or Bama next season.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

February 3rd, 2012
9:52 am

Let’s say I leave my i-Pad and my dog bowl just inside the door of my doghouse and a couple players are walking by and see them sitting there just ripe for the taking. Who’s going to resist that? Let’s say they reach inside and get the i-Pad and the bowl, too, because it is full of treats and they start to party . . . who can blame them? Stealing from a teammate or a team mascot is not so bad because they aren’t likely to press charges like a convenience store or a gas station would. I think our recruits ought to confine themselves to thefts from people and little dogs that they know so they can suit up on Saturdays as the fine student athletes they are supposed to be. And that is from a little dog.

Randy McMichael

February 3rd, 2012
9:53 am

I’m going to endow a scholorship in honor of my protege, Sanders Commings

david

February 3rd, 2012
9:54 am

there is no doubt in my mind that these things get swept under the rug at Bama. If you’ve spent any time in alabama you’d know.
It’s like that scene in Varsity Blues when the two small town sherriff deputies are complaining about how how wild and out of control the local football players are, and then they see their coach and apologize for complaining.

Saban- “are my boys too much for you to handle, deputy?”
Deputy- “no Coach, sorry, its not a big deal.”
Saban- “good then. have a nice day boys.”

Big Un

February 3rd, 2012
9:54 am

joe…I’m impressed a dork knows about the over/under…now explain it in detail dork!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bruce Mac

February 3rd, 2012
9:56 am

Jeff, what are you talking about? A bad pace? There is no pace to stealing you DA. You either are a crook or you are not. Because Mark Bradley steals you think it makes you more likely to steal? That is the dumbest thing you have ever said and that says allot.

Simeon Rice N Gravy

February 3rd, 2012
9:56 am

The serenity of the program has been blown up, Heffe?! Really? By two freshman who barely saw the field last year? Please! Nice try.

What a hack! Every article you write about UGA is a backhanded compliment.

These players have blown up the program?
Mark Richt did the right thing.
Puh-lease kermit.

JacketFanMarcus

February 3rd, 2012
9:58 am

Here we go again. UGA living up to it’s thUGA nickname. Recruiting criminals and bad apples for the sake of winning.

At least Paul Johnson can win without those kind of players!

bill arp

February 3rd, 2012
9:58 am

Saban’s awesome alright. As he literally steps over one of his own players laying on the floor having a seizure and says, “excuse me, i need to get to my office”….

CEPH

February 3rd, 2012
9:58 am

How can Richt say he had a great recruiting class when he had 27 scholarships to give and he could only get 19 players? Ala. Fla. Aub, LSU, Ark yada yada yada could have signed 50 quality players each if they had the scholarships!!! Also, one of the most exciting days of the year for the fans is signing day and Mr. Cool Richt says he wishes it would be the most boring. Could it be because he has all those schollys left and nothing to do with them. Wait I know what he will do with them he can award all those walk-ons (that wont play a down, I take that back because they will make up our great special teams ) with scholarships. Oh well, Saint Richt has struck again now he wants us to just sit at home on signing day and be satisfied with whatever he delivers!!!!!

TONY THE TIGER.......

February 3rd, 2012
9:58 am

Great start on the Fulmer Cup…….Typical DUMAZZDWAG….Typical

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

February 3rd, 2012
9:59 am

Jeff and I go way back because he knew me when I was a brown-a$$ed pup. He knows I am a good judge of character. I took one look at Coach Grantham and started to bark and snarl at him. He gave me the choke sign and he meant it. I took one look at some of these new recruits and I knew they were just an Escalade away from being Bulldogs just like me. I am getting ready for the new season and already some of the new players are asking me where’s the best place in town to find a little action. I tell them follow the running backs. They seem to be the ones that run this state of confusion.

david

February 3rd, 2012
9:59 am

Saban = Jon Voight’s character in Varsity Blues. Fact.

OkieDawg

February 3rd, 2012
10:00 am

No matter how you spin it, this is a sad ending at UGA for these two young men. Marshall certainly has unlimited potential. I hope the best for both young men and they find their way. Being
kicked off the team for stealing (reportedly) will follow them wherever they go.

Odell Thurman

February 3rd, 2012
10:00 am

They got the Dream Team for that title run, baby!

Gambs
February 3rd, 2012
9:39 am

UGA is bound and determined to reclaim their Fulmer Cup Title from two years ago.

Beast from the East

February 3rd, 2012
10:00 am

These type of things are a black eye for any program, but I think Richt handled it quickly and correctly. No time for that type of crap. If they want to waste their opportunity, then so be it.

david

February 3rd, 2012
10:00 am

JacketFanMarcus- Paul johnson can win what exactly without those kind of players? Oh thats right, he can win the “toughest soundbite award” on his weekly call in show. Thats pretty much it.

collegeballfan

February 3rd, 2012
10:01 am

Both players will get a second chance at college football. First offenders and both deserve a second chance to make something of their life.

Marshall had offers from Ala, Clem, FSU, GT, UT and Vandy. One of these teams will surely make him an offer.

Simeon Rice N Gravy

February 3rd, 2012
10:02 am

CEPH

The state of Georgia is loaded in 2013. He knows what he is doing.

2012 was so so. That is why schollies were left on the table. UGA will sign at least 26 in 2013. Watch.

What, no boys will be boys yet???

February 3rd, 2012
10:03 am

Boys will be boys. FIRST. Now that that is said, I feel sorry for college coaches having to make up for 18 years of no accountability for these losers.

david

February 3rd, 2012
10:03 am

Wait as minute- Marshall had an offer from Tech??? No, cant be true. Tech doesnt recruit those kind of kids. Somebody fix that typo..

Dawg14

February 3rd, 2012
10:03 am

Fulmer Cup only includes arrests. These two have only violated team rules, which does not count towards that title.

Rob in Chapel Hill

February 3rd, 2012
10:04 am

I have to second most of Simeon Rice N Gravy’s post here. Good grief, Schultz. One can almost hear you frantically pounding the keys and cackling as you dashed off this piece. A tad of an overstatement to say the “relative serenity of the football program has been blown up,” no?

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

February 3rd, 2012
10:04 am

Some people think I am not the real Russ. Well, that’s your opinion. Jeff knows it’s me and that’s all that’s important. If the best thing about UGA is “the good food” as one of our new recruits likes to say . . . just be thankful he didn’t say the best thing is the convenience stores are not guarded all that well. It shows we are recruiting players with better character. Something has to be said for that.

chiefdawg

February 3rd, 2012
10:04 am

So I guess he could do nothing and you would have nothing to write about.