Bulldog Nation’s verdict on Harvey-Clemons: Better now than later

One of the high points of Josh Harvey-Clemons' career at UGA: An interception against Tech. (AJC file)

One of the high points of Josh Harvey-Clemons' career at UGA: An interception against Tech. (AJC file)

It was pretty much inevitable, and better now than later.

That sums up many fans’ reaction Tuesday when UGA’s athletic department issued a terse announcement that junior defensive back Josh Harvey-Clemons had been dismissed from the team for yet another violation of team rules.

It’s safe to say almost no one was shocked by this turn of events. Disappointed, yes. But considering Harvey-Clemons opened and closed last season missing games due to two separate suspensions involving marijuana and was due to miss the first three games of 2014 in a continuation of that second suspension, this was no surprise.

The offseason consensus seemed to be it was only a matter of time until the talented player from Valdosta was gone from the UGA program.

What with UGA having the toughest disciplinary policies in the conference and several big-name players having been shown the door in recent seasons, Bulldog Nation has somewhat reluctantly gotten used to this sort of thing — to the point where a sort of gallows humor has become an instant reflex. Almost within seconds of word of Harvey-Clemons’ dismissal hitting social media Tuesday, the jokes about him probably winding up becoming a future star at Auburn started showing up.

And with painful visions of that notorious game-losing play Harvey-Clemons had a hand in last season still burned in our memories, one fan even noted: “He already has experience helping Auburn beat us.”

Unfair, I know, but he unfortunately earned that sort of knock.

Of course, some fans still grumble that Georgia ought to lighten up on the rules and slide back to where most football programs stand on such things, but most of us have accepted that just isn’t going to happen as long as Mark Richt and Greg McGarity are in charge. And some of us even take pride in their firm stance on discipline, no matter how costly it is.

Yes, you can debate whether rules involving a substance that is now legal in some states should even be on the books for college athletes, but the fact remains that it’s illegal in this state and George isn’t likely to join Colorado on the other side of the issue any time soon.

And as long as you have rules, players who refuse to abide by them, even when they’ve been slammed with significant punishment for previous infractions, generally are more trouble than they’re worth.

It's a sad day for both UGA and Harvey-Clemons. (Associated Press)

It's a sad day for both UGA and Harvey-Clemons. (Associated Press)

That was another constant in reactions Tuesday to the news. Most fans seemed to agree with recent Bulldog tight end Artie Lynch, who tweeted: “Just to be clear, those who decide not to do it the RIGHT way do not deserve to don the Red & Black. It is a privilege, not a right.”

Also, considering he was pretty much a nonfactor in his freshman year and his play as a sophomore when not on suspension was up-and-down — he was third on the team in tackles but struggled mightily in pass coverage in Todd Grantham’s hybrid linebacker-safety “star” position — the loss of Harvey-Clemons isn’t the clear-cut disaster you’d expect when it involves a five-star recruit.

Yes, he was talented and showed great promise at times, but his dismal record off the field was paired an inconsistent performance on it, and you’ve got to wonder whether the two were connected. Here’s hoping this young man gets himself straightened out soon.

As for the better-now-than-later reaction to Harvey-Clemons’ departure, that’s based on the experience of recent seasons when the absence of key players at the start of the season has proved to be distracting and disruptive, interfering with the defensive team getting itself together. All that shuffling around of personnel in the secondary last year got its start thanks to Harvey-Clemons being out. And he was already going to be out for three games this coming season, including two of the biggest games.

At least now the new defensive staff can spend the spring assessing talent and planning for the opening of the season without having to put an asterisk by one would-be starter’s name. And the Bulldogs are not devoid of talent capable of taking over from Harvey-Clemons. Damian Swann actually played better at star subbing for Harvey-Clemons last year than he did in his regular cornerback spot. Plus there’s the likes of Tramel Terry — recently moved to safety from the offense, possibly with the impending loss of Harvey-Clemons in mind — along with Quincy Mauger and incoming Malkom Parrish.

Don’t get me wrong, I would have preferred for Harvey-Clemons to straighten up and become the star player, in every sense of the word, that the coaches thought him capable of being. The track record of players dismissed from Georgia finding success elsewhere is impossible to overlook.

Any way you look at it, the story of Harvey-Clemons in Athens is a sad one. To quote Lynch again, “taking UGA for granted is a life altering mistake. It is too special to throw away.”

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210 comments Add your comment

Bulldawg35

February 19th, 2014
10:39 am

Just another Richt casualty…Richt can’t even keep his best players enrolled in school anymore. We never had this many guys dismissed when donnan was here.

Fleming Island Dawg

February 19th, 2014
10:39 am

Couldn’t have said it better myself!!!

Fleming Island Dawg

February 19th, 2014
10:41 am

I was commenting on what Mr. King said not Mr. 35. I’m sure Donnan overlooked some things. Can’t believe everything Q. Carter got into happened after college.

fb

February 19th, 2014
10:42 am

If he can’t abide by such a simple rule, he does not deserve to be a Dawg. This has been a nightmare since his Grandad refused to sign his LOI. Problem child from the start.

Bulldawg35

February 19th, 2014
10:44 am

I bet they will be more suspensions ah coming!!!! It’s a sinking ship in Athens! Run for your life’s!

george

February 19th, 2014
10:46 am

Bulldawg35

February 19th, 2014
10:46 am

Richt should of just swept it under the rug….Bama sweeps it under the rug….if it doesn’t involve the police. UGA should do the same.

Bulldawg35

February 19th, 2014
10:47 am

George

What?.. An O??? Dude is that all you got?? Gee these people!

Bulldawg35

February 19th, 2014
10:49 am

Our program is self destructing because of our strict drug policy…we kick our best players off the team…and that’s a fact jack!

SimpleDawg

February 19th, 2014
10:49 am

Grandpa was holding out for cash, knowing his knucklehead grandson wasn’t going to be in Athens long enough to make a NFL impression.

george

February 19th, 2014
10:50 am

was a typo. I am just sitting back and laughing at the continued absurd excuses from the dawg nation for the annual suspensions/expulsions.

CTDawg

February 19th, 2014
10:50 am

Bulldawg35 – Donnan wishes he could have been anywhere near as successful as Richt. Richt is always looking out for these kids and the best interest of Georgia! Richt is the only coach in the SEC that won’t put restrictions on these kids to go to other SEC schools and that is one of the reasons he continues to have top 10 recruiting classes!
I wouldn’t want anyone else coaching the DAWGS!!!

JB

February 19th, 2014
10:51 am

Bulldawg35………………..35 is the IQ, correct?

Fred

February 19th, 2014
10:51 am

Josh Harvey-Clemons blew it three times! So, how many chances should a guy have? 3 STRIKES AND YOU ARE OUT IN MY BOOK!

JB

February 19th, 2014
10:52 am

george, go follow AU. They run the type of program you can respect and be proud of.

UGA Insider

February 19th, 2014
10:53 am

Addiction is a terrible thing. I wish somehow we could help these kids instead of kicking them to the curb. However I can see how codling and enabling kids doesn’t help either. IDK what to do in these cases. JHC simply wasn’t cutting it in Athens. What is it about South Ga boys and drugs up in Athens? JHC has thrown away so much just because he can’t say no to weed and staying out all night. And people say that weed isn’t addictive. What a crock of crap.

Does anyone know who Is leading The Fulmer Cup at this point? I would imagine Ole Miss.

old dog

February 19th, 2014
10:56 am

Funny how attitudes change. In the ’70’s at UGA, weed smoking was just done…right or wrong. Go down the hall, turn on the fan, towel in the door, and have at it. Also, the age was 18 and keg parties abounded in the dorms. Not saying this is as it should be at all, but amazingly folks graduated and went on to successful careers. Look at a Pandora (UGA yearbook) from ‘77 or ‘78. It shows all the night life, how to mix your favorite drinks, pics of kids partying their brains out, etc. Now, if a kid does anything he is a “lost soul.” There are rules, and I know I will catch the devil for this post, but “Lighten up Francis!”

george

February 19th, 2014
11:01 am

JB- please enlighten me . How/what does auburn do that one would not respect of be proud of. In terms drug policy lets look at the FACTS. I know it is often hard for the dawg nation to do.

AU- first offense- no suspension. Second offense- 50 % of season third offense- boot

UGA- first offense- 10 % of season second offense- 30 % of season third offense- boot

so how is uga’s policy any more strict than auburns? yes – auburn does not give a suspension for a first time, but for multiple times (Harvey clemons) their penalties are even more srict than the supposed unfair uga penaltes.

UGA Insider

February 19th, 2014
11:01 am

old dog,

The bunk week you smoked in the 70’s is non comparable to this stuff these kids can get today. The manufactured crap they can get in the jiffy stores is MUCH more dangerous and addictive.

Brian

February 19th, 2014
11:01 am

Exactly CTDawg!! What exactly did Donnan ever do at UGA? East Title? No. Conference Title? No. His current claim to fame is getting caught up in a Ponzy scheme!! Contrary to popular belief, winning isn’t everything, even in college athletics. Give me a coach like Richt that genuinely cares for the well being of each player and goes out of his way to give them second and even third chances, who tries to teach them to be men first, and football players second. Why do you think UGA recruits so well? Because parents know that Richt will put his life into their sons. When they do things the Georgia way, there doesn’t seem to be any problem. It’s when kids who have grown up being told how great they are start believing that their “greatness” puts them above the rules that problems arise.

Dirty Dawg

February 19th, 2014
11:04 am

Gotta ask, ‘Why is it that we have to go to Connecticut, or someplace up there, or to Tampa, to end up with players that revere the University of Georgia, or can display the kind of class and loyalty to the school and State that an Arthur Lynch or Aaron Murray has. No, we end up with the likes of this punk. Sure we’ve got some ‘loyal’, and classy, guys from here, but it seems that every time we end up with one like Harvey-Clemons, they’re from Georgia – particularly the 5-Star ones (Da-Rick, Crowell, this one)…why is that?

Bulldawg35

February 19th, 2014
11:04 am

JB

No it’s the number of losses Richt has had to top 25 teams in the last 7 years you smuck!

Columbus Dawg

February 19th, 2014
11:06 am

I am not going to claim that I know whether drug tests are administered at rival schools, because I do not. What I DO know is that Artie Lynch is spot on in his comments. JHC was dead set against doing what he had to know was in his best interest. I absolutely believe that he knew he would be drug tested at UGA, and did not care. That being said, Bill is correct in that it is better that he is gone than a distraction to the players that are committed to the . I am of the opinion that Coach Pruitt was gonna do it without him anyway. I believe that Pruitt has enough sense to know that UGA’s season begins on August 30th, 2014 against the Clemson Tigers, and he was going to have his defensive backfield starters set and ready for that game without the services of JHC anyway. Grantham was the clown that thought the world would end without him on the field. The first year players will be much better , especially with some quality coaching that they will now receive. JHC probably knew he would not be considered a starter in 2014 even after he returned. Moore, Mauger, Matthews, Terry, redshirts like Wilkerson, and incoming players such as Parrish will shine under the new staff. I feel sorry in a way for him because he does not know what his current actions are doing to his future, but the UGA Football Program will be better off without him.

dawgfan

February 19th, 2014
11:07 am

Same ole crap just different year. A player gets kicked off the team for a little marijuana and the Kool Aiders take a hard line and say good riddance. Meanwhile Richt continues to collect his millions while giving us absolutely jack freaking squat in return and they have no beef with that. They do nothing but make excuses for the man.

These are the “real fans” of Georgia football. Just ask them.

Rocker

February 19th, 2014
11:11 am

Recruiting stars don’t measure heart and character (Pollack, Greg Blue, Thomas Davis, etc.) or lack thereof (JHC, Crowell, etc.).

Cuz

February 19th, 2014
11:28 am

We all have to live by rules in life. JHC was no different than you or me. You intentionally break a rule that you are supposed to adhere to and there will be consequences. Better he learn it now than later. He can still play one more year at a decent school. Good luck with getting your life straight JHC.

DawgByte

February 19th, 2014
11:30 am

Dawg35 –

Given your post, can we assume you want McGarity to spring Donnan from jail and have him take Richt’s place? Hello!

I-DOG

February 19th, 2014
11:39 am

Agree with Bill’s comments. He was two steps out the door already, it is best to make a clean break so that he doesn’t become a distraction. The bright spot is that it sends a message to the rest of the team. “We have kicked off two separate 5 star players in the last 3 years that can’t follow the rules… if you think you are a superstar and above the rules… think again.”

I support UGA’s stance on following the rules. I am for legalized marijuana. I live in a state where it is legal, I voted for it, and I have not seen a single negative thing in the community where I live with the legalization of it. Our economy is one of the healthier in the US and that is partially attributed to all the new (above ground) small businesses from the pot business and the increased tax revenue and decreased police and jail expenses with trying to stop it.

That being said… just because a drug is legal (alcohol, caffeine, pot) it doesn’t mean that as an athlete on scholarship (and under 21 making it ILLEGAL) that UGA and college football as a whole can’t continue to make it against team rules. The shot that Houston’s doctor gave him was PERFECTLY legal. If it had been given to me, I would not have been arrested. However, it WAS against NCAA rules and it is Ok that there is a difference between being legal and allowed in NCAA Football.

Here is why I voted for legalized pot use in my state (regulated and taxed).

1.) People already smoke pot where it is illegal. Roughly 60% of high school students have smoked pot (while it was illegal). The number of adults who have tried pot and use it regularly is staggering. Making it illegal for the last 50-60 years has done NOTHING to stop people from using it.

2.) We have spent billions trying to stop pot use between enforcement and jail use. Has it been effective? I would say no. Expensive? absolutely.

3.) We have had prohibition in this country against pot use. It has been about as effective as prohibition against alcohol was. People still drank more dangerous unregulated booze during prohib. and all that underground economy money essentially CREATED organized crime in the US. A terrible unintended consequence of the prohibition law.

4.) Most researchers believe it is no more of a gateway drug than Alc. and much less dangerous. Every year thousands die from alc. in this country between blood poison and the people that pass out and choke on their own vomit. There has not been a SINGLE confirmed death directly from pot in the history of this country.

5.) Both are bad for your health if you do them too much. Also, both have been proven to cause some health problems for people that are still developing (teenagers) The law in my state is that you must be 21 and just like liquor stores, it must be X number of feet away from a school.

6.) Now in my state it is taxed, regulated (healthier for the user without some street peddler putting filler in it) and gangs and organized crime are shut out of it. Why buy from a sketchy person that got it from who knows where when you can buy it much cheaper and know exactly what you are getting from a retail store?

Many think these criminals will simply move to other states where they can operate in the shadows of an illegal market and some of these criminals will likely move to Georgia where they can operate illegally. The good people of Georgia have lined up to buy their product for decades despite the fact that it is and has been illegal.

dawgfan

February 19th, 2014
11:42 am

It seems to me that the best argument the Kool Aiders can come up with these days in favor of Richt’s coaching ability is that he’s better than Jim Donnan.

What a ringing endorsement.

dawgfan

February 19th, 2014
11:44 am

I-Dog, you know what else sends the team a message? Skipping practices. Richt skipped 6 last preseason.

Richt gets outworked and it shows. Let’ give him a raise.

maconexpress

February 19th, 2014
11:46 am

@Columbus Dawg February 19th, 2014 11:06 am – I absolutely believe that he knew he would be drug tested at UGA, and did not care.

I think it is a lack of respect for CMR than it is a drug issue because it happens too regular. It’s no big deal for the drug users because they can always go somewhere else to pursue their education and football careers.

robodawg

February 19th, 2014
11:49 am

1. Bad mistake by JHC. Wish him the best and hope we don’t face him on another SEC squad.
2. UGA’s unique rule hurts us. It’s bad PR and more ammunition for our haters. With our competitors, he wouldn’t have ever been tested or suspended. As long as the NCAA or at least SEC won’t follow our lead, we have to ask if the rule is really worth it? Save the harshest discipline for criminal offenses (i.e., where the police made an arrest and brought criminal charges).

Spanky

February 19th, 2014
11:50 am

If ya’ll ever want answers to your questions, the answer is “entitlement” (otherwise known as the Justin Bieber syndrome). You get hyped by your family,friends,and coaches, so you start to believe they are right. By their senior yr in high school, they’re signing autographs, having major coaches visit, having a different cheerleader every week, 5 stars behind their name, a NEWS CONFERENCE to announce colloge of choice,…..At this point, who wouldn’t believe it?! Once they get to UGA, it all comes to a screeching halt. Now, not only do they learn to juggle class schedules with practices, but now they have to live a restrictive life. That’s a student-athlete!! When you think you’re above it, you’re gone! ……………so long, JHC! We needed you, but someone will step up!

Class of '98

February 19th, 2014
11:54 am

He and Matthews both went for the interception, for whatever reason. For stats, for glory, to impress the girls, you name it.

It was incredibly selfish and it cost us the game. I wish the kid the best in his future endeavors, but booting him is almost certainly addition by subtraction.

Strange Murphy

February 19th, 2014
11:55 am

Auburn bound I’d guess. They do take all the trash from other teams.

BigDawg

February 19th, 2014
11:56 am

Bulldawg35 and other Fellow Dawgs there are more important things in life than playing football. JHC, Crowel, King and those of their ilk are like cancer who need to be weeded out, so I say good riddance. But at the sametime hoping and praying that they take a hard look at themselves and make the necessary changes in their attitudes and behaviors to become successful and good citizens in the future as Mettenberger, Marshall and others have done in the past. As others suggested it is better this happened now rather than later on for UGA as it now gives others an opportunity to step up and possibly shine. As I stated above I hope and pray that Josh Harvey-Clemons reevaluates his attitude toward drug use and abiding by rules and laws and straightens out his life.

Go Dawgs

I-DOG

February 19th, 2014
12:02 pm

Dawgfan:

I’m not suggesting that Richt has solved every problem in the program by kicking out one athlete (and a good one at that). I’m saying that I support this particular decision and it might help show how serious UGA is about following the rules.

Look at Florida under Urban Meyer. Hernandez allegedly failed up to 6 drug tests, reportedly assaulted a restaurant employee as a Freshman so badly he ruptured the guy’s eardrum, and it was also reported that he was questioned about a murder WHILE AT FLORIDA, not the one he is in prison for and awaiting trial currently. This was a separate incident.

He was suspended for ONE game at Florida during his three year career.

I don’t agree with Richt on everything he does, but I know that I like what he did today better than what Urban Meyer did (or didn’t do) with Hernandez at Florida.

dawgfan

February 19th, 2014
12:07 pm

Okay thanks. I think JHC should have been kicked off the team too.

I just wish other fans would hold Richt accountable too. That never seems to happen.

Huh?

February 19th, 2014
12:26 pm

You either are proud of the stance that UGA takes regarding drug use, or you want to do away with the rules an be like other schools who look the other way.

I get so tired of fans that want to pump their chest and take a moral high ground regarding UGA and their strict policies, then tun around and talk about competitive disadvantages and/or how other schools would do this or that. The fact is that nobody knows what goes on at other schools, nor do I care. I only care about what goes on at MY school….and I want MY school to do things the right way…regardless.

All a sholarship player at UGA has to do is simply not break the law. Is that so tough? They knows he rules when they decide to come to UGA. The point is, it’s not the rules….it’s the players.

Skokie Dog

February 19th, 2014
12:35 pm

Bill King wrote, “…his dismal record off the field was paired an inconsistent performance on it, and you’ve got to wonder whether the two were connected.” I don’t wonder about that connection; it seems obvious enough that even my pot-smoking neighbor who stands, addled, staring into space in his yard when the weather’s nice, might be able to make that connection.
And Richt and McGarity are right to send this student-athlete away from U.Ga. The only policy change that I think the institution might make is to prohibit student-athletes from transferring to another major university’s program in cases that involve dismissal due to drug use, physical assault, or similar infractions.

Bulldawg35

February 19th, 2014
12:36 pm

Richt better start sweeping things under the rug if he wants last at UGA for few more years,,,,too many good players are being booted off the team!

Skokie Dog

February 19th, 2014
12:37 pm

Bulldawg35

February 19th, 2014
12:41 pm

I wanting Richt and Mcgarity to bring back JHC now!!! I want them to stop the self sabotage now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bulldawg35

February 19th, 2014
12:42 pm

Bring back JHC now! He is our best player on defense! Wth is Richt doing?????

george

February 19th, 2014
12:42 pm

robodawg- “UGA’s unique rule hurts us. It’s bad PR and more ammunition for our haters. With our competitors, he wouldn’t have ever been tested or suspended. As long as the NCAA or at least SEC won’t follow our lead, we have to ask if the rule is really worth it? Save the harshest discipline for criminal offenses (i.e., where the police made an arrest and brought criminal charges).”

Again please enlighten me on this. How is uga’s rule unique and so much stronger than everyone elses. Please refer to my example about auburn whose drug rules are equally if not stronger than those of uga.

Bulldawg35

February 19th, 2014
12:44 pm

JHC should be brought back and should and owned an apology! These are young guys and they’re going to make mistakes!!! He didn’t commit some major crime!

drbasic1

February 19th, 2014
12:45 pm

@dawgfan

you sir are a moron. Richt is accountable

old dog

February 19th, 2014
12:46 pm

Hard to put Crowell in the category with some of the other folks that got dismissed. He was pretty much a problem from the get-go (in all categories.) There is a difference between making mistakes (even multiple times) and being just not being worth a squat to start with.

Macondawg

February 19th, 2014
12:52 pm

Some of you people that bash CMR and the UGA rules need to find another team to support.

Jim

February 19th, 2014
12:59 pm

nONE OF YOU PEOPLE SAID THE TEAM WAS BETTER WITHOUT jhc A WEEK AGO,

BOGUS. FRAUDS.