Update: After arrest, Crowell is dismissed from UGA squad

Feb. 2, 2011: Isaiah Crowell and sweatered canine chum. (AP photo)

Feb. 2, 2011: Isaiah Crowell brings delight to Bulldog Nation. Alas, that was then. (AP photo)

At 5 p.m. Friday, Georgia coach Mark Richt announced that Isaiah Crowell has been dismissed from the squad. More to come.

Here they go again. Four summers after a team that would be ranked No. 1 in preseason saw its summer so roiled by player arrests that 16 of the first 20 questions asked of Mark Richt on Media Day involved discipline (or the lack thereof), the Georgia Bulldogs are about to embark on another season of great expectations, and again we’re talking less about football than foolishness.

Four defensive starters have managed to get themselves suspended for the start of the 2012 season, forcing the Bulldogs to move Malcolm Mitchell, their best wide receiver, to defensive back. That was bad. This is worse: Isaiah Crowell, the 2011 SEC freshman of the year, was arrested in Athens early Friday on three weapons charges, two of them felonies.

According to Athens-Clarke County Police, a Luger was found under the seat of the car Crowell was driving, a car from which an officer reported the smell of marijuana emanating. Crowell denied knowledge of the gun. Also in the car: Four other Georgia football players, three of whom are incoming freshmen. None of the four was charged.

This comes after a freshman season in which Crowell finished sixth among SEC backs in yards rushing but was suspended from the New Mexico State game after a failed drug test. He also limped off so often with a bad ankle that, by the SEC championship game and the Capital One Bowl, discontent among Georgia fans in the stands was aurally apparent.

On the one hand, Crowell is a superb player. On the other, he became a major distraction in no time flat. At halftime of the Vanderbilt game, Richt was asked by an interviewer why Crowell hadn’t played in the first quarter. “Because we love him,” was the coach’s answer. (Actually, the first-quarter holdout had been another suspension, this for “undisclosed disciplinary reasons.”)

And now he has been arrested, and not just for dinging a car in a parking garage or effecting an improper exit of an alley on a motor scooter. Crowell has been charged with felonies involving a firearm, and according to the UGA Student-Athlete handbook — perhaps the most-thumbed reference tome on campus — any felony arrest carries “immediate suspension from athletic competition.”

(Footnote: Crowell’s arrest came one day shy of the two-year anniversary of Damon Evans’ midnight ride through Buckhead, a misadventure that cost the Georgia athletic director his job.)

On Signing Day 2011, Crowell’s announcement for Georgia set off wild celebration. He was the capper atop the famous Dream Team, the latest in a long line of New Herschel Walkers. Only nine months later, Richt was quoted as saying, “There’s a tremendous opportunity for running backs in [the 2012] class to come to Georgia and make an impact.”

Sure enough, the Bulldogs landed the highly regarded Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley, though neither was quite so highly ranked as Crowell. Ordinarily you’d expect big-name recruits to avoid a program that had landed a big-name tailback the year before, but it had already become apparent that a team with Crowell as Plan A had better have workable Plans B and C.

There was a time when Georgia felt it needed this tailback so badly that it had 10 jersey-wearing incumbents array themselves in an offensive set and beckoned Crowell to dot the “I.” This became known as the “Missing Man” formation. It also became a self-reported secondary NCAA violation.

After Crowell’s second suspension, we posed the question: Was the famous recruit more trouble than he was worth? After this felony arrest, we have our answer. He has been the most-discussed Bulldog from the moment he unveiled that puppy at his signing ceremony, and in the swelter of summer we’re discussing him still, and not in a way that confers honor on the player or the school.

Yes, he’s a talent. Yes, he would have helped the Bulldogs win. (Heck, he already did.) In the grand scheme, however, the University of Georgia has no further need for Isaiah Crowell. He’s not worth this much aggravation. Nobody is.

By Mark Bradley

384 comments Add your comment

dean

June 29th, 2012
12:57 pm

To reiterate: What a dumbass.(Him. Not you, Mark.)

Chanticleer

June 29th, 2012
12:57 pm

First and true

Ricky

June 29th, 2012
12:57 pm

Agree with MB. Crowell is ridiculous.

Chanticleer

June 29th, 2012
12:58 pm

And what happens with the puppy? Does he get kicked out of Athens too?

P-Man

June 29th, 2012
12:58 pm

So sad that we put so much of our self worth on what 17-21 year olds do. If you don’t believe me, look at all the comments coming…

CMR's Integrity

June 29th, 2012
12:59 pm

If CMR is a man of integrity and character, he will drug test the four young men in the car with Crowell.

dean

June 29th, 2012
12:59 pm

Sorry for stealing first from you Chanticleer.

keith

June 29th, 2012
12:59 pm

P-Man

June 29th, 2012
12:59 pm

Hope he gets his life turned around, and I hope the players with him have been “scared straight”.

Mark Bradley

June 29th, 2012
1:00 pm

Duly noted, dean.

Bogart Man

June 29th, 2012
1:00 pm

What a waste!

Frank Lane

June 29th, 2012
1:00 pm

Unfortunately, I AGREE

Flounder

June 29th, 2012
1:01 pm

No recognition of the opportunity that’s been placed in front of him.

No understanding of the fact that he is a public figure and that there are HUGE consequences to his bad choices (for himself, for the team and for the school).

It starts in the home. No one has ever told the kid that carrying a handgun is only an invitation for trouble.

Its just a damn shame that constantly repeats itself, particularly in the South :-(

Steve

June 29th, 2012
1:01 pm

Apparently P-Man puts much of his self-worth in the tired, old passive-aggressive, and quite meaningless, “advance insult.”

“Just see what he comes up with in response!! You just wait!!”

RTB

June 29th, 2012
1:02 pm

UGA is quickly on their way to earning another national title for the Richt Cup (formerly called the Fulmer Cup, but renamed in honor of Mark Richt due to his stellar ability to recruit talented players to join the Clarke County Correctional flag football team!).

admiral

June 29th, 2012
1:02 pm

What a waste.

Steve

June 29th, 2012
1:02 pm

As Boortz often says, it is the Culture of Violence.

I dropped my fried twinkie

June 29th, 2012
1:03 pm

Crowell arrested

4 other players in car, all walked away no charges

Dawson
Harvey-clemons
Harrow
tibbs

What about the OTHER Football players?

WHO is going to catch 2 felony Weapons Charges?

Smellmydawg

June 29th, 2012
1:03 pm

Interesting tidbit: Every time Crowell opens his car door, the theme from Shaft starts to play.

DePort

June 29th, 2012
1:06 pm

Crowell being the role model he is has already been hangin out and showing these new freshman how to live in Athens… This problem will continue until we get better role models in the door. He almost got 4 other players arrested!

schmeckdawg

June 29th, 2012
1:06 pm

This is bad enough, but to hear that the other players in the care were incoming freshmen really bothers me.

Richt better get a hold of this bunch and rip them a new one. Or better yet, let Grantham do it!!!!!!!!

JB

June 29th, 2012
1:06 pm

He needs to be gone. Look at the promise of this season coming up……and how little he cares. We played in the SECCG last year with a stiff converted linebacker and a 150 pound walk on. Cut you losses and move on.

UGA 11

June 29th, 2012
1:07 pm

Pretty frustrating. In the end, if all is as it appears, then IC should be shown the door. But until then I’m at least content to reserve judgment until I hear all the facts and the kid is out of jail. Doesn’t he deserve that, MB?

I dropped my fried twinkie

June 29th, 2012
1:07 pm

PLEASE Stop calling CROWELL the Freshmen of the year in the SEC.
He was the MEDIA PICK
The SEC Coaches selected USC’s CLOWNEY.

KDawg

June 29th, 2012
1:07 pm

Another Maurice Clarett. What a total waste.

Waverly Dawg

June 29th, 2012
1:08 pm

What a flaming idiot!!! He should be thrown off the team and left in his cell. Crowell is lving proof that you can not fix STUPID. As for the rest of his team mates (hopefully – Former) any player that maintains a relationship with this clown should also be threatened with game suspensions, or worse.

Ted M

June 29th, 2012
1:08 pm

The real question…what did Crowell need the stolen gun for?

JB

June 29th, 2012
1:08 pm

What would the Bammer cops and Saban do?

Mike

June 29th, 2012
1:10 pm

I think its high time the RB coach took some heat for this. How many times does UGA have to recruit a RB only to see them wash out? Samuel is the only one left, but hes a converted LB. Something hasnt been right about UGA’s RB recruiting, coaching, and mentoring for a few years now. You can blame one bad egg on luck..maybe two. This would be the FOURTH in less than 3 years.

RiffRaff

June 29th, 2012
1:11 pm

Need to drug test everyone in the car and see what you get. Crowell hasn’t grown up any since last season. Enough of getting this free ride at UGA.

Bubba Bean

June 29th, 2012
1:11 pm

Unbelievable! It’s a shame that a kid with so much talent and such an awesome opportunity could blow it by being so ignorant. To quote Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does”.

LCDawg

June 29th, 2012
1:12 pm

Seriously…smoking weed and rolling around campus at 3 a.m. with guns that had altered serial numbers????????? WTF is wrong with these idiots?

wiseoldawg

June 29th, 2012
1:12 pm

Enough is enough !!!!!! Cut him loose NOW !!!!!!!

JB

June 29th, 2012
1:13 pm

Mike, why are no UGA coach’s hired off our staff? Searles at Texas, and Lord knows why. I don’t think our RB coach knows much about the position, kinda like the Obama inner circle.

Mike

June 29th, 2012
1:14 pm

Samuel isnt the only RB left actually. THey do have two more with limited playing time. Hes just the only one left with any significant experience.

Mark Richt has been a great coach, but this is the 3rd time his team has had high expectations (along with 2004 and 2008). Here we are looking like it will be the 3rd time falling apart. With all the promise coming into this season, Crowell gone will be huge. The defensive arrests are huge. They will still likely win 10 games, but it could end up being another season of what ifs.

CoachSpurlock

June 29th, 2012
1:14 pm

Mark, aren’t we jumping the gun here? Pun intended. What if the investigation shows that there are prints on the gun from someone known to regularly drive the car, but not Isaiah’s? Not saying he is innocent, but we won’t know for sure until the investigation is concluded. How about waiting for his story to fall apart before going all nuclear on him.

iBall

June 29th, 2012
1:14 pm

Where are the mentors for these troubled kids? I have a lot of respect for Coach Richt but I don’t see anything being done to prevent these kids from going astray. This kind of stuff is happening too often with this team. Good football players with no discipline. Something is obviously wrong here.

Augusta Jacket

June 29th, 2012
1:15 pm

I guess Richt’s “Give a Thug a Hug Program” is not working

[...] UPDATE #3:  The Right Hon. Justice Mark Bradley has issued his ruling in the matter.  It’s exactly what you’d expect – although the gratuitous Damon Evans reference [...]

Mike

June 29th, 2012
1:16 pm

JB, I have no idea. To be honest, UGA outside of the years with Thomas Brown and Moreno have never really had an elite running game under Richt. I’m not sure who’s been RB coach all those years, but its gotten a lot worse in recent years. RB coach may need to be Richts next tough decision.

billh

June 29th, 2012
1:18 pm

Sure, dump him, I agree. By the same token I sincerely hope he’ll straighten out somewhere along the way. It won’t help UGA but that’s not the biggest deal here. It can happen – look at Vick. Whether or not he is sincere in his turnaround he is, at the least, now smart enough to realize it makes sense to appear to have changed (and maybe he has, I hope he has really changed). It’s trite to say but many of these young people come from environments so different from the middle class upbringing many of those commenting experienced that it would be impossible for any of them to picture. OK. I sound like a bleeding heart liberal (and weirdly I’m not). But I do think the future of the kid – even one so far misguided and maybe stupid – is more important than the win/loss record at UGA.

Mike

June 29th, 2012
1:18 pm

Coach, thats a good point. For now, we are assuming its Crowell’s gun, or at least, one he put there. It might not be. Here’s hoping thats the case and this will all blow over.

JWOOD

June 29th, 2012
1:18 pm

Never consent to a police search. Never consent to a police search. Never consent to a police search.

pj

June 29th, 2012
1:18 pm

Look at the Running backs at UGA over the past few years. The position coach is generally the man they spend the most time with, their most accessible father figure type. Carlton Thomas, Washuan Ealey, Caleb King, Boo Malcolme, Isaiah Crowell…. somebody isn’t doing their job to teach and guide these kids.

RiffRaff

June 29th, 2012
1:19 pm

Crowell is a bust. What we keep seeing is part of his culture. It will not change.

Holy Guacamole

June 29th, 2012
1:19 pm

Chanticleer @ 12:58
The puppy was immediately subjected to a urine test and is now suspended from all further athletic activity until further notice.

MAC_Daddy

June 29th, 2012
1:20 pm

As Mike stated..’I think its high time the RB coach took some heat for this’

Indeed it is High Time @ UGA…

Beck

June 29th, 2012
1:22 pm

Mark, might want to change the story to that he denied knowledge of the gun, not just that he denied it was his

RTR

June 29th, 2012
1:24 pm

JB

I think you should be concerned about your coaches and players. Not about Alabama’s. They seem to be doing just fine.

JB

June 29th, 2012
1:25 pm

Ok, not the right place, but I’m telling all that something is up with Richt’s new contract. There is not a coach in the top 25 who would of agreed to that contract. No raise after winning the SEC East, Dean of SEC coach’s making about 40 % of the highest paid SEC coach’s, the buy out portion cut to favor the University. Me thinks he has negotiated a 2 year exit plan. It was handled this way as to not damage recruiting and to give McGarity plenty of time and options to arrange for regime change. Call me crazy, but it doesn’t add up.