Richt: Decision this week on Mettenberger suspension

ATHENS –- Georgia coach Mark Richt said Tuesday night that he’ll decide by the end of this week how to discipline quarterback Zach Mettenberger, including how many games the recently arrested player will be suspended at the start of the season.

Mettenberger, who entered spring practice in a three-way battle for the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback job, was arrested in the early morning hours of March 7 outside a South Georgia bar on five misdemeanor charges: underage consumption/possession of alcohol, disorderly conduct, obstruction and two counts of possessing false identification.

Richt said UGA Athletic Association policy mandates a suspension of at least one game for an alcohol-related arrest “that sticks,” but the coach could impose more.

“I’m disappointed, first off,” said Richt, who commented publicly on Mettenberger’s arrest for the first time. The Bulldogs resumed spring practice Tuesday following a 12-day interruption for UGA’s spring break.

“I did spend some time talking with him,” Richt said of Mettenberger. “There is a little more information I want to gather before I make a final decision on what I’m going to do. I would certainly think by the end of the week I will have a final decision.”

Richt said he is “going through the normal protocol of talking to the young man and getting any information I can . .  and talking with our administration. Anytime something like this happens, we always want to be in agreement on what we’re going to do.”

While a suspension of even one game would effectively reduce the competition for Georgia’s season-opening quarterback job to two candidates –- Aaron Murray and Logan Gray –- Richt said the arrest will not affect “at all” the amount of snaps Mettenberger gets with the No. 1 offense during spring practice.

Indeed, the three quarterbacks continued to divide snaps evenly at Tuesday’s practice.  Gray took the opening snaps with the No. 1 offense in the first session of spring practice March 4, and Murray took the first snaps Tuesday, the second practice. Mettenberger will take the opening snaps with the No. 1 offense in the next practice on Thursday, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo said.

Of course, if suspended for the first game, Mettenberger’s role will be reduced in practice in late August. “Once we move into the phase of getting ready for the first game,” Richt said, “anybody who’s suspended, they don’t get any reps or any quality reps.”

“I’m very sad for what happened,” Murray said of Mettenberger’s arrest.  “I don’t think it’s really going to change anything [on the team]. . . . . In the end, you just got to get past it. And everyday we’re still trying to get better -– him, me and Logan.”

Mettenberger, from Oconee County High School, was arrested in Remerton, near Valdosta.  He was not available for comment after Tuesday’s practice.

“He’s been forthright with what has happened,” Richt said. “I believe he has been very honest. I believe he has been very remorseful. I believe he’s going to take his discipline like a man and move forward and prove to everybody this was just a one-time deal for him.

“He knows he has dug himself a hole, and he wants to climb out. He knows that what has happened this last week is not going to define who he is and define his career. What he does from this point forward will define that. So he’s very anxious to prove to everybody he’s a very solid person and a leader. We’re all disappointed, and we all know there are consequences for those kind of actions. And everybody knows that is what’s going to happen.”

118 comments Add your comment

Savannah Dawg

March 16th, 2010
7:55 pm

ASHVILLE DAWG

March 16th, 2010
7:56 pm

1st for a change

ASHVILLE DAWG

March 16th, 2010
7:57 pm

oh well beat by savannah dawg!

that's my dog!!

March 16th, 2010
7:59 pm

ken

March 16th, 2010
8:05 pm

Who gives a royal @@$@%# of who is 1st, 2nd, 3rd….last time I heard that one was in grammar school. “Children”….grow up!
As for Mettenberger…he shouldn’t look by example of you dudes, that is for sure!

Gratefuldawghead

March 16th, 2010
8:06 pm

One game suspension works for me! I have done the same in college during the Freshman Years!

GO DAWGS!

uga vii

March 16th, 2010
8:06 pm

IT YOU DONT LIKE IT THEN GO SOMEWHERE ELSE

Steve

March 16th, 2010
8:10 pm

To all of the Tech nerds who are about to come on here and make fun of Zach, UGA, etc. Guess what? College students drink! College students have fake ID’s! College students get into trouble! That happens at ALL colleges. The only reason this is a story is because he plays for the team. I am sure there are plenty of nerds every weekend at your little high school downtown that get arrested. This is a very minor thing. It’s not like he killed, raped, or was doing drugs. 30-24 losers! It’s not our fault your little trade school sucks, has no nightlife, is surrounded by thugs who like to rob people, and has ZERO hot women.

Elmore Spencer

March 16th, 2010
8:11 pm

Let the hate begin

UGA is nothing but thugs etc etc etc blah blah blah

Buckhead Bulldog

March 16th, 2010
8:11 pm

Gratefuldawghead : Freshman year(S)? A little too much of Jerry and the boys, eh? Just playing…. : )

Greene Hornet

March 16th, 2010
8:13 pm

I love Georgia and what Richt is doing with his players. I used to live in Eugene, OR for seven years and had to work with the sports programs at the University of Oregon. Their old coach (Bellotti- now the AD) ran a tight ship. Now that Kelly came in everyone is running wild with no discipline. The QB out there (Masoli) burglaried a frat house and is suspended for the season. Well, we will see if that happens as that their running back last season who punched the Boise State player in the first game was also suspended the whole season until the coach caved and lifted the suspension. I suspect the same thing will happen with the QB.

To relate this to UGA: I know some people have good, bad, or whatever opinion of Richt, but he does build men with discipline that will last a lifetime (well, if the kid actually takes it to heart). I know we, as fans, want a competitive football team, but once they are done with football I don’t want to be robbed by those former players either. Discipline does have a point. They won’t be football players forever. Gooooooooooo Dawgs!

Greene Hornet

March 16th, 2010
8:21 pm

I guess no logical conversation tonight…

Paul The Vol

March 16th, 2010
8:31 pm

Good grief. And I thought the Vol Quest board was bad.

Gratefuldawghead

March 16th, 2010
8:33 pm

Buckhead Bulldog….Yes Sir !!!!!

NRBQ

March 16th, 2010
8:34 pm

Tim:
Please monitor these responses. It’s disgraceful to let some of these comments stand.

Coffee Bluff DAWG

March 16th, 2010
8:44 pm

They arrested an underage college student for drinking beer. Wow, that’s really worthy of news coverage.

Al Kayda

March 16th, 2010
8:48 pm

Seems to me uga vii hasnt the ability to spell or count

Browncoat

March 16th, 2010
8:51 pm

Richt’s gonna name him the starting quarterback.

TECH1969

March 16th, 2010
8:52 pm

Hey STEVE, lighten up. Anybody who gloats about other people’s misfortune on a blog are unworthy of comment. If everybody just ignored all the UGA/GT or GT/UGA juvenile vomit, it would eventually disappear. One thing I don’t get is why athletes from any school don’t seem to learn from the mistakes their teammates have made. Athlete or not, maybe if an athletic or Hope scholarship were threatened people would get the message. Mettenberger — Man up and ace the rest of your life.

Tired Of It

March 16th, 2010
8:55 pm

what happened to the student that was knocked out by Knowshon Moreno? he was so drunk he never knew what hit him.. he was also under age. was the club or bartender fined for serving underage drinkers? was he arrested for breaking the law?

Homer

March 16th, 2010
9:02 pm

Quick..schedule Georgia State for the first game…

PTC DAWG

March 16th, 2010
9:03 pm

I’ll let those who NEVER drank underage throw the stones.

Well, another strike for UGA

March 16th, 2010
9:03 pm

You made a stupid decision by posting.

Lizard King

March 16th, 2010
9:07 pm

I’m sure Mark Richt will want to do the right thing and make sure he knows the full circumstances. I’m sure he’ll want to confirm that this kid has had no prior history of this kind of behavior. You don’t want to adversely affect or ruin the kids potential future at UGA over an isolated incident. I’m sure he will make sure the kid knows that he doesn’t have room for any more errors without dire consequences.He will do the right thing. The problem I have is the hypocrisy of many of the classless UGA fans on these blogs. They want to make inappropriate comments about a kid like Tebow, calling him “Teblow” and gay. They want to take every opportunity to knock a kid who has done nothing but right in his life, and not only accepts the responsibility of being a role model for kids but embelishes it. Folks, thats rare in todays world. You don’t have to like him because he IS a Gator. I understand that. But the gross comments and personal attacks…reflect on you and not him…please see cute little comments like right here on this blog at 8:33.

stw

March 16th, 2010
9:17 pm

SAVANNAH/ASHVILLE DAWGS: PRAY TELL WHAT DO YOU WIN FOR BEING “FIRST”. YOUR FAMILIES MUST BE VERY PROUD OF YOU…

Reality

March 16th, 2010
9:26 pm

Amen Lizard King, Amen.

GTDog

March 16th, 2010
9:29 pm

You Vol fans are crazy..the Kiffin thing in Esquire Magazine is too damn funny!

Woof Woof

March 16th, 2010
9:34 pm

I’ll drink to that! OOPS guess I shouldn’t have said that on this blog :) woof woof

lj

March 16th, 2010
9:35 pm

Not familiar with him but he should have some sort of consequence. Think Richt has been great for Georgia football and holds his players to a high standard. I remember players being caught with hookers before his tenure and like that Richt will demand excellence in character. It will serve the guys on the team well after their college years.

longtimedawgfan

March 16th, 2010
9:37 pm

Mr. Tucker: Believe it might be time to shut down the irresponsibility reflected in these libelous comments….

Paddy

March 16th, 2010
9:44 pm

D-man……please tell us all you have never attended university, please. That is your only excuse for being uneducated or having dementia and getting a pass from the unincumbered masses.

Dawgs downward spiral

March 16th, 2010
9:50 pm

In 6 months, some dawg fan on the ajc blogs will be writing

“We did better last year with Cox”.

Enjoy the continued slide rednecks. No program deserves turmoil more than the kool aid drinking dawgs.

BAMADAWG

March 16th, 2010
10:06 pm

TECH 1969, good blog, pay attention everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

harold

March 16th, 2010
10:07 pm

GEORGIA IS JUST VERY AVERAGE IN FOOTBALL NOW. IT IS ALL ABOUT FLORIDA AND ALABAMA NOW!

hind tit

March 16th, 2010
10:13 pm

this is what happens when you give a kid a car and a fistfull of money and send him to florida on spring break. peoples kids, i mean nobodies kids this day and time are not the saints they think their kids are. mama and dady is as much to blame as he is.

Dawg Master

March 16th, 2010
10:24 pm

Just suspend for those 2 creampuff games early in the year. Ga needs him back for the big games.

The Truth

March 16th, 2010
10:25 pm

6-5…GO JACKETS! WE JACK THIS STATE!

Pitbull

March 16th, 2010
10:32 pm

Lizard King, relax pal, you’re going to have an early heart attack!

Ben Afan

March 16th, 2010
10:37 pm

As a fan of college football I am amazed each time I read these blogs. Grown adult men are completely immersed in the lives and actions of young post-pubescent kids. They are kids playing football,that’s all it is.

jack

March 16th, 2010
10:37 pm

First off – Murray is the real deal. It’s good for him to have to compete with Mettenburger and Gray but c’mon this guy gonna be our QB for next 3 – 4 years. Second – Mettenburger is 19? 20? I don’t know. And on spring break! He made a mistake. he’ll be fine and probably a decent back-up or transfer in years to come.

The Truth

March 16th, 2010
10:39 pm

jack

March 16th, 2010
10:43 pm

jack

March 16th, 2010
10:44 pm

go big or go home “Truth”

MisterT

March 16th, 2010
10:46 pm

So Steve, where are all of the Tech Nerds gloating?
I am guessing that you are one of the ones that would be over on the Tech Blog “gloating” if this has happened to one of Tech’s QB’s. Heck! It certainly could very well happen. I am sure you, Steve, were all over the Rubin Houston thing and he hasn’t been on campus for years.

While it does happen on every college campus, not EVERY college kid drinks underage. “Everybody does it” is not a sound defense or even justification for underage drinking.

By the way, you sound 12 when you say “your little trade school sucks.” It obviously doesn’t and neither does uga. You on the hand… Does your mother know you aren’t still playing on the Disney Website?

While I hope the kid does get his life back on track, I do find it a little bit naive for CMR to say “…this was a one time deal for him.” Really? He was in possession of not one, but two fake ID’s. Probably was not his first time and there for couldn’t have been a “one time deal.” For his sake, he was caught and no one was hurt. Let’s hope for him it is a “last time deal” and we don’t read about him in the AJC five years from now that he has just turned himself in after having been on the lamb for nine months. I really don’t think we will.

Here is an idea. Met needs to tell the authorities where he got the fake ID’s.

Oh! BTW, THWg!

boots

March 16th, 2010
10:46 pm

He who is without sin…

proud dawg

March 16th, 2010
10:50 pm

“The Truth” is we are no where near a good baseball team this year and you beat us by one run…… just remember 30-24 baby! Go DAWGS!

richard cranium

March 16th, 2010
10:53 pm

17 arrest in 4 years… what is a reasonable person suppose to think??

Of course there’s a problem at UGA…

Reggie

March 16th, 2010
11:02 pm

Stop the press! college student drinking???

Band Kid

March 16th, 2010
11:04 pm

There is no defense for Zach’s actions, but everybody makes mistakes and deserves at least a second chance. CMR is a fine man who will set him straight.

And as for the comments, this is really getting out of hand. I figured the typical “UGA is a bunch of rednecks and thugs” would ensue, but from my own fan base I have seen a deplorable amount of unwarranted negative comments. But before we judge, everyone should acknowledge that their fan base has a radical fringe. I, being a member of the Redcoat Band, witness a lot of this first hand. It’s down right scary sometimes.

At any rate, I respect the legitimate and pertinent comments and hope for less crazies from all sides in the future.

Once a Dawg, Always a Dawg,
How Sweet It Is!!!

D-man

March 16th, 2010
11:50 pm

PADDY – I resemble that remark! ;)