QB Mettenberger kicked off team; Remerton police investigation ’still ongoing’

(Updated 10 a.m. Monday)

On the day after Zach Mettenberger was kicked off the University of  Georgia football team, the police chief in the South Georgia town of Remerton said the investigation continues into the incident there involving the former Bulldogs quarterback.

“Our investigation into the case involving Zach Mettenberger is still ongoing and I don’t have anything further at this time,” Remerton Police Chief Mike Terrell wrote in an e-mail to the AJC Monday morning.

Mettenberger, who had been in a three-way competition for Georgia’s starting quarterback job, was kicked off the team Sunday by coach Mark Richt.

Richt made the announcement in a brief news release that said only that Mettenberger was dismissed for violation of team rules.

The dismissal apparently is related to Mettenberger’s March 7 arrest outside a bar in Remerton,  which is near Valdosta. Mettenberger, 18, was charged with underage possession/consumption of alcohol, disorderly conduct, obstruction and two counts of having false identification .

Georgia associate athletics director Claude Felton told the AJC on Sunday that “there was not a new incident involving Zach.” Felton said Richt informed Mettenberger of his dismissal Sunday.

Felton declined further comment and said Richt would have no additional comment Sunday.

Reached by the AJC on his cell phone, Mettenberger said: “I’m not going to talk to you, sir.” Asked if he wanted to address the dismissal, Mettenberger replied: “No thank you.”

Richt previously had said Mettenberger would be suspended for at least Georgia’s Sept. 4 season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette because of the early-March arrest on the five misdemeanor charges, but the coach had left open the possibility of added punishment if more information became available about the case.

The initial police report did not provide details about the circumstances surrounding Mettenberger’s arrest at 1:39 a.m. on March 7 outside the Flip Flops bar.

Terrell, the Remerton police chief, told the AJC on March 8 that his department was “still investigating the circumstances that led to [Mettenberger's] arrest.” In a March 29 e-mail to the AJC, Terrell said the investigation was “still pending” and no more information was available.

Mettenberger’s arrest occurred during Georgia’s spring break.

The redshirt-freshman quarterback is the second player kicked off the Georgia team this spring. On April 4, Richt dismissed backup outside linebacker Montez Robinson from the squad after Robinson was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of simple battery/family violence, his third arrest in five months.

Mettenberger’s dismissal reduces the current competition for the Bulldogs’ No.1 quarterback job to Logan Gray, a junior, and Aaron Murray, a redshirt freshman. Richt has said he will release a post-spring depth chart, including a pecking order at quarterback, soon — probably this week.

Another quarterback, Hutson Mason, from Lassiter High School in Marietta, will join the Georgia program this summer.

Mettenberger’s Georgia career ends without him ever playing in a game for the Bulldogs.

A graduate of Oconee County High School, he was redshirted as a freshman last fall. He participated in all 15 sessions of Georgia’s spring practice, which ended with the G-Day intra-squad scrimmage on April 10.

Mettenberger displayed his strong arm on G-Day, putting up the best statistical performance of the three quarterbacks. He completed six of 10 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns.

However, Mettenberger was the only one of those quarterbacks who did not take any snaps with the first-team offense at G-Day. He played with the second-team offense against the second-team defense.

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