UPDATE, 3:45 P.M. MONDAY:
ATHENS — Two teammates of arrested Georgia football players Dontavius Jackson and Tavarres King are named in the UGA Police Department’s report on the weekend incident.
Cornerback Branden Smith was a passenger in the vehicle driven by Jackson but was the only one of the five people in the 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche not arrested because he “was determined to have not been drinking,” according to the police incident report obtained by the AJC today.
Also, an identification card issued to Vance Cuff, a Georgia cornerback, was found on a female passenger in the vehicle and taken into evidence, according to the incident report. Cuff was not in the vehicle.
The report said Jackson, who was arrested on DUI and five other misdemeanor charges, “admitted to having consumed 2 shots while downtown” after initially telling police he had not consumed any alcohol. Jackson “appeared to not be trying to provide a sufficient sample” on the breath test, according to the report, and told police during a field sobriety test that a left knee injury affected his balance. The report said Jackson “stated that he had rear ended another vehicle” moments earlier.
King and two other passengers, not UGA athletes, were arrested on charges of underage possession of alcohol.
POSTED 7:33 P.M. SUNDAY:
The two Georgia football players arrested on alcohol-related charges this weekend were suspended from the team Sunday night by coach Mark Richt.
Backup tailback Dontavius Jackson and starting split end Tavarres King have been suspended indefinitely from all team activities, Richt said. More specifically, Richt said, Jackson will be required to sit out at least the first six games of the season — half of the schedule — and King will miss at least the Sept. 4 season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette.
Richt said he is still gathering information, which could lead to additional penalties.
“I’m disappointed in their decision-making and lack of judgment, and they will both pay a stiff price,” Richt said in a statement. “All our players need to understand that it’s a privilege to be a Bulldog, and their conduct needs to reflect the standards we expect.”
Jackson and King were arrested early Saturday after their vehicle was pulled over by UGA Police. Jackson, 20, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, underage possession of alcohol, following too closely, leaving the scene of an accident, violation of the move-over law and violation of learner’s permit. King, 19, was charged with underage possession of alcohol. Two other passengers in the vehicle — not UGA athletes — also were charged with underage possession of alcohol. A fourth passenger was not arrested.
The alcohol-related arrests of Jackson and King came just days after UGA athletics director Damon Evans resigned in the aftermath of his June 30 DUI arrest in Atlanta.
Jackson and King are the sixth and seventh Georgia football players arrested this year.
UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson told the AJC that Jackson and King were arrested after a series of events on East Campus Road early Saturday morning.
Williamson said two patrol cars were at an unrelated traffic stop when a vehicle — later determined to be driven by Jackson — passed at an inappropriate speed and failed to move over. As one of the patrol cars began pursuit of Jackson for allegedly violating the move-over law, a third officer put out a radio report of an incident moments earlier in which a vehicle had left the scene of a minor accident after rear-ending another car. The description of the vehicle that allegedly left the scene of the accident matched the one being pursued for the move-over violation, Williamson said.
When the vehicle was pulled over, Jackson was driving and had four passengers, Williamson said. Police determined the vehicle had damage consistent with the earlier accident. There were no injuries in that accident, Williamson said.
The vehicle, a 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche, is registered to King, Williamson said.