Richt: King’s 2-game suspension reflects tougher penalties for arrests

(Updated 4 p.m.)

ATHENS — Caleb King, Georgia’s starting tailback in both of its victories this season, won’t play in the next two games because of his arrest for failure to appear in court to address a speeding ticket.

Coach Mark Richt on Tuesday suspended King for the two games, saying he hopes the punishment teaches a lesson to the tailback and other players.

In years past, a case such as King’s might have drawn a shorter suspension, if any at all. But with King the 11th UGA football player arrested this year, Richt acknowledged the two-game ban reflects a tougher approach to punishing players for off-field incidents.

“Oh yeah, no doubt about it,” Richt said. “But they knew that.”

King won’t play in Saturday’s home game against Vanderbilt or the Oct. 23 game at Kentucky. He’ll return for the Oct. 30 game against Florida in Jacksonville.

The 11 Georgia players arrested this year, on charges ranging from battery to public intoxication, have drawn varying penalties from Richt. Four of the players were dismissed from the team. Another decided to transfer after being suspended for six games. Three others got one-game suspensions.

The latest suspension came one day after King was arrested by Athens-Clarke County Police on a bench warrant issued by a judge in nearby Walton County. The warrant was for failing to appear at an August court date regarding a June speeding ticket, which cited King for traveling 76 miles per hour in a 55-mph zone on Highway 78.

“I expect all our players to take care of their responsibilities on and off the field,” Richt said. “When players don’t do that, it damages the reputation of the player, our team and our university. My goal is for Caleb to learn a lesson and for other players to learn from his experience.”

King’s penalty was double that drawn by fellow tailback Washaun Ealey, who was suspended for one game –- the season-opening victory over Louisiana-Lafayette –- after his late-August arrest for hit-and-run of a parked vehicle and driving with a suspended license. At the time of Ealey’s arrest, there also was a bench warrant against him for failure to appear in court on speeding and vehicle registration charges.

Asked if King’s stiffer penalty reflects a tougher standard, Richt said: “Yes sir.” Asked if it reflects a need to send a message, Richt said: “Obviously.”

Although Richt emphasized that each player “has a responsibility to do the right thing,” the coach said he and athletic director Greg McGarity are having “an ongoing conversation” about ways to reduce the off-field problems. “I really have a lot of confidence that [McGarity] has some good ideas in that regard,” Richt said.

Already, Richt said, his staff is periodically checking to make sure players’ driver’s licenses are in good standing.  “We’ve been doing that monthly,” he said, “but now we are going to do it weekly.”

Richt said, however, that it would be almost impossible for the staff to know when a bench warrant is issued for a player’s failure to handle a traffic ticket, as in the King case. “You basically would have to get in contact with every single county in the state of Georgia on a daily basis to find out if something like that popped up,” Richt said.

Several players said the team is well aware that off-field problems will have serious consequences.

“Enough has happened that I think the team is tired of it, the coaching staff is tired of it and the athletic director and everyone associated with the University of Georgia is [too],” quarterback Aaron Murray said. “We definitely have seen a little too much of everything that is going on. We’ve just got to be smart as a team … on and off the field.”

Said wide receiver Tavarres King: “Everybody knows at this point in time, if you get in trouble, you’re going to get a pretty good lashing.”

842 comments Add your comment

[...] a.m. Here’s more on King’s suspension from UGA beat writer Tim [...]

nickj0321

October 12th, 2010
11:28 am

What happened to zero tolerance?

Bryan

October 12th, 2010
11:29 am

Bryan

October 12th, 2010
11:29 am

sturn

October 12th, 2010
11:30 am

Dawg bashers, please remember what he is being suspended for. Ignorant yes, being kicked off the team over a speeding ticket would be even more ignorant.

Bryan

October 12th, 2010
11:30 am

He’ll be back for FLA

There will be blood. « Get The Picture

October 12th, 2010
11:30 am

[...] Caleb King gets a two-game suspension. [...]

some sense

October 12th, 2010
11:31 am

This is most fair…just what I expected.

Failure to appear isn’t alcohol, drug, or sex related.

Les Miles Clock Management Team

October 12th, 2010
11:31 am

Well, Georgia does now have the Gators old Assistant AD so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they would choose the “Florida Way” in this matter.

Carolina Dawg

October 12th, 2010
11:32 am

is it my imagination, or in a few years have we gone from too many quality running backs in the program to the point where we will be “unredshirting” a freshman to run the ball? WTF?

The truth is

October 12th, 2010
11:32 am

Richt never said there was a zero-policy. Everyone just got jumped to that conclusion because the last kid got kicked off for a DUI. A unpaid speeding ticket and a DUI are no where near the same offense and in no way should deserve the same punishment.

Jeff

October 12th, 2010
11:32 am

Seems about right to me with the increased penalties: DUI = DONE; unpaid fines = game time suspensions. I’m sure there will be some who prefer a shooting squad at dawn but that might be a bit heavy handed… Want to talk about UF’s 250+ traffic violations under Meyer’s reign including 12 players who got 7 or more violations and still played?

Not suprised...

October 12th, 2010
11:33 am

I kid that stupid will screw up again and put even more pressure on CMR…

hmmm.....

October 12th, 2010
11:33 am

does anyone forget that this is King’s 2nd arrest? The character of Players for UGA has to be questioned. How many chances does one get to screw up?

Lou Holtz aka the Spitting Cobra

October 12th, 2010
11:33 am

Failing to show up for a speeding ticket is something stressed out soccer moms do- not thugs.

Bruce Mac

October 12th, 2010
11:34 am

So to all you idiots that want to jump on the Caleb bashing, who is the victim of this awful crime? The player screwed up and is paying an appropriate penalty for acting irrisponsibly. Move on.

Sheriff Buford T. Justice

October 12th, 2010
11:36 am

Caleb King will think twice now before he ignores a ticket in my county!!

Dawgs > Gators

October 12th, 2010
11:36 am

That’s great news about King!! He’ll be suspended for the two creampuffs, Vandy and UK and be back for Florida. UF’s way down this year and the Dawgs have the best chance in years to beat them!!! If SC loses 2 more SEC games, the Dawgs can win the East!!!!

SwampDawg

October 12th, 2010
11:37 am

2 arrests on the highways make CK a “repeat offender”. Zero Tolerance only goes for non-starters.
Repest for CMR is waning.

Flea Flicker

October 12th, 2010
11:37 am

There goes the running game.

82Dawg

October 12th, 2010
11:37 am

@nickj0321 .,….where did CMR say zero tolerance?

OldFan

October 12th, 2010
11:37 am

Fair enough. Sure hope the lesson takes. Learning you shouldn’t get arrested matters more than football for this young man’s future.

SwampDawg

October 12th, 2010
11:37 am

Oooops RESPECT that is…

Dawgmess

October 12th, 2010
11:37 am

About right for being stupid.

Bruce Mac

October 12th, 2010
11:39 am

Florida is down? Have you checked out the Bulldogs record. They sure don’t need Caleb to lose in Jax. They can do it with or without him. Even if the Dogs could beat the Gators (which they can’t), how would it matter at this point.

Hankie Aron

October 12th, 2010
11:39 am

Pile on people, Pile on. I am sure they are plenty of you people who have had similar run ins with the law but feel everyone should be held to a higher standard behind the keyboard, that is unless that someone is you.

SwampDawg

October 12th, 2010
11:40 am

“He’ll be suspended for the two creampuffs, Vandy and UK”

At this point, I wouldn’t consider any team we a play a “creampuff”
Remember Miss. St.?

Law Dawg

October 12th, 2010
11:40 am

The running game went long before this suspension. It went when:

1) Our line hasn’t opened up any holes

2) Ealey started putting the ball on the turf

Bud

October 12th, 2010
11:40 am

He is beening supended for being stupid!If not for all the other arrest,he would have been punished with extra running and not miss a game.

Bud

October 12th, 2010
11:41 am

Thats”being” not beening…sorry.

nickj0321

October 12th, 2010
11:42 am

Well what do you expect, he is a product of the Bowden/Criminole system…

Layla Kiffin

October 12th, 2010
11:42 am

Bruce Mac, very true, but Florida is still down. They will lose 3 more games even if one of them isn’t against the Dawgs.

Shug

October 12th, 2010
11:42 am

Ye olde Caleb never should have transferred from his original high school. Very bad karma.

UGA DAWG

October 12th, 2010
11:43 am

They should kick him off the team. Enough with the lack of responsibility, stupid mistakes, etc..across the whole of College football. Start suspending players for a year, or kicking them off the team totally and the rest will think hard before doing the same.

DawginLex

October 12th, 2010
11:43 am

I’m excited about seeing Malcome run the ball. I hope he plays so well that he ends up being the starter for the rest of the year ahead of Ealey and King with Thomas being the change of pace guy.

Hankie Aron

October 12th, 2010
11:44 am

Bruce,
Granted, the Dogs have struggled this season. But, to assume the Dogs CAN”T beat the already 2 loss gators would really be short-sighted. I mean they are going to play the game believe it or not

Ron White

October 12th, 2010
11:44 am

You can’t fix stupid… but you can recruit too much of it!

Low standards...

October 12th, 2010
11:44 am

@ Hankie Aron

Actually, Most of the people on this board have never been stupid enough to miss a court date. Higher Standard? Expecting him to not miss a court date. I guess you are right, I do hold him to a “Higher Standard?

ATL BUZZ

October 12th, 2010
11:45 am

SEASON IS OVER – PACK IT UP AND GO HOME
UGA – 10
VANDY – 21

sunny purdue

October 12th, 2010
11:45 am

Vandy and UK? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
How far has this program fallen?

lynninsavannah

October 12th, 2010
11:45 am

hope we dont fumble this game away too Ealey

DawginLex

October 12th, 2010
11:45 am

Worry about your own mess nerd.

8 out of 9
30-24

9 out of 10 coming up

This is just stupid...

October 12th, 2010
11:46 am

…this is not on par with anything anyone else did..He was dumb, yes, but this does not warrant a suspension. Making an example of any athlete is just what the NCAA is trying to avoid – if you cannot treat them as “special”, then why treat them as “special” when they screw up on a minor offense such as this?

Barry

October 12th, 2010
11:47 am

There must be a bunch of Dawg haters out there–I can’t figure out why it would take the law two months to find Caleb!

WOW

October 12th, 2010
11:47 am

Rainey is back with Florida! He gets a 2 game suspension for threatening to kill his girlfriend and King gets a 2 game suspension for not paying a speeding ticket! Gotta love that!

Doug the Jacket

October 12th, 2010
11:47 am

who’s next? ha ha ha ha ha

Harry

October 12th, 2010
11:47 am

First of all, lets take a look at CMR. He is a great man, but in the words of Arnold “lacks discipline”. Please Remember that this is not the 1st offense for Mr. King… He has no real fear to stay clean, not paying a speeding ticket is poor judgement to say the least, stupid at the minimum, but he knows CMR will not boot him. It seems to me that he has idea that he is untouchable and that the normal rules don’t apply to him. From the outside looking in it appears that CMR will boot someone who is not a producing member of the team, but not a starter / producer. He is not loosing control of his players, that happened a few arrest ago. CMR is slowly becoming a man that is grabbing at straws. He needs to do the right thing hear, which is not easy, lord knows I would want to be in his situation. King has to go or eventually it will be CMR.

Wally Butts' Designated Stumbler

October 12th, 2010
11:48 am

Remind me to neither (a) lend CK any money, nor (b) let him video me in the buff.

Wow. Classy guy.

http://www.redandblack.com/media/2010/10/calebking.pdf

Mike Bobo

October 12th, 2010
11:48 am

I like dem french fried potaters….

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM