Richt says Ealey will be ‘back in good standing’ if he does things ‘the Georgia way’

(Updated 6 p.m.)

ATHENS — Tailback Washaun Ealey’s future in the Georgia football program appears uncertain.

UGA said Tuesday that Ealey has been suspended from team activities “at this time” and left open the question of whether he will be reinstated.

“We have certain expectations and standards that apply to all our student-athletes,” coach Mark Richt said in a statement. “We expect them to do things the right way, the Georgia way. If Washaun does things the Georgia way, he’ll be back in good standing.”

Ealey’s suspension is believed to stem from missing an early-morning disciplinary run.

Although suspended from off-season activities, Ealey “is still here and still on the team,” Georgia senior associate athletic director Claude Felton said.

Even before this issue, Richt had raised the possibility of Isaiah Crowell –- the prized tailback signed last week — starting the 2011 opener. Richt also has said Ken Malcome, redshirted as a freshman last season, will contend for playing time at tailback.

There have been rumors since December that Ealey might transfer; he has previously denied those.

This is not Ealey’s first brush with trouble at Georgia. He was suspended from last season’s opener because of an arrest for hit-and-run of a parked vehicle and driving with a suspended license. Richt was particularly upset about that incident because Ealey had assured coaches he wouldn’t drive while his license was suspended.

Ealey played in Georgia’s other 12 games last season, starting seven and rushing for 811 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore.

The Bulldogs’ other returning tailback, Caleb King, was twice suspended last season — for two games because of an arrest for failure to appear in court to address a speeding ticket and for the Liberty Bowl because of missed academic appointments.

– Tim Tucker, UGA Blog

Check back for more on this developing story.

Note: Commenting is open on this issue at Jeff Schultz’s blog.

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