UGA lifts Ealey’s suspension (updated with comments from Richt)

(Updated 9 p.m. Saturday)

ATHENS — Washaun Ealey’s suspension lasted less than three weeks.

The Georgia tailback, suspended indefinitely from all team activities by coach Mark Richt on Feb. 8, has been “reinstated to full team standing,” UGA said Saturday.

That makes Ealey, Georgia’s leading rusher the past two seasons, eligible to participate in spring practice, which begins March 10.

“He’s done a very nice job of doing what I asked him to do,” Richt said Saturday night, “to take care of his business what I call the Georgia way, staying on top of things and being punctual and being prepared. . . . He’s done it with a very good attitude, and now I think he’s ready to integrate back in the rest of what’s going on at Georgia. I’m happy for him.”

Earlier Saturday, Richt said in a statement that Ealey will rejoin team activities Monday.

Ealey, a rising junior, was suspended after failing to report on time for an early-morning punishment run.

The incident was not Ealey’s first brush with trouble at Georgia. He was suspended from last season’s opening game because of an arrest for hit-and-run of a parked vehicle and driving with a suspended license.

“I didn’t think he was handling his responsibilities as well as he should,” Richt said Saturday night, referring to the Feb. 8 suspension. “When I felt like he was back on track, I was going to have him go back to doing what everybody else was doing.”

Ealey played in 12 games for Georgia last season, starting seven and rushing for 811 yards and 11 touchdowns.  He rushed for 717 yards  as a freshman in 2009, when he played in nine games.

His role could diminish with the arrival this summer of Carver-Columbus tailback Isaiah Crowell, a prized recruit who signed with Georgia this month. Richt said on signing day that he expects Crowell to play “heavily” as a freshman and possibly to get the first carry in the Sept. 3 opener against Boise State in the Georgia Dome.

– Staff writer Ken Sugiura contributed to this report.

534 comments Add your comment

GADAWG88

February 26th, 2011
3:52 pm

thUGA U

February 26th, 2011
3:52 pm

He may be needed when crowell quits like he did in the AA semis

Jackson

February 26th, 2011
3:52 pm

how long before he makes another mistake. I believe in second chances but to believe you are above reproach…. he will be suspended before next season and leave the team anyway.

GADAWG88

February 26th, 2011
3:52 pm

finally this is the best day ever!

81Dawg

February 26th, 2011
3:53 pm

Maybe this is the wake-up call this guy needed. I hope it is for his sake and then the teams.

tom

February 26th, 2011
3:59 pm

Who did not see this coming? Did anyone really believe he would kick anyone off the team?

RomeDawg

February 26th, 2011
4:01 pm

Hopefully, the idea of losing the honor of playing for UGA made him respect it! Now get your head out of your butt and run like you are about to lose your job to a freshman!

Kramer

February 26th, 2011
4:04 pm

Being on double secret probation gets em every time.

StanH

February 26th, 2011
4:08 pm

And you really thought CMR was not going to allow him to return…..get out of here!!!!!….Georgia really has quality players….and i’m a bulldog fan

kb

February 26th, 2011
4:09 pm

Tom, Richt kicked 3 off the team last year.
@thuga, more tech envy, PJ can’t recruit , Pj would to flips to get a back like crowell, heck he’s offered over a 1/3 of UGA current roster scholarships.

scott

February 26th, 2011
4:15 pm

I’m sure that Richt and UGA will take all kinds of crap on this blog for reinstating Ealey, however, dealing with kids is by definition the business of 2nd chances, and at time multiple 2nd chances as is the case for Ealey. I hope her gets his act together off the field and on.

Brucerugby79

February 26th, 2011
4:15 pm

To all our young running backs any negative —- written on here about any of you guys is not from true Georgia people–I hope you guys don’t read this but if you do just realize lots of people trying to undermine momentum you have going GO DOGS!!!!

BJH93

February 26th, 2011
4:15 pm

Man, get off here GADAWG88, you a scrub

tom

February 26th, 2011
4:19 pm

Kb I forgot Richt is a real tough one. I forgot how the players respect him as he tries to instruct them as they come off or go on the field. Your right. Our guys never get in trouble.

DIT

February 26th, 2011
4:21 pm

@tom

- kicked off the team for missing a morning workout???? come on. Please tell me one other college team that would kick their player off the team for missing a workout. Get real please!

Biff Pocoroba

February 26th, 2011
4:24 pm

Richt is trying to save his job. No one will get kicked off of the team this year and the professors better start passing the players

GT is a 4th rate high school team

February 26th, 2011
4:25 pm

This for tom.

GT is a 4th rate high school team

February 26th, 2011
4:26 pm

This is also for Biff.

coachx

February 26th, 2011
4:29 pm

Welcome back to the Dawgs family Ealey.

Time to go to work and get ready for Boise St.

Go Dawgs !

P. Bull Terrier

February 26th, 2011
4:32 pm

It was clear from the beginning that the suspension wasn’t because UGA wanted to get rid of Ealey, but because they wanted to get his attention and make him realize he had to do things the right way if he wanted to stay at UGA. Obviously, Richt hoped he would get the message, make the necessary changes, and return to the team. Why would it surprise anyone that that is exactly what happened?

I think the only real question was whether Ealey would accept the punishment as a learning experience and turn things around or simply quit. I’m glad to see that he buckled down and did the things he needed to do to get back on the field. Hopefully this will be a turning point for him as a football player and as a person.

john

February 26th, 2011
4:32 pm

It’s nice when people complain about your 90 yard performances and strong desire to win as “quitting”. Crowell didn’t quit, his offensive coordinator was out-coached by Calhoun’s defensive coordinator. That game, if you were truly there, highlighted Crowell’s unbelievable speed. I’ve never seen a RB leave Calhoun’s speedy secondary in the dust like Crowell did. Yeah, it didn’t count for an additional 50 yards due to a penalty behind Crowell, but Georgia’s 7 coaches (I saw Bobo and Searles next to UGA and Calhoun star Kris Durham personally there) reportedly in attendance definitely took note as well as Saban who was supposedly in attendance.

UGA Alumnus

February 26th, 2011
4:35 pm

tom
February 26th, 2011
3:59 pm

Richt kicked players off the team last year. Why wouldn’t he do it again?

David

February 26th, 2011
4:39 pm

Most believe Ealey will still transfer, this was a last despserate move by Richt to keep Ealey from transdferring away and leaving Georgia without a rb with any real exeprience, besides ineffective Thomas. Richt couldn’t stop Mettenberger or Logan from transferring, and I doubt Richt cans top Ealey, pretty sure Ealey, like Logan, lost respect for Richt.

THE TRUTH

February 26th, 2011
4:40 pm

WOW! Way to teach the kid a lesson Coach Richt!! Suspending him for 3 weeks in February!! That’ll show him!!!

Jim

February 26th, 2011
4:40 pm

Laughable. A whole 3 weeks suspension? In the off-season?? Wow, that’ll teach him.
Hey Mark….Ealey is mocking you. He mocked you buy ignoring your punishment. You won’t win unless you gain the respect of your players. Being their friend first isn’t how you gain their respect. They don’t fear you, Coach. They know whatever they do, they can get away with. Your style of leadership is laughable.

Harry

February 26th, 2011
4:41 pm

Weall know Richt treats players liike Murray & AJ very differently. AJ wasn’t dealt with as severely when he broke NCAA rules and Murray’s recent actions, much more detrimental to the team than Ealey giving 99% at a workout, Murray’s mistake was laughed off.

Jim

February 26th, 2011
4:41 pm

When Richt learns some leadership skills he may be a good coach. When he learns to discipline his players rather than try to be their friends, he will be a better coach. Hey Mark, your players mock you. Ealey mocked you when he ignored your last punishment.

jasont13

February 26th, 2011
4:43 pm

Hey David….You do understand Richt kicked Mettenberger off the team, thus he couldn’t stop him from transferring because he was not part of the team. Logan Gray is transferring to either a 1-AA or D-2 school. Another one of those damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t moments for Coach Richt.

Dorsey Hill

February 26th, 2011
4:44 pm

Glad to see Washaun do what it took to get back in good standing rather than transferring. Those who think that cmr was going to let him back just because he’s … whatever, are deluded. CMR showed him that he needed UGA more than it needed him. Apparently Washaun agreed.

shane#1

February 26th, 2011
4:44 pm

Could UGA have an actual stable of scholarship backs next season? If all of them stay healthy and out of trouble it will be real intresting come fall practice.

jasont13

February 26th, 2011
4:45 pm

I can see there is a lot of FORMER college head coaches in here posting. I can tell by some of your posts your labeled FORMER and with out a current head coaching job…

What a suspension.

February 26th, 2011
4:46 pm

If you wanted to really punish Ealey, you’d make him write a 2 page paper. With college level vocabulary. He’d be out 8 months!

jasont13

February 26th, 2011
4:47 pm

Last but not least. Since 99% of us posting on these blogs have zero idea what goes on behind closed doors in the player, coaches meetings, all we/you can do is speculate. We have zero idea as to what happened with this situation.

Greg

February 26th, 2011
4:47 pm

Isn’t it weird that Ealey & Lemay have both GAINED 15 pounds from conditioning, Murray’s only gained 5 over last year, and yet Murray is not reprimanded for not giving 100% at workouts, and Ealey, who was 3rd in the NCAA in 4th quarter td’s, gets suspended for not working out hard enough.

Double standard, Murray, who doesn’t work out ahrd enough to gain weight like Lemay, gets a pass.

Supes

February 26th, 2011
4:49 pm

Lets hope that’s the end of Ealey’s ways of getting in trouble. Just enough. Man up, focus on playing football and getting to class.

GUY WOODALL

February 26th, 2011
4:49 pm

EALEY WILL BE A GREAT RB THIS 2011 SEASON. THE NUMBER 1 RB RECRUIT WILL GIVE W.E. MOTIVE AND INSPIRE HIM TO RUN WILDE. NO LOL DOG GANS.

37 DOG GUY

David

February 26th, 2011
4:49 pm

As soon as Richt told Mettenberger that Murray “won’ the starting job, Mettenberger asked to be transfered. That’s well known. Sure, Richt kicked him off after that to add some window dressing, but Mettenberger was transferring regardless of what Richt did after Richt “entitled” Murray with the unerned starting position.

David

February 26th, 2011
4:51 pm

I do believe Ealey will transfer, and he should. If Ealey was EVER going to get 100% of snaps, it was 2010, when he out-performed Caleb 5 to 1 on td production. Yet Richt still didn’t reward Ealey. Might be time to make Richt pay for his entitlement program, much like Mett & Gray made him pay. If Ealey transfers, Georgia will be lucky to win 7 games.

Matthew

February 26th, 2011
4:53 pm

I don’t buy the talk about Crowell or the talk about Ealey. Dawgs are still in trouble at RB position. I hope that Boise State’s defense isnt better than Calhoun High School’s, or Crowell will get stoned off the field and quit in that game.

David

February 26th, 2011
4:53 pm

Richt did the same garbade with Logan last year, making all kinds of promises, that Richt broke tot ry and keep Logan from transferring. Ealey needs to do what’s best for Ealey. Call Logan if he thinks Richt will keep his promises.

guy

February 26th, 2011
4:54 pm

He who is without sin may throw the first stone. There must be some perfect judges on these blogs.I, like many others, am proud that we don’t have to face these judges at final judgement time.
WHEW!!!

Greg

February 26th, 2011
4:56 pm

Compare the weight gain of Lemay & Murray, or AJ & Ealey, and you’ll see how Richt allows some people to loaf in the weight room without discipline, like Murray & AJ, while punishing players like Ealey, who don’t deserve the punishment.

DIT

February 26th, 2011
4:56 pm

@David – Just don’t agree with your opinion. I don’t think Ealey can have that much of an effect either way. The main factor if UGA is going to have a good or great year will be the defense! Ealey is and was not going anywhere. He knows CMR does not start true freshmen. This is his year to shine or choke! I.C. will get carries, but not the bulk of them. It’s Ealey’s to win or lose!
Just my opinion.

UGAbugKiller

February 26th, 2011
4:58 pm

It’s very easy to see that the morons who are hating on Aaron Murray on these boards are actually just one really simple-minded idiot pretending to be multiple people.

And probably a fan from another team who is scared-sh–tless because they know just how awesome Murray is.

Y’all need to get a frakking life.

Greg

February 26th, 2011
4:59 pm

Was AJ Green’s breaking NCAA rules or little weight gain ‘the Georgia way”? What a joke. Murray’s weight gain is a joke compared to Lemay, who’s only been in the program a few weeks. Murray loafs in the weight room, so did AJ, neither get disciplined.

All players are not “treated the same”.

David

February 26th, 2011
5:01 pm

Richt already showed his hand, he promised Crowell would be used “heavily’ and would get a start in the Boise game, this is without Crowell ever earning it from workouts or practices.

Berzerk8dawg

February 26th, 2011
5:01 pm

Wow, alot of Butthurt Techies here that Ealey may have finally turned the corner and will be playing now we have King, Ealey, Malcome, and Crowell at Running Back. Any Team in America would kill for that backfield. New S&C is paying off for our players already. Don’t be mad because we are doing it “The Georgia Way”.

go dawgs

February 26th, 2011
5:02 pm

its very obvious that greg david and probably a few more of the people commenting negative are the same person… get a life

Dawg man

February 26th, 2011
5:02 pm

He goes to uga, why would he be suspended??????

Berzerk8dawg

February 26th, 2011
5:02 pm

yea David you usually tell the Best Running back in the nation if he does right he will be playing.