It’s official: UGA confirms starting TB Caleb King is ineligible (UPDATED)

Caleb King leaves Georgia having rushed for 1,271 yards and 10 TDs in three tumultuous seasons. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Caleb King leaves Georgia having rushed for 1,271 yards and 10 TDs in three tumultuous seasons. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

The University of Georgia confirmed Friday that starting tailback Caleb King is academically ineligible to play for the Bulldogs this fall.

King, a rising senior, apparently was unable to meet the NCAA’s satisfactory progress requirement for eligibility. Summer semester just ended Friday and grades won’t be posted until next week.

“It’s unfortunate Caleb will not be with us this season,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said in a statement released by the school. “We wish him the best in whatever he decides to do; however, we have to move forward and this will provide more opportunities for others to step up.”

Coupled with the loss of fellow tailback Washaun Ealey, who transferred to Jacksonville State this past spring, the Bulldogs have now lost their two leading rushers from last season. In all, that’s 1,334 yards in offense and 13 TDs off last year’s team.

King has not returned phone calls, texts or emails seeking comment.

Speculation that King was out at UGA began with King’s own tweets on Twitter.com Friday morning.

First he posted: “Somethings u cant control, and what seems bad right now might turn out good. Too [sic] all of my homeboyz hold UGA down don’t let them brake [sic] u…”

Later he wrote: “I see u when I see u. U cant stress about it Just let God take control.”

Several UGA players replied later with sympathetic responses. But no one at Georgia commented on all the speculation until spokesman Claude Felton confirmed via a phone call Friday afternoon: “Caleb King is academically ineligible for fall semester.”

It remains unclear what will be King’s next step. In its statement UGA said, “King indicated he will consider the options available to him before making a decision on his future plans.”

King’s ineligibility ends a long and tulmutuous career at UGA, in which he has encountered disciplinary and academic suspensions and had brushes with the law.

King also missed Georgia’s Liberty Bowl game against UCF last December. But that was because he had missed too many academic appointments at the Rankin Smith Academic Achievement Center. He was suspended for the Vanderbilt and Kentucky games last season following his arrest for failing to pay a speeding ticket in Walton County. In all he played in 29 of 39 game opportunities. He also missed games for ankle and hamstring injuries and a fractured jaw in 2009.

The Norcross resident was a five-star prospect before breaking his leg his senior season at Greater Atlanta Christian school. He was a four-star-rated recruit when he signed with Georgia to much fanfare in 2007 and redshirted while playing behind future NFL first-round draft choice Knowshon Moreno.

King served as Moreno’s backup in 2008, playing in 11 games and finishing with 247 yards and a TD. He took over as a starter in 2009 and had his most productive season with 594 yards and 7 TDs while sharing time with Washaun Ealey. He was bypassed by Ealey in 2010, playing in eight games with five starts last season and finishing with 430 yards and 2 TDs. He concludes his college career with 1,271 yards rushing, 126 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns.

The loss of King and Ealey kicks the door wide open for five-star running back signee Isaiah Crowell and Georgia’s two other scholarship lettermen at the position. On the Bulldogs’ last depth chart, released earlier this summer, King was backed up by junior Carlton Thomas, sophomore walk-on Brandon Harton and redshirt freshman Ken “Boo” Malcome.

King was expected to be Georgia’s starter for its nationally-televised season opener against Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff on Sept. 3 in the Georgia Dome. Now it looks like there’s a chance that could be Crowell, who was considered the top tailback prospect in the nation last season. If so, Crowell would become the first true freshman to start at tailback for the Bulldogs since Danny Ware in 2004.

Crowell rushed for 1,721 yards on 147 carries and scored 18 touchdowns as a senior at Carver-Columbus High last fall. He was rated a five-star prospect and the No. 1 back in the nation by Scout.com, ESPN.com, and 24/7sports.com.

Thomas, a 5-7, 170-pound junior from Frostproof, Fla., has played in 17 games with one start had has rushed for 364 yards and 2 TDs. He also has 9 catches for 53 yards.

Malcome (6-0, 226) was redshirted last year after coming to UGA from Southwest DeKalb High. A bruising between-the-tackles runner, he rushed for 1,168 yards and 16 TDs as a senior.

COMMENTS SECTION HAS BEEN CLOSED.

134 comments Add your comment

Todd

July 8th, 2011
2:45 pm

Will we have anyone left by fall…and first?

Mobile Dawg

July 8th, 2011
2:50 pm

When one door closes, always be prepared, another door will soon open.

chc4

July 8th, 2011
2:51 pm

“Somethings u cant control”. Holy cow this guy is an idiot. Try applying yourself you moron!

JB

July 8th, 2011
2:51 pm

Dawg at heart, but man…..I can’t get past the fact that we recruit the dumbest kids (other than maybe South Carolina) every year. Carlton Thomas time!

george

July 8th, 2011
2:51 pm

what a shocker. Best part is the morons also known as uga fans will still predict an sec championship berth. Wake up and smell the coffee and realize the puppies will once again be an average at best team in a very weak sec east. Enjoy your 7 or 8 wins and your last year with Richt!

Jimmy Crack

July 8th, 2011
2:52 pm

Somehow I see this as a good sign. There are hungrier RBs already behind him and Caleb showed over the years that he had absolutely no hunger for his position.

Go Boo! Get that job!

George's mom is the moron

July 8th, 2011
2:53 pm

Just saying…

Athens is Hell

July 8th, 2011
2:53 pm

“Ex-UGA doctoral student pleads guilty to conspiracy, theft and fraud charges”

http://www.redandblack.com/2011/07/07/ex-uga-doctoral-student-pleads-guilty-to-conspiracy-theft-and-fraud-charges/

Oh yeah … and Mark Richt is the Devil.

dawgman

July 8th, 2011
2:54 pm

george,
You are a practicing bedwetter. You are dismissed.

Sincerely,
Reality

whatsnew

July 8th, 2011
2:54 pm

Whats new, he was held back twice in k-12 and he red shirted at uga, he must be at least 25 years old and had a chance to make something of him self… I am really amazed he made it in college this long, they must have had special program for HIM>>>>>>>>

James

July 8th, 2011
2:54 pm

Hate to see it but was he really going to be a factor? May have have been a breakout season but who knows. More pressure on Crowell

ROZEMAN13

July 8th, 2011
2:54 pm

Are we really surprised by this, Really! Lets hope Crowell is the real deal

Dawg for Life

July 8th, 2011
2:54 pm

I hope Crowell is the answer! To be honest, I always thought Caleb was soft anyways. He seems to be hit once and falls right down. In future posts, here come the dumb comments from rival team fans.

Love Mark Richt-Hate Coach Richt

July 8th, 2011
2:55 pm

I agree chc4. Thought you kinda went to college to educate yourself a little.

Just got off of George's mom

July 8th, 2011
2:55 pm

and sayin…

Goldtimer

July 8th, 2011
2:55 pm

Bwahahahaha- HA! How dumb do you have to be to fail out of UGA even with all the academic assistance they give athletes. Time for Mutts to cry…

JP

July 8th, 2011
2:56 pm

As a Gator fan, we have had our share of knuckleheads – hope Caleb can eventually get his head on straight…..

Chicken Little

July 8th, 2011
2:56 pm

The sky is falling! The sky is falling.

dawgman

July 8th, 2011
2:56 pm

I didn’t see anyone on here predicting UGA wins the East. I will go ahead and “predict” that if you don’t get going you are going to be late for your job as GT librarian.

CK4

July 8th, 2011
2:57 pm

All the haters will not brake me.

Mr. SEC

July 8th, 2011
2:58 pm

Well, well, well, the person who was going to take Crowell under his wings and teach him everything he knows forgot to learn something himself. #1 Go to class #2 study #3 shut your mouth! I guess these could be 3 things that King just taught Crowell! Crowell take these to heart and do not get hurt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111

Dawg in the Northwoods

July 8th, 2011
2:58 pm

What has me the most upset is the fact you don’t typically find yourself academically ineligible due to a single term. This has been brewing for a while. When will “student athletes” learn to take advantage of the tools in place to help them? Of course I forgot there are “Somethings U cant control”. WHATEVER! You can control them by preparing and going to class, really studying and, perhaps most importantly of all, appreciating the free education you are receiving at one of the finest institutions in all the land.

Some Sense

July 8th, 2011
2:58 pm

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Stinkin' Dog

July 8th, 2011
2:59 pm

Will the last Dawg to flunk out/get arrested, please turn out the lights?

BG

July 8th, 2011
2:59 pm

Saban would never have a star player ruled ineligible. UGA’s players have to actually go to class and pass.

George's Mom Won't Stop Calling Me

July 8th, 2011
3:00 pm

seriously George….get her to stop

J-Dawg

July 8th, 2011
3:00 pm

There’ve been rumor for the last couple of years that he got “Football Passed” in high school, Truly a Shame! Isaiah Crowell better be studying the playbook, and he should be as good as billed – will start the game against BS, Carlton Thomas will provide some back up depth,

East Repeat

July 8th, 2011
3:00 pm

Crowell was not a total workhorse in High School. It would be a miracle if he can handle the load all season for UGA. This was bound to happen with Caleb, just not enough up top (not bra size, brain size) to stay in school. And his Tweet blames it on UGA, that is some nerve!

AltamahaDawg

July 8th, 2011
3:00 pm

I bet we all wish we could go back to JUST having stupid arrests in the summer.

St. Richt

July 8th, 2011
3:01 pm

george is right. Sometimes the truth hurts.

JOE

July 8th, 2011
3:02 pm

And you all were calling me names saying I was messing with yall, HA!!

DallasDawg

July 8th, 2011
3:02 pm

Looks like the offense is going to pretty impotent this year with the loss of A.J., Washaun, a ton of offensive linemen, and now King. Need some guys to step up.

dawg from a distance

July 8th, 2011
3:02 pm

IC was going to take over any way but it sure would have been nice for him to hold down the fort until he’s ready. A tough loss but one it appears we planned for with IC. Though the stable seems a little empty.

How about the days when Worley, Henderson, Tate etc were in the same backfield. Kids today really don’t want solid competition do they?

Go DAWGS!

JacketFan

July 8th, 2011
3:03 pm

Um, J-Dawg, I think Crowell better be studying something else by the look of things.

David C

July 8th, 2011
3:03 pm

Don’t Expect Crowell to come in and just blow the doors off the roof. It takes time for players to adjust to college. Also with offensive line in re-build mode first part of the season could be hard to watch…

AltamahaDawg

July 8th, 2011
3:03 pm

Mobile dawg must have got that big contract he has been working on for so long.

Rusty

July 8th, 2011
3:04 pm

Surprised AJC left comments open on this one. Afraid it could get a tad ugly…

JD

July 8th, 2011
3:04 pm

The top two running backs for UGA are no longer there. Better hope that Crowell lives up to the hype early. Obviously King didn’t.

whatthedawg

July 8th, 2011
3:04 pm

Ouch. This is a big blow, no matter what anyone says. I’m typically a half-full glass kind of person, but I’m having trouble seeing the positive in this, even as a UGA homer. This leaves us with a woefully undersized, fumble-prone Carlton Thomas, a big Boo Malcolm who can’t stay healthy, a walk-on who I can’t even remember his name (neither could Richt as I recall from spring practice), and a true freshman Crowell. While talented, a true freshman is green no matter how you look at it. It limits the play calling abilities due to pass protection and making the run more predictable when he’s in the game. Notice to running back recruits: Crowell or no Crowell, we need some running backs now!

JOE

July 8th, 2011
3:04 pm

So can we start predicting who is going to be next in Athens??

dawg from a distance

July 8th, 2011
3:05 pm

We sure are opening up a lot of jersey numbers…… 3,4,8, and on.

bham dawg

July 8th, 2011
3:05 pm

I love when he says “some thing you can’t control”, this is very true but you can f**king control this. Study you dumbass. Go to class you dumbass. This is a huge blow. IC better live up to the hype because the pressure on him just got 100x bigger.

footballfan-365

July 8th, 2011
3:05 pm

In the words of the late great red foxx “you big dummy”

Jim

July 8th, 2011
3:05 pm

Those second year badminton classes at UGA must be a real bitch ……

Tampa Gator

July 8th, 2011
3:06 pm

I guess he spent too much time studying the Bible with Richt (his reference to God) and not enough time studying biology with the homeboyz…….but it doesn’t take a college degree to make millions as an evangelical minister to the poor.

@ Chip Towers

July 8th, 2011
3:06 pm

Blackberry Cobbler

July 8th, 2011
3:06 pm

Fine with me. Hit the road.

KeepCalmAndCarryOn

July 8th, 2011
3:06 pm

ineligible at *uga*? how does anyone flunk out there, particularly an athlete who already gets favorable treatment? what a GD moron.

Road Scholar

July 8th, 2011
3:06 pm

Boo Hoo! So much for th 2012 Nat’l Championship…No, the SEC Championship…No, the SEC East Championship…, the Ga state Championship…See Ya in November!

Jamaica Dawg

July 8th, 2011
3:06 pm

It’s amazing to me how much these guys basically “give up” in opportunity – if Caleb had a great year, he would’ve been drafted and making $$$. It was his for the taking (crowell notwithstanding) and he couldn’t pass his freakin’ classes? With all the extra support these student athletes get, this is just inexcusable, sorry Caleb but you made your own bed, now you gotta lie in it.