Isaiah Crowell among 3 tailbacks suspended for failing drug tests (UPDATED)

Updated throughout . . .

ATHENS – Three Georgia tailbacks – including star freshman Isaiah Crowell – have been suspended for Saturday’s New Mexico State game for failing UGA-administered drug tests last week, two sources familiar with the process and the decision confirmed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Crowell, junior Carlton Thomas and redshirt freshman Ken Malcome will have to sit out 10 percent of the Bulldogs’ competition dates, as is UGA Athletic Association policy for a first-time violation of the student-athlete drug policy. The tests, which revealed marijuana use, were administered last week and the results were confirmed via private lab on Tuesday, the sources said.

Georgia coach Mark Richt would not confirm the reasons for the suspensions beyond his statement that it was for “violation of team policies.”

“We have certain standards in all that we do and their actions do not reflect the Georgia way,” Richt said in a statement released by UGA Sports Communications on Tuesday afternoon. “They will serve their suspensions, learn a lesson and I’m sure will be better men for it.”

Richt failed to mention the suspensions during his half-hour weekly news conference two hours before the news release was sent. He  was asked about both Crowell and Malcome during that session with the media. Richt declined subsequent interview requests through UGA spokesperson Claude Felton. None of the players involved were made available.

Meanwhile, No. 2 tailback Richard Samuel underwent season-ending ankle surgery on Tuesday morning, meaning the Bulldogs (6-2) will be down to their fifth-string ball carrier when they play the Aggies (3-5) this weekend at Sanford Stadium.

Sophomore Brandon Harton, junior Wes Van Dyk and freshman Kyle Karempelis as the only true tailbacks available to play Saturday. Harton (5-foot-6, 174 pounds) and Van Dyk (6-0, 203) are both former walkons who were awarded scholarships this past summer. Karempelis (5-9, 180) is a first-year walkon out of The Wesleyan School in Norcross. Only Harton, with 11 carries for 33 yards, and Van Dyk, with one for one yard, have played in a game this season.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo indicated after practice Tuesday night that Harton and Karempelis would be the Bulldogs’ first two options. Georgia could also utilize fullback Zander Ogletree in the running game.

“I think it’s an opportunity for a lot of guys to step up,” Bobo said. “We may have to change some things up and do some things different to move the ball. Other guys have to step up and make plays. I feel confident in those two guys and Ogletree and the backs and tight ends and receivers we have to move the ball.”

The Bulldogs could also give offensive snaps to defensive backs Brandon Boykin and/or Branden Smith, both of whom have played often on offense this season. And Bobo also dropped the names of two freshmen: Safety Nick Marshall and cornerback Damian Swann.

“There’s a lot of guys out there could be possibilities,” Bobo said.

It is the second suspension of the season for Crowell, who missed the first quarter of the Vanderbilt game for an academic-related issue. Thomas also missed the season opener due to a suspension for another undisclosed violation of team rules.

Crowell’s coach at Carver-Columbus High School, Dell McGee, traded text messages with him on Tuesday.

“I just reminded him of where he came from and not to take things for granted because they can be taken away from you,” McGee said.

Crowell was rated the No. 1 running back prospect in country when he signed with Georgia last February. He currently leads the Bulldogs with 689 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns.

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity insisted that the suspensions were not delayed discipline disciplinary actions from the week of the Florida game.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “We don’t pick when we do certain things. When certain things are found, we act right then.”

According to UGA Athletic Association student-athlete handbook, a one-game suspension can be the result of violations of three different policies: Drugs, alcohol or academics. But a violation of any policy cannot be enforced at a coach’s discretion.

“At the point a violation is discovered, if a suspension is required the penalty is enforced for the next competition,” Georgia senior  Felton said. “Whatever the infraction was, it would have occurred this week.”

Georgia athletes are subject to preseason drug tests in every sport, random drug tests by the NCAA and periodic/non-random tests by the athletic association. In most cases it takes five to seven days for a lab to analyze the results.

– Chip Towers

1,146 comments Add your comment

Dedoh

November 1st, 2011
3:09 pm

wattdog

November 1st, 2011
3:09 pm

IlliniDawg

November 1st, 2011
3:09 pm

Dumba$$es!!!

wattdog

November 1st, 2011
3:09 pm

Enter your comments here

wattdog

November 1st, 2011
3:10 pm

IlliniDawg

November 1st, 2011
3:11 pm

Wonder what all those cynical haters, mocking “Saint Richt” for being too nice and uneven in his discipline, will say now?

Robby

November 1st, 2011
3:13 pm

Wow. Our top 4 running backs are out…Can you say Bobo’s failed spread offense?

Buckhead Dawg

November 1st, 2011
3:13 pm

WTH!!! morons! I don’t care who we are playing – no tailbacks?? Isn’t this multiple suspensions for Crowell and Thomas already this year? Beyond frustrating.

bgdawg

November 1st, 2011
3:14 pm

wes van dyk?

Robby

November 1st, 2011
3:14 pm

And with Mitchell out? Thank goodness they messed up for New Mexico State and not Auburn.

BurytheBone

November 1st, 2011
3:14 pm

Well i’m sure the critics will have a field day with this. Unlike LSU nothing else was said. CMR doesn’t play favorites.

CJJScout

November 1st, 2011
3:14 pm

FaithfulDawg86

November 1st, 2011
3:15 pm

What the heck?!? And Samuel out for the year just as he was coming into his own… Every time things start to go right, it all falls apart again.

3 chains

November 1st, 2011
3:16 pm

smart move by richt, let them rest up for Auburn

bgdawg

November 1st, 2011
3:16 pm

we NEED keith marshall to commit now!! we need one smart tail back at UGA crowell obviously is getting bigheaded. set em straight richt! .

Taneyhill

November 1st, 2011
3:16 pm

Crowell is a keyed car away from catching Garcia.

hand solo

November 1st, 2011
3:16 pm

IIIinidawg, how do we know that they didnt commit murder, armed robbery, rape? go eat a big one fool

CLAY COUNTY DAWG

November 1st, 2011
3:17 pm

FRIEND OF MINE THAT WORKS WITH THE TEAM SAID CROWELL HAS BEEN A PAIN FROM DAY 1 THIS SUMMER.SEND HIM PACKING.

Dawg on the Flint

November 1st, 2011
3:17 pm

Any ideas or rumors on what the suspensions were for? Anyone guessing?

Tech Sucks

November 1st, 2011
3:18 pm

At least we didn’t lose to Virginia.

Cletus McNirtny

November 1st, 2011
3:18 pm

Isn’t it convenient that the suspensions are this weekend instead of last. If Richt was truly serious about discipline the suspensions would have been immediate.

piermontdawgny

November 1st, 2011
3:18 pm

smells like washington’s dui…did these guys go out partying after the florida win…maybe as hard as I did??

Dawg Girl

November 1st, 2011
3:18 pm

This especially hits Ken Malcome hard. This could’ve been his chance to prove himself. Guess we’ll never know.

bgdawg

November 1st, 2011
3:19 pm

please don’t let crowell turn into another king or ealey.. pleaseee

Bull Dog

November 1st, 2011
3:20 pm

Let’s just go ahead and let Crowell go. This boy is off to a very bad start and obviously he doesn’t respect anyone. Remember his facebook page before UGA sanitized it. I would let him go before he does major embarrassment to UGA.

Rduck

November 1st, 2011
3:20 pm

wow… this is gonna light up the hater trolls for sure on the UGA blogs. have to say that it is not looking good for the future of Crowell that this is already his 2nd suspension this his freshman year. it’s only gonna make those who questioned his character before committing to UGA even louder. and who is wes van dyk?

flatsdawg1

November 1st, 2011
3:20 pm

I believe we have 0 running backs available for New Mexico State.Who are they gonna put back there? If I enroll for grad student classes can I walk on?

gt4ever

November 1st, 2011
3:20 pm

Not very surprising… I mean you have never had ANY discipline…. You have a out of control Coach and your players are out of control…. Who would have thunk it….. What a PATHETIC joke this program is…..

Smitty

November 1st, 2011
3:20 pm

Stay classy, Athens! If Crowell’s legs ran as much as his mouth, boy he’d be something!

Toccoa Dawg

November 1st, 2011
3:20 pm

Get well soon Richard. This poor guy never gets a break.

bgdawg

November 1st, 2011
3:21 pm

and ken malcome too? come on guy! you have one yard this year! why put yourself in position to fail like that? SMH what’s wrong with our HB’s?

UGH

November 1st, 2011
3:21 pm

Do not need this week anyway! Atleast they are showing the best TEAMWORK possible.

go dawgs

November 1st, 2011
3:21 pm

omg omg omg omg omg omg…. please dont lose to nmst

PDX DAWG

November 1st, 2011
3:22 pm

this is just not the kind of thing one would expect from a team that is supposedly trying to win a SEC championship. I dont understand the lack of focus this far in to the season. I know they’re kids but they know better than to do something to get you suspended.

St. Richt

November 1st, 2011
3:22 pm

Yes, Richt is such a disciplinarian for suspending these 3 for the New Mexico State game.

Spaceman Spiff

November 1st, 2011
3:22 pm

@ hand solo

You, sir, have just qualified for todays “Do you just say stupid sh!t?” award.

Roaddawg80

November 1st, 2011
3:22 pm

Crowell had the opportunity this year to come in and take it all under control. He is the featured back as a freshman and has done nothing but screw up. He won’t last long.

Spaceman Spiff

November 1st, 2011
3:23 pm

@gt4ever

Take a look at your own program before talking about other…glass houses, you know…

Buck Blew

November 1st, 2011
3:23 pm

McGarity is lying big time. Richt wanted Crowell to not make the trip to Jax and McGarity stepped in and changed the suspension for this week. McGarity learned that little trick from his mentor, the slimeball Jeremy Fooley. it’s all about the $$$ for McGarity and Fooley. another loss to the gaytors would have forced McGarity to fire Richt and that would have cost UGA big bucks.

Kudos to Mark Richt for living up to his high ethical standards!!

UGH

November 1st, 2011
3:23 pm

Where is the SENIOR leadership on this team right now? Crowell should not be able breath without Orson or someone with every freaking min. Could have been worse.

flatsdawg1

November 1st, 2011
3:24 pm

COME ON MEN!!!!! Wes Van Dyk and Brandon Harton, here’s your chance ! I have a bad knee anyway.

ZinoDawg

November 1st, 2011
3:24 pm

Cletus you know all right bro? Moron.

We can beat the Aggies with Brandon toting the rock. Just need the D to step up again.

And Isaiah has no heart. One nick and he’s on the sideline. He’s no stud like Lattimore.

VININGSDAWG

November 1st, 2011
3:24 pm

There were a lot of rumors floating around Athens last week about some problems. McGarity may say one thing, it’s hard not to believe another,

IlliniDawg

November 1st, 2011
3:25 pm

Yup, I was right. Haters out in full force. Nothing satisfies these dopes. “Must have been delayed from before Florida game.” “Shows lack of discipline in the program.” These folks sound like their bloodlust will only be satisfied if CMR would go jump off of a cliff. Pathetic fools.

bgdawg

November 1st, 2011
3:25 pm

Gt4ever- that “out of control” coach was only defending his own players, oh yeah, he also has one of the best Defenses in the SEC, which could also mean that he also has one of the best defenses in the nation

PDX DAWG

November 1st, 2011
3:25 pm

almost as pathetic as gt4ever sitting on UGA blogs day after day……

Mean Machine

November 1st, 2011
3:25 pm

Unbelievable! That is exactly why this team will never do anything more than reach a mediocre bowl. Poor leadership and a lack of commitment. It’s not difficult to follow the rules, and either the inability, or the refusal to follow those rules shows why this program continues to flounder in mediocrity. Apparently the players don’t care. No wonder UGA doesn’t win championships. I’m sick of this crap!

TeamWork

November 1st, 2011
3:25 pm

You all act like you have never smoked pot before!

sav'h dawg

November 1st, 2011
3:25 pm

Wish we had about 40 more kids like Richard Samuel. He was quoted as saying, ” I finally was able to make some game changing plays for the team.” Now the kid from Tatnall County gets his chance to shine. Hopefully some senior leaders can straighten out the issues with Crowell and Thomas.

Cats hav fleas 2

November 1st, 2011
3:25 pm

To Ken Malcome…you have the nerve to whine about playing team, quit the team, come back, then pull this crap! You can ‘effin leave NOW!!! As for the other two, thus is 2 strikes apiece. Tired of this nonsense. You are scholarship athletes…like it or not, with that comes higher standards. Deal with it or move on!
Please…we need a RB who can behave and run TOUGH (yes, that’s directed at you IC)