ATHENS – I was traveling yesterday when UGA announced it had decided on a two-game suspension for starting cornerback Sanders Commings at the start of next season.
Even though Georgia coach Mark Richt has avoided commenting on the subject so far, a spokesman told me Richt decided on the two games Wednesday after a series of meetings with Commings and conducting his own investigation into the matter. Commings, 21, was arrested by UGA police on Jan. 21 and charged with domestic violence/simple battery for allegedly hitting his former girlfriend.
Commings is scheduled for a March 22 arraignment before an Athens-Clarke County judge, so his legal case remains unresolved. Meanwhile, the incident is also being investigated by UGA as a possible violation of student conduct code. That review is ongoing, though I’ve reported on some of the interviews that were already available through the Freedom of Information Act. Those documents lead one to believe it the case might not be as cut-and-dried a case as the original police reports indicated.
Meanwhile, Georgia is not the only SEC team having to deal with a domestic violence issue. According to a report in the Orlando Sentinel today, Gators freshman tight end A.C. Leonard was arrested Wednesday night on domestic violence charges. Leonard was due to be released on his own recognizance Thursday and Florida coach Willi Muschamp has yet to comment on the situation.
Said spokesman Steve McClain: “Coach Muschamp is currently traveling and unavailable, but he will address the matter later today.”
There have been some other recent precedents as well:
On Feb. 3, Clemson dismissed wide receiver Joe Craig due to a domestic violence incident. However, apparently that was Craig’s second such charge. He was indefinitely suspended and ultimately missed three games last season due to the previous incident.
Conversely, Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw did not miss any playing time after he and his girlfriend were both arrested on domestic violence charges in 2009.
Which brings us to where we are today. Commings has already been issued a two-game suspension while his legal issues remain unresolved. So how do you guys feel about that? Should the Bulldogs have waited until his matter had run its course through the university and local legal systems? Do you trust Coach Richt’s judgment and/or did he get it about right? Is Georgia going too easy on Commings?
Intelligent, thoughtful comments only, please.