ATHENS — Georgia coach Mark Richt didn’t shed much light on the Bulldogs’ suspension situation when he addressed an unusually large media contingent at the end of Thursday’s practice. In fact, he didn’t as much as flick on a flashlight.
Richt would not even confirm that there are new suspensions despite numerous report Thursday that at least two of Georgia’s defensive stars have run afoul of the athletic association’s drug policy.
“I can’t confirm anything,” Richt told more than a dozen reporters and two Atlanta television news crews. “I’m just going to be waiting for us to go through our process. When there’s something to report, I’ll report it to everybody.”
Earlier Thursday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was able to confirm that All-America safety Bacarri Rambo is facing a four-game suspension for failing a UGA-administered drug test this week. Rambo’s high school coach, Alan Ingram of Seminole County, said it was Rambo’s second violation of Georgia’s drug policy regarding marijuana, which according to the student-athlete handbook calls for a 30 percent suspension from the total number of competition dates. Rambo plans to appeal the suspension through UGA’s appeals process.
Ingram said he understands from his conversations with Rambo that junior linebacker Alec Ogletree also failed a similar drug test and is facing a similar length of suspension. In fact, Ingram said he believes as many as five UGA players failed drug screenings that were administered shortly after spring break.
But Richt refused to confirm or deny any of it. Before he entered the interview room on the second floor of Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, UGA sports communication personnel passed out a brief written statement from him.
It read: “There is a process we follow regarding team guidelines and policies. I cannot make many comment until that process has run its course.”
Afterward, when Richt was asked questions regarding suspensions or player behavior in general, he referred to the statement.
“Don’t know if you’ve seen our handout but you might want to read it because you’ll hear it repeated again,” he said, smiling.
Asked exactly what process to which he was referring, Richt said: “Just, we’ve got our guidelines, we’ve got our policies. There are certain things we’ve got to do when we’re taking care of business and that’s what we’re talking about.”
Asked how he felt about handling player behavior issues, he said, “I don’t like distractions, that’s for sure.”
More details to come. . . .
Chip Towers, The UGA Blog