UPDATE: Alabama State head coach Reggie Barlow confirms Isaiah Crowell’s transfer to FCS school. New story coming soon . . .
Isaiah Crowell is transferring to Alabama State University and the ousted Georgia running back has retained high-profile Atlanta criminal defense attorney Steve Sadow to represent him on weapons charges.
Crowell, a rising sophomore, was dismissed by the Bulldogs this past Friday. He faces two felony weapons charges and one misdemeanor charged after a 9-mm Luger handgun with an defaced serial number was found underneath the driver’s seat of the 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis he was driving.
Reached by telephone Thursday, Sadow said he will be representing Crowell “pro bono,” which means he won’t be charging for his services. Sadow has represented such high-profile clients as the rapper T.I., and defended former Georgia basketball player Tony Cole on a rape charge, which was eventually dismissed.
Sadow said he reached out to Crowell via social media after reading reports of his arrest and seeing “some serious problems with the search” of Crowell’s vehicle that resulted in his arrest. Sadow said he met with Crowell this past Tuesday to discuss the case.
“My inclination based on reading the police report is to question the validity of the search,” Sadow said. “I’m hoping that somebody takes a real, close, careful look at this. The University of Georgia has already taken action, so whatever the prosecutor determines regarding an invalid or unlawful search, that’s not going to change Isaiah’s career at the University of Georgia. One way or another he’s certainly moved on.”
Sadow could not confirm or deny multiple unconfirmed reports that Crowell, the reigning AP SEC Freshman of the Year, is transferring to Alabama State University in Montgomery. UGA officials contacted by the AJC Thursday had no direct knowledge that is Crowell’s destination and no one from Alabama State has returned messages seeking confirmation. No one associated with Crowell has returned messages or phone calls.
“I do know his intention is to play football and his intention is to play football as soon as he possibly can,” Sadow said.
Sadow added that his only connection with Crowell is with his court case. “I’m not going to be his adviser,” he said.
The felony charges notwithstanding, Crowell would be immediately eligible at Alabama State since it is a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) school (formerly Div. I-AA). NCAA rules require a transfer to sit out one year when transferring from one Football Bowl Subdivision school to another.
It would be somewhat unusual for a player of Crowell’s caliber to transfer to an FCS school. Typically a high-profile athlete of his ilk would transfer to junior college for a year, then return to the FBS via another school. That was the route chosen by former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who stood accused of a felony. Mettenberger transferred to Butler (Kansas) Community College and played one year before landing at LSU, where he’s expected to start this coming season.