Isaiah Crowell came to Georgia last year as a five-star recruit carrying with him plenty of promise. Just 16 months later, however, he was dismissed from the team after getting hit with three weapon-related charges — two of which were felonies.
Crowell’s actions are even more disappointing when you look at the immediate impact he had with the Bulldogs in 2011: 847 yards rushing and six total touchdowns.
But, he threw away his opportunity, and both parties suffer the consequences. Crowell must now make due on the 1-AA level at Alabama State and Georgia pushes on without what would have been a top-tier back in the SEC. According to at least one person with strong ties to the program, though, the decision for Georgia to part ways with its now-former star running back was the right call.
“I don’t want to put any pressure on them, but losing that guy may have been the best thing to happen to them,” former UGA coach and athletic director Vince Dooley told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It was a bad-apple type thing, if you ask me.
“That kind of thing will unite a team many times. Historically when things like this have happened in the past, they tend to have a unifying effect on teams. They go on to have an even better season than they were predicted to have.”
Dooley certainly has a point that any team is better off getting rid of a knucklehead, but as the AJC also notes, Georgia is now running below 70 scholarship players heading into this season.
Clearly, that’s not solely attributed to Crowell’s dismissal — the Bulldogs have had a hellacious offseason in terms of player attrition — but the thinning number of available bodies is concerning to say the least. Whether it will affect Georgia’s chances of returning to Atlanta this December for a second consecutive SEC championship game remains to be seen.