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Richt addresses UGA player arrests

Mark Richt AP

Earlier today, reports surfaced that four Georgia football players, included projected starter at safety Tray Matthews, were arrested in connection to a scam involving stipend checks.

As the Bulldogs kicked off spring practice Tuesday, head coach Mark Richt met with the media following the first of 15 sessions and was forced to address the latest off-field issue involving some of his players.

“Guys aren’t going to be perfect and when they do something that needs discipline, we are going to follow through on it,” said Richt in quotes provided by the university. “We always try to educate our players and discipline them appropriately.  Similar to when you are dealing with your kids, some of them learn things by watching and some of them learn lessons by doing.  We stick with the goal of punishing, educating and loving all that come through here.”

Richt did not go into detail as to what if any punitive measures the four players could be facing.  The coach did, though, intimate that game suspensions or even dismissals were not off the table.

All four of the players were on the field and participated in the practice session.

In addition to Matthews, wide receiver Uriah LeMay and defensive lineman John Taylor (no relation) and defensive end James DeLoach were each charged with more than one count of theft by deception.

The four players allegedly took their stipend checks and cashed them via a mobile app before cashing the paper check at a store.  One of the players, LeMay, allegedly took a stipend check that had been discarded by a roommate, an UGA athlete, and cashed it.

It was the university that reported the alleged thefts to campus police.

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14 Responses to “Richt addresses UGA player arrests”
  1. be4bama says: Mar 18, 2014 8:34 PM

    What is a stipend check?

  2. theworkhorsebackdotcom says: Mar 18, 2014 8:59 PM

    Another off-season and yet again more players that will start the season suspended. This has been a big problem for UGA the past couple off-seasons.

  3. dumbpollack says: Mar 18, 2014 9:22 PM

    And they were on the field today? They need to be in jail and then off the team and kicked out of school.

  4. cometkazie says: Mar 18, 2014 9:52 PM

    I believe the stipend check is for the “allowance” they are able to receive under NCAA rules.

    Not a good way to start a season.

    We may have to start using POOF early this year.
    ;)

  5. wabbitslayer says: Mar 19, 2014 6:57 AM

    Nobody believed me when Dabo Swinney suspended several players for the Clemson@UGA opener and I said that Richt would not be outdone and would suspend more.

  6. mauldawg says: Mar 19, 2014 7:30 AM

    What he is saying is “we wont do anything to hurt their playing time”.

  7. deadeye says: Mar 19, 2014 8:01 AM

    One of the following statements is true:

    1) UGA consistently recruits players of low character compared to similar programs.

    or…

    2) UGA more frequently punishes players of low character compared to similar programs.

  8. polegojim says: Mar 19, 2014 9:45 AM

    “Guys aren’t going to be perfect…” does not apply to guys who are thieving.

    ‘Don’t steal’ isn’t something you should need to teach college football players. This isn’t breaking a curfew or getting into a fight… it’s criminal behavior.

    VERY disappointing analysis and comments from Richt. Understated and wrongly downplaying a serious situation.

  9. wadaea says: Mar 19, 2014 11:11 AM

    Great move richt…you talk about educating the players..you just thought them stealing is acceptable at GA…I gurantee this is not the last you will hear from these palyers.some will be suspended for other crimes before the season starts…

  10. irishdodger says: Mar 19, 2014 1:42 PM

    No excuse for this, but I would bet that most 18-22 year old college students would attempt to get away with this. For me, it doesn’t rank up there w/ multiple DUIs, drugs, sexual assault, weapons charges, etc. BUT, it does need to be punished.

  11. onlyoneleft says: Mar 19, 2014 4:15 PM

    An every day occurrence in the SEC. Slurrier has the Columbia, SC Police Dept. on lockdown when it comes to his players.

  12. polegojim says: Mar 19, 2014 4:24 PM

    irishdodger… you nailed the issue PERFECTLY.

    Stealing/thieving are EXPECTED by many because it’s tolerated and even encouraged – ‘get away with whatever you can, just don’t get caught’.

    That’s become a VERY standard approach to life and a sad statement about people and youth in general.

  13. dhardy8207 says: Mar 19, 2014 4:49 PM

    My parents taught me a thing or two about taking something that didn’t belong to me. I was six years old, had every intention of asking my mother to buy a pack of morning glory seeds to give to my dad who had a blooming green thumb. Being 6 I got distracted before I found her in the store and ended up sticking the pack of seeds in my pocket. Needless to say when she found them later that afternoon I got spanked and loaded back in the car so I could go back to the store, pay for the seeds out of my allowance and then I still didn’t get to keep them.

    This type of behavior has to be dealt with when kids are young. Waiting until they’re pretty much grown is futile because then it becomes a true legal issue. He needs to make an example of them. They basically stole from the university, if that is tolerated then there really is no limit on them taking from teammates next.

  14. derekgorgonstar says: Mar 19, 2014 6:41 PM

    Players need to be paid! They aren’t paid!

    Except for their stipend.
    And their housing allowance.
    and their pell grant money.
    and their free food.
    and their free tuition.
    And their free tutoring.

    Wait, they can’t be getting paid already, can they? All those nice cars they drive, and those sleeve tattoos, that must be free…….

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