At some point, it’s going to be easier to list the Georgia football players who haven’t run afoul of the law this offseason than those who have.
Last month, four of Kirby Smart‘s Bulldogs were arrested for various offenses, with those ranging from traffic violations/suspended license (linebacker Jaden Hunter) to simple battery (defensive back Latavious Brini) to disorderly conduct (cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, wide receiver Tyler Simmons). With the calendar turning to April, the arrests in Athens have yet to abate as two more UGA football players, sophomore linebackers Robert Beal and Brenton Cox, were arrested Tuesday and charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
Details of what led to the latest issue have yet to be released, although Smart has, once again, been forced to address the off-field issues that have hit his program.
“I was made aware kind of right as we were going into practice about their situation,” Smart said of the latest arrests in quotes distributed by the school. “You know, I’m obviously extremely disappointed. I’ve obviously done a poor job with this group with connecting and making sure they listen and understand things. Obviously, we have policies and rules in place.
“These guys violated those policies and rules, and they’ll serve the punishment they deserve for it. I hate the decisions they’ve made, and they’ve got to learn as young men, that you can’t break the rule — you can’t break the law.
“Obviously, our guys have not done a good job of that, and that all falls on me, but we’re going to do a great job of moving forward and trying to get these guys in the right place and make good decisions. I will say this: with 90 percent of our team, we’ve got the least number of misses, the least number of tardies and are doing things right, and I’m very disappointed in the 10 percent that have not.”
Of the latest arrestees, Cox is a projected starter at linebacker while Beal will continue competing for a starting job throughout the remainder of the offseason and on into summer camp.