Georgia’s Richt dismisses freshman from team after DUI arrest, says players ‘need to behave’By Charles Odum, AP
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Georgia freshman kicked off team after DUI arrest
ATLANTA — The losses and arrests continue to mount for the Georgia football team.
Georgia freshman Demetre Baker was dismissed from the team by coach Mark Richt on Sunday following a drunken driving arrest.
Baker was arrested early Sunday in Athens and charged with DUI, underage possession of alcohol and improper driving. He is the 10th Georgia player to be arrested this year.
Richt was asked if players were previously warned that no more arrests would be tolerated.
“Well, I’ll just say that Demetre was fully aware of the possible consequences that resulted from this type of decision,” Richt said Sunday.
Baker, 19, was a linebacker who has not played this season and did not travel with the team for Saturday night’s 24-12 loss at Mississippi State.
Georgia (1-3 overall, 0-3 Southeastern Conference) has lost three games in a row for the first time since 1990. It is 0-3 in the SEC for the first time since 1993.
The coach would not confirm there is a new zero-tolerance policy on arrests, but he said players should get the point.
“Well, I think all of our guys understand that they need to behave, I’ll put it that way,” Richt said.
Richt has generally suspended players for first offenses but other players have been kicked off the team.
Georgia spokesman Claude Felton said Baker is expected to remain enrolled at least through the fall semester.
In a statement released by the school, Richt said Georgia will assist Baker “in finding a place to continue his education and football career and hope that he’s learned a valuable lesson from this mistake.”
Baker said in e-mail to The Associated Press that he will have no comment on the dismissal before his court date.
The Orange Park, Fla., native was booked into the Athens-Clarke County Jail at 4:26 a.m. and released on $1,500 bond several hours later, according to the booking report.
Richt said the continued problems with arrests and three-game losing streak make this the most difficult of his 10 years at Georgia.
“Oh yeah, there’s no doubt it is,” Richt said. “It’s obvious that it is. The bottom line is we’re 0-3 in the league. We’ve never been there. We’ve had enough issues off the field that have been a big distraction and sad for our young men and our program and for our university and our fans and everybody else.
“There’s no doubt it’s the toughest bit of adversity that we’ve faced since I’ve been here.”
Tags: Arrests, Athens, Atlanta, College Football, College Sports, Georgia, North America, Reckless Endangerment, Sports, United States