Friday, June 29, 2012
Richt Made the Right Call
Early this morning, Isaiah Crowell was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, posessing a weapon in a school zone, and an altered identification. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Crowell and four other UGA players riding with him were stopped at a roadblock where the officer Kathryn Thornton smelled the odor of marijuana which led to Crowell consenting to having his car search. No marijuana was found but a 9-mm Luger handgun was found in the car with an altered serial number. This caused Crowell to immediately be arrested.
Richt had no other choice but to dismiss Crowell from the team. Yes he was a highly rated running back that was the marquee name of Richt's 2012 signing class but rumors of a marijuana problem surrounded him. Crowell was suspended for the New Mexico St. game after supposedly failing a school administered drug test. After his suspension, Crowell effort was questioned by many fans during football games. He seemed to have nagging injuries that never healed and Richt was quick to defend the freshman running back. But this arrest was indefensible for Richt and he had to dismiss Crowell from the team.
A felony arrest at Georgia is an automatic suspension from the team according to Georgia Athletic policy so there was no doubt Crowell was going to have to miss game time. But after the shooting at Auburn, the environment has changed dramatically around college football. Richt could not have his start running back arrested with an altered 9-mm. This was too dangerous and it showed a lack of judgement by Crowell.
Mark Richt issued a brief statement on Friday stating that, "We have a dedicated and committed group of men who are working hard to prepare for the coming season. Our total focus will be directed toward the team and this effort." While it was cold for Richt to not even wish for Crowell to get his life together, I do understand. A problem child of this magnitude must have been on his last nerve and this incident made it clear to Richt that Crowell needed to be dismissed.
I still think that Georgia has more than enough depth at running back to cover the loss of Crowell and do not expect it to impede their path to the SEC East title. I think Richt made the right decision and would have questioned his morals and character had he not dismissed Isaiah Crowell from the team.
Georgia fans should be very proud of the decision their coach made today.