Chuck Oliver is not an attorney, although he plays one on the Internet.

I don’t know if you caught Oliver’s hissy fit on Twitter over Branden Smith’s non-suspension, but if you didn’t, here’s the gist of it:

Whenever Mark Richt, his employers or supporters wonder why he has the reputation of being soft on discipline, they should simply look at his handling of the non-suspension of CB Brandon Smith.

Fact: Smith was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana.

Fact: Smith pled guilty, during pre-trial intervention.  [Emphasis added.]

Fact: UGA’s policy is that being guilty of misdemeanor results in the student being suspended for one game (if he’s a football player, other lengths for other sports).

Fact: Mark Richt instead said, “Nah, we’ll let him play.”

Pretty cut and dried, eh?  Well, maybe not so much.

Branden Smith – Does UGA policy mandate one game suspension for misdemeanor arrest? Some think so, I can’t find it.
- David Grier

The short answer is no: In the case of a misdemeanor arrest, it is normally left to the coaches’ discretion as to discipline. A felony arrest triggers automatic penalties.

The UGA drug policy, revised as of June (without any major changes), does still call for a suspension of 10 percent of a season for a first offense of the drug policy. But I’ve looked through it, and at no point do I see any automatic punishment for a drug-related arrest, regardless of the outcome of the trial. Essentially, while Smith agreed to pre-trial intervention (which technically is not an admission of guilt) [Emphasis added], UGA took into account that he passed drug tests through the court and the school. So it was determined he had in fact not committed an offense of the drug policy.

That’s a big difference, is it not?  In fact, given that it’s clear, as even Oliver concedes, that there was no evidence of usage, it’s the whole story here.

So who’s right?  Logic suggests that Emerson is.  Besides that, take a look at some of the key language from the Alabama Code on pre-trial intervention.  First, about the agreement into which the parties must enter:

If as part of the Pre-Trial Intervention Program, the offender agrees to plead guilty to a particular offense and receive a specific sentence, this agreement concerning the offense and sentence shall be approved by an appropriate circuit or district judge of the Twenty-eighth Judicial Circuit prior to admission of the offender in the Pre-Trial Intervention Program.  [Emphasis added.]

Sure sounds to me as if a guilty plea isn’t automatic in PTI.  And from the violations section, there’s this:

(a) If the offender violates the conditions of the Pre-Trial Intervention Program agreed to in writing by the offender and the district attorney, the district attorney may terminate the participation of the offender in the program and pursue criminal charges against the offender.

Again, if you’ve already got a guilty plea in your pocket, there’s no need to pursue criminal charges – you’re simply going to haul the offender in and move directly to the punishment stage.

Now while I am an attorney, I don’t practice criminal law and I don’t practice in Alabama.  So I don’t want to say anything here with any sort of absolute authority.  But I’m also not the one making a factual assertion that a guilty plea exists.  The relevant law doesn’t mandate one and I’ve never heard Smith or anyone representing him state for the record that he pled guilty to a criminal charge.  Maybe Oliver is privy to some inside information on the matter.  If that’s the case, it seems like he should make that information public in support of his “fact”.  Otherwise, somebody owes somebody an apology.

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106 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

106 responses to “Chuck Oliver is not an attorney, although he plays one on the Internet.

  1. Mayor of Dawgtown

    I am an attorney. I do practice law. Chuck Oliver is FOS. You, Senator, are right in what you said.

    • Silver Creek Dawg

      I’m finishing up paralegal classes in Alabama. Chuck Oliver doesn’t have a clue how PTI works in AL. A guilty plea is not a part of it. It’s like an Allen plea (or pleading no contest). You say you’re not guilty, but you concede the state likely has enough evidence to convict you.

      • Governor Milledge

        Except w/ PTI, if you complete the terms of the program, you’ll have the charges dismissed, without ever adding to your record.

        Drug Court and the first time offender law in GA notably require a guilty plea, with the subsequent expulsion of the criminal plea if you successfully complete the terms of the program. PTI does not sound like it involves an initial guilty plea.

      • Joe

        Actually, an Alford plea is and pleading no contest is absolutely a guilty plea.

  2. Jeff Sanchez

    “Matt Stafford” will never take a snap at UGA”

  3. adam

    “Journalists” (especially ones covering sports or politics) rarely let facts get in the way of them trying to make a point. I hope someone links Oliver to this article so he can see how stupid he looks. What a dick.

    • dawgy45

      I sent him the link. The other day I asked Chuck to cite the source for his “fact” that UGA policy mandates a suspension for a misdemeanor arrest and he gave me Seth’s article from Saturday which stated that an arrest “normally” results in a suspension (see the comments under Monday Morning Buffet for more details). So I checked the student athlete handbook, found nothing, and asked Seth the question that the Senator linked above thinking that perhaps I had just missed something in the handbook. Looks like somebody was just flat wrong.

      With the link I suggested that Chuck owes Richt an apology.

      “King” my ass.

  4. Careful Brad

    I love when Chuck Oliver calls Richt soft on discipline and uses Chizik as an example of being a tough disciplinarian.
    I actually enjoy Chuck and Chernoff but I just tune them out when they start with the Richt-Bashing…Skeptic Dawg, I believe this is your cue.

  5. Dog in Fla

    “Maybe Oliver is privy to some inside information on the matter. If that’s the case, it seems like he should make that information public in support of his “fact”.

    Mitt tells Chuck Oliver’s Blog to never give in to a demand from a Senator

  6. I think it’s time to nominate Chuck Oliver to the doucheoisie. That is all.

  7. Dawg in Beaumont

    Chuck Oliver=butthurt over Auburn’s 4-7 record vs. Richt

  8. anon

    Somebody owes somebody an apology? I would say those two parties are Chuck Oliver and Golden Corral.

  9. Old Prosticutor

    Where I practice, PTI is combination of “I’m dumb and screwed up,” but it must be a first offense and is typically reserved for younger folks. The other part of that combination is the DA’s ofice saying “we really don’t have time for this shit but give us money, your PO money, the PTI director money and we’ll make it go away as long as you stay out of trouble…..and give us money”

  10. JCB

    Mark Richt: I don’t care if he killed a dwarf tranny hooker. We are undermanned for the Mizzou game, so he’s going to play.

    • Smith was only looking at a one-game suspension. Nice try, though.

      • JCB

        There are others. Just wait.

        • If you’re as big an expert on Georgia football as you are on the gender gap, I guess I’ll have to. ;)

          • JCB

            It’s funny really. You bitch and moan about every other program and their players, while UGA has thugs with illegal guns, and players “suspended” left and right, who will all magically do “what they needed to do” during camp to have their “suspensions” lifted. I could really give a crap, but your double standard is hysterical. Richt is no different than any other coach and UGA is no different than any other program when it comes to this (except PSU, of course).

            • Really? Give me a list of Georgia players who’ve had their suspensions lifted.

              I’m under no illusions about college players these days and certainly don’t think Georgia has an exclusive on saints. If you’d pull your head out of your ass and read some of my posts here, you might realize that.

              Just out of curiosity, mind letting us in on what program you support?

              • HobnailedBoots

                He’s got Gamecock written all over him.

                • Gravidy

                  A gamecock fan? Ya think so? I don’t know, Hob… if he were a gamecock fan spouting this kinda crap about players magically doing what they need to do in order to have their “suspensions” lifted in time to play in the game, he’d have to be completely delusional. Really… he’d have to be 100% oblivious to any sort of meaningful state of reality. Wait… yeah, I see your point.

                • charlottedawg

                  Won’t comment on what program he actually supports, just has an irrational hatred and obsession with Georgia. sounds like Tech to me.

              • JCB

                Numerous sports writers predicted that because the suspensions were not SEC/NCAA suspensions and simply UGA suspensions, that they could be lifted by Richt at anytime, and based on how thin the secondary was because of those suspensions, that there would be some that were magically lifted. And camp just started and we are already at 1 suspension lifted.

                But don’t mind me, go back to complaining about water craft incidents, drinking, etc. and what those other coaches are doing. Because the reality is that the only team UGA has a leg up on this offseason is PSU.

                Oh, and please go point out the easy schedule every other team has and ignore the big white elephant in the room that is UGA’s schedule of last year and their schedule this year.

                I must admit, I do enjoy sitting around Atlanta every year and overhearing UGA fans talk about how good they are going to be. Funny as shit.

                PS: I actually have no problem with Isaiah having a gun on him, based on what an absolute shithole the area around UGA is.

                • But don’t mind me, go back to complaining about water craft incidents, drinking, etc. and what those other coaches are doing. Because the reality is that the only team UGA has a leg up on this offseason is PSU.

                  Oh, and please go point out the easy schedule every other team has and ignore the big white elephant in the room that is UGA’s schedule of last year and their schedule this year.

                  Sorry, but I don’t do requests. ;)

                • The other Doug

                  Tech fan.

                • charlottedawg

                  So questions for ya. 1) how old are you? 2)What’s the highest level of education you’ve attained and where? 3) What do you do for a living? 4)Are you married and have you ever been? and finally 5)How do you have so much free time that you feel the need to diligently follow, obsess over, and comment on a team you hate, on its own fans’ blog nonetheless?

                  You can answer these questions quietly to yourself as I’m sure there is no way in hell you would post the truthful answers to these questions here.

                  And for full disclosure, I’m 26, married, BBA in Finance, graduated magna cum laude from Georgia, current Dean’s fellow at a top 20 Business School.

                  • charlottedawg

                    And if you’re a tech fan, I got accepted to and turned down GT

                    • Gravidy

                      Hey, we have something in common, CD. I was accepted to Tech and turned them down as well, although it was considerably longer ago! :-)

            • Gravidy

              Originally, I thought you were just a garden variety troll, but I’m beginning to think you really are this ignorant.

              • Macallanlover

                He is that ignorant, has no clue about the difference between what shackles UGA while other schools can skate. How can you attempt to pretend to be knowledgeable enough for a discussion when you don’t understand the facts. But then, folks that sit around the Atlanta area with the media they have are not usually well informed. Ignorance runs rampant in the ATL, and not just with football. (I am not saying there aren’t exceptions guys, but this version of the Village Idiot is more the norm than you good posters who have actually been out of “that arena”.

            • hailtogeorgia

              You know, what’s really funny is that you honestly believe yourself with this shit. There are literally numerous examples of guys who have been suspended by Richt and didn’t receive shortened suspensions, only to miss the South Carolina game two games into the season…off the top of my head, I can think of Tavarres King and Justin Houston, just to name two. There was also Cornelius Washington last year who missed two games mid-season, and there’s Sanders Commings this year who’ll miss the Mizzou game.

              On the contrary, the only suspension I can really remember that’s been ‘lifted’, as you like to put it, is Branden Smith’s, and that’s because he tested negative for marijuana in multiple tests, so he didn’t violate the substance abuse policy.

              Please, enlighten us as to others, since you seem to be so knowledgeable on the subject.

        • Gravidy

          Senator Reid? Is that you?

        • anon

          Trolly Troll is Trolly.

    • Cojones

      I don’t know, but my tranny friends say a dwarf tranny hooker, being on the endangered species list, is so rare as to prohibit killing. However, that does not preclude rape, but there never has been a report of a dwarf tranny rape. Trannys don’t report rape, they report intruders. Some just stand upright and say “We’re going to the police”.

    • JCB

      Gentlemen, thanks so much for calling me a troll. I appreciate it.

      The point I was trying to make is that those on these boards make a point of ripping on other teams/coaches/players for indiscretions small and large. However, in this case, the words maturity, responsibility, etc. are never spoken, just a rationale for the lifting of his suspension. When it is exactly the opposite when another team or another team’s player or coach is discussed.

      I understand the homerism. I understand you love your Dawgs. But being a blindly ignorant fan is just sad. Look at them realistically. You lose credibility when you complain about the other teams’ thugs, schedule, etc. but make excuses for your own.

      As to your team, you beat no one of consequence last year. You are likely overrated this year. Does that mean it will be so at the end of the year? No. But it is so now.

      charlottedawg, I am very much impressed with your academic accomplishments and the fact some woman would have you. I also would absolutely expect you to pick UGA over GTech, because unless you are a math/engineering nerd, there is not one single reason to pick Tech over UGA. But perhaps you should look within and ask yourself why you felt the need to post what you did. It probably goes to some confidence issues you have harbored for a long time.

      PS: If you guys can’t take people who are not UGA fans posting, then posting should be private.

      PPS: This is fun.

      • LMAO. You come in here a’trolling and now you expect folks to take you seriously? You’re too much, man.

        I don’t ban people for making asses of themselves, so that’s another piece of advice from you I’ll ignore. But I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself.

        • JCB

          So disagreeing with you and pointing out your double standards and biases is “trolling”? Interesting. Oh, and that makes me an “ass”. Doubly interesting.

          • dawgy45

            No, having a disagreement isn’t trolling; it happens here all the time. This is trolling: “Mark Richt: I don’t care if he killed a dwarf tranny hooker. We are undermanned for the Mizzou game, so he’s going to play.” So is this: “the reality is that the only team UGA has a leg up on this offseason is PSU. ” As is this: “PS: I actually have no problem with Isaiah having a gun on him, based on what an absolute shithole the area around UGA is.”

            “Numerous sports writers predicted that because the suspensions were not SEC/NCAA suspensions and simply UGA suspensions, that they could be lifted by Richt at anytime, and based on how thin the secondary was because of those suspensions, that there would be some that were magically lifted. And camp just started and we are already at 1 suspension lifted.” Now this one isn’t really trolling but I would love for you to provide some links to the “numerous sports writers” who have made such predictions. I’m sure it makes for some high quality reading time.

          • Nope. But posting things like “I actually have no problem with Isaiah having a gun on him, based on what an absolute shithole the area around UGA is” certainly qualifies.

            You know, eventually we’ll all grow bored with this. You’ll move on. I’ll keep blogging in ways you disapprove. In the meantime, knock yourself out, brother.

          • AthensHomerDawg

            You have no idea just how far in over your head you are while posting on this blog. When you made the choice to post that nonsense you had no idea you were turning yourself into a human punching bag as a result of your decision. As a result I can no longer read this thread. It is just too painful.

          • Gravidy

            Personally, I’m still waiting for that list of mysteriously lifted suspensions the Senator asked you to provide over 18 hours ago. Why is it taking you so long? You’ve posted several items since then, but the list hasn’t yet been provided. Could it be that you’ve been too busy singing Rocky Top since then?

            Oh…and come to think of it…the one “suspension” you’re specifically whining about was never a suspension and, therefore, could never have been lifted. If you can provide that list, I’ll be happy to continue pointing out how misinformed you are. Otherwise, you have a nice day.

            • JCB

              You miss the point as well. Please see above.

              • Gravidy

                I assure you I haven’t missed any point you’ve made on this thread, and I’d venture to say you aren’t capable making a point that I’m capable of missing.

                However, I will state the blindingly obvious here for your benefit. You missed the Senator’s point (and my point). And that “point” is that, until you provide that list which is now 18.5 hours overdue, you don’t have a “point”. When you get a “point”, you come on back and see us. Until then, you have a nice day.

          • Scorpio Jones, III

            “water craft incidents” hmmm

  11. HobnailedBoots

    Good stuff. I’m sure if linked to this article though, the Great Oliver would pooh-pooh your facts and belittle you as a “little blogger.”

  12. The other Doug

    Chuck Oliver is trying to troll like the AJC to get more hits and callers.

  13. LRGK9

    Everybody wants to be a lawyer but nobody wants to go to Law School.

  14. Debby Balcer

    Sour grapes at the reputation of Chizik and in comparision of Richt. You can’t build Chizik up so tear Richt down. Branden Smith’s life is irrelevant to that discussion. Another blogger I won’t be reading.

  15. Twilb Dawg

    Fact: The self proclaimed “King of College Football” is an idiot.

    • Careful Brad

      I worked with his first wife while they were still married and she used to refer to him as “the self proclaimed king of college football”

  16. richtflair

    Em, kang here…

  17. Point of fact: Chuck Oliver has ranted about this not only on twitter but on the radio for several days running.

  18. 79Dawg

    Did anyone else here what Oliver actually said on the air Monday?
    I am surprised Oliver hasn’t been forced to take a little break by his bosses, as he accused several Georgia players (including Branden Smith) of being criminals. In Georgia, accusing someone of a crime is libel per se. Meanwhile, he also made several other borderline defamatory statements about Smith, other players and even Coach Richt. Although Coach Richt is probably too much of a public figure and much of what Oliver said could probably be categorized as opinion, he was very close to the line there, the players may not be public figures and thus may have stronger cases against Oliver for the statements he made about them.

    • Twilb Dawg

      The “king” has been struggling this week without Chernoff. He is almost as painful to listen to as Buck is without Kincaid.

      • Chuck

        I have thought about this before. There is clearly a radio standard that says you should put opposite personalities on the air together: Buck/Kincaid; Chuck/Chernoff; Mike/Mike, etc. They tend to mellow each other. Problem is, when is gone, it really sucks.

  19. Smitty

    Chuck Oliver is 1/2 of an irrelevant radio show. It is quite a contest to figure out if Oliver or Chernoff is more annoying. I, like a lot of others have come to the conclusion that they are not worth turning on. He’s probably stirring the pot to get people to tune in. Much like Mark Bradley does at the AJC.

  20. Macallanlover

    I don’t know this Oliver person and have never read, or listened to him. Do I understand he is/was affiliated with The aU? And thinks Cheetzik is a disciplinarian? My Lawd folks, why would you waste time discussion what a total idiot says? Auburn is THE dirtiest football program in the SEC, one of the Top 5 in CFB, and Cheetzik took that to an even lower level two years ago and the fans/administration supported and defended them. And they attack a man of character like Mark Richt and the way he has run his program? Wow.

    • tbia

      After Georgia/Auburn 2010, he praised Nick Fairly for playing thru the whistle. All was good in his little world.

      • Macallanlover

        He is even stupider than I thought, I would have turned away from CFB long ago if it were played the way Fairley the Fairy played it. Even for fans of The Barn that had to be hard to accept from someone wearing your colors.

  21. _ _ _ _ Chuck.

    The original mealy mouth, slack jawed mouth breather.

    • Cojones

      Red, you of all people shouldn’t make a spelling mistake. _ _ _ _ usually has two asterisks in the middle.

  22. The other Doug

    He or 680 the fan are deleting the comments on his blog post. Stay classy…

  23. Vandy Hater

    King of College Football my ass…fatboy of Auburn football…if he knew what was going on in college football he wouldn’t be announcing UAB, Tulsa, La Tech, etc… games. Sorry but just a want-a-be.

    • Macallanlover

      Prepare to Die Bitch! Stay classy gata.

      • Mike

        Back in the day, there was no better studio duo.

      • Mike

        BTW, interesting juxtaposition of comments, Macallan. Here we have one Chris Rainey who plead to a misdemeanor stalking charge for texting “Time to Die Bitch” to a woman he had been boinking for the last three years. He did not hit her, he threatened her. He was subsequently suspended for five SEC games. Then we have the case of Sanders Commings who was arrested for domestic violence/simple battery in January. Commings has been suspended for the first two games of the upcoming season by Richt. So, threaten a woman and get suspended for five games. Actually hit a woman and get suspended for two games.

        Yep, the rationalizations coming from the UGA faithful is amusing. Saying nothing about the intellectual inconsistency of the points.

        • AusDawg85

          Fair point. What was the penalty for blatant eye-gouging, again?

          • Mike

            The standard is a half game suspension, followed by another half.

            • Cojones

              Yeah, but your player set the std while Crier did nothing about the eye gouging.

              Did you miss the whole “He lifted her arm off his jacket as she tried to hit him” quotes from witnesses who were on the street with Commings?. That incident was a technical use of physical abuse that, by using the words, conjures up a physical beating. It didn’t happen. Don’t wish this on you, but what jealous female of an FU player will get her idea from Commings’s incident as to how to prevent a player from playing in TWLOCP just for revenge. All she has to do is accost him on the Gainesville street and accuse him of abuse because he defends himself.

              Your comment was like parsing the pigs you are going to poke.

              • Mike

                Speaking of crying, are you guys still seriously crying about that eye gouging? Meyer asked the SEC office what the punishment should be. The SEC office said a half a game. So Meyer initially suspended him for half a game. UGA fans cried about that so much that it was increased to a full game. So, by all means, continue crying.

                And I am greatly amused how you excuse Commings charges. I guess, if I wanted to play that game, I could point out the woman that Rainey txt’ed said she was never in any danger, and that she, as a 35 year old woman, had been dating Rainey for 3 years. But I won’t make those excuses. I will just comment that UGA fans excoriated Meyer for punishing Rainey *only* five games while defending Richt for suspending Cummings for only two.

                And speaking of things that *might* happen before the WLOCP, hell, little green men from Mars *might* land on earth right before the game, protesting all the spaceships we send up there.

    • The Lone Stranger

      Try to take pity on Mike, Mac —- this may indicate he is a heavy Steely Dan fan-man. Which is vaguely troubling.

  24. rugbydawg79

    Screw Chuck Oliver–Atlanta Dogs need to run his tail out of town

  25. Brian

    Would love for UGA to file a libel claim just to send a message to that station, in general and that moron, in particular.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      At minimum a cease and desist letter to station owners from counsel for the university.

      • BeardDawg

        Not sure that would ever happen, what with 680 being the “official sports talk station” of Georgia Football.

  26. Dawgy45

    I still have received no reply from the King of C-USA and haven’t bothered listening since Monday. I’ll just assume I was wise to not hold my breath waiting for any corrections.