“I know I’ve been drinking alcohol.”

There are times when you feel the need to blame ACC/UGA police for being overbearing in their dealings with football players.  Then there are times when you can only give them credit for dealing responsibly with knuckleheads.

“I explained to Mr. Ledbetter that I was asking him if he would submit to a breath test and that I needed a yes or no,” the report said. “He proceeded to explain that he knows what’s going on in the world now with cops shooting black people and he also said that he wanted to know if he passed the test or not so that he could take his boys home. There was no one in the car except for Mr. Ledbetter when I arrived on the scene. He also says he feels like this is a hate crime.”

Ledbetter told police he would submit to a breath test, but said he “plays football for UGA and that he does not need to get into any more trouble because he is going to get kicked off of the team and that he needs to provide for his mother and family.”

Yeah, that’s gonna work, especially when…

He registered a .131 and .138. Blood alcohol level of 0.02 grams is standard for DUI in an offender who is under 21.

Hate crime, my ass.  Somebody’s got a serious drinking problem and needs help.


UPDATE:  First reactions.

Georgia defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter will be receive unspecified “discipline” after his second alcohol-related arrest, as well as what the school is calling “an intensified education, counseling, and medical assistance program.”

In a statement released on Monday morning, head coach Kirby Smart did not outline a specific suspension, but UGA policy mandates a two-game suspension for a DUI, which Ledbetter was arrested for on Sunday morning. 

“Certainly we are disappointed and recognize he has a serious problem,” Smart said in a statement.  “We have provided help for him previously and we are committed to providing whatever assistance is necessary for Jonathan that will contribute to immediate improvement but also ensure that his long-term well-being is secure.”

Ledbetter was also arrested in March on charges of possessing a fake ID and underage drinking, but the charges were dismissed. After initially announcing a one-game suspension (as mandated by UGA policy), Smart did not answer whether the suspension would stand following the dismissal of the charges.

Ledbetter, 18, has been expected to contend for a starting spot on the defensive line.

“First I want to apologize to my family, my teammates and coaches, the University and the Bulldog Nation,” Ledbetter said in a statement released by the team.  “I have a problem and have received an incredible amount of support and treatment through the Athletic Department for the problem.  For that I am thankful.  I ask for everyone’s support as I continue to receive additional treatment for this disease and work toward a healthy life.”

Well, at least Kirby’s got something to talk about besides Chubb’s knee in Hoover this week.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

85 responses to ““I know I’ve been drinking alcohol.”

  1. The other Doug

    This is Smart’s first test as a head coach. I hope Smart brings in his family and comes up with a plan to get him some help. A year off from football would be a good start.

  2. Juan

    And then there were 5 serviceable D-Linemen including freshmen.Yikes

  3. roswell dawg

    The term “hate crime” is a meaningless term. If a person commits a crime, then the law provides a penalty for that crime. What was in a person’s heart when they commit a crime is irrelevant. It is only the action they took that deserves punishment. If you want to use the term hate crime, then what you really ought to say is “I want to have thought crime, because what I really want to do is criminalize your thoughts not your actions.” The implications of that are obvious. Millions of people run around every day with unpleasant, even violent thoughts about others. And never act on those impulses. Those that like the term hate crime are really trying to police the inner thoughts of all of us. Not excusing the negative implications of having those unpleasant thoughts, and certainly wish that all of us, including me were free of such things. Just pointing out the danger of reaching to that level. The term is another way people find ways of defining people unfairly, IMO.

  4. paul

    Dude was passed out in the middle of an intersection and it took the police more than thirty minutes just to wake him up. Kudos to UGA for getting him some help. But if he plays a down this year I can’t see how Kirby can enforce any sort of discipline whatsoever moving forward. I’m shocked he’s still on the team quite frankly.

  5. Uglydawg

    Football aside, he’s a kid that needs help before he kills himself or someone else. This incident is a blessing if it gets him the help he needs. I’m not excusing his behavior…just saying that he has larger problems than his status on the team.

    • Argondawg

      I couldn’t agree more. This kid needs help. He is on a sure path to self destruction. Football is irrelevant. This guy is lucky to have not killed anyone or himself.

  6. Txs this answered my question. If the results were .o3 and he was just getting screwed by the fact that he was under 21, than I’d have sympathy but these numbers are truly those of a less safe driver. I’ve dealt with the criminal justice system long enough to know that claims of both mental illness and racism are the last bastions of the guilty. Before everyone goes all “social media” on the previous statement please understand there are many mentally ill caught up in the criminal justice system and there is some racism in the system buy bullshit allegations of this type just make it harder for actual incidents of bad behavior by cops to be ferreted out . Ledbetter is an energy vampire …dump him.

  7. ClydeBoogie

    Getting pissy drunk at his age is really bad. Needs rehab right now.

    • Juan

      “getting pissy drunk at his age is really normal”


      Definitely needs help though

    • JarvisCrowell

      Dude he’s a college student. It’s literally the only appropriate age in anyone’s life to get “pissy” drunk. Which, by the way, is a lot more than a 0.13. That being said I think Ledbetter may need some help

  8. Debby Balcer

    Praying that he gets the helo he needs.

  9. dawgtired

    I know the kid is at fault and I believe we are all accountable for our actions…but somehow I feel a little sorry for him. He needs help. The excessive drinking can get out of hand and his future ruined. To add to the problems, the media and culture has created this ‘pull-the-race-card’ and ‘entitlement’ attitude with so many of the young kids these days. I’m sure many different races are harmed in police related altercations every day, but the media makes sure the right ones are highlighted in the news and fuels the anger. Then even more innocent people are harmed. And, I’m sure there are times cops use excessive force or make bad decisions, and they should answer for it, but right now EVERY black/white altercation is viewed as race-hate no matter the evidence. My family is of mixed races and we has been able to survive this chaos. This country needs to come together for ALL races and ALL people, including police officers, to heal our nation’s pains.

  10. ClydeBoogie

    PS If I’m a football player at Uga the only thing I’d be addicted to would be those gorgeous girls walking around me everyday. Foghorn Leghorn said it best Hey boy I say hey boy what’s wrong with ya son!

  11. The Quincy Carter of Accountants

    Sophmore passed out at an intersection with the car running and the police couldn’t wake him up for half an hour and when they did he said he was home? That’s senior level work.

  12. DawgPhan

    Oh boy…this is going to be hot today.

    We already have several all lives matter posts. Hate crimes arent a thing was also a nice touch and the cherry on top as always is the media is totally to blame for all this.

    nice work gentlemen.

    • He better get good help now or we may see his name on other headlines in the future.

    • roswell dawg

      DawgPhan, your cryptic reply regarding my comments on the veracity of the term hate crime leaves me wondering whether you were being cynical or complimentary. Probably the former. Care to clarify?

    • Gurkha Dawg

      Shouldn’t you be standing in the middle of the interstate somewhere?

    • dawgtired

      Oh, I should have been more clear. I should have said ‘fuels the encouragement’ not ‘created’. My bad. Although I did think, for the reader of average intelligence, my comment ‘accountable for our own actions’ would suffice.
      I in no way intended to blame media or journalism for the sins of the world. I’m a firm believer in we each should pay for our own actions and not blame others, including parents or up-bringing for our failures.
      I do think that the things we read and hear repeatedly HELP form our beliefs or at least our attitudes…and sometimes gives us an avenue for excuse.

      Which reminds me about some exciting news. My daughter has applied for the Grady School of Journalism at UGA (in which I was completely encouraging). I guess if she survives and becomes a journalist, I can blame her for the sins of the world.

  13. Cojones

    I’m thankful that Kirby and UGA will stand behind him one more time; doing whatever it takes to get him some help and trying to save the rest of his life. Make playing football the elixir to substitute for alcohol; make his team comradeship the comfort he needs to help see him through; switch his addiction to other things that can promote his future.

    Kirby just went up a notch in my mind’s estimate by not getting his ego involved and concentrating on the individual. If he has taken the time to save the kid, that’s all he can do. I think that his spending money should be curtailed unless he is out with other team members who can steer him toward other beverages used to celebrate. He should be encouraged to always be with a crowd until he learns that he doesn’t need that crutch. His spending money account could be overseen by a parent, perhaps.

    No, we aren’t in the rehab business, but stooping or slowing to help anyone is everyone’s business and most certainly we, through our athletic dept., have promised parents that we will mentor and protect their children while in our care. Kirby is carrying through with that promise. Kudos.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      There gave been 8 arrests since CKS took over. Care to guess how many Mr. Ledbetter was involved in?
      Just sayin’

    • 69Dawg

      He apparently thought he was out with his boys per the police report. Take his damn car away for starters and confine him to the campus. Get him in rehab.

      • As coach, Kirby doesn’t have the right to take his car away and confine him to campus (he could run him until he pukes or dismiss him if he were to disobey the coach’s order). As an adult, really no one can do that to him other than the criminal justice system.

          • The DMV can suspend his license only as part of a sentence handed down from the Clarke County Superior Court. They can’t take the car away (it may not even be his personal property) if the tags and taxes are paid.

            I’m not even sure the court could confine him to campus.

  14. 69Dawg

    He should also apologize to the Police officers for his BS attitude. If Kirby wants to keep him fine but we should just STFU about the Georgia Way. If he has this bad of a problem why not redshirt him and get him treatment. Heck if we tried we could get it to be a medical redshirt and look like the school GAS about the players as people not just as Jocks. I’m worried that a bad choice by Kirby will set an example to the other players and down the slippery slope we go.

  15. PTC DAWG

    .13 is babyshit…something else at play here, IMHO.

    • DawgPhan

      probably right. It is a solid night of drinking, but probably not black out drunk for most college students.

      Toss a xanny, codeine, or pot with it and you probably get black out drunk in a car in the middle of the road.

  16. It took 30 mins to wake him up and he blew a .13. Let’s not take the black-out drunken ramblings at 6am too seriously.

    Kid fucked up and needs help. Hope he gets it and can turn the corner.

    • JCDAWG83

      .13 is not black out drunk, it is barely drunk and most people would be able to function almost perfectly at .13. Before the MADD Nazis went hysterical with their temperance movement, the legal limit was .10 with .13 falling within an officer’s discretion as to whether or not to charge someone.

      Ledbetter obviously has some other dependence issues involving much stronger substances than alcohol. Give him a medical redshirt year to prove he is serious about taking care of his obviously serious substance abuse problem. If he has any more issues, he should be off the team and back home for his own good.

  17. Go Dawgs!

    It has to be tough to take a teenager calling you a racist when you’re doing your job the right way. Kudos to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department for getting a dangerous driver off of the roadway.

    I’ll just echo what’s been said above. We all drank in Athens. Not all of us got into cars to drive when we couldn’t even recognize whether or not we had other people in the car. This young man needs some help, and I hope he gets it. I hope part of that help will include some sort of a talk that involves showing respect for those in positions of authority and accepting the blame for your actions, not blaming others for your actions. I know the kid was drunk and I know he’s just a teenager in our society, but it really turns me off to hear someone accusing a cop of racism and committing some sort of crime against a young man when it’s the kid who put the lives of everyone on that road at risk because he can’t handle alcohol. I hope that he comes through this as a better man. I hope, for his sake more than the football team’s, that his Bulldog career won’t be ruined. And I hope I don’t see him play a down of football this season.

    • Gurkha Dawg

      Agree with all points. Good post.

    • EmoryDawg

      I agree. I think his public statement should have included an apology to the ACCPD for that stupid statement (which he likely never remembered making).

  18. Yesterday I was disappointed by Mr. Chip Towers dismissing Mr. Ledbetter as a simple disrespect of Mr. Kirby. Mr. Ledbetter has an obvious serious medical condition. Alcoholism makes a person unaware of its full impact unfortunately, no difference from heroine or cocaine addiction. Mr. Towers should have waited for the entire story.

  19. rchris

    If I were Kirby, I’d require him to take a ethyl glucuronide test every day.

  20. Gaskilldawg

    If the kid has a substance abuse problem then keeping him on the team so that the university can get him help and monitor his recovery is important to his success. I will leave it up to the guys who coach 18-22 year olds for a living to determine the time it is appropriate to let him play, so long as the decision is for the benefit of the kid and the team, in that order. If it takes a year long redshirt to address his needs and to encourage any other kids with substance abuse problems to seek help before tit leads to struggle, then I am fine with it.

    So far it appears Smart is treating this matter as I would have hoped he would.

  21. Huntindawg

    In one way this is funny. He was REAL drunk, so he has a disease. Therefore he should be getting treatment for the disease. So it wasn’t just being drunk and stupid and violating team rules like if he was just a little bit drunk and therefore should be kicked off the team. Since he was really drunk he should get treatment and stay on the team. Someone knows how to play the political correctness game to his benefit.

    • Argondawg

      I hope I am never this cynical.

    • I don’t think he should be kicked off the team because I consider this a “first offense.” The previous run-in was thrown out based on an illegal search and is pretty much like what could happen to any student on campus. I trust Kirby will make the right decision in this case. If it works out, great … if not, the young man will be gone before the season starts.

      Marshall Morgan made a similar mistake and was given a chance to redeem himself. Ledbetter, at this point, deserves the same opportunity.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        “According to Georgia’s most recent student-athlete drug and alcohol handbook, a non-DUI alcohol-related arrest results in an “automatic” suspension of 10 percent of the season, which in football’s case is a one-game suspension.”

        First arrest.”

        Second arrest.
        Asleep at the wheel.

        • I’m not taking sides, but that 1st arrest was tainted by the illegal search. Morgan served two games for his BUI charge if I remember correctly, so I would consider that’s where this will start. It’s either going to be 2, 4 or a redshirt as he tries to get it together and get help.

          • AthensHomerDawg

            I hear ya. I’m not either. Throw out the fake ID. He was still pretty hammered.

            “Due to Ledbetter’s inebriated state and stature I asked him to step away from the entrance and I took possession of his wallet finding a fraudulent photo copy Georgia Driver’s License with Ledbetter’s information but with a date of birth of (redacted) 1992,” the report states. “I requested another unit to my location due to Ledbetter’s stature and inebriation.”

            • The officer probably should have just called for backup and then possibly brought him in on a public intoxication charge. Once booked, then it would have been appropriate to get the fake ID charge upon inspection of his possessions. I’m not an attorney, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night …

              I would probably lean to the 2 game suspension with a strong warning that he would be subject to random testing throughout the season. Another violation means he’s out.

              • DawgPhan

                I would love to see a one game suspension for this kid. Mostly because I want to see what the fallout looks like.

                Kirby dismissing the first arrest(and I am pretty sure the handbook says arrest and not conviction, but could be wrong I often am) and then rounding 1.2 games down to 1 game instead of up to 2 games like CMR did.

                But this kid isnt going to miss the whole year or get a medical redshirt to go to rehab, that is silly.

                Embrace the process. let it flow through you. feel its power rise within the program.

                • That’s good … I think DUI regardless of 1st or 2nd offense carries a minimum 2 games.

                  If this were one of the private school offensive linemen he inherited in this situation. The kid would probably be out. Since it’s a 300-pound athletic defensive lineman, Kirby is going to do whatever he can within the Georgia Way to keep him in Athens.

                  • DawgPhan

                    Right now it is just a suspicion of dui arrest.

                    By the time it is all said and done this turns into a pretrial diversion for first offenders and he goes through drug court and his record is sealed or expunged or whatever the normal course of action is after drug court.

                    Then it becomes does Kirby stick to the letter or the spirit of the law?

                    Barring him being an absolute fucking knucklehead and catching another charge, at which point he is dunzo and headed to Auburn or Bama.

  22. Captain Morgan

    I love all the progressives living in glass houses theses days. My, how our memory conveniently fades with age. I never knew I was surrounded by so many abstainers on fall Saturdays in Athens.

    • dawgtired

      I thank the God above for my second chances…

    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      Bah. There was at least one poster that referred to .138 was ‘pissy drunk’. I guess he gets it on during games.

      Seriously, the question isn’t whether you drink. The alcohol addiction comes in when you can’t function at times you are supposed to be able to function. This was one of those times and is the second alcohol related arrest (even though the first one was dismissed) in six months. That’s a problem. Like most, I just hope he gets some help. That has to start with him, but he has lots of incentive$$ to get himself straightened out.

      • Cojones

        Alcohol is a poison, a toxic molecule that, in excess amounts, can kill you. True “alcohol-averse” people can’t tolerate any alcohol because they have an allergic reaction that can become as deadly as excess amounts.

        Someone I reported to in my profession was an alky and, on a trip to a New Orleans Convention, stayed away from it. When we were at the airport to fly back, he excused himself and left for about 10 mins. He returned almost dead drunk. Later, a friend of mine in a former company asked who the drunk was that I was helping through the airport. He thought he could get away with being inebriated flying back and be sober when he landed, but one beer was toxic to his system.

        Sounds like Ledbetter’s problem is close to being allergic and he should never go near the stuff for the rest of his life. Taking 30 mins to awaken is alarmingly close to not breathing sometimes.

    • PTC DAWG

      Agreed, no one was ever young…and these same clowns have made the laws very draconian. The mind is boggled.

  23. Macallanlover

    As someone who worked with a breathalyzer and did some experimenting with blood alcohol levels with acquaintances after various levels of drinks, I concur that .13 is not even close to “pass out” drunk condition. Other substances, or another medical condition, would be necessary for him to reach the level of unconsciousness described by the officers. I also feel setting .08 as the standard for maximum DUI penalties is an over reaction by control freaks. A sliding scale beginning at .08 for impairment, and ending at .10, .11, or .12 is a better standard for DUI…imo.

    Towers really missed the mark on this one, Ledbetter really needs help and I am glad the program is indicating they will support him through this process. Giving him a chance to earn his way back onto the team is what I would prefer with either a medical RS year or a minimum of a half season suspension is what I would prefer. Whatever he had been doing, he wasn’t too oblivious to realize he may be blowing his chance to help his family by remaining on the football team.

    The coaches, counselors, and his family need to have a tough love conversation with him or all those dreams go down the drain. A second incident this close to the March arrest shows how poorly the first conversations and actions were received, it would be hard to argue with a really difficult punishment being set, and a high hurdle to clear if he is to remain with the team. Mr. Ledbetter may have had his last drink, and should be drug tested regularly based on what is known from the information released. Sure, many of us may have over indulged while in college, but I doubt many have ever reached this level regardless of how hard we tried, and how stupid we were.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      “Mr. Ledbetter may have had his last drink,…”

    • Dog in Fla

      “and did some experimenting with blood alcohol levels with acquaintances after various levels of drinks,”

      Never get off the boat for drinks with Mac

  24. Hey dog! Did you see the size of that chicken!?