The once and future Trent Thompson

What’s happened with Thompson at the time he was taken to the hospital last week and what may be in store for him down the road is pretty interesting, not so much for what it says about Thompson, but for what it might indicate about how the bureaucracy now interacts with the football program.

Read what Chip Towers now reports about how the police handled the incident.

The new report – notably described as “sick person” under “Investigative Type” —  is from Sgt. Seth Robinson. He is introduced as “a drug recognition expert and emergency medical responder.”

Robinson was on the scene and is represented on body-cam footage viewed by DawgNation. Initially, Robinson reports that he believes they’re dealing with a person under the influence of drugs. He cites Thompson’s “dazed state,” “red eyes” and non-reactive pupils.

“Based on my training (Thompson’s behavior) could be caused by drug use,” specifically, “narcotic analgesics,” Robinson writes.

Then Robinson stipulates, and the body cam footage corroborates, that Thompson doesn’t actually say that he took “OxyContin,” as was stated in the initial report. He’s asked if he has taken “any pain pills” and Thompson answers yes. Asked how many he says”two.” Asked what kind, he responds “yeah” only after Robinson mentions “Oxies.”

But it’s also important to realize that Thompson was virtually incoherent at this point and largely unresponsive. After determining that Thompson is a football player, Robinson and other officers are concerned that he may be suffering from a possible head injury incurred during practice or in a fight.

Eventually, though, Robinson got around to taking Thompson’s pulse. When he does he is “surprised” to find it at 120 beats a minute, which is “not consistent with narcotic analgesics.” And they learn from a call to Bryant Gantt of UGA athletics that Thompson is “on some medication” prescribed by team doctors.

Finally, Robinson makes a very significant conclusion at the end of his supplemental report:

“I advised Lt. Gregory that even though he admitted to having taken OxyContin that I believed at this point something else was also taking place and causing the medical emergency. … Based on the information we obtained from athletics staff and what was observed, I believed there to be multiple issues and without knowing exactly what he was taking a determination of exactly what was going on would not be possible.”

Again, this is from an employee of the same UGAPD that once arrested a player for refusing to give his middle name.  Has somebody kidnapped Jimmy Williamson and replaced him with a pod person?  Compared with past approaches we’ve seen with interaction between football players and the local cops, the humanity and professionalism on display there is jarring.  Don’t tell me that if this had happened two or three years ago, we wouldn’t be looking at a mug shot instead of learning that Thompson was struggling with a medical problem.

So, it’s worth considering what’s going on here.

Add to that what Thompson faces when he’s ready to rejoin the team.

One key component to all this will be whether Thompson can maintain his academic eligibility in the meantime. As we all know, student-athletes are required to complete a minimum amount of class credits toward their degree each year in order to remain eligible to compete in athletics. Thompson having to sit out spring semester has to be detrimental in that regard.

However, NCAA rules and regulations allow for schools to pursue a “progress-toward-degree” waiver to restore eligibility for competition. According to the NCAA’s official website, To qualify for such a waiver, “institutions must document the mitigating circumstances that caused the deficiency. A common circumstance is a student-athlete facing a serious medical issue or other personal hardship.”

Yeah, I know — UGA and NCAA consideration have not always been a winning combination.  But I will say there is some precedent for the school supporting its players in a medical context with the NCAA, as Ron Courson was dogged in his pursuit of getting Kolton Houston reinstated.  It will be interesting to see how purposefully organized the school is with Thompson’s waiver effort.

Maybe things really are getting better.  It’s not like stranger things haven’t happened.

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36 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

36 responses to “The once and future Trent Thompson

  1. Is it the Georgia Way in me that I am waiting on a shoe of some sort to drop?

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  2. Bigshot

    For some reason, I just have a feeling that he won’t be back. I don’t have anything to base that on, but a gut feeling.

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  3. Olddawg 55

    It appears from the article that the writer/analysts are more concerned with the seemingly change in UGAPD actions rather than in the medical condition/diagnosis of Thompson. It would also seem to me..medical non-professional that I am…that the first responder took an inordinate amount of time in his diagnosis rather than transporting Thompson to the emergency room of a hospital where more qualified personnel were present.

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    • Normaltown Mike

      Have you ever seen a cop drive someone to the ER?

      Not saying it doesn’t happen…just never heard of it happening.

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    • Macallanlover

      Not sure about that, seems like a trained specialist with the amount of field experience he would have gotten in downtown Athens could have made those observations, asked questions, and taken his pulse in five minutes, or less. That doesn’t seem unreasonable before sending him to the hospital for additional care, I don’t think his actions indicated anything was life threatening, at least from what was reported.

      Reportedly, TT has not been a problem athlete or student since coming to UGA, and seems a pretty good young man. He recently had surgery and thus access to pain medication and wouldn’t be the first to screw up his dosage accidentally; could have also been a reaction to the combination of things he took that evening. It was also mentioned that he recently over reacted emotionally to the termination of Rocker as his position coach.

      Let’s just hope he was going through a “bad patch” with everything happening around, and to, him. I think he would be cleared by the NCAA if he returns this summer for classes. His advisers will have a lot to say about that based on how deep these issues may be, and what impact not playing his junior year would have on his draft status with the NFL. There is a lot of conversation about highly regarded athletes playing two years of CFB, establishing a name for themselves, and spending the next year with a coach/trainer preparing him for the Combine. It isn’t that far off from players sitting out a Bowl Game at the end of their 3rd year, injuries occur at any point in that last season, even practice. None of us know enough about his situation to determine the chances he stays or moves on. This will be a money year of he returns, TT looked more aggressive the latter half of the year to me. We all want him to succeed whichever path he chooses, but he will be hard to replace up front.

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  4. Red Cup

    Serve and Protect.

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  5. pantslesspatdye

    ” Has somebody kidnapped Jimmy Williamson” I got a quick laugh out of that. He was sent on a quick overnight Disney Cruise upon discovery of the case. New World Order.

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  6. Bill Duggan

    take care of you first Trent

    Liked by 1 person

  7. DawgPhan

    So nothing official on why he is pulling out of school?

    that seems like the biggest red flag…I dont know of a lot of folks that dropped out of college for a semester and then came back and finished.

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    • John

      Withdrawing to me signals that the problem is going to require some sort of inpatient or rehab type care that would make it hard to complete his classes.

      A good friend of mine withdrew from school about a quarter of the way through his Junior year’s 2nd semester. He had to rehab after a bad car wreck. He came back and finished the in the summer after what would have been his last semester.

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      • W Cobb Dawg

        Back in the ’80s I took a correspondence course at UGA while living in Marietta. Since then the internet has come along. Taking classes remotely isn’t an issue. One would think he could work something out to keep making progress toward his degree while rehabbing.

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  8. tbia

    Jimmy’s change came after he was read the riot act. He can be fired just like everyone else. Had nothing to do with athletics perse, but more to do with the case where he ignored law about seeking medical help with impunity if under the influence.

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  9. The Dawg abides

    He’s already got five complete semesters under his belt, and if he comes back it will probably be this summer semester. If he’s been passing his classes he should be ok on credits for a kid entering his junior year. There’s also a chance he could return for Maymester if he gets his health issues under control in the next couple of months.

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  10. Normaltown Mike

    One word: Gantt

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  11. Mayor

    Don’t read too much into the officer behaving like a human and not like other UGA cops have behaved in the past. Looks to me like this might be luck of the draw and Trent got the only good cop there.

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  12. ElectroM

    I think the cops having to wear the body cams would be a factor.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      That and the “zero tolerance” policy toward alcohol and narcotics created by Dr. Adams appears to be history.

      It is a relief to see the university take a common sense approach in these situations. It’s long overdue.

      Hope Trent is OK.

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  13. No matter what caused the young man’s problems, I do hope he will be ok and can resume his career, whether in sports or anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Bright Idea

    So the “oxy” word came out of the cop’s mouth, not Thompson’s, and it could have been oxycodone instead of oxycontin. Big difference that under the circumstances the kid didn’t realize especially when the cop used the word. Either way we can speculate weekly for 6 months on his status.

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    • Sherlock

      Oxycontin is just a brand name for time-release packaged Oxycodone. The main difference between Oxycontin and other Oxycodone containing medications is that items such as percocet include acetaminophen or other additives. Addicts like Oxycontin as there is nothing else added that can cause harm when taken in non-medical quantities.

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  15. Jt (the other one)

    TT had a bad reaction to the prescription medicine for his surgery. As for the UGAPD…there is a new sheriff in town…

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  16. Gaskilldawg

    The “Drug Recognition Expert” put into the report that Thompson admitted taking two “oxies.” We know that this “Drug Recognition Expert” already asked Thompson what position he played and Thompson said that he did not know. Therefore, the DRE knew Thompson was incoherent and his responses to questions were unreliable. Yet, the DRE suggested to him that he was taking oxides and put in the report that Thompson admitted taking a narcotic analgesic.
    The DRE had on the scene evidence that the response to his suggestion about OxyContin was unreliable. It is a depressant. The elevated pulse rate was inconsistent with the “yeah” response to the suggestion he had taken OxyCotin, and the DRE knew it. Yet, the police put in the report that Thompson said he had taken two oxies.
    We know now he had not, and the DRE knew it at the scene, yet there it is in the original report that TT admitted taking the drugs.

    Friday a national sports radio guy and his guest were talking about whether there are ways to beat a test for OxyCotin. In other words, the toxicology test must have been incorrect as to whether he took anything and the police report suggestion correct.

    I am sure Thompson’s family is pissed. I would be.

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  17. A little coke or meth would raise your pulse nicely. The blood test will give the answer.

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  18. acfritze

    I’m telling you guys, Trent is not coming back. I have been told this is not his first trip to the ER in the last 6 months – just his first public one.

    I wish him nothing but a swift and seamless recovery, but what I am hearing is indicating that this incident stemmed from his mental health, not from the wild night of a college student.

    I will continue to pray for him, but it pains me to say that I believe that we have seen the last of Trenton on the football field.

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  19. Russ

    I read that report and was impressed/surprised by the restraint. I just hope the kid gets better and achieves his potential, hopefully for us but certainly for himself.

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  20. TMC DAWG

    Sure hope Trenton gets things sorted out and comes back. He was becoming a force in the front 7 of the defense.

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  21. S

    I hope that UGA is able to do its best for TT’s long-term health and future. If that means he needs time off from football and has to skip next season, so be it.

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  22. Chip Towers is a piece of crap and this is a flat out HIPAA violation. The only outcome from this idiots click bait escapade is a reduced draft projection for TT. Leave things alone that you don’t understand jack leg

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    • Napoleon BonerFart

      Setting the record straight that Thompson suffered a medical emergency, rather than being arrested under the influence is a disservice? Whatever dude.

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