On the surface, it sounds like Kirby Smart has come to terms with his inner Mark Richt on the subject of Georgia’s drug policy.
The first time Kirby Smart was asked about UGA’s stringent drug policy, the team’s new football coach merely said he understood it was in place and deferred to his administration. The next he was asked about it, he again toed the company line, saying he was a “team player.”
This time, when asked about it at SEC meetings, Smart’s answer was different. He sounded all in supporting the school’s rule.
“I’m completely in agreement with the policy we have in place at our place,” Smart said. “Different schools have different policies, but that’s beyond my control. What’s in my control is what we have in our place. And I accept that, and every player accepts that, and they’re told that from the very beginning.
Dig a little deeper, though, and it seems Kirby is doing all he can to keep a little wiggle room in play.
Receiver Riley Ridley and tailback Elijah Holyfield, both now sophomores, have each been arrested on misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession. That would, as specified in the UGA student-athlete handbook, bring a one-game suspension for a football player.
That said, Smart continued to not confirm absolutely that Ridley and Holyfield would be suspended.
“Well, we’re internally disciplining them, so it’ll come out in due time,” Smart said. “But those guys are both being disciplined internally.”
Smart, when asked whether that meant a one-game suspension, as specified in the handbook, did not elaborate.
“It’ll be handled internally,” Smart said, leaving it at that.
The opener is at home against Appalachian State, remember, so suspending the two wouldn’t be cataclysmic, at least if they’re the only two facing suspension at that time. That makes following the playing status of those two all the more worthy of tracking. Is it possible that the competitive disadvantage argument will force a subtle adjustment of the Georgia Way? Stay tuned.