Category Archives: Crime and Punishment

“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.

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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.

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Guess he’s missing the opener after all.

Tricky problem for Kirby today:

Georgia defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter has found himself in trouble again.

Early Sunday morning, Ledbetter was arrested by Athens-Clarke County Police for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and underage possession of alcohol, according to jail logs. Ledbetter was booked at 6:05 a.m. and, as of publication of this story, was listed as currently incarcerated.

Ledbetter’s bail will total $2,000, with $1,500 of it on the DUI charge and $500 on the underage possession charge.

This is Ledbetter’s second alcohol-related arrest. In March, Ledbetter was arrested for underage possession of alcohol and possessing a false identification, although those charges were thrown out.

Ledbetter, 18, was originally given a one-game suspension, although head coach Kirby Smart seemed to change his tune once the charges from the first arrest were thrown out, stating, “We’ll find out the first game” when asked. As a result, it’s unknown if this arrest will be considered a first- or second-time offense.[Emphasis added.]

Yeah, that’s gotta be a tough call.  That’s Georgia.

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UPDATE:  Chip Towers speculates Ledbetter’s arrest is indicative of a respect problem Smart has.

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Go Gator

This has no football relevancy – no direct relevancy, anyway – but I think it’s worth bringing to your attention that Corrine Brown has just been indicted by the feds.

If Congresswoman Brown goes to trial, maybe she can call Corch and Percy Harvey as character witnesses.

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“They just take abiding by the law and discipline very serious around here.”

While we’re on the subject of negative recruiting, how much do you think Georgia’s coaches face every day regarding local law enforcement?

I know this: Kirby cares. I heard there was a team meeting after he had to give Clay his walking papers and that Smart went off on the Bulldogs. He was none too happy to have to deal with these issues, much as he was not at all happy with the headlines splashed across the Internet on Thursday and last week.

I was talking on the phone to the mother of one of the Bulldogs’ new players the other day, not long after Clay was arrested. She asked me, quite concerned and sincerely, “is this always the way it is at Georgia?”

It always helps to have a receptive audience.

That being said, I’m not sure I agree with Towers that coaches need a financial incentive, either positive or negative, to avoid player arrests.  I’m guessing Smart’s already got plenty of motivation on that front.

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Once again, mistakes were made.

Art Briles and Baylor formerly part ways (Briles no doubt with a nice check in his pocket) and in so doing issue a statement deploring what happened – passively, of course.

“Both parties acknowledge that there were serious shortcomings in the response to reports of sexual violence by some student-athletes, including deficiencies in University processes and the delegation of disciplinary responsibilities with the football program,” the news release said. “Baylor is addressing these shortcomings and making ongoing improvements.

“There were serious shortcomings” sounds so much more genteel than “the people who are issuing this statement seriously fucked up”, don’t you think?

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Even when Baylor does the right thing…

Nothing comes easy in Waco.  The school announced yesterday that it was releasing five of its 2016 signees from their national letters of intent, which means they’ll be free to sign elsewhere.

The school didn’t announce which five were released.  Which presents something of a problem in that seven kids asked for releases (although one subsequently decided to stay).

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You can commence with the “lost control” snark now.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

“Unfortunately, Chad will no longer be a part of our football program,” Smart said in a statement.  “It is very disappointing, and we wish him the best in his efforts to continue his education.”

Or this.

This is the second player Smart has had to dismiss since he arrived. The other was defensive lineman Chauncey Rivers, a rising sophomore whose dismissal was basically automatic (per UGA policy) after a third marijuana-related arrest.

This is also the seventh arrest of a Georgia player since Smart’s arrival, although in one case (Jonathan Ledbetter on alcohol-related charges) the charges have been dismissed.

I wish the season were starting tomorrow.  But probably not as much as Kirby Smart does this morning.

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