Georgia football players James DeLoach and Jonathan Taylor have been accepted into a pre-trail intervention program for their March arrests for theft by deception that upon completion means the charges would be dismissed.
Recently dismissed safety Tray Matthews and former Bulldogs receiver Uriah LeMay also are entering the PTI program.
All four made short appearances in Clarke County State Court in Athens Thursday afternoon. Matthews indicated earlier in the day they would go in the program.
State Court Judge Ethelyn Simpson informed them about the pre-trial program. She told them they will not be on probation but will be supervised by a probation officer.
The four players were charged with “double-dipping” student stipend checks issued by the University of Georgia Athletic Association by cashing or depositing the funds twice.
The checks were each $71.50. Georgia issues checks for athletes for about that amount each as part of their five-day meal plan and Matthews said earlier Thursday the check was intended for food. The total value of the 11 checks in question used by the four players was $786.50.
Georgia coach Mark Richt said the day after the March 17 arrests that there would be “consequences” for the players involved but he hasn’t disclosed if those will include game suspension or dismissal.
Matthews, Tayor and DeLoach were said to have deposited the check on a mobile baking app and then cashed the same check at a convenience store. LeMay is alleged to have taken discarded checks already cashed by a roommate who was an athlete and presented it to be cashed.
The charges were misdemeanors. Matthews was charged with three counts, DeLoach and Taylor two each and LeMay four.
LeMay, who has transferred to Charlotte, was accompanied by his father.
DeLoach and Taylor, teammates at Jenkins County High in Millen, stood in the hallway together beforehand. DeLoach is a defensive end who could start. Taylor is a defensive lineman.
Matthews, who was booted from the team this week after disrupting a class, wore a blue shirt that wasn’t tucked in.
DeLoach and Matthews declined comment as they walked towards an elevator afterwards.
Earlier in the day by phone, Matthews spoke about the incident that occurred in a literature class.
“I didn’t do anything really though,” Matthews said. “The only thing I did was talking to my classmate besides me and we got into a little argument. It was two guys arguing about a sport (about some players). That’s what it was. Me and another athlete were arguing about a sport. It was kind of loud. It wasn’t even that loud, but a professor was talking while we were talking. That’s disrespectful of course. But nobody was disrespectful to him at all.”
Matthews said Auburn, Louisville, Alabama and Florida are schools he’s involved with as a possible transfer destination.