Georgia coach Mark Richt said Monday that he isn’t ready to institute a scooter ban for his team after another football player was injured riding the two-wheel motor vehicle this weekend.
Outside linebacker Ray Drew separated his right shoulder Sunday, Richt said, when the freshman landed on his helmet and his shoulder, in a crash while returning home from church.
“He’s very fortunate it wasn’t worse than it was,” Richt said.
Drew was treated at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens.
“The shoulder won’t require any surgery,” Richt said. “It was a separation, not a dislocation. The separation was not severe enough to warrant any surgery. …I’d say the chances of (practicing) this week would be very slim, but after that it’s hard to say. It’s a matter of when a guy starts getting comfortable enough to go and some guys heal faster than others.”
It’s the second scooter accident by a Bulldogs football player in less than five weeks and another in a string of scooter wrecks for UGA athletes in recent years.
Richt said he always thinks if there’s more he can do to eliminate scooter accidents, but said players have a short window to travel around campus from class to study hall to lunch and treatment and taping.
“The scooters have allowed those guys to get around so I’m not ready to say no scooters,” Richt said. “They do need to be careful.”
“We’ll look at it and talk about it, but what’s the alternative?” athletic director Greg McGarity said. “They can’t park. They have cars, where could they park their cars? There’s nowhere to park. It’s just kind of the way our campus life is now.”
While Georgia practiced Monday, some 40 scooters were parked outside the Butts-Mehre building.
That’s where defensive end Derrick Lott sustained a deep laceration to his right leg in a accident on July 12 when he was driving to park alongside the building. Lott was sidelined for the start of preseason practices but returned to practice last week.
Drew was going downhill when he applied the brakes and lost control of his scooter at Jackson and Baldwin Streets, according to Athens-Clarke County Police who responded to the scene at about 11:50 a.m. Sunday. No charges were filed and no other vehicles were involved in the accident.
“I’m just glad kids have to wear a helmet,” McGarity said.
Another backup outside linebacker, Chase Vasser, separated his right shoulder, bruised his left shoulder and sustained a concussion in a crash two years ago. Linebacker Marcus Dowtin sustained scrapes last preseason in another accident.
Baseball player Chance Veazey was paralyzed from the waist down following a late scooter accident in 2009 after an evening study session. Another baseball player, Eric Swegman, missed time last season after injuring his shoulder in a scooter accident.
Drew, a five-star recruit from Thomasville, was in a sling on Monday, said Cornelius Washington, who Drew is backing up at weakside linebacker.
“I don’t think he’s going to be on a scooter for a while,” Washington said.
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