A change in the president’s office at the University of Georgia won’t mean a change to the school’s stringent drug policy for its student-athletes.
“I think what we are doing at the University of Georgia is the right thing,” new Georgia president Jere Morehead said Wednesday afternoon in a sitdown interview with the Athens Banner-Herald. “I think we should hold our student-athletes to a standard that we expect them to obey the law and if they don’t obey the law, there are certain consequences for not obeying the law. But I also would like the Southeastern Conference to have similar standards.”
Morehead said his position echoes what football coach Mark Richt said at the UGA Day event last month in Duluth regarding a penalty structure for its athletes considered among the toughest in the SEC.
“As coach Richt said, I hope we can raise everyone to a uniform standard that we can all be proud of,” Morehead said. “I’ll certainly advocate that approach as an SEC president.”
Georgia will be without starting safety Josh Harvey-Clemons for Saturday’s game against Clemson after he told university police that he smoked marijuana in a dorm. No arrest was made.
Safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree were suspended for the first four games of last season for second violations of Georgia’s drug testing policy.
“Having to withhold from competition a player every so often in order to maintain your standards is appropriate and understandable,” he said.
Athletic director Greg McGarity and outgoing president Michael Adams pushed for consistencies in penalties leaguewide at the spring meetings in Destin but McGarity said they “really didn’t gain any traction anywhere.”
Morehead, who knows the ways of the SEC from being faculty athletic representative for seven years, isn’t giving up hope of the rest of the league coming towards Georgia.
“It takes time for proposals and ideas to percolate in the Southeastern Conference,” he said.
He said an article he read recently from Forbes Magazine that argued that the SEC should lead on the issue was circulated among presidents and chancellors in the SEC.
“I hope that at an appropriate point we will lead on that subject,” he said.
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