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Blog: Rambo facing four-game suspension for positive drug test, high school coach says

Georgia All-American safety Bacarri Rambo is facing a four-game suspension after testing positive in a school-administered drug test, according to Alan Ingram, who coached Rambo at Seminole County High School.

Daniel Shirey/File

Rambo’s suspension was first reported by DawgPost.com, which reported that starting inside linebacker Alec Ogeltree is also facing a suspension of at least two games.

Rambo is appealing his suspension, which would cost him games against Buffalo, Missouri, Florida Atlantic and Vanderbilt. The rising senior also is considering entering the NFL supplemental draft.

Georgia hasn’t confirmed any suspension and there’s no sign when it might. Athletic director Greg McGarity has declined to comment.

Rambo tested positive after eating some brownies that he did not realize contained marijuana during a spring break trip with friends to Panama City, Fla., according to Ingram, who has talked to Rambo.

“Some kids had them that were staying with him and he said he got high,” Ingram said. “He thought the things had marijuana in them. He sat there a couple of hours and didn’t know what to do. He said he if he turned himself in he’d get a four-game suspension for a second offense.”

Rambo was suspended for the season-opener last year against Boise State. He tied for second in the nation in interceptions.

“He said he was tested five or six times last year and came back clean,” Ingram said. “He said, ‘Coach, I’m not stupid. I came back to the University of Georgia to be an All-American two years in a row. I could have went in the NFL.’”

Ingram, who said he speaks to Rambo a couple of times a week, portrayed Rambo as a two-time victim of circumstance.
“Aint nobody would believe it, but I believe in the kid,” he said. “I’ve got kids that go to other schools that say he doesn’t smoke.”

Ingram said Rambo ran afoul of Georgia’s drug policy last year on a trip home when he was stopped for speeding and one of his passengers had a marijuana joint. Rambo wasn’t charged, but informed coach Mark Richt about the incident and was suspended a game.

Under Georgia Athletic Association, policy a positive drug test for a player results in the following:

–First offense: A player is suspended for no less than 10 percent of a season (in football that’s at least one game).

–Second offense: A player is suspended for less than 50 percent of a season (six games in football) if it involved a controlled substance or 30 percent of a season (four games in football) if not a controlled substance.

–Third offense: A player will be permanently suspended and scholarsip will be terminated.

Players can appeal to a committee chaired by “the Director of Athletics/designee and composed by the Drug Testing Program Director, Director of Sports Medicine/designee, and Head Sports Coach.” The player can present evidence to review the results of the positive drug test. The committee’s decision is final.

Rambo’s latest suspension leave an already depleted secondary even thinner.

Already cornerback Sanders Commings is suspended two games after being arrested in January. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of simple battery and disorderly conduct last week.

Cornerback Branden Smith is also facing a possible suspension of at least one game after being charged with possession of marijuana during spring break inAlabama. He has an April 24 court date.

Three players — including two cornerbacks — who were dismissed from the team in February after a theft in a campus dorm room.

“I know a lot of my teammates are depending on me,” Rambo said on March 1. “I’m playing a big role — leadership. I’m a senior. I came back with the mindset that I was going to give my all more than I ever did. It’s my last year. I want to go out on top.”

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