Georgia freshman linebacker Demetre Baker’s quick dismissal after his DUI arrest early Sunday morning does not necessarily mean that a Bulldogs athlete in a different sport would also be kicked off their team for a similar incident.
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said coach Mark Richt, center, made the decision to dismiss linebacker Demetre Baker following his Sunday DUI arrest. McGarity said the arrest was not a sign of a new department disciplinary policy.
Coach Mark Richt made the decision after Baker became the 10th UGA football player arrested this year, but it does not signal a department-wide change.
"Mark called me yesterday and said, ‘This is what I’m doing, are you OK with it?’ " athletic director Greg McGarity said Monday. "I said, ‘I’m fine with it.’ This all originated from coach Richt. Every program stands on its own merits. Some sports, they’re different. It’s up to the head coach to make a recommendation to me. … There’s no (athletic department) protocol that says if this happens, you’re gone."
Baker was also charged with improper driving and underage possession of alcohol.
"This has been a time when a lot of stuff has gone on," linebacker Marcus Dowtin said. "The university has certain expectations. Demetre Baker is a great guy, a great guy. He’s very talented and athletic. He’s got a bright future ahead of him. He fell into the system. … The things that had went on (off the field), you can’t knock anybody for making the decision."
McGarity said he delivered the message to all Georgia teams since starting as athletic director four weeks ago that off-field missteps won’t be tolerated. McGarity has met with all teams except swimming, track and softball.
"People at some point in time have to learn that they must be accountable, that authority means something," McGarity said. "When a coach tells you not to do something, then you don’t do it."
Ealey frustrated over fumbles
On running back Washaun Ealey’s second fumble inside the 5-yard line this season, he said the hit he took after a 20-yard reception in Saturday’s 24-12 loss at Mississippi State left him in a daze.
"When he hit me, I was a little unconscious, but I knew where the ball was," Ealey said. "The referees blew the play dead before I could react to the fumble and the other team jumped on it, I guess, after the whistle was blown."
Mississippi State recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback in the first quarter.
Ealey said did not have any headaches from the play and expects to practice today.
"He certainly got blasted pretty good," Richt said on his Monday night call-in show. "I’m sure it at least did stun him."
Richt said Ealey must do a better job of holding onto the ball or he will lose playing time if he "can’t get that straightened out."
Said Ealey: "I’ve got a lot of frustration right now just because of the two fumbles at the 1-yard line and close to scoring. I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do to get better."
Richt understands ‘why everybody’s bent out of shape’
With Georgia reeling from three straight losses for the first time since 1990, Richt heard some pointed questions and comments during his call-in show.
One caller was cut off after saying the program was out of control on and off the field.
Another asked about recruiting in-state and threw in this line: "How about getting rid of Bobo?"
Richt answered the recruiting part. He did not address the question about offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.
"I understand why everybody’s bent out of shape," Richt said later. "We want our team to win and when it’s not, everyone wants to know why and they want answers and sometimes they think they’ve got the answers and sometimes they want to see us do a better job, period, and I understand that and I appreciate that.
"To all the fans out there, I’m not happy, the boys aren’t happy, our coaching staff isn’t happy right now," he continued. "We’re not going to be until we start playing the kind of ball where we can win the games. You can play good and lose. We want to win. That’s what we’re after. We’re going to keep banging away until that happens for us. I just hope everybody supports these guys through it all."
Tennessee gametime set
The Oct. 9 game against Tennessee will kick off at 12:21 p.m. and will air on the SEC Network – Peachtree TV in the Athens television market.
The Georgia-Tennessee game was televised nationally for 10 straight seasons from 1999 to 2008, but this will mark the second straight year it’s being shown on the SEC’s syndicated network.
Georgia could have no home night games this season for the first time since 2004.
Gametimes against Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech have yet to be announced.
This and that
Conference realignment muddies the water for conference bragging rights. Tight end Aron White mentioned Saturday’s game against Colorado as a Southeastern Conference vs. Big 12 matchup. "I think they’re still a Big 12 school," White said. Colorado is leaving for the Pac-10 starting in the 2011 season. … The captains for Saturday’s game: Kris Durham, Akeem Dent, Blair Walsh and Blake Sailors. … Durham said he "should be fine" to play Saturday after sustaining a pinched nerve in his neck against Mississippi State. … Fullback Shaun Chapas said he played three snaps against Mississippi State after missing the Arkansas loss with an ankle sprain. He said the ankle is "a lot better."