Georgia basketball player Donte‚Äô Williams said this afternoon that a charge of misdemeanor possession of marijuana he was facing has been dismissed.
Williams, a junior forward who started every game last season, said he has passed multiple drug tests since his May 25 arrest at a parking lot at Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta.
‚ÄúIn this country, you‚Äôre innocent until proven guilty but oftentimes as an athlete, you‚Äôre guilty until you prove your innocence,‚Äù head coach Mark Fox said.
Asked if Williams will still be suspended for any games this season, Fox said ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt know. I think I‚Äôll weigh that out. I think the important thing for him is really when he‚Äôs trying to get a job and he‚Äôs 30 years old and people Google his name, I want the truth to be known.‚Äù
Under Georgia Athletic Association policy, Williams would face a suspension of 10 percent of the season ‚Äî or three games ‚Äî for a first-time drug offense.
Whether he is subject to such a suspension is determined by the Athletic Association‚Äôs comprehensive action plan committee, according to athletic director Greg McGarity. Fox would announce any suspension at the appropriate time.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm sure it will be reviewed by everybody,‚Äù Fox said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs not for today.‚Äù
Williams sat beside Fox for a media availability before Georgia‚Äôs summer trip to Italy that the team, including Williams, leaves for on Friday.
Williams apologized ‚Äúfor bringing negative attention to the university, towards my team, towards my family, but I want the truth to be known that I don‚Äôt do drugs.‚Äù
He detailed the drug tests he‚Äôs undergone since his arrest.
‚ÄúAs soon as after the incident, I took a drug test, passed my drug test,‚Äù Williams said. ‚ÄúI came up here and took a drug test, passed my drug test and took another drug test for the court and passed that drug test.‚Äù
Williams, who averaged 7.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last season, said he‚Äôs moved on from the arrest and is focused on school and getting ready for the upcoming season.
‚ÄúI think Donte‚Äô learned a valuable lesson in who his friends should be,‚Äù Fox said. ‚ÄúHe was able to share with you some things that I would not be able to, but I think he‚Äôs learned a great lesson and I‚Äôm happy that he‚Äôs been able to show his innocence in certain areas.‚Äù
Police reported in the incident smelling ‚Äúan extremely strong odor of burning marijuana,‚Äù coming from a black Dodge Charger with the personalized license plate of ‚ÄúDWILLS15,‚Äù according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Williams and the driver, Claude Reid, told police they smoked marijuana at a nearby studio but denied the pot police found in the car ‚Äî estimated at 3.3 grams ‚Äî belonged to them, according to the police report.
‚ÄúPutting himself in a wrong place, wrong time, wrong people, I‚Äôll deal with all that,‚Äù Fox said. ‚ÄúI won‚Äôt deal with any of that until later. Right now we‚Äôre just going to take full advantage of this trip and our team doing the same thing.‚Äù