Georgia basketball player Donte’ Williams said this afternoon that a charge of misdemeanor possession of marijuana he was facing has been dismissed.
Williams, a junior center 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.
“In this country, you’re innocent until proven guilty but oftentimes as an athlete, you’re guilty until you prove your innocence,” coach Mark Fox said.
Asked if Williams will still be suspended for any games this season, Fox said “I don’t know. I think I’ll weigh that out. I think the important thing for him is really when he’s trying to get a job and he’s 30 years old and people Google his name, I want the truth to be known.”
Under Georgia Athletic Association policy, Williams would face a suspension of 10 percent of the season—or three games–for a first-time drug offense.
Whether he is subject to such a suspension is determined by the Athletic Association’s comprehensive action plan committee, according to athletic director Greg McGarity. Fox would announce any suspension at the appropriate time.
“I’m sure it will be reviewed by everybody,” Fox said. “That’s not for today.”
Williams sat besides Fox for a media availability before Georgia’s summer trip to Italy that the team, including Williams, leaves for on Friday.
Williams apologized “for bringing negative attention to the university, towards my team, towards my family, but I want the truth to be known that I don’t do drugs.”
He detailed the drug tests he’s undergone since his arrest.
“As soon as after the incident, I took a drug test, passed my drug test,” Williams said. “I 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.”
Williams, who averaged 7.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last season, said he’s moved on from the arrest and is focused on school and getting ready for the upcoming season.
“I think Donte’ learned a valuable lesson in who his friends should be,” Fox said. “He was able to share with you some things that I would not be able to, but I think he’s learned a great lesson and I’m happy that he’s been able to show his innocence in certain areas.”
Police reported in the incident smelling “an extremely strong odor of burning marijuana,” coming from a black Dodge Charger with the personalized license plate of “DWILLS15,” 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 — estimated at 3.3 grams — belonged to them, according to the police report.
“Putting himself in a wrong place, wrong time, wrong people, I’ll deal with all that,” Fox said. “I won’t deal with any of that until later. Right now we’re just going to take full advantage of this trip and our team doing the same thing.”