Georgia football coach George Kirby says he is “still wrestling” with the challenge of slowing his players down on the roads following the Jan. 15 crash that killed a player and the recruiting coordinator, as well as to another 11 traffic fines.
“I wish we could prevent speeding issues and learn from the terrible and tragic event,” Smart said Tuesday. ‘I’m still struggling with that. We talk as a team about all the things we can do.’
Smart has led Georgia to back-to-back national championships for the first time in school history, but the offseason has been marred by off-field issues, including a string of reckless driving and speeding violations, as well as quarterback Outgoing Field Stetson Arrest for public intoxication of Bennett IV on Jan. 28.
Just hours after the Bulldogs celebrated their latest title with a parade and ceremony at Sanford Stadium, a crash on Jan. 15 dramatically changed the tone of the offseason. An offensive lineman, Devin Willock, and a recruiting staffer, 24-year-old Chandler LeCroy, died in a crash after LeCroy and defensive tackle Jalen Carter were running hours into the celebration.
Carter received 12 months probation and a $1,000 fine after failing to contest misdemeanor reckless driving and racing charges. Carter was Philadelphia’s 9th overall pick in the NFL draft a month later.
Georgia football coach George Kirby says he’s ‘still struggling’ with team driving issues
Georgia football player Devin Willock and staff member Chandler LeCroy died in the January crash
Last week, wide receiver Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint had a reckless driving charge dismissed when he pleaded guilty to speeding. He was charged with driving 90 mph in a 45 mph zone in Athens in May and received six months of probation and a fine of more than $1,000.
Also last week, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office charged freshman outside linebacker Samuel M’Pemba, who signed up in January, with driving 88 mph in a 55 mph zone.
Smart said he always cares about his players, especially in the offseason, but added: “I would say it’s been more difficult this year.” … It’s been a really tough offseason, if you want to know the truth, the way it started and the way it started. That has been extremely hard, I know, for our staff and our players.’
Savvy athletic director Josh Brooks and others spoke at a news conference Tuesday and refuted a report that the athletic department provides automatic support for players accused of sexual misconduct, including a freshman accused of a sex crime. during a recruiting trip he was not charged and later signed with Georgia.
Members of the Georgia soccer program have been involved in at least 10 reports of traffic-related moving violations in Athens-Clarke County since a fatal crash on January 15 (pictured)
Philadelphia Eagles pick Jalen Carter was booked for reckless driving in Athens in March
Carter had previously been pulled over by police and given a speeding warning.
Asked if he was motivated to speak to reporters so he could protect recruiting interests, Smart said: “This has nothing to do with recruiting for us.” He was dealing with allegations that we think are sensationalized or inaccurate when you’re talking about rounding up people accused of sexual misconduct. You’re not going to sit and stand and take it.
While he suggested there could be changes to how he handles driving issues with his players, he said no changes to sexual abuse messaging are needed.
“If we’re talking about sexual misconduct, it’s flat out, you’re out, you’re out of here,” Smart said.
After the tragedy, head coach Kirby Smart claimed that the program had called the police to talk to the players about traffic safety last summer.
However, despite the words of the police and the tragic events of January, the players seem not to have learned their lesson.
Freshman linebacker Samuel M’Pemba (left) was charged by the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office with driving 88 mph in a 55 mph zone. Last week, wide receiver Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (right) had a reckless driving charge dismissed when he pleaded guilty to speeding.
Incidents involving the school’s football players even date back to 2021 and the report adds that they have been involved in at least 60 other violations, including speeding, distracted and reckless driving and disobeying traffic signals, from the beginning of the academic year 2021. .
Around 30 of those rapes have reportedly occurred since last summer, when police are said to have met with the team.
An Atlanta Journal-Constitution report backed up ESPN’s findings, stating that since Smart took over the team in 2015, Georgia players have been charged with driving-related offenses nearly 300 times.
Georgia isn’t the only SEC football team facing legal trouble in the offseason.
Alabama football player Tony Mitchell fled from Florida police at 141 mph before being arrested with $7,000, 226 grams of marijuana and a loaded gun in his Dodge Challenger in March. He has since pleaded guilty to possessing more than 20 grams of cannabis.
He received 100 hours of community service and paid a $1,560 fine.
Police said Mitchell admitted to “running from police” last week after his passenger, Christopher Lewis, told him to “hit,” apparently a directive to speed away from officers.
Tony Mitchell (pictured) was arrested and charged in March with possession of marijuana
Holmes County police officers released a photo of the evidence they say they recovered from the car.
He was suspended from the Alabama team following the arrest, but Mitchell’s father, Tony Mitchell Sr., posted on Facebook last week that the defensive back had been reinstated.
The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mitchell and Lewis for possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page.
Additionally, Lewis was charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
Deputies initially tried to pull Mitchell over when they caught him going 78 mph in a 55 mph zone, but when officers turned on their sirens, the freshman defensive back sped to 141 mph, according to a police report obtained by AL.com.