King’s arrest, suspension magnifies a bigger problem in Athens

When it comes to recruiting, Georgia’s biggest disadvantage isn’t the school’s higher admission compared to other schools wearing orange. It isn’t Urban Meyer or Nick Saban. It isn’t the past couple of season being sub-par.

The biggest hurdle Georgia has to overcome lies within the Athens-Clarke County and UGA police department.

Before going any further, let’s clarify one thing. This is not a ‘let’s bash the police’ post. The service that law enforcement provide to our communities is invaluable, and we at TGT are grateful for the protection that they provide on multiple levels.

But in Athens, local law enforcement is also a detriment to the athletic department and the university overall. Some ‘journalists’ like to tout that UGA’s football program has run out of control with 11 arrests this year. But a simple look at the details would reveal that of these transgressions, a majority of them are a result of a suspended driver’s license or forgetting to pay traffic tickets. But negative press is negative press, and it’s forced Mark Richt to rule with a heavier fist and hand down a two-game suspension to Caleb King being jailed for not having paid a traffic ticket.

We’re not saying that not paying traffic tickets is ok. It’s not. But the fact of the matter is that while athletes and UGA students are hounded by local officials hungry to make extra revenue, similar offense for other athletes at other schools are either swept under the rug or witnesses in Knoxville or Gainesville conveniently forget the details of an incident.

Isn’t it a cruel twist of irony that on the same day King is suspended, Florida reinstates Chris Rainey, who sent threatening text messages?

The bottom line is this – there is a culture of fear apparent between UGA students and athletes and law enforcement in Athens. Frankly, it’s hard to fault any athlete not wanting to spend four years in Athens because they fear being arrested for an offense that in many other place results in a monetary fine.

Until the University and local law enforcement can figure out how to cooperate, the Bulldogs will find themselves at a disadvantage.

- Lugnut Dawg

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6 Responses to “King’s arrest, suspension magnifies a bigger problem in Athens”


  1. 1 Corbindawg October 12, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    If I said it once, I’ll say it a million times…

    UGA PD is full of pricks.

  2. 2 Bulldawg4life October 12, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    They all hate UGA, and thrive on arresting athletes. I knew a guy that worked for ACC and was a Techie. He always said that he loved to lock up athletes for doing absolutely nothing. This is what kind of people are working for UGAPD and ACCPD.

  3. 3 barndawg October 12, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    For the sake of asking, how many “strikes” are the football players going to get? This is the 2nd time Caleb King has been arrested while he has been at UGA. So much for that great running back from Parkview/GAC coming to Athens to save our running game.

    Regardless of whether the police target athletes, wouldn’t the athletes know that? Wouldn’t it discourage them from doing anything even slightly sketchy?

    Some people lose a JOB because they are arrested (here’s looking at you, Damon), how many chances do football players get?

  4. 4 Slaw Dawg October 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    I admit to mixed feelings. I spent HS and college years in Athens, and I did believe ACC’s finest too often combined excess zeal and incompetence. I experienced and witnessed it personally. But I also know that in my day (mid 70′s thru early 80′s), there was some “looking the other way” with incidents involving football players, and that wasn’t right, either. You must pay speeding tickets or show up to defend yourself–that’s the law–so King’s suspension, esp. in context of 10 other arrests, is warranted. But why was it necessary to run a license check on him before letting him drive his brother home? That seems unnecessarily invasive. Perhaps someone needs to educate the ACC Police that it’s okay to show some reasonable discretion, whether the individual is an athlete or other citizen. And, really, the Athletic Dept’s compliance program must be utterly inadequate.

  5. 5 BoWeevil October 13, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Please.

    Caleb King ?

    You have the gall to pick on the Police, and DEFEND instead Caleb King ?

    You have been reading BLUTO. GTP.

    Try reading the Police Report on AB-H, you will find that we have a thug and you are defending him. Coach Richt acts like he doesn’t know about it. Until someone is ARRESTED, there is no punishment.

    I am ready to Caleb King to removed from Coach Richt’s roster. I would like the Police to enforce more on Caleb King, not less.

    There.

    2 different opinions.

    Is that what you want ?

    • 6 ucheedawg October 13, 2010 at 10:29 am

      I actually agree more with BoWeevil. These kids are given a golden ticket, and all they have to do in return is act responsibly. Even if it is something as minor as a speeding ticket he forgot to pay, there is a civic duty we all have. The ACCPD may be a bunch of idiots, but if King had done what he was supposed to do, none of this would have happened.

      Isn’t that true in all of life? If you do what you’re supposed to do and what is asked of you, seldom do you find yourself in trouble. I’m not saying I’ve always done what is right, but when I do something that is wrong, I will pay the price for it. I have been blessed with a wonderful job, and I’m not going to do anything to jeopardize my future with it. I wish Caleb felt the same way. Regardless of the fact that he’s a young, immature man, if you do the right thing you will avoid trouble.

      For the next commenter who will say “When you were in college, didn’t you make mistakes?”, yes, I did. I still do. But I’m also aware that by making those I am subjecting myself to punishment. Maybe Caleb’s suspension is a little tough, but I firmly believe that discipline is an important part of development, whether of children, athletes, employees, etc.

      At some point, we have got to quit blaming the ACC on these players mistakes. If they didn’t do something to get in trouble in the first place, it wouldn’t be an issue.

      *Yes Corbin, I know that we had 1 incident this year when they got a player for not giving his middle name. That’s an exception.


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