Posted: 12:51 am Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Players’ arrests came on eve of first spring practice 

By Chip Towers

ATHENS – On the eve of Georgia’s first spring football practice of the year, four players were arrested and jailed on charges of theft by deception.

Updates: What the players are accused of doing

Sophomore safety Tray Matthews, junior outside linebacker James DeLoach, redshirt freshman receiver Uriah LeMay and redshirt sophomore defensive end Jonathan Taylor all were booked into Athens-Clarke County jail around 9 p.m. Monday on multiple counts of the same misdemeanor charge, 11 counts totals.  All were released on bonds of $1,500 per count by 10:30 p.m, or roughly 17 1/2 hours before the Bulldogs’ first practice of the spring period.

The arrests were made by UGA Police and the victim in each case is the UGA Athletic Association. “Theft by deception” is defined as “the property of another is obtained through deceit,” according to georgiadefenders.com.

Three of the players were allegedly  double-cashing their weekly stipend checks of $71.50 each by depositing them via a mobile banking application on their phones, then taking the paper check to a local convenience store shortly thereafter and cashing them again. LeMay is accused of retrieving the already-cashed check of a teammate and cashing it at a store.

Since each crime committed represented less than $500 in value, they were considered misdemeanors. Such crimes are punishable by up to 18 months in a county jail.

“I’m aware of the situation and it will be handled in an appropriate way,” football coach Mark Richt said in a statement.

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According to “Comprehensive Action Plan” in UGA’s Student-Athlete handbook, “the Head Coach is responsible for imposing whatever discipline measures he/she deems appropriate.”

There is precedent. In 2012, Richt dismissed three players involved in the theft of money from teammate. One of those — former cornerback Nick Marshall — ended up playing quarterback for Auburn this past season.

In the meantime, all four players are/were expected to play a significant role this coming season:

  • Matthews is expected to start at safety. The 6-foot, 205-pound sophomore had 36 tackles, an interception and forced a fumble in eight games with six starts as a true freshman last season.
  • DeLoach, a 6-3, 265-pound junior, is considered one of Georgia’s best strongside outside linebacker (Sam), but rarely gets on the field. He’s played in 18 games the last two seasons with 8 tackles.
  • Taylor, a 6-4, 336-pound redshirt sophomore, is expected to compete for the starting job at noseguard. He played in 10 games last season with 9 tackles.
  • LeMay, a 6-foot-2, 197-pound redshirt freshman, was described by fellow wideout Michael Bennett recently as a young player to look out for this spring. He’s expected to get a lot of reps with Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley still sidelined with injuries.

With regard to UGA turning the matter over to police, the athletic association had no choice but to do it or risk being non-compliant with NCAA rules regarding player compensation or guilty of committing financial fraud.

More on this Tuesday. Georgia’s first practice is scheduled to start at 4:45 p.m.

400 comments
alan290
alan290

Is it any wonder that all four of them were black? How stupid must you be to think you would get by with this? Unbelievable! They should all be kicked OFF THE TEAM immediately and kicked out of school as well. That university does not need lowlifes like this around. What is going to be the impact on team morale? Not good.

They will likely stay on the team because of the school's and the coach's desire to win, rather than do the right thing. As always, these athletes will only get a slap on the wrist and possibly a playing suspension of a few games.

Dr4sail
Dr4sail

There is a saying that the greater the man the greater the standard by which he is judged. Coach will have to decide how great these players are and how great will their future be if not placed on the right path now.

SlawDawg
SlawDawg

Richt let the Rocket Scientists participate in practice. I guess he wanted to see how good they are BEFORE he decides on punishment. Typical for thUGA. Don't worry Doggie Rednecks....plenty more arrests are coming your way. Better stock up on Natty Light....you are going to need it.

Dewnsav
Dewnsav

it's Richt's call what to do with them...I'll defer to him....go dogs

dcauthen
dcauthen

Is anyone shocked this is normal in Athens maybe they can hold spring practice at the detention facility because you know this want be the last

StandYourGround
StandYourGround

THEFT - pure plain and simple - CRIME - Throw the book at them.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Heard they are at practice.

Probability of suspensions instead of dismissal

(Sorry Auburn....lol).

Will be reviewed on individual basis.

UGA policy leaves it up to Coach for misdemeanors. This 1st violation can be as little as 1 game suspension.

I don't have problem dismissing these kids from team and school.

I can also be satisfied with suspensions.

Either way, it will still be more punishment than other schools dole out.

mike69
mike69

THEY GOT OFF TO A SLOW START THIS YEAR. USUALLY SEVERAL HAS BEEN ARRESTED BY NOW

Obama_Joke
Obama_Joke

"Double-Dipping"?  LOL.  How bout a little sugar with that?   It's called FRAUD.

Polskidawg
Polskidawg

Let them go. It will simply open opportunities for other players.

kreedham
kreedham

Could have avoided this by just by not issuing a check but doing direct deposit.  But that doesn't account for stupidity.  Did they not think they wouldn't get caught and for a lousy extra $70.  DUMB!

Dawg350
Dawg350

The NCAA should pay college athletes 200 dollars a month! Then we wouldn't run into these problems! Heck they got to have gas money.,..food and clothes!

Dawg350
Dawg350

You tech fans are just jealous because you know no matter how many players we lose....we will still beat you wimps! That's the bottom line baby!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

350 comments in honor of UGA's most obnoxious fan. Guess who?

grh0317
grh0317

Book it!!! Book them!!

Dawg350
Dawg350

Poad

Who is the older brother....you or zingger?

Zingger
Zingger

When I was at Gawga th tried to make me team capin and I did not want to do it because I had to cypher the number of players on the filed. The coach asked me what was my prblm with that and I told him I would have to take off my shoes iffin I had to count pats ten. Go Bewldawgs!

Zingger
Zingger

We uns is Gawna win the SEC,,, can you cash a third party out of state post dated check?

Zingger
Zingger

Glawry Glawry o ole Gawga!    Glawry Glawry o ole Gawga!  Glawry Glawry o ole Gawga! 

S-T-U-P-I-D!!!!!     Go BEWLDAWGS Sic em.

POAD2013
POAD2013

You can tell it is Spring In ATHENS by all the Blooms exploding with colors. The easiest Blooms to see are the ORANGE JUMPSUITS. It seems to be the Favorite flower of UGa Football players

BCW1
BCW1

All this goes back to the lack of respect for our laws and authority in our society. In my day, I was to scared to try anything like this. You say it is all about recruiting players with integrity and i totally agree. But it seems there is becoming less and less of those type of players.

Dawg350
Dawg350

UGA still going to win the natty baby! Only loss would be Mathews! The Pruitt magic begins today baby!

Delusionaldog
Delusionaldog

Three words that makes dogs cringe:


Out


on


Bond

JaySly
JaySly

auburns coach is on the phone with richt today to see if he can get these players to the plains!  just win baby!!!

DrPhill
DrPhill

The AJC also reports a smash and grab at the ATT store on Piedmont Road. One of the criminals fired a .380 pistol at a storage-room door (like they do in the movies.) The bullet apparently bouncd off the door and struck one of the intruders, perhaps in the buttocks. Maybe Richt should do a quick check of his student athletes to see if there are any pre spring practice bullet wounds. I'm just sayin.

alan290
alan290

@StandYourGround I agree, if this was a regular student doing this and not an athlete that can help the team win, they would likely be kicked out of school and lose their scholarship. But, since these are football players, they will just get a slap on the wrist.

HotDawg
HotDawg

You're thinking of auburn.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Some of these kids are too stupid to have a checking account and handle responsibility of one.

HotDawg
HotDawg

They have free food and shelter, along with free school, plus stipends.

There is a difference between Wants and Needs.

These kids have all their Needs met.

They may Want more money to play.

That is not a Need.

Heck, I Want a winning jackpot, megamillion ticket tonight.

Am I entitled to it? No.

I Want an extra 200 bucks to buy beer and pizza or whatever these kids profess to Need. Am I entitled? No

They'll have more money if they quit wasting it on Tattoos. They probably have a few grand worth on their body. Where did they find that money?

Contractor1
Contractor1

They HAVE to have gas money? Are you sure they don't just want gas money? Needing and wanting are two different things. I wouldn't expect a moisturizerd soft handed individual like you to understand that though . They are given everything they need and live the lives we all wish we could have had in college. Quit being an idiot homer and realize what they did was wrong.

Polskidawg
Polskidawg

@Dawg350 Stop trying to justify deceit, stealing and lack of character. This IS NOT about paying players.

murfdawg
murfdawg

@POAD2013 Who is this poad idiot? Obviously he doesn't get enough attention on the Tech forum or from his mommy. Why would you troll another schools forum just to make stupid comments? Pathetic!

Dawg350
Dawg350

Poad..

That's dumb...you act they're going to be in jail for a month or so....they only were in there for one night.....if you can get out of jail on bond after one night then the charges aren't that bad. What a loser you are.

iamlistening
iamlistening

@Dawg350  Nope. UGA loses 3 games this season (South Carolina, Missouri, and Auburn). South Carolina wins the East. 

Unfreakinbelieveable
Unfreakinbelieveable

The night is young Dawg350.....there will be more suspended players come Fall kickoff.....Book that!  it's thUGA!

Dawg350
Dawg350

Bucky

I bet you're out on bond! Lmao!

WDE
WDE

@DrPhill   I'd say you have a pretty good chance of a bullet wound in your big mouth....I'm just sayin.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Contractor

They didn't do nothing wrong you moron!

Dawg350
Dawg350

I will jutisfiy what ever I want. People make mistakes...this wasn't armed robbery like y'all want it to be.

Dawg350
Dawg350

You're just a hater...absolute imbecile!

Dawg350
Dawg350

Poad..

That's right you tech nerd! We will beat y'all again,..beat y'all till y'all cry mercy. Tech should move just like Maryland did.

DawginLex
DawginLex

@Dawg350 He is under house arrest


Shackles on the ankles with monitors

Jhunt163
Jhunt163

@Dawg350  There are mistakes and just plain stupidity. Hell, at least one of them was smart enough to steal his roommates check. He was the bright loser of the bunch.

Unfreakinbelieveable
Unfreakinbelieveable

I don't dispute that i don't like UGA (hate is a very strong word) but i'm no imbecile.  i have the degrees from Brown Univer. to prove it!  You however, do sound like a moron.  And where did you get your sheepskin from?