Georgia Football: Why Mark Richt Had to Part Ways with Isaiah Crowell
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Isaiah Crowell became a lightning rod for controversy from the moment that he officially became a Georgia Bulldog.
The former 5-star recruit from Columbus, Ga., stole headlines on national signing day in 2011 when he pulled out a live bulldog during his press conference before signing with the Bulldogs.
In the 16 months since then, Crowell has been suspended for a failed drug test and was in and out of the lineup due to nagging injuries last season.
On Friday, the saga of Crowell ended in Athens when he was arrested on felony charges of carrying a weapon in a school zone, having a weapon with an altered ID mark and misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed weapon.
Georgia announced Friday evening that Crowell as been dismissed from the team.
"We have a dedicated and committed group of men who are working hard to prepare for the coming season," Richt said in a statement released by the University of Georgia. "Our total focus will be directed toward the team and this effort."
This latest incident was the straw that breaks the camel's back.
If you're head coach Mark Richt, you can't have a player on the field with felony weapons charges hanging over his head, especially one that has been a constant headache since arriving on campus. It would foster an atmosphere of allowance and, more importantly, is a liability to the football program and the University of Georgia.
Was Georgia wise to dismiss Isaiah Crowell?
College students are going to get in trouble. That's unavoidable at any program. But felony weapons charges are a whole different animal.
When four Auburn players were arrested in 2011 for armed robbery, head coach Gene Chizik dismissed the players before the ink on their fingers was dry. Richt was wise to put his foot down and follow suit with Crowell.
Richt praised Crowell this spring for supposedly maturing. This latest incident indicates that may have just been lip service.
Richt wisely cut bait.
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