Yesterday, former Georgia quarterback, Zach Mettenberger , pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery related to an event that occurred near Valdosta over spring break.
Mettenberger will face 12 months probation, 80 hours of community service, and a $2,000 fine. In addition, Mettenberger will be restricted from entering the city of Valdosta any time in the next year and will not be able to have any contact with the victim.
District Attorney J. David Miller said that Mettenberger admitted to “grabbing the breasts and touching the buttocks” of a female who attended Valdosta State University.
In a statement released by his attorney Mettenberger said that he takes “full responsibility” for his actions and that he would like to apologize to “the young lady my actions most directly affected” and “to my family, friends, teammates, the coaching staff, and the University of Georgia.”
Most people would agree that accepting responsibility and admitting wrongdoing is the first step to recovering and moving on with your life. Mettenberger has done this and he expressed that he would like to “get a second chance to compete at another university in the nation.”
Some may see Mettenberger’s actions as unforgiveable , or may take them to mean that he can’t handle the responsibility of being a scholarship quarterback at a major university.
However, his actions should not define him as a football player or a person. Mettenberger is very talented, and allowing that talent to go to waste would be a slap in the face to a person who simply made a mistake.
Looking back, many of us have made stupid decisions. Many of us can also look back and see how we have become better people because of the lessons we learned from those mistakes.
Unfortunately, as a high profile student athlete, Zach Mettenberger was surrounded by speculation, and every move he made had to be the right one because of his role as a player at the University of Georgia.
Of course I am not condoning the actions of Zach Mettenberger , and I believe that Coach Richt made the right call by dismissing him from the team. Mettenberger has a lot of growing up to do, but he also deserves a second chance.
Give Zach a year to mature and he will be ready to take another shot at quarterback for another school. Mettenberger should be given a chance to redeem himself, and hopefully the things he has gone through the past couple of months will ultimately make him a better person.