Richt Not Ready for Scooter Ban... Yet
Ray Drew
Athens Banner-Herald
Posted Aug 15, 2011


ATHENS – Georgia coach Mark Richt said Monday that he isn’t ready to institute a scooter ban for his team after another football player was injured riding the two-wheel motor vehicle this weekend.

Outside linebacker Ray Drew separated his right shoulder Sunday, Richt said, when the freshman landed on his helmet and shoulder, in a crash while returning home from church.

“He’s very fortunate it wasn’t worse than it was,” Richt said.

Drew was treated at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens.

“The shoulder won’t require any surgery,” Richt said. “It was a separation, not a dislocation. The separation was not severe enough to warrant any surgery. …I’d say the chances of (practicing) this week would be very slim, but after that it’s hard to say. It’s a matter of when a guy starts getting comfortable enough to go and some guys heal faster than others.”

It’s the second scooter accident by a Bulldogs football player in less than five weeks and another in a string of scooter wrecks for UGA athletes in recent years.

Richt said he always wonders if there’s more he can do to eliminate scooter accidents, but said players have a short window to travel around campus from class to study hall to lunch and treatment and taping.

“The scooters have allowed those guys to get around so I’m not ready to say no scooters,” Richt said. “They do need to be careful.”

“We’ll look at it and talk about it, but what’s the alternative?” athletic director Greg McGarity said. “They can’t park. They have cars, where could they park their cars? There’s nowhere to park. It’s just kind of the way our campus life is now.”

While Georgia practiced Monday, some 40 scooters were parked outside the Butts-Mehre building.

That’s where defensive end Derrick Lott sustained a deep laceration to his right leg in a accident on July 12 when he was driving to park alongside the building. Lott was sidelined for the start of preseason practices but returned to practice last week.

Drew was going downhill when he applied the brakes and lost control of his scooter at Jackson and Baldwin Streets, according to Athens-Clarke County Police who responded to the scene at about 11:50 a.m. Sunday. No charges were filed and no other vehicles were involved in the accident.

“I’m just glad kids have to wear a helmet,” McGarity said.

Another backup outside linebacker, Chase Vasser, separated his right shoulder, bruised his left shoulder and sustained a concussion in a crash two years ago. Linebacker Marcus Dowtin sustained scrapes last preseason in another accident.

Baseball player Chance Veazey was paralyzed from the waist down following a late scooter accident in 2009 after an evening study session. Pitcher Eric Swegma missed six weeks last season after injuring his shoulder in a scooter accident.

Drew, a five-star recruit from Thomasville, was in a sling on Monday, said Cornelius Washington, who Drew is backing up at weakside linebacker.

“I don’t think he’s going to be on a scooter for a while,” Washington said.

Samuel, Crowell still dealing with injuries

Georgia could be without both of its top tailbacks for its scrimmage Wednesday.

Junior Richard Samuel is unlikely to practice this week due to a strained left quadriceps muscle. Freshman Isaiah Crowell tested his groin injury Monday, but “still can’t really move quick enough to be safe and competitive,” Richt said. “He gave it a go today, but it’s not ready yet. He thought he was ready and he wasn’t.”

While Richt didn’t rule Crowell out of the scrimmage, he isn’t counting on Samuel this week.

“My guess is it will be early next week before we even start thinking about it,” Richt said. “I hate to set a timetable because you don’t know.”

Redshirt freshman Ken Malcome returned to practice Monday after he missed work last week because he was not feeling well.

Lee, Houston fill in with starting unit

First team right guard Chris Burnette did not practice Monday after coming down with what Richt said was a gastrointestinal illness. Center Ben Jones said redshirt sophomore Dallas Lee worked in Burnette’s spot most of the time in his absence and Kolton Houston also got snaps.

Richt said offensive tackle Austin Long is close to returning from his bout with mono. He was in a non-contact jersey Monday.

Defensive end Dexter Morant, returning from a pair of shoulder surgeries, practiced without contact as the roster expanded beyond the 105-player limit as classes began.

“He’s not far from getting some contact,” Richt said.

This and that

With Amarlo Herrera out with a shoulder contusion, backup outside linebacker Chase Vasser is also getting some work at inside linebacker, Richt said, “just to create some more depth for us with the situation with the the inside linebacker position.” …Cornerback Brandon Boykin declared himself “100 percent” after missing time in camp with a sore hamstring. “I just tweaked it, I didn’t really pull it,” Boykin said. “They just wanted me to rest and recover until I was ready to go full speed.” …The team is off today as players get adjusted to the start of classes this week. Richt said the team is still on track to get 29 practices.


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