ATHENS------As a result of information gathered in recent days by the University of Georgia compliance office, it has been determined that eight additional current UGA student-athlete football players sold their SEC championship rings.
The eight, in addition to freshman Kedric Golston who had previously been cited, sold their rings for varying amounts. The group includes rising seniors Kenny Bailey, Michael Johnson, and Bruce Thornton, junior Fred Gibson, and sophomores Trey Young, Darrius Swain, Tony Taylor, and Tim Jennings. Upon learning of the additional sales, UGA Director of Athletics Vince Dooley declared the student-athletes ineligible in accordance with NCAA rules.
The UGA Athletic Association has arranged to recover the rings to prevent future impermissible sales. The UGA compliance office is currently working with the NCAA to determine proper re-payment procedures for the student-athletes to follow as part of the process in filing a request to restore their eligibility.
"As I have said, it's very disappointing," said Richt. "I think as a football program and Athletic Association we are now committed to doing a better job of educating our student-athletes on the worth of achievement awards which far transcends monetary value."
In unrelated developments, Richt has imposed game suspension on four other football student-athletes for violation of team rules: rising sophomores B.J. Fields (one game), Chris Hickman (one game), Jamario Smith (one game) and Tyson Browning (three games).
In addition, Richt said that by mutual agreement, rising sophomore Randall Swoopes will transfer to Georgia Military College in the fall of this year. The door has been left open for him to possibly return to UGA at some future time.