Richt gives Dewberry a two-game suspension

Darius Dewberry

ATHENS - Georgia head coach Mark Richt suspended linebacker Darius Dewberry for two games today.

Richt announced Monday that linebacker Darius Dewberry will be suspended for the first two games of the season after the junior confessed to his role in damaging several planters and a parking gate at St. Mary's Hospital in Athens last Saturday morning.

"(Dewberry) freely admitted to me that he did it," Richt said. "I do know that he's very remorseful for what he did. He's going to pay a price."

Dewberry's suspension follows a chaotic weekend for the Bulldogs in which snapper Jeff Henson and former player Michael Lemon were arrested in separate incidents, and safety Donavon Baldwin and linebacker Marcus Dowtin were injured in a bar fight at a downtown night club.

It was after Baldwin and Dowtin were taken to St. Mary's for treatment of their injuries that Dewberry was called by several teammates. He went to the hospital and, upon leaving, damaged the gate and planters.

"I was angry that my two teammates were hurt, and I just overreacted," Dewberry said.

Dewberry practiced with the team Monday, but also spoke with St. Mary's staff to apologize for his actions.

Richt said Dewberry, who attended Peach County high in Fort Valley, would also be doing extra morning workouts, receive counseling, complete 20 hours of community service and pay full restitution for the damage done.

"Whatever I've got to deal with, I'm ready to face the facts," Dewberry said. "I did, I'm manning up, and I'm ready to take care of business."

Richt said Dewberry would be getting a job this week to begin paying for the damage to the hospital and said the linebacker would spend the first two Saturdays of the regular season working that job rather than helping the Bulldogs. He will be eligible to return to action Sept. 13 against South Carolina.

Dewberry, who started five games last season, is the sixth Georgia player to be suspended this offseason, and he said he regretted adding to the Bulldogs' off-field troubles. Despite the incident, however, he said his teammates remained supportive.

"Everybody had their own things to say about it," Dewberry said. "But I know I shouldn't have done it, they know I shouldn't have done it."

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