Defensive tackle Brandon Wood was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and was booked into the Athens-Clarke County jail early Sunday.
In an unrelated incident, offensive lineman Vince Vance was arrested after police stopped him for a traffic violation and found his license was expired.
“I think, again, these guys are making decisions, they make a mistake, we educate them very well,” head coach Mark Richt said. “It wasn’t like (Wood) wasn’t aware. He knew the deal.”
Richt said Wood was parked, waiting for his girlfriend and two friends with his parking lights on. When the passengers arrived, Wood drove off, only using the parking lights. Police pulled him over, and he was subsequently arrested.
Richt said Wood will be suspended for the upcoming game against LSU, as dictated by the school’s athletic association policy.
“Brandon certainly made a bad error in judgment to have alcohol in his system,” Richt said. “He is 21, he’s of legal age, but he did have something to drink earlier in the evening, and he drove his automobile.”
Whether Wood’s suspension lasts beyond this week remains to be seen. Richt said the details of the events were still unclear, and he would not make a final decision on Wood’s future immediately.
“It’s not real clear because this has happened kind of quick. But our athletic association policy says a one-game suspension, and that’s the only thing I’m going to say for sure.”
Wood was a regular in Georgia’s defensive tackle rotation, which was already thin with starter Jeff Owens out for the season and Kade Weston battling a knee injury that kept him out of the Bulldogs’ game against Vanderbilt on Saturday.
“One less man for this ballgame, although we held Kade out last week, and Kade will be ready to go this week,” Richt said. “So we’ll have basically the same rotation we had this past week.”
Vance started the first six games of the season on the offensive line for Georgia but tore his ACL against Tennessee two weeks ago and will miss the remainder of the season.
Richt said Vance told him he was stopped after rolling through a stop sign shortly after 9 p.m. Saturday and when police reviewed his license, they found it was expired.
“When they checked his license, he told me it expired on the 11th, which was his birthday, and he didn’t even know it was expired,” Richt said. “But when they found that information, he was arrested for having an expired license.”
Richt said he did not have any official information on Vance’s arrest, however, and was simply going by the player’s word.
“I asked him if he had a suspended license and he said no,” Richt said. “I asked if there was an outstanding ticket or anything like that, and he said no. But I’m just going by what he said to me, and that’s what he said happened.”