Freshman safety Alec Ogletree was charged with one count of “theft by taking” by UGA Police on Friday. He was subsequently suspended for a minimum of one game by head coach Mark Richt.
The charge, a misdemeanor, stemmed from a June 15 incident in which Petr Novotny, a member of the school’s track team, reported his $35 scooter helmet being stolen. UGA chief of police Jimmy Williamson said Friday that “within a day or two” the helmet was located in Ogletree’s possession.
Ogletree, a Newnan native, turned himself in to the Clarke County jail at 2:07 p.m. He posted a $1,500 bail and was released at 4:51 p.m.
"Certainly it’s an unfortunate sequence of events.” Richt said in a statement. "I’m disappointed in the situation and will continue to gather information as the case is processed through the proper legal channels. In the meantime, Alec is still responsible for a poor decision and will serve a minimum one game suspension as a result."
Ogletree was one of the few true freshmen who was expected to receive playing time in today’s season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette. Instead he became the third current player to be forced to sit out due to an arrest.
Tailback Washaun Ealey was arrested last week on three misdemeanors, stemming from a hit-and-run, and was also suspended a minimum of one game. Receiver Tavarres King, a projected starter, is also out today after an alcohol-related arrest in July.
The high amount of arrests has been a cause of national embarrassment for Georgia, and new athletics director Greg McGarity said earlier this week that it was “too much.”
McGarity said Friday that he supported Richt’s call on Ogletree’s suspension.
“This what occurred back in June. So you’ve just gotta sit back, look and see exactly what happened,” McGarity said. “Mark made the right decision. So we just move forward. I’m sure these kids’ll learn from their mistakes and move forward.
“There are little bumps in the road. But it’s just something we’ve got to focus on, just continuing education. Things along those lines. Nothing that can’t be corrected. We’ve just gotta keep working on it.”
In other player news, McGarity said Georgia was still waiting to hear from the NCAA on its inquiry. It might not get official word on the agent probe, and possibly the status of star receiver A.J. Green, until kickoff today, or even later.
“It’s one of those things where you’re just sitting by the phone waiting, and waiting," McGarity said.
The NCAA has handed down rulings in its agent probe at Alabama, and apparently at least partially at North Carolina and South Carolina.
“Well, I think you always want to know,” McGarity said. “But also, no one can put a time limit on the NCAA. There are a lot of things going on right now with a lot of institutions. So we’re just sitting around waiting until we hear something.”