Bulldogs cut losses: Crowell dismissed after arrest on gun charges

Bulldogs cut losses: Crowell dismissed after arrest on gun charges

June 30th, 2012 by David Paschall in Sports College08football

Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell has been suspended while he faces gun charges.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

COLUMBUS COLLAPSES

Jasper Sanks and Isaiah Crowell were All-American tailbacks out of Carver High in Columbus who never had their productivity match their hype:

PREP LAURELS

Sanks was a Parade and USA Today All-American in 1997 but had to start out at Fork Union Military before enrolling at Georgia in '98. Crowell was ESPN.com's top-rated tailback in the 2011 class.

CAREER NUMBERS

Sanks played in 31 games and amassed 1,651 yards for the Bulldogs, with 896 of those coming as a sophomore in 1999. Crowell played in 12 of Georgia's 14 games last season, tallying 850 yards.

UNHAPPY ENDINGS

With three games left in his college career, Sanks was dismissed in 2001 by first-year coach Mark Richt for violating team rules. Crowell was dismissed Friday after an arrest on three weapons charges.

Georgia tailback Isaiah Crowell, the 2011 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year, was dismissed from the team Friday following an early morning arrest on three weapons charges, including two felonies.

The 19-year-old from Columbus was booked at the Athens-Clarke County Jail around 3:30 a.m., and he was charged with possessing a weapon in a school zone and having a weapon with an altered identification mark, each a felony. Crowell also was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, which is a misdemeanor, and he was released from jail early Friday afternoon after posting bond that was set at $7,500 and raised to $9,500.

Bulldogs coach Mark Richt quickly was made aware of Crowell's arrest and announced his dismissal late Friday afternoon.

"We have a dedicated and committed group of men who are working hard to prepare for the coming season," Richt said in a statement. "Our total focus will be directed toward the team and this effort."

Athens-Clarke County police said Crowell was arrested just before 2:30 a.m. at a vehicle checkpoint located at the intersection of East Campus Road and East Green Street. An officer smelled marijuana inside Crowell's 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis and searched the vehicle but instead found a 9mm Luger pistol with an altered serial number under the driver's seat.

Crowell was accompanied in his car by sophomore cornerback Quintavius Harrow, who attended Carver High in Columbus along with Crowell, and three members of the 2012 signing class -- outside linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons, cornerback Sheldon Dawson and receiver Blake Tibbs. Those four players were not charged.

In the police report, players stated that the smell of marijuana came from an earlier stay at the Aftermath night club.

Crowell was ESPN.com's No. 1 tailback nationally in the 2011 signing class and made a quick impact last season, amassing three 100-yard rushing performances in his first five games. He finished with 850 yards but was suspended for the first quarter of the Vanderbilt game for undisclosed disciplinary reasons and for the entire New Mexico State game for reportedly failing a drug test.

Richt praised Crowell throughout the first half of last season but referred to the tailback situation as a "pain in the rear" late in the year.

After rushing 24 times for 132 yards in the 10th game against Auburn, Crowell sustained an ankle injury the next week against Kentucky and finished with 15 carries for 29 yards the rest of the season. The 5-foot-11, 215-pounder was booed repeatedly by Georgia fans when he went to the sideline during the 42-10 loss to LSU in the SEC championship game.

Several weeks after the SEC title game, Crowell insisted that his off-the-field problems would be put to good use.

"I'm going to remember the mistakes I have made, some of the good things I did, and know that I have got to keep working hard to be the best teammate and best person I can be," Crowell said. "I need to be more accountable and just work hard every day."

In a depth chart released earlier this month, Crowell was bracketed with fellow sophomore tailback Ken Malcome as the starting tailback exiting spring practice. The Bulldogs added two of the nation's most heralded tailbacks this past winter by signing Keith Marshall, who enrolled early and went through most of spring drills, and Todd Gurley.