UGA gives top rusher Ealey release

UGA gives top rusher Ealey release

May 10th, 2011 by David Paschall in Sports

Georgia running back Washaun Ealey. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Georgia running back Washaun Ealey. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Troubled Georgia tailback Washaun Ealey is now former Georgia tailback Washaun Ealey.

The 5-foot-11, 215-pound junior from Stillmore, Ga., has been granted an unconditional release so he can transfer to another school for the 2011-12 academic year, Bulldogs coach Mark Richt announced Monday. Ealey was suspended for three weeks in February after failing to report for an early morning run that was discipline related, and he was unable to compete in any of the three spring scrimmages because of a pulled hamstring.

"Washaun and I have had several conversations in recent weeks," Richt said in a released statement. "We both have come to the conclusion that a transfer to another institution would be in his best interest."

Though he played just two seasons in Athens, Ealey provided plenty of highs and lows.

He rushed for 1,528 combined yards, leading the team both seasons, and averaged 5.7 yards per carry as a freshman and 5.2 as a sophomore. Ealey had a career-best 183 yards in a 30-24 upset triumph at Georgia Tech in 2009 and set a program record with five rushing touchdowns last year during a 44-31 win at Kentucky.

His troubles started right before last season, when he was arrested in late August on charges of hit-and-run of a parked vehicle and driving with a suspended license. During Georgia's 1-4 start, Ealey fumbled inside the opposing 5-yard line in losses at South Carolina and Mississippi State.

His departure could create even more of an opportunity for freshman Isaiah Crowell, who was rated by ESPN as the top tailback nationally in the 2011 signing class. Georgia's returning tailbacks are senior Caleb King, junior Carlton Thomas and redshirt freshman Ken Malcome.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6524.