In what has become an all too familiar occurrence this offseason, another Georgia football player — this time safety Tray Matthews — has been dismissed from the program by head football coach Mark Richt, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Richt showed little remorse for removing Matthews from the team, saying in an unusually harsh manner, “We are trying to make room for guys who want to do things right.”
Matthews was one of four players who were arrested and charged with misdemeanor theft by deception for allegedly double-dipping school-issued stipend checks by cashing them twice.
Prior to the school’s statement about the the dismissal, Matthews himself sent out a farewell tweet.
I’m sorry UGA family.I swear to God I love yal.I’m crying right now but I won’t forget. Love the dawgs.Auburn or Louisville will be my home
— TriggaTray28-F$C (@Trigga_Tray28) June 3, 2014
Matthews dismissal follows the exit visas handed to fellow defensive teammates Josh Harvey-Clemons and Shaq Wiggins, who both have since transferred to Louisville – the new home of former UGA defensive coordinator, Todd Grantham.
Trutfhfully, it’s hard to blame Richt for the dismissals themselves, but perhaps this long string of poor luck with recruits will cause the Georgia recruiting staff to look more closely at the character and background issues of a potential recruit before handing him the valuable scholarship offer.
Just as with Harvey-Clemons and Wiggins, the on-field presence of Matthews will be missed by a Georgia defense that suffered in pass defense last season. Matthews was ranked the No. 6 prospect in Georgia and No. 7 safety in the nation by rivals.com, and played in eight games as a freshman in 2013. He finished the season with 36 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble.
What won’t be missed is the off-field distractions, of which Georgia has had far too many for too long.
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