The two current and two former University of Georgia football players who were arrested and charged with misdemeanor theft had their first day in the Athens-Clarke County Courthouse on Thursday during a standard arraignment proceeding, per a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Judge Ethelyn Simpson presided over the arraignment for safety Tray Matthews, defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor, defensive end James DeLoach and wide receiver Uriah LeMay.
During the proceedings, Simpson informed the accused players that all charges would be dismissed if a pre-trial diversion program is completed. This program, similar to probation, includes no longer having to attend court hearings and supervision for a required period of time. Participants in this program must agree to terms which may include restitution, community service, and program involvement. Those accepted into the program must agree to not be arrested or charged with any new offense while participating.
Two of the players — Tray Matthews and Uriah LeMay — are no longer a part of Georgia’s program, as LeMay transferred to Charlotte, and Matthews was dismissed on Tuesday following an altercation with a professor. Head coach Mark Richt has not yet handed down discipline for Taylor and DeLoach.
Matthews told the AJC that he had been notified of the program option before his court date and has nearly completed his community service requirement. The four football players reportedly met with the probation officer following the arraignment, and were obviously pleased with the outcome of the proceedings.
According to a report from the University, DeLoach and Taylor will not face suspensions or dismissal, but rather “significant additional internal discipline.”
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