Monday, May 9, 2011
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ATHENS -- Georgia running back Washaun Ealey is leaving the Bulldogs, the school said Monday, a move that wasn't surprising after he was suspended twice for disciplinary reasons.
Coach Mark Richt said Ealey had been granted his conditional release to transfer to another school for next season. He has two years of eligibility remaining.
"Washaun and I have had several conversations in recent weeks," Richt said in a statement. "We both have come to the conclusion that a transfer to another institution would be in his best interest."
Ealey led Georgia in rushing as a sophomore with 811 yards and 11 touchdowns, setting a school record when he ran for five TDs in a win over Kentucky. But the Bulldogs had their first losing season since 1996 and signaled a change in direction with their signing of highly touted running back Isaiah Crowell.
Under fire after three straight disappointing seasons, Richt did nothing to downplay expectations for the freshman.
"I wouldn't be shocked to see him run that rock in the Dome against Boise State on the opening play if he does what he's supposed to do," the coach said on signing day.
Ealey was suspended for the 2010 season opener after his arrest for driving with a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident. Then, in February, he was barred from offseason activities after reportedly failing to show up for disciplinary running.
Richt lifted the suspension less than three weeks later, but Ealey surely knew he was facing a cut in playing time after sharing carries with Caleb King, who had disciplinary issues of his own last season.
King was suspended for two games after failing to appear in court to deal with a speeding ticket, then he missed the Liberty Bowl because of academic issues.