Alabama RB Eddie Williams was the highest-profile recruit who was suspended Tuesday by the team for running afoul of the law.
ATHENS — A one-year contract extension and increase in total compensation for head football coach Mark Richt were approved Tuesday highlighting the February meeting of the University of Georgia Athletic Association Board of Directors.
The contract, which will soon be finalized, will include an increase in total compensation from $2.81 million to $3.2 million per year, as well as add an additional year to the contract, now set to run through 2017.
"(He’s done a tremendous) job leading our program,” said Director of Athletics Greg McGarity. “Twelve wins and the manner in which he’s done it, it’s just something we felt like we needed to do.”
Richt will be entering his 13th season as head football coach next fall.
“I’m honored and very thankful to Dr. Adams, Greg McGarity, and the Athletic Board for their support in what we are working daily to accomplish,” said Richt. “I look forward along with our staff to preparing this team for the challenges of another season. From what I’ve heard, our team is working hard in the off-season conditioning program and paying the price necessary to be successful in the Fall.
“I do want to express my gratitude to Dr. Adams for his support and continuing confidence in our program over the years. He’s been a special supporter who has always been in our corner. And we look forward to working with President-select Jere Morehead. He’s been in several roles in the University administration, including a former Faculty Athletics Representative, and always supported our program in every respect.”
The board also approved the Young Alumni Ticket Program. The program will enable recent graduates to be awarded season tickets without initially making a contribution to the Hartman Fund.
Academics were also highlighted at the quarterly meeting. Faculty Athletic Board representative David Shipley reported that all student athletes combined for a cumulative fall semester grade point average (GPA) of 2.96, and that UGA’s graduation success rate of 81 percent was the highest the school has had since the system was implemented.
ALABAMA PLAYERS IN TROUBLE WITH LAW:
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Four Alabama Crimson Tide freshman football players have been suspended in conjunction withcharges of second-degree robbery or credit-card fraud.
Eddie Williams, a former top recruit, was arrested Monday for the second time in two days. He was first arrested Sunday and charged with carrying a pistol without a license.
Defensive end D.J. Pettway (second-degree robbery), and linebackers Tyler Hayes (second-degree robbery) and Brent Calloway (fraudulent use of a credit card) were arrested Monday with Williams, according to online records from the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. The four players were released Monday night on bonds ranging from $5,000 to $65,000.
“The young men charged are indefinitely suspended as we continue to gather information and talk to the appropriate people,” coach Nick Saban said in a statement. “The university and football program have strict guidelines regarding issues of this magnitude. This behavior is unacceptable for any student-athlete at the University of Alabama and not representative of our football program.”
Citing a police report acquired by at least two Alabama newspapers, Williams admitted to police that he assaulted another man “and rendered him unconscious” on campus Monday morning at 3:21 a.m. He then made several purchases with a stolen credit card.
Citing court documents, ESPN reported that Hayes confessed to robbing the student who was punched in the head and face and kicked in the ribs and back.
Williams told police that Pettway and Hayes waited in a nearby vehicle about an hour later while he knocked out and robbed another student.
Multiple reports said that the first student had his Apple Macbook Pro stolen from his backpack, and both students had mild concussions and had their wallets taken. Williams and Calloway admitted to using a stolen credit card to buy snacks from vending machines inside a dorm, the documents said.
Pettway and Hayes are charged with second-degree robbery; Calloway is charged with fraudulent use of a credit card.
The Alabama athletic department described the situation as a “serious matter.”
“We are very disappointed in the actions that have resulted in the charges against these student-athletes,” Alabama athletic director Mal Moore said in a statement. “In this type of situation, the athletics department works in conjunction with the university. We will have more to say at the appropriate time.”
Williams didn’t play a down at his listed position as a receiver for Alabama in 2012. Pettway earned a spot on the All-SEC freshman team at defensive end. Hayes had 14 tackles this season, including two in the Crimson Tide’s BCS National Championship game rout of Notre Dame. Calloway appeared in 12 games as a redshirt freshman.