6 Student Athletes Charged

ATHENS------- Five University of Georgia freshman football student-athletes and one freshman basketball student-athlete have been charged with a misdemeanor violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act.

Football players Tim Jennings, Orangeburg, S.C.; Bryan McClendon, Atlanta; DeMario Minter, Stone Mountain; Mario Raley, Charlotte, N.E.; Randall Swoopes, Athens and basketball player Wayne Arnold, Lilburn, were all charged with the misdemeanor possession Tuesday afternoon. The charges resulted from a response by UGA campus police to McWhorter Hall (campus dormitory) Thursday night, April 17. All reported to the Clarke County jail Tuesday afternoon and were released on bail.

Georgia head football coach Mark Richt has already imposed the following discipline on the five football freshmen: minimum two-game suspension for each (first two games of the 2003 season), minimum 30 hours of community service, internal discipline consisting of additional physical activity, and required counseling.

"Obviously, I'm very disappointed in this situation and the players involved," said Richt. "But we have certain standards that everyone is going to adhere to as both a football player and a student of this University. They will all pay a severe price and hopefully they will learn a very valuable lesson early that will make them better over the long haul."

UGA basketball coach Dennis Felton is out of state on a recruiting trip; however, he said "I understand the seriousness of the charges. Unfortunately, I have been unable to communicate with Wayne (Arnold) but will do so when I return and determine the appropriate action to take. I would say that any behavior associated with substance abuse will not be tolerated in our program."

The University of Georgia was the first major college in the country to develop and implement a comprehensive substance abuse education, awareness, and discipline program beginning in 1982.

"This is very disappointing and we regard it as very serious," said UGA Director of Athletics Vince Dooley. "We have a long history of being out front in substance abuse education and awareness programs and have been fortunate over the last 20 years with a minimum of problems in this area. However, we'll re-evaluate all areas of what we are doing and continue to make improvements in any aspect we think necessary."

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