Sims suspended, likely out for 2006

ATHENS – Barring a rare reversal by Georgia's upper administration, backup safety Antonio Sims will not play for the Bulldogs at least in 2006 and perhaps ever again.

Antonio Sims, a redshirt freshman from Hiram, was suspended from school for spring semester in a Feb. 2 decision by the Office of Judicial Programs after he admitted two separate violations of the University Code of Conduct, Dawg Post has learned.

Pat Daugherty, an assistant vice president for student affairs, is handling Sims' appeal, but Rodney Bennett, the vice president for student affairs, said the school's appeals process is very strict. In fact, he said last week he could not remember his office overturning a University Judiciary decision.

Sims remains enrolled at Georgia pending the outcome of his appeal, which could come as early as today. Even if Sims loses his appeal, he will be eligible to return to school this summer, however losing his spring semester hours would leave him unable to make enough progress toward graduation to remain academically eligible in the fall.

"If I do get suspended, I will be unable to play football because I would be ineligible to play in the fall," Sims wrote in a Feb. 9 letter to the Office of Judicial Programs as part of his appeal process.

The letter, and all the information regarding Sims' case, was obtained under the Georgia Open Records Act.

Sims' first transgression came in June of 2005, when he admitted to possessing a UGA parking permit that was not his. Sims, who received 18 parking tickets between June of 2004 and January of 2005, according to school documents, denied he stole the pass but agreed he misused it and was sentenced to 15 hours of community service, according to school records.

However, Sims never completed a single hour of his community service, according to an Oct. 18 letter sent to him by the Office of Judicial Programs.

Then, on Nov. 20, 2005, Sims was arrested on charges of DUI on the university campus, and, according to a UGA Police Department document, had a blood alcohol level of .144 more than an hour after his stop. That arrest violated two more university regulations, leading to Sims' suspension.

Sims did himself no favors with university officials throughout the process, according to documents provided by the school. According to a document signed by parking services official Sue Hopewell, Sims displayed "an attitude and (had) no remorse." He then failed to respond to two letters sent by assistant dean of students Jim Bove requesting Sims contact the judicial affairs office regarding his DUI arrest, according to document provided by the school.

Coach Mark Richt would not comment on Sims' situation last week. Sims could not be reached for comment.

Sims missed the first half of the 2005 season due to a broken ankle and then was suspended for the Georgia Tech game due to his DUI. If he remains on the team, he will enter spring practice the top backup at safety behind Tra Battle and Kelin Johnson.

Dawg Post Top Stories