Richt suspends Smith two games

ATHENS – Georgia coach Mark Richt didn't waste any time Saturday dealing with the most recent transgression by one of his players.

Center Ian Smith, a rising redshirt freshman from Cartersville, was suspended for the first two games of the 2006 season after being arrested early Saturday morning on charges of intoxication.

"I'm very disappointed and penalties for behavioral issues are going to be severe," Richt said in a statement released by the school. "Playing time is valuable to all players, and it will be very limited to those who cannot conduct themselves in an appropriate manner."

Smith was booked into the Clarke County jail at 5:18 a.m. Saturday and released two hours later on $500 bond, according to the jail's official Web site. He may be facing more chargesfrom the incident because his age on the Web site is listed as 21, which would make him legal to drink.

However, Smith's was born on Sept. 19, 1986, according to Georgia's media guide. That would make him underage to possess and drink alcohol and could lead to additional charges. It's unclear how the error occurred.

Richt spoke to Smith on Saturday about the incident, but it's unknown if Richt has factored Smith's age or the possibility of more charges into his punishment decision, said Claude Felton, Georgia's associate athletic director for communications.

Smith sat out last season but would have had a chance to earn the starting center job this year. Rising senior Nick Jones is penciled in as the No. 1 center heading into spring practice.

Smith is the third Bulldog to be arrested on alcohol-related charges since November. Defensive reserves Antonio Sims and Dannell Ellerbe have been charged with DUI in that time period. Sims currently is appealing a suspension from school for his DUI and another incident. Richt has not announced a penalty for Ellerbe yet.

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