Sims suspended until 2007

ATHENS – Georgia safety Antonio Sims' student judiciary appeal was denied Tuesday, meaning the rising sophomore will be ineligible for the 2006 season, but he could to return to the Bulldogs in 2007.

"He's remorseful and has indicated he wants to return to Georgia starting in May to begin rebuilding his reputation," Coach Mark Richt said through a school spokesman. "He'll be assigned to the scout team during the 2006 season. If he takes care of his schoolwork and behaves in the proper way, he could be back with the varsity team in 2007. Hopefully, he's learned a hard lesson that will be beneficial to him the rest of his life."

Antonio Sims was suspended from school earlier this month after two separate incidents with the student judiciary, one involving the misuse of a student parking pass that was not his and other stemming from a DUI arrest on campus in November. He appealed the decision to the office of student affairs, but Pam Daugherty, the school's vice president for student affairs, informed him Tuesday that the appeal was denied.

Sims must leave the school and check out of his dorm by Friday, according to a letter sent to him Tuesday by Daugherty. He will be eligible to return to the university this summer but the loss of his spring semester credit hours will make it impossible for him to be academically eligible in the fall.

"Being a student at the university is a privilege and with that comes a responsibility to behave in the proper way and abide by university rules and regulations," Richt said. "Antonio Sims made a mistake and he lost the privilege. He's paying a severe penalty as a student and, as a result, will pay a severe penalty as a student athlete."

Sims suspension serves basically as a 12-game suspension, Richt said.

On Saturday, Richt announced a two-game suspension for backup offensive lineman Ian Smith, who was arrested that same day on charges of intoxication. He has yet to announce punishment for linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who was arrested on charges of auto theft and DUI in January, or defensive tackle Marquis Elmore, who was arrested Sunday on charges of driving with a suspended license. Ellerbe is suspended from all athletic contests until his case is resolved because he was charged with a felony. He must also appear in front of the student judiciary.

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