Hebron suspended from UGA; Headed to GMC

ATHENS – Georgia freshman Akeem Hebron was suspended from school this week as expected and will play next year at Georgia Military College.

Hebron signed an informal agreement with the school's office of judicial programs Monday, admitting to his second alcohol-related violation of the school's code of conduct and accepting the automatic two-semester suspension. He will miss the remainder of spring semester, which ends this week, and the fall of 2007.

Hebron, a former Parade All-American linebacker from Gaithersburg, Md., will be eligible to return to the football team for the 2008 season, and he plans to be back in time for spring practice next season, he said Tuesday.

He will enroll at GMC in June or August, and play for head coach Bert Williams' junior college powerhouse during the 2007 season, he said.

"I can get some school credits and not just be sitting around at home," he said. "I'll be up and running when I come back."

Georgia head coach Mark Richt said in a statement released by the school that he will consider allowing Hebron to return in 2008.

"Akeem made some mistakes, and he's paying the price," Richt said. "Depending on how he handles things and what happens between now and then, we would consider him returning to the team, but those are decisions for a later time."

Hebron has been arrested twice since February on charges of underage possession of alcohol. His most recent arrest came April 26, when an employee at a downtown Athens bar called police to report a disorderly male who had been denied entrance to a bar and then threatened him by making "a gun with his hand," according to a police report.

Hebron, 18, was placed under arrest after a police officer smelled alcohol on his breath, and he admitted consuming alcohol. Hebron doesn't think he had a problem with alcohol, he said.

"I can't beat myself up over it," he said. "What happens, happens. From now on, I just can't be going out, hanging out with the regular college students."

As part of his agreement with the university, Hebron will be on probation with the university until Dec. 15, 2009. Another alcohol-related violation before that date will result in another suspension and possibly expulsion. He also will have to meet monthly from January to May of 2008 with a member of the official of judicial programs and complete an alcohol and drug course at the university health center.

He also will have to meet conditions set by Richt.

Hebron, who missed most of spring practice due to a hamstring injury and came out of spring as the third-string weak side linebacker, knows that previous Georgia players, most notably former linebacker Odell Thurman, have spent a season in exile at GMC before returning to successful careers at Georgia.

"I think I can go through the same process and redeem myself from my mistakes in the past," he said. "There is no doubt in my mind."

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