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Post It’s becoming one thing after another

Thursday February 7, 2008

Following last night’s loss to Vanderbilt, Georgia junior guard Billy Humphrey was arrested for underage possession of alcohol.

Humphrey is obviously in a world of hurt right now. You could sense the frustration and disappointment about his injury in his comments following the South Carolina loss. His struggles have continued in the two games since, and unfortunately it looks as if he chose the wrong escape route from his troubles last night.

Humphrey is suspended indefinitely, and he will face at least a mandatory three-game suspension due to an alcohol-related arrest. Georgia’s offense sputtered without a healthy Humphrey, and one has to expect that the scoring difficulties, especially from the perimeter, will continue during his suspension. The trio of Swansey, Butler, and Brewer will try to hold down the position.

It’s silly to fault Dennis Felton for Humphrey’s transgression; remember that suspensions for alcohol-related incidents are athletic department policy and are out of the coach’s hands. Still, it’s a disturbing trend that we’re starting to see off-court drama begin to take over the Georgia basketball program once again.

Dennis Felton was brought in to win, graduate players, and, above all in the wake of Jim Harrick, clean up the image of Georgia basketball. He managed to do well in that direction for a few seasons; it isn’t the case now. If you saw any recent game, you know that the team hasn’t quit on Felton or the season. Still, Felton will be fighting a perception soon – if he isn’t already – that he is losing control of the program. Even an incident completely outside of his control like Humphrey’s arrest adds to that perception when it’s stacked on top of everything else that has happened to the program in the past year.

One Response to 'It’s becoming one thing after another'

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  • I’m not a Felton hater. I just don’t know how many more of these body blows the program can take. Felton may be a good guy; he may even be an OK coach. But he clearly hasn’t been able to keep order within the program. That’s exactly why he was hired over some other candidates — to be the law and order guy. Georgia fans (who are primarily football fans) may want to shrug off an arrest here or a suspension there, but it just doesn’t happen in college basketball that much, and it certainly doesn’t happen in February. For Georgia, its top three scorers have all be DQ’d for various reasons in the past SIX MONTHS.

    Coaches of other winning (and losing) programs don’t have to use the excuse that they can’t attend classes for their players, or follow them downtown. That’s because their kids attend class and don’t get arrested the night of a game. Georgia may need one of those other coaches.