Georgia players arrested on weapon charges. Cornerback Chad Clay and defensive lineman Julian Rochester are charged with having a weapon in a school zone. They were booked into jail shortly after midnight Tuesday on a $2,000 bond, according to the Athens-Clarke County Sheriff’s Office.
UGA spokesman Claude Felton said the Georgia players incident was related to the possession of a BB gun and property damage, according to Atlanta Journal Constitution. Later in the morning, Smart addressed the arrests during his weekly radio appearance. “Poor decisions,” Smart said. “It’s something we’re going to have to deal with as a university and a team.”
“I’m disappointed with the poor judgment of Julian and Chad,” UGA head coach Kirby Smart said in a written statement. “We expect full compliance with the policies of the University and of our football program from all our student-athletes. Information is still being gathered but they will be disciplined in an appropriate manner.”
Both Georgia players arrested are roommates at UGA. Clay, from Suwanee, is a graduate of Peachtree Ridge High School. Rochester was a 5-star recruit out of McEachern High School in Cobb County.
Kim Stephens, an Athens defense attorney representing the two players, said the players were shooting solo cups in their dorm room with a Daisy BB gun, which left marks on the door and in other areas of the room. The way the statute reads, anything that shoots a projectile — “including a straw and spitball” — fits the definition of a weapon on campus, Stephens said.
“Every kid eating with a steak knife in the campus dining hall commits a felony under the statute,” Stephens said.
The current political debate over campus carry legislation makes this a particularly volatile issue. House Bill 859 sits on the desk of Gov. Nathan Deal and would allow anyone 21 or older with a weapons license to carry a gun anywhere on a public college or university campus, except for inside four places: dormitories, fraternities and sorority houses, and at athletic events.
Everywhere else, including campus child care centers, music concert venues and classrooms, would be open under the bill.
The two Georgia players arrested are not 21 years old. Clay and Rochester are both 19 years old. Both Rochester and Clay are early enrollees. Rochester, a defensive lineman from Powder Spring and McEachern High School, was one of the team’s top recruits. Clay is a defensive back from Marietta and Peachtree Ridge High School.