According to Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt will have his hands full right out of the gate, as one of his best returning players will be suspended to start the 2014 campaign.
Towers is reporting that starting safety Josh Harvey-Clemons will be suspended for the first 3 games of 2014, and that is apparently an addition to the suspension that cost him the availability to play in the Gator Bowl loss to Nebraska. Initially, Towers notes that Harvey-Clemons’ suspension was described as “academically related”, but there is a revelation buried deeper in the piece from the AJC. It reads like this:
Since then, however, several persons familiar with the situation have told the AJC that Harvey-Clemons had in fact violated UGA’s marijuana-use policy for a second time and therefore had been issued a four-game suspension, as per the athletic association’s student-athlete disciplinary guidelines. Those guidelines call for the offending student-athlete to be suspended for “not less than 30 percent of the season” for a second offense of the marijuana-use policy. In football, that comes to four games, one of which Harvey-Clemons has already served.
Many in the “Bulldog Nation” are already complaining about UGA’s “strict” policy in this regard, but frankly, this is inexcusable behavior for Harvey-Clemons. He’s notoriously struggled to stay in the good graces of the program, and despite his considerable talent (66 tackles in 2013), no one is above reproach, especially in a program led by Mark Richt.
It will be interesting to see what the school and/or program releases in the wake of this breaking news, but it appears as if the Dawgs will be short-handed to start next season, and that includes games against both Clemson and South Carolina. Stay tuned.