Georgia freshman Clay dismissed after another arrest

Chad Clay as a senior at Peachtree Ridge High School.

ATHENS — Freshman defensive back Chad Clay has been dismissed from the Georgia football team after his second arrest in four months.

Clay was arrested for theft by taking on Wednesday, according to the Athens-Clarke County jail web site, and released on $1,500 bond at 7:17 p.m. on Wednesday.

Coach Kirby Smart announced Clay’s dismissal a short time later.

“Unfortunately, Chad will no longer be a part of our football program,” Smart said in a statement.  “It is very disappointing, and we wish him the best in his efforts to continue his education.”

The arrest stemmed from an incident in which another student reported his Apple headphones, valued at $30, as being stolen while left unattended in the Ramsey Center. The incident is listed in the UGA online police log, and its connection with Clay’s arrest was confirmed by someone familiar with the situation.

This is the second player Smart has had to dismiss since he arrived. The other was defensive lineman Chauncey Rivers, a rising sophomore whose dismissal was basically automatic (per UGA policy) after a third marijuana-related arrest.

This is also the seventh arrest of a Georgia player since Smart’s arrival, although in one case (Jonathan Ledbetter on alcohol-related charges) the charges have been dismissed.

Clay and fellow freshman Julian Rochester were arrested in March on felony charges related to shooting a BB gun in their dorm. The case is still pending.

Clay, 19, was rated a three-star prospect coming out of Peachtree Ridge High School. He enrolled early and was competing for playing time in the secondary.


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