DESTIN, Fla. — Kirby Smart is now playing coy on the suspension status of Jonathan Ledbetter, along with three other players who were arrested this offseason.
Ledbetter, the sophomore defensive lineman, recently had two misdemeanor alcohol charges dismissed by the district attorney, who felt he couldn’t make the charges stick. Initially after the arrest – which happened outside of a bar – Smart confirmed that Ledbetter would serve a one-game suspension, per UGA’s athletics policy.
But when asked about it on Tuesday, Smart did not reiterate that – or say that Ledbetter was now free to play the season opener against North Carolina.
“We’ll find out with the first game,” Smart said, not elaborating.
The same goes for Julian Rochester, Chad Clay and Juwuan Briscoe, all of whom were arrested this offseason. The first two are still facing felony weapons charges related to shooting a BB gun in their dorm room. Briscoe had a misdemeanor traffic arrest for driving without a license, which in the past has not drawn suspensions for Georgia athletes.
“Each one of them is facing discipline action, and each one of them has done what we’ve asked them to do thus far,” Smart said.
So does “we find out” mean Smart knows whether there will be a suspension and isn’t telling, or that it hasn’t been determined?
“I’m saying we’ll find out as we go along,” Smart said. “Each one of those kids is serving their punishment and doing the things they’ve got to do in order to be where we want them to be, which is out there in the fall. So they’re all going through that. …
“They couldn’t just snap their fingers and get it done overnight. They’ve got a discipline process they’re going through in order to complete it.”