ATHENS — I honestly don’t like to be too quick to judge. I fully believe in the American legal cornerstone of innocent until proven guilty. I assume D’Antne Demery will eventually get his day in court. But based on the information slowly coming to light on this rainy Sunday morning, Georgia has no choice than to part ways with its young football recruit.
Demery, an offensive lineman from Brunswick, signed with the Bulldogs in February. On Saturday night after the G-Day game, which he attended as a member of the 2017 class, he was arrested for criminal trespass and simple battery/family violence. He was released from Athens-Clarke County Jail early Sunday afternoon.
On Sunday morning, Athens-Clarke County Police released some details about that arrest. They were disturbing, to say the least. It was the result of Demery allegedly getting physical with his girlfriend, the mother of his 1-month old child. Demery also has another child.
Georgia has always taken a hard stance when it comes to violence against women. You’ll recall that the Bulldogs quickly parted ways with defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor when he was arrested under similar circumstances in 2014. Taylor later transferred to Alabama by way of junior college, got accused of domestic violence there as well but saw that charge against him dropped. He never did play a down in the SEC.
Nor should any player with such a history. You can say a lot about UGA over years, but as an institution it always has demonstrated leadership when it comes to matters of discipline and crime and punishment. And violence against women has been an offense that has drawn increasing attention and is being addressed in professional and college sports.
Just recently, Indiana University adopted a policy in which it announced it will not accept or recruit any students or student-athletes with a history of domestic violence or sexual assault. In most cases, it’s up to the individual schools and coaching staffs to do the background work necessary to know everything there is to know about the persons they’re recruiting to campus. In this case, a signed prospect was arrested for an incident that occurred while in town for an official school function.
Whether it was written or announced or not, Georgia has had such policy in effect for a while now. Demery, who has yet to graduate from high school, hasn’t been admitted to UGA yet. Nor should he be.
There really is no wiggle room here. Here’s hoping young Mr. Demery gets some help.