ATHENS — Tim Kimbrough’s disciplinary problems are in the past, but the consequences of Chauncey Rivers’ poor decisions will follow him into next season.
That was the word from Georgia coach Kirby Smart as the Bulldogs prepared to take the field for their first spring practice on Tuesday. Both Kimbrough and Rivers will be fully engaged in all the workouts, but while Kimbrough is full reinstated, Rivers faces additional disciplinary action in the fall.
“Chauncey, his has been a university issue and they have a handle on that,” Smart said at his spring practice news conference on Tuesday. “He’ll go through spring, just normal. He’s been around. He’s got some stuff he’s got to adhere to at the beginning of the year.”
Smart said that Kimbrough, a senior inside linebacker, “is a guy who had a little bit of an issue there before the bowl that we were not a part of. We talked to him about that, we’ve addressed it, and Tim has done a nice job of doing what we’ve asked him to do. So Tim’s back with us. He has a clean slate.”
Both players missed the TaxSlayer Bowl due to suspensions. Kimbrough’s infraction has never been publicly disclosed other than being described as “internal matters.”
Rivers was arrested for misdemeanor possession of marijuana last December. It was his second violation of UGA’s student-athlete code of conduct regarding marijuana use. In the past, Georgia’s disciplinary policies called for a repeat offender to be suspended for one-third of the competition dates for the current or next applicable season. That would mean four games for football’s 12-game season. Since Rivers already sat out the bowl game, that means he’ll likely also miss the first three games of 2016 (North Carolina, Nicholls State and Missouri).
Kimbrough’s return helps ease the depth burden at inside linebacker. The 6-foot, 226-pound rising senior from Indianapolis started seven of the 12 games he played last season and finished third on the team with 67 tackles. Reggie Carter (shoulder), Roquan Smith (wrist) and Shaun McGee (knee) are either limited or will not practice at all this spring.
Rivers, a 6-foot-3, 272-pound defensive end from Stone Mountain, showed great promise in limited action as a freshman last season. He played in four games and recorded four tackles.