ATHENS — Two of the three women who voiced complaints to UGA over the racist remarks they claim they heard a Georgia baseball player make at last Saturday’s football game say they’re satisfied with the actions taken by the athletic department on Wednesday.
Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity and baseball coach Scott Stricklin announced Wednesday that Adam Sasser has been dismissed from the baseball program.
“I did not expect this outcome, but I’m happy something was done,” said Africa Buggs, a junior from Milwaukee who filed a complaint with UGA’s Equal Opportunity Office. “I just hope this serves as a warning to other people that your actions have consequences no matter who you are.”
Sasser, a senior from Evans, was one of the Bulldogs top hitters and best overall players who starred as a power-hitting first baseman the last three years. He is accused of shouting the “N-word” at Georgia quarterback Justin Fields during the fourth quarter of this past Saturday’s game against Tennessee.
Three women who overheard those remarks and confronted Sasser at the game took their complaints first to social media, then to the university. An investigation was launched by UGA’s Equal Opportunity Office and remains ongoing. But the athletic department apparently had heard enough through its own investigation to go ahead and take action.
“I’m kind of in shock right now, to be honest,” said Klarissa Gulebian, whose Facebook post Saturday night after the game first brought attention to the incident. “I wasn’t sure what was going to come from this. At the least I expected a suspension, but I am glad that there was some action taken.”
Georgia officials declined comment beyond the announcement and the statements McGarity and Stricklin originally issued on Monday.
“I expect every member of our team to behave at all times in a way that upholds the highest standards and values of the University of Georgia, and it is disappointing when that doesn’t happen,” Stricklin said in a statement released Monday. “While I cannot comment on this matter, we cooperate fully in any investigation involving an alleged violation of University policies.”
Sasser was part of last season’s Georgia team that earned an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time in five years. The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder batted .317 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI. He tied a school record with three home runs in one game against Missouri last season. He was named second-team All-SEC.
A graduate of Greenbrier High in Evans, Sasser carried a .273 career average, 13 home runs and 60 RBI into this season.
Buggs, who is an African-American, said she encounters racism on UGA’s campus “all the time.” She said it was not her goal to “ruin somebody’s life,” but that she couldn’t let Sasser “laugh it off” like she said he and his friends were doing when Buggs and her friends confronted them toward the end of Saturday’s football game.
“I know there are others on campus, not just Adam Sasser, who think that what he did was okay,” she said. “To those people I say, ‘Think again.'”