October 19, 2008

Richt addresses incidents

[tm]Georgia[/tm] coach Mark Richt had plenty to discuss during Sunday's weekly teleconference with reporters, and not all the news was good.

On a day which normally would have seen Richt inundated with questions regarding his Bulldogs' No. 7 standing in the initial BCS standings, this one was overshadowed by inquiries regarding this weekend's arrests of offensive tackle Vince Vance and backup defensive tackle Brandon Wood.

Vance was arrested by University of Georgia campus police and booked into jail at 9:29 Saturday night for driving with an expired license, while Wood was booked at 3:42 a.m. Sunday morning by campus police for DUI and not having "lights required" on his vehicle. Vance was released on a $500 and Wood on a $1,750 bond.

University Athletic Association rules call for athletes charged with DUI to miss 10 percent of his team's game. Richt said Wood will definitely not play at [tm]LSU[/tm] Saturday (3:30 p.m., CBS), but did not say whether or not he would be available for Florida in two weeks.

"Brandon certainly made a bad error in judgment to have alcohol in his system while driving. He is 21, so he is of legal age, and he did have something to drink," Richt said. "He said he was picking up his girlfriend and a friend of a friend of that girl. He was waiting for them to walk out and he was just sitting there with his parking lights on.

"After he got to where he was going, he drove back to East Campus Village with his parking lights on and that's when he got arrested. He made a mistake and he'll pay the price."

Vance was arrested for having an expired license.

"From what I understand from Vince, he had an expired license and he did not stop well at a stop sign," Richt said. "When they (police) checked it, he told me it had expired on the (Oct.) 11th but at the time did not know that it had expired."

Richt said that Vance denied having any outstanding tickets and that his license had never been suspended.

Wood and Vance were the 10th and 11th Bulldog football players to be arrested since January.

Richt said he and his staff routinely warn their players on the dangers of drinking and driving, but said in reality there is only so much he and coaches like him can do. He denied when asked by UGASports that there was something else he possibly could have done to keep such incidents from happening.

"I don't think I can," Richt said. "These are individuals and the guys are the ones making these decisions. When they make mistakes, we can discipline them, we can educate them and let them know that there will be consequences if they make bad errors in judgment."

There was some good news on the injury front for the Bulldogs (6-1, 3-1), who are now ranked No. 9 in both the AP and USA Today/Coaches polls.

Richt said that linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (knee) and wide receiver Kris Durham (ankle) are expected to play Saturday against LSU, and that tight end Tripp Chandler (shoulder) will begin working with the scout team to see if he can be ready as well.

He also announced that defensive tackle Kade Weston will play against the Tigers after missing the Vanderbilt game with some minor knee irritation.

"Kade's knee was just a little bit sore, and we just decided if we could rest it we would," Richt said. "We expect him to play Saturday."

As for the BCS, Richt said his team's current standing is the furthest thing from his mind.

"To be seven games in that's good," Richt said. "But as we all know, there's a lot of football to be played, so it's really kind of meaningless right now."

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