A flashback: It was still early in the 2010 season but it felt like it had been longer. The Georgia football team had seen eight players arrested that year alone, and 33 since the start of 2007. All misdemeanors — a quarter of them involving a suspended license — but it was still adding up enough that Mark Richt adopted an almost zero-tolerance policy for any arrest, and showed it by dismissing a freshman who incurred a DUI.
“My patience is worn about as thin as it can wear,” Richt said at the time. “I can promise you (the players) know that the next guy has got himself some serious issues, and anybody after that too.”
Richt had reached that point. Kirby Smart may need to be at that point now.
The events of Jan. 15 don’t have to be Georgia’s fault. There’s nothing that has come to light to suggest it was. But it can still reflect on the program, as does every arrest of a player, five of them now in the past calendar year. All misdemeanors, and not at the number Richt was dealing with in 2010. But Georgia’s program is now at a higher level nationally. The microscope is larger. The accountability has to be too.