In a seemingly never-ending storyline, Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs have to deal with yet another reckless driving arrest within their program.
They’ve had over a dozen arrests since the fatal crash that occurred right after their January parade to celebrate their second-straight national championship.
You would think that such a tragic incident would scare some of the Bulldogs straight – but clearly, it didn’t.
This time, however, it was a staff member that was busted. Although, it wasn’t just any staff member – it was former All-American linebacker Jarvis Jones who currently serves as Georgia’s Player Connection Coordinator.
Jones was arrested less than 24 hours before the two-time defending champion Bulldogs season opener. He was taken into custody by Athens-Clarke County Police on Friday night on misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and exceeding the speed limit.
Jones, who played four seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers before joining the Georgia coaching staff, was released on a $2,400 bond following his arrest.
The arrest raised questions about the conduct of Georgia’s football players and staff, particularly in the wake of several recent incidents involving reckless driving violations among the team.
Jarvis Jones arrest comes as Georgia has had at least 14 players arrested or cited for speeding or reckless driving since Devin Willock's fatal crash. https://t.co/ze6CudKXmm
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) September 4, 2023
Smart acknowledged the incident on Monday, stating: “There will be internal discipline. It’s a personnel matter, and I can’t comment further on it.”
The Bulldogs, who have clinched back-to-back national titles, opened their season on Saturday night with an impressive 48-7 victory over UT Martin.
This arrest is just one in a series of traffic-related incidents involving Georgia players since their championship win over TCU. In July, defensive lineman Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins and outside linebacker Samuel M’Pemba were cited for speeding.
The most tragic incident occurred on the night of Georgia’s championship celebration, January 15, when offensive lineman Devin Willock and staff member Chandler LeCroy were killed in a car wreck.
Police alleged that former defensive lineman Jalen Carter was racing them at speeds exceeding 100 mph when LeCroy’s SUV left the road and collided with power poles and trees.
This has gotten to an almost incomprehensible point, and the media dynamics between the school and the AJC have probably scared away some heat about it. The replies to any tweet about it, including this one, will be an example https://t.co/ashWYYVY0p
— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) September 5, 2023
During SEC media days this summer, Smart emphasized the university’s efforts to address these issues, including bringing in law enforcement officers to speak to the team and implementing a system of checks and balances.
Smart expressed his disappointment with the number of traffic violations among his players, stating: “What’s going to happen to my program is every time somebody gets a speeding ticket, it’s going to be the front-page story. If they went and combed every SEC player and researched ’em for speeding tickets, they’d find a lot more of them.”
“But when I say we’re under a microscope, it’s a good microscope. ‘Cause you know what it’s making us do? It’s making us try to prevent it. We’re doing more to prevent speeding than anybody in the country.”
Offensive lineman Sedrick Van Pran, a fourth-year junior, expressed his concerns during media days, saying: “I don’t want to say it’s a slap in the face, because that makes it seem like it’s more so intentional, and it’s not. It’s more so that we’re just letting down the university and the guys that have come before us, whether that be on the team or just successful people who come through the university.”
“So it was more so understanding that you’re representing more than yourself and that it has to tighten up, it has to be fixed – like period.”
Obviously, the message hasn’t been received by everyone.
What do you make of this whole situation?
Why does this keep happening – and what should Kirby do?