Once again the University of Georgia is faced with a scandal involving players and criminal activity. This time the crime is check fraud. Four UGA players were arrested for misdemeanor theft by deception for repeatedly cashing their stipend check. Tray Matthews, James DeLoach and Jonathan Taylor were depositing checks they received from the UGA Athletic Association on their mobile phone banking apps and subsequently taking them to a local convenience store to cash them there as well. Another player, Uriah LeMay, was retrieving a roommate’s already-processed check and cashing it at a convenience store. All four players were charged with theft by deception and their bail ranged from $3,000- $6,000.
The arrest did not stop the players from participating in the team’s first spring practice this week. University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt stated, “I am aware of the situation … it will be handled in an appropriate way.” What method of discipline will be administered is not known because per UGA policy, “the head coach is responsible for imposing whatever discipline measures he/she deems appropriate.”
UGA has had a troubled football program when it comes to handling young black players. Players have been arrested for drug possession, illegal handgun possession and theft over the past three years. Many players with serious infractions have quietly transferred to other schools.