Georgia announced on Tuesday that safety Tray Matthews had been dismissed from the program and head coach Mark Richt released a strongly-worded statement about the decision.
“We are trying to make room for guys who want to do things right,” Richt said.
Matthews was one of four Bulldogs players who were arrested in March for attempting to deposit tuition checks twice. Matthews told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his arrest might have played a part in his dismissal, but a “classroom disruption” with a professor is what reportedly forced Richt to ultimately make the decision.
Matthews admitted to the AJC that he and a fellow UGA teammate had “a loud and distracting conversation” in his Children’s Literature class on Tuesday, but he denied that he disrespected the professor. The professor asked Matthews to leave, but Matthews said he did not.
“We were just going back and forth on something and then the teacher just basically said, ‘Y’all be quiet, y’all are always talking.’ And that’s the only thing that happened,” Matthews said. “And the teach was just, ‘Get out,’ and I was like, ‘Sorry, he just keeps talking to me.’ I wasn’t being disrespectful to the teacher at all.”
The classroom incident reportedly occurred around 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, just a few hours before Matthews tweeted that he would be leaving Georgia.
I'm sorry UGA family.I swear to God I love yal.I'm crying right now but I won't forget. Love the dawgs.Auburn or Louisville will be my home— TriggaTray28-F$C (@Trigga_Tray28) June 3, 2014
Matthews said that he was already planning to leave the school, but he “hadn’t put that in the media.”
“That’s basically the reason why I got kicked off though,” Matthews said of the classroom incident. “That’s what (coach Richt) told me basically. Yeah, I think it’s kind of some of the arrest stuff, too, though. But I was basically, I was leaving anyways, I just hadn’t put that in the media.”
Another student in the class alleged that Matthews “told her to shut up and directed obscenities at her,” but Matthews denied that.
The professor of the class, Dr. Ronald Bogue, could not be reached by the AJC for comment.
Matthews is the third defensive back to leave the school this offseason. Josh Harvey-Clemons was dismissed and Shaw Wiggins transferred in the spring. Both players landed at Louisville, and Matthews said in his tweet that he could follow suit and play for former Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who took the same position for the Cardinals. Matthews tweeted that he was also considering Auburn.
Matthews, a Rivals four-star recruit in the class of 2013, played in eight games for the Bulldogs last season and made 36 tackles.
For more Georgia news, visit UGASports.com.
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