UPDATED: UGA's Crowell dismissed following arrest
ATHENS, Ga. (WRCB/AP) -- Head coach Mark Richt dismissed Isaiah Crowell from the University of Georgia football team Friday afternoon, just hours after the star tailback was arrested on three weapons charges, including two felonies.
Police found a gun in Crowell's vehicle early Friday morning. Georgia announced the dismissal Friday afternoon. Richt's short statement in the announcement did not mention Crowell.
"We have a dedicated and committed group of men who are working hard to prepare for the coming season," Richt said. "Our total focus will be directed toward the team and this effort."
Athens-Clarke Police Department spokeswoman Hilda Sorrow says Crowell was arrested at a vehicle checkpoint on the Georgia campus at around 2:20 a.m. on charges of carrying a weapon with an altered serial number and possessing a weapon in a school zone, both felonies.
He was also charged with possessing/carrying a concealed weapon, which is a misdemeanor.
Crowell consented to a search after officers smelled marijuana in the vehicle. Police found a 9-millimeter Luger pistol under the driver's seat with an altered serial number. According to the police report obtained, Crowell told police that other people drive his car and he didn't know the gun was there.
He was booked at the Athens-Clarke County Jail at 3:37 a.m. and was released on $9,500 bond shortly after noon Friday.
Police reports show Crowell was driving the car, a 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis, with four UGA teammates as passengers. Fellow UGA sophomore and Crowell's former high school teammate Quintavious Harrow, and incoming freshmen Josh Harvey-Clemons, Sheldon Dawson and Blake Tibbs were let go without being charged.
Entering his freshman year Crowell was rated the number one tailback in America and was slated to enter the fall as the Georgia's starting tailback.
The Columbus, Ga., native was named the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2011 after battling through injuries. He started seven games and rushed for 850 yards and five touchdowns, but was also suspended twice.
He sat out the first quarter of a game early in the season for an unspecified team violation, and was later suspended for an entire game for reportedly failing a drug test.
Richt said in March that he was impressed by Crowell's work ethic in the offseason and spring practice. Richt said at that time the running back is "definitely growing up."
Ken Malcome, a redshirt sophomore who wrapped up spring next in line to Crowell in the backfield, will likely enter camp atop the depth chart. Crowell's departure also gives highly-touted freshman recruits Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley to compete for playing time.
Crowell is fifth Georgia player to be disciplined since the end of the 2011 season, but his was by far the most serious.
Defensive back Branden Smith was suspended for the start of the season after a misdemeanor drug arrest, while defensive back Sanders Commings was also suspended following his arrest for domestic assault.
Defensive back Baccari Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree are also reportedly facing discipline after failing drug tests.