The Georgia Bulldogs will be without the services of senior cornerback Sanders Commings for the first two games of the 2012 football season, the school announced. Commings was arrested back on January 21st on charges of domestic violence and simple battery after allegedly striking his girlfriend in downtown Athens.
Commings was then investigated by the University's office of student conduct as Commings then-girlfriend is also a student at the University of Georgia. Commings suspension of two games was intended to be announced prior to his March 22nd arraignment date.
From a football perspective, the Bulldogs will be severely thin to start out the season. Commings was looking to take on a bigger role in the defense by taking Brandon Boykin's top spot at cornerback. Two underclassmen, Nick Marshall and Chris Sanders, were dismissed for a violation of team rules (thought to be stealing money and possessions from another player).
Georgia's first two games are at home versus the Buffalo Bulls, then a road test versus the Missouri Tigers in their first SEC conference game. You may have heard Mizzou recently upgraded its receiver talent.
Commings was arrested in the late evening of January 21 on charges of domestic violence and simple battery after allegedly striking his girlfriend in downtown Athens. He'll also face an investigation by the University's office of student conduct, according to the AJC. The alleged victim is also a student at the University of Georgia, and it's expected that Commings will face a judgement and a possible punishment - including expulsion - by the University before his March 22 arraignment:
According to documents obtained by the AJC through a Freedom of Information Act request, the incident is being investigated as a possible violation of UGA conduct regulation 3.3 for "physical abuse." Commings was informed via an intra-campus letter from Stevens dated Jan. 23 that he is under investigation for "physical abuse, physical intimidation, coercion, and/or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of another person or violates a legal protective order."
The AJC report mentions that former UGA football player Jeremy Longo was among those who gave a statement to university officials that Commings did not strike the accused victim.
Without Commings, the Bulldogs' depth in the secondary could be incredibly thin heading into the 2012 season. Commings was considered a starter for next season, and despite returning Bacari Rambo, the Bulldogs lose Brandon Boykin to the NFL Draft, as well as two underclassmen, Nick Marshall and Chris Sanders, who were dismissed for a violation of team rules (thought to be stealing money and possessions from another player). Both were expected to compete for playing time at corner.
According to the report, police checked a box indicating the alleged victim has raised between one and five previous complaints against Commings.
Georgia has yet to reveal any disciplinary responses to Commings' arrest. Mark Richt has said he's looking into the matter.
Commings, who has played in every game but one in the past three seasons, recorded a team-best 12 pass breakups in 2011, and finished fourth on the team with 55 tackles. The Augusta, GA native is a former three-star recruit for the Bulldogs and one of ten expected returning starters on the Georgia defense for 2012.
Further details have emerged surrounding the arrest of Univeristy of Georgia starting CB Sanders Commings on domestic violence charges early Saturday morning.
According to a report by Marc Weiszer from the Athens Banner-Herald, police responded shortly after 1 a.m. on Saturday morning following a sidewalk confrontation between Commings and his girlfriend.
While bystanders attempted to separate the two, Commings is alleged to have struck his girlfriend in the face.
Commings was eventually arrested shortly after 7 a.m. on Saturday morning, and is being held in jail until bond conditions have been established. He may be kept overnight if a judge is unable to decide on the conditions until Sunday morning.
The Bulldogs have yet to issue any statements regarding the arrest, and police are withholding details of potential injuries suffered by Commings girlfriend.
Commings is a senior-to-be for Georgia, and started every game last season. He tallied one interception and a team best 12 pass breakups.