No eligibility issues for UGA's Orson Charles

ATHENS — Georgia tight end Orson Charles will not face any NCAA eligibility issues with regard to his purported relationship with a University of Miami booster he is alleged to have met during recruiting.

Charles was among dozens of athletes listed in a Yahoo Sports story who allegedly had interactions with convicted felon Nevin Shapiro. Shapiro claims to have provided millions of dollars worth of improper benefits and services to former Miami players and recruits from 2002-10.

“The University of Georgia is aware of the article mentioning Orson Charles and has been in communication with the NCAA,” UGA said in a statement released through its sports-communication office Wednesday. “There are no issues with UGA or eligibility issues with Orson Charles. UGA will have no further comment regarding this matter.”

Coach Mark Richt said he was confident Charles would be cleared of any wrongdoing.

“I wouldn’t say I didn’t get too concerned about it, but I didn’t think about it a lot or dwell on it much,” he said after Wednesday’s practice. “I felt like it was something I couldn’t control, and until I heard one way or another I was just going to move forward as if everything was going to be OK.”

Georgia contacted the NCAA shortly after the story was published late Tuesday. Charles, a junior from Tampa, was listed among recruits alleged to have had impermissible contact with Shapiro in 2008. The report said Charles was taken to Shapiro’s home by a Miami assistant coach to be given a “recruiting pitch.” There were no accusations that Charles was offered or accepted any benefits while in Miami. Charles signed with Georgia in February 2009.

Hamilton likely out

Georgia likely has lost free safety Jakar Hamilton for the season. The senior, who started five games last season and played in all 13, suffered “some type of fracture toward his ankle,” according to Richt. Because it will require two to three months to heal, Richt said “my guess is he won’t play this year.”

Hamilton has been sidelined since the beginning of preseason practice with a hamstring pull. Richt wasn’t sure if Hamilton had suffered a new injury, but said a bone scan was needed to detect the fracture. Hamilton will be able to redshirt. He transferred to UGA from Georgia Military College last year.

Meanwhile, junior Shawn Williams appears to have locked down the starting job at free safety.

Crowell, Samuel miss scrimmage

Georgia conducted its second controlled scrimmage of the preseason Wednesday at Sanford Stadium, and it did so without its top two tailbacks.

Isaiah Crowell (pulled groin) and Richard Samuel (strained quad) were unable to participate. Brandon Harton (12 carries, 51 yards) and redshirt freshman Ken Malcome (five carries, 10 yards) filled in on the first team.

Richt said Crowell could return as early as Friday, but Samuel likely won’t until next week.

Picture Day on Saturday

UGA’s annual Fans’ Picture Day is Saturday in the Reed Plaza area of Sanford Stadium. Because of recent NCAA issues raised over autographed memorabilia, fans will not be able to bring outside items to be signed. The only thing UGA will permit to be signed is schedule posters. A limit of two per person will be provided.

Gates will open at 1 p.m. Richt and players will be available at 3 p.m. Special ticket coupons are required for access to Richt and the bulldog mascot. Those tickets will be distributed to the first 150 fans at 8 a.m. from the East End ticket windows on East Campus Road.