Georgia baseball coach David Perno wasted no time dispensing discipline Saturday to a player jailed on DUI and other misdemeanor charges overnight Friday.
J.T. Phillips, a freshman from Columbus, was immediately dismissed from the team after Perno learned of his arrest for drunk driving, underage possession of alcohol, driving without a license and driving the wrong way on a one-way street. According to jail records, Phillips, 19, was booked into Athens-Clarke County Jail at 1:07 a.m. Saturday and released on $3,000 bond at 1:39 p.m. that afternoon. The Bulldogs were playing the first game of a doubleheader against No. 2-ranked Vanderbilt at noon Saturday.
“Just the thought that the night before the biggest doubleheader of the season and he puts himself in a situation like that. He doesn’t care about this team or this program. He’s dismissed,” coach David Perno told the Athens Banner-Herald after the Bulldogs split the doubleheader Saturday. “That makes my decision easy. I think our kids couldn’t care less. They’re disappointed, too. It’s unfortunate. It’s probably why we’ve sputtered as much as we have because we’ve probably had some guys that haven’t been with us. They’re just front-runners and don’t have what it takes to be successful at this level. I hate it for J.T. But he made it too easy.”
Phillips was part of the Columbus team that won the Little League World Series in 2006 and played for three Class AAA state champions at Columbus High.
At Georgia, Phillips played first base and started in 19 of 32 games. He was batting .256 with 6 RBI and 11 runs scored. The Bulldogs took a 14-24 record (3-12 SEC) into Sunday’s game against the Commodores.