Georgia football player won’t be benched for arrest

Georgia freshman John Atkins was arrested Friday for two minor traffic violations. He will not miss playing time as a result.

Atkins, a 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive tackle from Thomson, was pulled over by UGA Police for not wearing a seatbelt. It was then discovered the 20-year-old did not have a valid driver’s license. Though Atkins produced a learner’s permit, Georgia law requires anyone operating a vehicle without a proper license to be taken to jail.

Atkins was transported to the Athens-Clarke County Jail. He was there just 35 minutes before being released on $1,000 bond at 4:07 p.m. Friday, according to jail records.

UGA issued a news release Friday evening claiming that Atkins was actually on the way to the Georgia State Patrol office when he was pulled over.

“I am aware of the situation involving John Atkins, and the discipline will be handled internally,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said in the release. “It will not involve any playing time.”

Atkins is graduate of Thomson High and enrolled at UGA in January out of Hargrave Military Academy. He is expected to contend for a starting position on Georgia’s defensive line.