UGA athlete arrested on felony pot charge

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

Georgia basketball player Brandon Morris is likely to miss some games this season as a result of his arrest early Sunday morning. It remains to be seen if it will be all of them.

Morris, a 6-foot-8 junior forward and 25-game starter for the Bulldogs last season, was booked into Athens-Clarke County jail at 3:21 a.m. Sunday on a felony charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. He was released to Double-O Bonding on a $2,500 bond at 11:54 a.m.

The circumstances surrounding his arrest remain unknown as of Sunday afternoon. The incident report was not available and an Athens-Clarke County police spokesperson said the department would have no comment. Head coach Mark Fox also declined comment through a team spokesman.

Morris’ athletic fate will ultimately be determined by the UGA Athletic Association’s Comprehensive Action committee and the outcome of his legal case. According to Georgia’s student-athlete conduct codes, Morris faces both the drug aspect of his arrest and the fact that it is a felony charge. Another consideration will be his past disciplinary history, which includes a three-game suspension for undisclosed reasons to start last season.

Since it is a felony arrest, UGA guidelines call for “immediate suspension from athletic competition.” As such, the comprehensive action committee — which consists of the executive associate athletic director (Frank Crumley), the senior associate AD (Carla Williams), the faculty athletics representative (David Shipley) and the associate athletic director for sport administration — will review the facts and make a disciplinary recommendation to the Athletic Director Greg McGarity. “These recommendations may include but are not limited to dismissal from the team, suspension from competition, reduction in aid and/or cancellation of athletic aid,” according to the student-athlete handbook.

If Morris’ suspension last year involved the use of marijuana, this would be considered a second offense and he would be suspended “for not less than 30 percent of the season,” or about nine games.

Morris, a graduate of Atlanta’s Miller Grove High School, averaged 8.6 points while playing 25.4 minutes per game as a sophomore last season. He is one of four starters returning from last year’s team, which won 20 games and played in two rounds of the NIT.

Check back for updates.

Staff reporter Tanya Sichynsky contributed to this report.