Kevin Price: Flimsy excuse sad end for Isaiah Crowell

kprice@ledger-enquirer.comJune 29, 2012 

They are familiar refrains used by athletes everywhere when they get in trouble.

"It's not mine."

"I don't know how it got there."

Very seldom, if ever, does any of those excuses turn out to be the truth. It is almost always theirs and it got there because they put it there.

Isaiah Crowell is the latest athlete to say, "It's not mine."

The Georgia running back and former Carver High standout was arrested early Friday morning at a checkpoint on East Campus Road in Athens, Ga., for having a gun in his car. (More details of the arrest can be found on A1.)

He was charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor. The felonies have to do with the fact he was on school ground and that the serial number on the gun had been filed down. The misdemeanor is for carrying a concealed weapon.

The Luger was found underneath the driver's seat in Crowell's car. The Athens-Clarke County Police searched his car after officers said they smelled marijuana.

The search didn't turn up any marijuana, but it did turn up the Luger.

This is by far the most serious trouble Crowell has gotten into, but it's far from the first.

During his freshman season last year, Crowell was suspended from the team twice. The first time was for a quarter against Vanderbilt. Richt never explained the reason for that one.

A few weeks later, Crowell was forced to sit out the entire New Mexi

co State game. It has been widely reported that suspension was for failing a drug test.

The running back also missed significant playing time due to a variety of injuries. His time spent on the sideline led a handful of his teammates to question him.

Despite all that, Crowell started seven games, rushed for 850 yards and was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year.

After a most trying season, Crowell seemingly had turned the corner. During the offseason and spring practice, reports were glowing about Crowell.

Now, the only report that matters is on file at the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.

Crowell perhaps bought himself a few hours of reprieve when, according to the police report, he told officers that the gun is not his.

He didn't throw any of his four passengers, all Georgia football players, under the bus, however. Those passengers included fellow Carver graduate Quintavius Harrow. The others were incoming freshmen Josh Harvey-Clemons, Sheldon Dawson and Blake Tibbs.

Crowell said others drive his car as well.

It is a flimsy excuse, and, like everyone else, coach Mark Richt didn't buy the story. He dismissed Crowell from the Georgia football team late Friday afternoon.

It a sad and unfortunate ending for another Carver player at Georgia. Jasper Sanks was in Crowell's cleats a little more than a decade ago.

Sanks was a high school All-American who had a checkered career at Georgia. His college career ended during his senior season, when Richt dismissed him for failing a drug test.

Sanks, by all accounts, has gone on to a successful post-football career as an oil company executive in Texas.

Sanks told reporters last year that he had talked to Crowell on several occasions in an effort to get Crowell on the right path.

Too bad Crowell didn't listen.

Kevin Price, 706-320-4493,

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