Update: UGA baseball coach dismisses JT Phillips, says he 'doesn't care about this team'

kprice@ledger-enquirer.comApril 20, 2013 

Georgia freshman baseball player JT Phillips was dismissed from the team by coach David Perno on Saturday.

That followed Phillips’ arrest for drunk driving early Saturday morning in Athens, Ga.

Perno made the announcement of Phillips' dismissal after Saturday’s games.

“He’s not with us, that’s for sure,” Perno told the Banner-Herald. “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. ... 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, a Columbus High product, was jailed on four charges: DUI alcohol, failure to produce a license on demand, going the wrong way on a one-way street and underage possession of alcohol. All of the charges are misdemeanors, and the bond for all four totaled $3,000.

According to the Athens-Clarke County jail log, Phillips was incarcerated at 1:07 a.m. Saturday. According the ACC jail log, he was released Saturday on $1,500 bond.

Phillips’ arrest was first reported by the Athens Banner-Herald.

Had Phillips remained on the team, he would have faced a mandatory suspension as UGA athletic Association rules state that an athlete’s first alcohol-related arrest results in a suspension of 10 percent of the regular season. The Bulldogs have 56 games on their schedule, so the mandatory suspension would have been at least six games. They have 16 games remaining on the schedule.

Phillips was scheduled to start at first base Friday night against Vanderbilt. That game was postponed due to rain. The two teams played twice Saturday.

Phillips played in 32 of the team’s 40 games, starting 19. He was hitting .256 with six RBIs.

Phillips played on the 2006 Northern Little League team that won the world series, and he was a member of three state championship teams at Columbus High.

Kyle Carter, who was also on those teams, was arrested twice last fall in Athens and left Georgia for Miami-Dade Junior College.

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