ATHENS - Georgia defensive back Sanders Commings was arrested on Saturday on a charge of simple battery domestic violence. The charge is a misdemeanor.
Commings was released from jail at 4:49 p.m. after posting a $1,000 bond.
The arrest stemmed from an altercation that happened in downtown Athens, in which Commings is alleged to have struck his girlfriend in front of several witnesses.
UGA police chief Jimmy Williamson said Commings and his girlfriend “got into some kind of verbal exchange at the corner of Broad and Jackson. At some point these witnesses tried to intervene and get between the two parties because the argument was reaching a level where they felt something was going to happen. At that point in time Mr. Commings reached around one of the witnesses and struck the female victim.”
A short time later, UGA police officers were flagged down at the scene by the witnesses and Commings' girlfriend.
Commings was not at the scene during the police interviews. A little after 7 a.m. they got a warrant from a magistrate judge for a charge of domestic battery. Then they made telephone contact with Commings, and arrested him at his home. He was booked at 9:07 a.m.
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Through a spokesman, head coach Mark Richt released this statement:
"I'm aware of the situation and in the process of gathering necessary information. However, any time a student-athlete is arrested, it is a matter of serious concern."
Commings, 21, started all 14 games for Georgia this season, as well as nine in 2010. He has played both cornerback and safety, and was one of the players who seriously considered entering the NFL draft before deciding to return for his senior year.
This is the second known arrest of a Georgia football player in four months, after the program went nearly a year without one.
There was an outpouring of support from players on Twitter. Fellow cornerback Brandon Boykin, preparing to play in next week’s Senior Bowl, tweeted: “You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one. Stay up 19!”
Junior linebacker Christian Robinson chimed in: “Don’t jump to conclusions. Not all the facts are in.”