Four UGA Football Players Arrested and Charged with Theft by Deception

Four UGA football players have been arrested and charged with multiple counts of Theft by Deception, the Athens Banner-Herald has reported.

Arrested last night were safety Tray Matthews, defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor, defensive lineman James DeLoach, and wide receiver Uriah LeMay.

University of Georgia police allege that 11 student tuition checks were drawn from the UGA Athletic Association account and were presented for deposit or cashed twice, according to a UGA police incident report. The players were essentially “double-dipping,” in the words of UGA police chief Jimmy Williamson.

The checks were each in the amount of $71.50 and the total loss is valued at $786.50.

All charges are misdemeanors since they are of less than $500 value.

Uriah LeMay faces four misdemeanor counts of theft by deception, while Tray Matthews faces three counts and Taylor and DeLoach two each. The charges stem from the players depositing the checks using a Wells Fargo mobile app, and then later cashing the checks in person at SunTrust Bank.

Since the victim in the case is the UGA Athletic Association, it had to be reported to authorities due to NCAA compliance issues. The four players could have been deemed to receive an extra benefit.

This morning, UGA head coach Mark Richt offered a brief statement on the issue.

“I’m aware of the situation and it will be handled in an appropriate way,” Richt said.

It’s not currently known what the team punishment will be for the four players, but it could result in a loss of playing time. The Bulldogs are already without safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, who was dismissed from the team last month.

View Comments (4)

4 Comments

  1. Jim

    Mar 18, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    I’ve heard excuses such as “childish behavior” and guys this young “don’t think before they act.” I’m sorry, I don’t buy it. This theft goes beyond childish behavior and these four athletes did think before they acted. Their intent was to defraud, pure and simple. They carried out a plan they knew to be wrong. Plenty of UGA students, athlete and non-athlete, carry out their day to day business without resorting to theft or wrongdoing. @ the very least I would remind these 4 young men that their scholarship is a privilege, not a right, and any further violation of team rules will result in that scholarship being taken from them and given to someone else. That is after Coach Richt imposes whatever discipline he deems necessary.

  2. Ken Guthrie

    Mar 18, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    It’s simple. They knew what they were doing. Kick them off the team. However, I’ll bet UGA will go out of their way to find a way to keep them on the team. It seems all too often that the football team comes first and honesty and fairness, second.

  3. JFK

    Mar 18, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Ya Ken, that’s why, JHC, Nick Marshall, Isaiah Crowell, Zach Mettenberger plus a host of others, are not on the team anymore, because the football team come first. Do your research before making stupid comments.

    • slawdawg

      Mar 18, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      Well said JFK. Haters should burn in their fire places (or their Mom’s). Richt will deal with this situation in an appropriate manner.

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