Dooley says Crowell departure best for team

Former Georgia coach and athletic director Vince Dooley didn't hold back when talking about troubled running back Isaiah Crowell's dismissal from the Bulldogs' football team.

Dooley told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that all the negativity surrounding Crowell in his short time in Athens outweighed what he brought to the field. Dooley also believes Crowell's departure is actually good thing for Georgia going forward.

"I don't want to put any pressure on them, but losing that guy may have been the best thing to happen to them," Dooley told the newspaper. "It was a bad apple-type thing, if you ask me."

Dooley went on to say that this could be something that brings a team that could be vying for more than just an SEC title this fall together.

"That kind of thing will unite a team many times," he said. "Historically, when things like this have happened in the past, they tend to have a unifying effect on teams. They go on to have an even better season than they were predicted to have."

While we don't know exactly how the Bulldogs will respond on the field to Crowell's dismissal, it's clear that Dooley wasn't Crowell's biggest fan. And when the top Dawg isn't that concerned with losing the team's top rusher, you know something's up.

No word yet if he was one of those who joined the Bulldog faithful in booing Crowell when he limped off the field during the SEC championship game.

Crowell's recent brush with the law, in which he was arrested and charged with a felony count of possessing a weapon in a school zone, a felony count of altered identification mark and a misdemeanor count of possession/carrying a concealed weapon, was the final straw for coach Mark Richt, but this was not Crowell's first transgression as a Bulldog.

There were reports that he wasn't in proper shape when he reported to camp last summer, he had maturity issues throughout the year and was even suspended for a game for reportedly failing a drug test. It was obviously too much for Richt to handle and Dooley certainly had no problem with Richt sending Crowell packing.

Crowell is now enrolled at Alabama State, a Football Championship Subdivision program, and started classes on Monday.

Dooley's comments seem to imply that maybe there was more going on with Crowell behind closed doors when it came to the team. What exactly was going on might never come out, but honestly it doesn't matter. The Bulldogs have already started to move on and if this team really wants to compete for more than just an SEC title, they'll have to put Crowell and all of his distractions behind them.

Despite his up-and-down first season, Crowell was Georgia's best rushing threat heading into this season, but it's not like Georgia doesn't have talent to replace him. It might be by committee, but the Dawgs ran by committee last year too.

Georgia should be fine without Crowell, but this should serve as a wakeup call for the Dawgs. This team has too much talent to waste it with more distractions. The spring was full of off-field distractions and the fall will likely see a suspension to defensive starters. Finding focus and being more disciplined is the key for this team. The silliness has to stop or this Bulldogs team will be a major disappointment and will fall short of its lofty expectations.