Commings accused of hitting girlfiend

It's not the kind of start to the offseason that Georgia was hoping for.

Cornerback Sanders Commings was arrested Saturday on simple battery and domestic violence charges after allegedly hitting his girlfriend in the face during a dispute earlier Saturday morning.

According to UGA police chief Jimmy Williamson, Commings and his girlfriend were involved in an altercation at the corner of Jackson and Broad streets in downtown Athens at about 1 a.m. ET, and witnesses flagged down UGA police officers soon thereafter.

"After conducting interviews, it was determined that Sanders Commings and his girlfriend, who was with these people that we now were talking to, had been in an altercation of some sort -- basically where there was an argument," Williamson said. "The witnesses tried to intervene. At that time, he reached around one of the witnesses and struck her."

Georgia coach Mark Richt is aware of the situation and released a statement.

This is the last thing he wanted to deal with, especially with such a bright outlook for the Bulldogs next season. Commings is one of 10 returning starters on defense and was fourth on the team in tackles last season.

But if he's guilty of what he's charged with, I'd look for Richt to come down on him hard. Richt is always going to be diligent in gathering all of the facts and give his players the benefit of the doubt, but you can bet he's not going to treat violence against women lightly.

What's more, Richt has to set the tone for this offseason. Commings is a rising senior, so you know the rest of the team will be watching very closely.