Georgia LB Dewberry suspended 2 games after hospital incident

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia coach Mark Richt has suspended linebacker Darius Dewberry for the Bulldogs' first two games for his role in an incident at an Athens-area hospital Sunday morning.

Dewberry, a junior who is the top backup at strongside linebacker, was seen on a hospital videotape overturning trash cans and causing other damage.

Police initially failed to identify Dewberry. Richt did so later.

"Yeah, it's embarrassing," Richt said, "It's sad. It's certainly been a distraction. There is no way you can say it's not a distraction because it has been."

Dewberry was at the hospital while teammates Donavon Baldwin and Marcus Dowtin were being treated for injuries suffered in a bar fight early Saturday morning.

Dewberry is the fifth Georgia player suspended from playing in the Aug. 30 opener against Georgia Southern.
The Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 in the season's first USA Today Top 25 coaches' poll released Friday.

Junior long snapper Jeff Henson was suspended indefinitely Saturday morning after being arrested and charged with public intoxication and urinating in public. Henson was charged with a DUI last November and suspended one game, which he served during the Sugar Bowl.

Baldwin, a junior safety who was set to serve a one-game suspension after a DUI arrest in January, was also suspended indefinitely after the bar incident that resulted in his hospitalization.

The 236-pound Dewberry went to St. Mary's Hospital to check on Baldwin, and broke a barrier on a control arm at the parking lot -- with his hands, not his car -- and also broke four plant pots.

Richt said Dewberry "was very distraught about a teammate getting hurt badly." Dewberry has agreed to pay for the damages and the hospital is not pressing charges.

Richt said Dewberry must perform 20 hours of community service, undergo counseling and work a part-time job -- including on the Saturdays while he misses the first two games -- to pay for damages.

Dewberry said he apologized to an official at the hospital on Monday. He participated in Monday's practice and then issued a public apology.

"I want to apologize to St. Mary's Hospital. I want to apologize to my teammates and all the Bulldogs' fans," said Dewberry, who caused an estimated $2,100 in damages at the hospital. "I overreacted and made a bad decision."

Dewberry said he doesn't have a final tally of what he'll have to pay. He plans to get a job to help pay for the damages.

"Whatever I have to [pay], I will. I did it, and I'll deal with it," he said.

Dewberry wasn't at the bar when the brawl started. He said he received a call that his teammates had been hit over the head with a bottle and met them at the hospital.

"My actions didn't make it any better," Dewberry said. "It was bad."

In addition, fullback Fred Munzenmaier is suspended for two games for an alcohol-related incident, and offensive lineman Clint Boling is suspended for one game for a reckless-driving charge.

Defensive end Michael Lemon was kicked off the team after he was charged with felony battery last month for allegedly punching a student and breaking his eye socket.

"You feel sad and sick that one of the guys you're an authority figure over and you care about got himself in trouble," Richt said. "You also hate the fact those guys do represent this program and this program represents this university and this university represents this state. It represents anybody who claims to be a Bulldog. I feel sick about that."

Richt said he talked to his players about the problems on Sunday.

"I've already read them the riot act," Richt said before adding he doesn't want to kick players off the team just to satisfy those tired of seeing names of Georgia players included on the Athens-Clarke County police blotter.

"If a guy has a first-time offense, I don't believe in throwing that guy under the bus to try to stave off the wolves, so to speak," Richt said. "I don't think it's fair to the guy. Dewberry, for example, I don't think I should throw Dewberry off the football team. I've never had a problem with Darius Dewberry."

Added Richt: "We will look into other ways of making sure we do a better job."

Players are banned from downtown Athens during preseason camp, and Richt said he has considered extending that ban.

"That's a decision he has to make," senior tight end Tripp Chandler said. "I don't know if I would blame him for it with what's gone on this offseason."

Mark Schlabach covers college football and men's college basketball for ESPN.com. You can contact him at schlabachma@yahoo.com. Information from ESPN.com's Chris Low and The Associated Press was used in this report.