Jonathan Ledbetter arrested on DUI, underage possession charges

Georgia defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter was arrested early Sunday morning on misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence and underage alcohol possession, his second alcohol-related arrest this year.

Ledbetter, 18, was released from jail Sunday morning on a $2,000 bond -- $1,500 for the DUI charge and $500 for the underage possession charge -- following his booking by Athens-Clarke County police.

"First I want to apologize to my family, my teammates and coaches, the University and the Bulldog Nation," said Ledbetter in a statement released Monday. "I have a problem and have received an incredible amount of support and treatment through the Athletic Department for the problem. For that I am thankful. I ask for everyone's support as I continue to receive additional treatment for this disease and work toward a healthy life."

A sophomore, Ledbetter was initially suspended for Georgia's season opener against North Carolina after he was arrested in March on misdemeanor alcohol charges, but coach Kirby Smart has been vague about whether the suspension would stand after those charges were dropped.

At the time, Smart said Ledbetter "made a huge mistake" and embarrassed himself, his family and his team following the March incident.

On Monday the school stated that Ledbetter will be disciplined and will also be enrolled in an intensified education, counseling, and medical assistance program.

According to the Georgia Athletic Association's drug and alcohol policy, Ledbetter could miss two games for the alleged DUI.

"Certainly we are disappointed and recognize he has a serious problem," Smart said in a statement released Monday. "We have provided help for him previously and we are committed to providing whatever assistance is necessary for Jonathan that will contribute to immediate improvement but also ensure that his long-term well-being is secure."

Ledbetter played in seven games as a backup in 2015. He was expected to compete for playing time and a starting spot on the defensive line this season.

Ledbetter's arrest is the eighth since Smart was hired. Ledbetter, Chad Clay and Chauncey Rivers have accounted for six of the arrests under Smart. Clay and Rivers were both dismissed after Smart gave them another chance and they got into trouble again.

Smart addressed the recent arrests at the SEC media days on Tuesday, saying, "If I said it wasn't concerning that would be a bigger issue. It's obviously concerning, but I also know what it's like to be a student-athlete and to be a student-athlete at the University of Georgia and to deal with these issues.

"We have got to do a better job educating our players and making sure we get the right players to make the right decisions. Ultimately, a couple of these are just dumb, bonehead decisions. They're not disease or issue, they're just dumb decisions and we can't have kids make those because they reflect the entire program."

Information from ESPN senior writer Mark Schlabach and The Associated Press contributed to this report.