Classroom disruption reportedly final straw for Matthews at UGA
by Doug Gorman
Former Newnan High star safety Tray Matthews is now in the process of finding a new football home.
Just two days after Georgia head coach Mark Richt dismissed the Newnan graduate from the team, Matthews was in a Athens-Clarke County courtroom on Thursday to be arraigned on charges of theft by deception.
Matthews had already entered a pretrial intervention program and if he completes the undisclosed requirements, his record will be wiped clean.
While yet to announce where he may transfer, Matthews stated that Auburn and Louisville were two possible destinations.
Matthews and three of his former Georgia teammates, including wide receiver Uriah LeMay, defensive lineman James DeLoach and defensive end John Taylor were arrested on misdemeanor charges back in March for attempting to double cash scholarship checks.
Multiple phone calls to Matthews on Thursday went unreturned.
The former Newnan-Times Herald Player of the Year who went through spring practice last month under first-year defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, and was set to begin his sophomore season as a potential starter in the Bulldogs’ defensive back field when he was stripped of his scholarship after he was accused of causing a disruption in his Children’s Literature class earlier this week.
His dismissal came on the same day that Richt attended the annual Peach State Pigskin Preview in Macon where head coaches address the media. The Bulldog coach did not address Matthews by name during the event. A release from Georgia announcing the dismissal wasn’t made until after the event ended.
"We are trying to make room for guys who want to do things right.” Richt said in the statement.
At last month’s SEC meetings Richt told the Macon Telegraph that he felt Matthews had reached “a turning point” of maturing some, and becoming a very dependable guy . I'm not saying he is a dependable guy, or has been at this point. But I have a feeling that that's his desire to become that. And he needs to. It's time."
Although Matthews has admitted that the professor, identified as Dr. Ronald Bogue, asked him to leave the classroom for talking, he denies he got into a heated exchange, told her to shut up and directed obscenities at her.
Bogue, who is retiring, has yet to address the media about Matthews.
Speaking to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the incident, Matthews stated, “The only thing that happened was yesterday, or whatever day that was, the professor was talking and me and another player … we were just going back and forth on something and then the teacher just basically said, ‘Y’all be quiet, y’all are always talking.’ And that’s the only thing that happened. And the teacher was just, ‘Get out,’ and I was like, ‘Sorry, he just keeps talking to me. I wasn’t disrespectful to the teacher at all. The only thing, I’d say I was disrespectful for talking to another student while he was talking. That’s the only way I was disrespectful in that class. I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful; I was just talking to the student beside me.”
Matthews stated on his Twitter page “Idk [I don’t know] who started the rumor of cussing out a teacher was the reason I’m not at UGA. Lol [Laugh Out Loud] I’ve never cussed out a teacher in my entire LiFE.”
During an injury-plagued freshman season, Matthews had some electrifying moments for the Bulldogs, playing in eight games, and starting six. He had 10 solo tackles against No. 7 Auburn and eight tackles against Clemson.
If Matthews ends up transferring to Louisville, he will be reunited with former Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who now serves in the same position with the Cardinals, and former Bulldog Shaq Wiggins.
Wiggins has tweeted Matthews is headed to Louisville.