Published Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Police to increase patrols of UGA players' homes

By Joe Johnson

Morris News Service

After a weekend vandalism incident that targeted a house shared by some University of Georgia football players, Athens-Clarke police will make frequent checks of the home when UGA plays "away" games.

Someone threw eggs at the house off South Church Street and littered the property with toilet paper after Georgia suffered a lopsided loss Saturday night to the University of South Carolina.

The incident came to light Saturday night when linebacker Christian Robinson mentioned it on his Twitter account. He wrote that the house he shares with quarterback Aaron Murray and other players had been "egged and rolled." Robinson concluded that the vandalism was a reaction to the 35-7 blowout loss in South Carolina.

"Came to a house that was egged and rolled," the senior tweeted. "Seems that people turn on you when you're not perfect. Thought we were in this together."

Another Georgia player who lives at the house, senior fullback Dustin Royston, filed a formal report with Athens-Clarke police on Sunday. Royston told police the damage was discovered at about 3:30 a.m. when he returned home from the game in South Carolina.

As a result of the complaint, Athens-Clarke police will conduct "house checks" of the residence whenever the Bulldogs are out of town for a game, an officer wrote in a report.

Saturday's loss to the Gamecocks was a huge disappointment to many members of the Bulldog Nation. Entering the game, Georgia was ranked No. 5, then fell to No. 14 in The Associated Press Top 25 on Sunday. Murray completed just 11 of 31 passes for 109 yards, the lowest total of his career.

But University of Georgia Police Chief Jimmy Williamson never heard of fans taking out frustrations on players before.

"You hear about it at the high school level, but never at the collegiate level," Williamson said. "It makes you wonder if it might have been young people showing their immaturity and stupidity."

UGA police conduct house checks primarily of residences located on campus, but they would assist county police in keeping tabs on athletes' off-campus homes if requested by that agency, Williamson said.

Georgia head football coach Mark Richt hadn't heard about the egg and toilet paper incident until asked Sunday during his weekly teleconference with sports writers.

"Sometimes that comes with the territory," he said. "You're a public figure and people get upset about things. It's sad something like that would happen but it's not shocking people get criticism or something like that happened to them when they're in the type position those guys are in, especially the quarterback position."

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