ATLANTA — Coach Mark Richt suspended tailback Washaun Ealey on Tuesday for failing to follow "the Georgia way."
Ealey, Georgia's leading rusher last season, can't participate in team activities and is barred from team facilities during the suspension. Richt placed no timeframe on the suspension and left the door open for Ealey's return.
"We have certain expectations and standards that apply to all our student-athletes," Richt said in a statement. "We expect them to do things the right way, the Georgia way. If Washaun does things the Georgia way, he'll be back in good standing."
Richt's statement did not disclose specifics of what led to the suspension for Ealey, who is not new to the coach's doghouse.
Ealey was suspended for the 2010 opening game following his arrest for driving with a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident.
Despite missing the game, Ealey led Georgia with 811 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore. Georgia's running game was a disappointment as the Bulldogs finished 6-7 for Richt's first losing record in his 10 seasons in Athens.
There has been much speculation, fueled by comments from Richt, that Ealey and Caleb King could lose playing time at tailback to one of Georgia's top signees last week, Isaiah Crowell of Carver High in Columbus, Ga. King missed Georgia's Liberty Bowl game with academic issues and was suspended for two games in the season for failing to appear in court to deal with a speeding ticket.Comment on this story
Richt said on Wednesday he expects Crowell to contribute "heavily" as a freshman, including in the 2011 opener against Boise State in the Georgia Dome.
"I expect him to come in and compete right away," Richt said of Crowell. "I wouldn't be shocked to see him run that rock in the Dome against Boise State on the opening play if he does what he's supposed to do."
ESPN.com reported Ealey failed to show up for disciplinary running. Ealey confirmed his suspension to the Macon Telegraph on Tuesday but would not say what led to the punishment.
Ealey and running backs coach Bryan McClendon did not return messages to The Associated Press.