Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Troubled Kearney Plans to Leave Team

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Troubled Kearney Plans to Leave Team

Article excerpt


ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia freshman linebacker Tavares Kearney, who faced the possibility of university suspension this summer for a confrontation with an instructor, has left the football program.

Kearney underwent season-ending knee surgery in the preseason and is no longer participating in team activities. He is planning to transfer after the fall semester.

"I just think he wanted to get a fresh start," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "Sometimes you get somewhere and you realize that maybe it's not the best place for you. He's from Atlanta, and sometimes a guy feels like he has to move a little bit further away to be his own man."

Richt and Bill Ballard, who coached Kearney at Tucker High School, said the parting was amicable.

Kearney was suspended for one game after admitting to two charges of disorderly conduct brought by the Office Of Judicial Programs stemming from the confrontation in a nutrition class. He was cleared of a cheating charge by the school's Academic Honesty Panel.

"He's had no additional issues or problems with me," said Kim Ellis, associate dean of judicial programs.

Kearney and his mother, Atlanta radio personality Wanda Smith, could not be reached for comment.

"He went through a lot here in the papers in Atlanta," Ballard said. "There's been a lot of pressure on him with his mother being a radio personality. It's more of a personal type situation and probably what's best for him."


After watching the Bulldogs during Wednesday's 90-minute practice, former Georgia quarterback David Greene, who's a rookie with the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, declared that the offense will be in good hands against Florida on Saturday when backup Joe Tereshinski III makes his first college start.

"In that situation, you don't really have to win the game," Greene said. …

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