Vince Dooley: losing Isaiah Crowell was ‘the best thing’ for UGA

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Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell, left, rushed for 847 yards rushing and six total touchdowns in 2011. He was arrested on gun charges and dismissed from the team this summer. (Credit: AP Photo/David Goldman)

Anyone following college football this summer, or our site, knows the tale of Isaiah Crowell. The former Georgia Bulldog running back was arrested on three felony weapon charges. Less than 14 hours after the announcement of his arrest, he was dismissed from the team and is now headed to an FCS school at Alabama State.

The disappointing part of this story is not only the arrest of a teenager, but the impact he had on the team as last year Crowell had 847 yards rushing and six total touchdowns.

According to at least one person with strong ties to the program, though, the decision for Georgia to part ways with its now-former star running back was the right call.

“I don’t want to put any pressure on them, but losing that guy may have been the best thing to happen to them,” former UGA coach and athletic director Vince Dooley told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It was a bad-apple type thing, if you ask me.”

“That kind of thing will unite a team many times. Historically when things like this have happened in the past, they tend to have a unifying effect on teams. They go on to have an even better season than they were predicted to have.”

Dooley has a point in that any team losing a troublemaker like Crowell is bound to be better in the long run. Furthermore, not punishing Crowell would have sent a signal to the rest of the team that there would be no consequences for their actions.

However, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution also reports, the Bulldogs are now below 70 scholarship players heading into the season. Whether or not that will affect the team in 2011 remains to be seen.

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