UGA players strike deal after check cashing charges

Four UGA football players have agreed to participate in a pre-trial diversion program to avoid criminal prosecution.

Tray Matthews, Jonathan Taylor, James DeLoach and Uriah LeMay were all charged with theft by deception in March.

The four men will have to perform community service, make restitution for their alleged crime and submit to random drug and alcohol tests. Judge Ethelyn Simpson told the players if they successfully completed the program, the charges against them would be dropped.

"They don't have any prior criminal history, it's a theft-related offense, and this is how we have treated similar offenses in the past," according to Athens-Clarke Solicitor General C.R. Chisholm.

According to a police report, 11 student tuition checks drawn on the UGA Athletic Association account had been presented for deposit or cashed twice. Seven of the checks were deposited into three different Wells Fargo accounts, while the remaining four were deposited into a JPMorgan Chase account and then presented for cash or deposit through a Wells Fargo account. Each check was worth $71.50.

Tray Matthews was dismissed from the Bulldogs earlier this week for allegedly being disruptive and disrespectful during a summer school class.During that announcement, coach Mark Richt said, "We are trying to make room for guys who want to do things right."

LeMay transferred off the team in May.

UGA Media coordinator Karen Huff says in addition to the penalties administered in court, DeLoach and Taylor have and will face significant additional internal discipline from both the UGA Athletic Association and the football program. She says they will not face game suspension.


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