Georgia’s Trevor Etienne could face suspension for duress arrest

Georgia’s Trevor Etienne could face suspension for duress arrest
Georgia’s Trevor Etienne could face suspension for duress arrest

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia running back Trevor Etienne faces disciplinary action from both the university and the athletic department following his arrest over the weekend under duress, coach Kirby Smart said Tuesday.

Per athletic department policy, Etienne will miss 10 percent of Georgia’s season — which equates to at least one game in the Bulldogs’ 12-game schedule — if found guilty of DUI. The Bulldogs open the 2024 season on Aug. 31 in Atlanta against Clemson.

Etienne was traveling 80 to 90 mph in a 50 mph zone at approximately 1:50 a.m. Sunday and twice crossed a double yellow line to pass vehicles, according to a report from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department . Etienne, a transfer from Florida, told police he was trying to get home and admitted to drinking three beers «much earlier.»

Etienne, the younger brother of Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne, drove the 2024 Audi RS7 and refused to agree to a field sobriety test. Police said he had slurred speech, glazed eyes and was rocking back and forth while standing on level ground. When the arresting officer asked Etienne for his ID, he gave him his car key.

In addition to the DUI, Etienne was also charged with reckless driving, failure to maintain lane/improper driving on road, and placing materials that reduce visibility on windows/windshield. The DUI charge is classified as «less safe,» which in Georgia means he can be convicted even if his blood alcohol level is less than 0.08.

Smart said part of the process in determining Etienne’s discipline is to allow the judicial process to take its course.

The trainer opened his weekly news conference on Tuesday by praising Etienne as «a great kid, a great person» and noting how much he enjoys being coached and loves the competition.

«As we also know, kids sometimes don’t make the best decisions,» Smart said. «The older you get, sometimes the consequences of your mistakes are more severe. So he won’t let this mistake define him. He is embarrassed. He is upset. He knows he made a mistake. It’s a learning moment and hopefully he gets better from it.»

Etienne, 19, rushed for 1,472 yards and 15 touchdowns in two seasons with the Gators. He was counted on to be a major cog in the Bulldogs’ game this season.

Georgia football players were arrested or cited for speeding or reckless driving at least 14 times last year after the Jan. 15, 2023 crash that killed offensive lineman Devin Wheelock and recruiter Chandler LeCroy. Speeding and alcohol played a role in that crash, police said.

Smart told ESPN that his players are constantly counseled about the dangers of reckless and/or impaired driving. Guest speakers are regularly brought in to speak to the team, and one who spoke to the Bulldogs before the start of last season was former NFL wide receiver Donte Stallworth, who killed a pedestrian in Florida in 2009 while driving drunk.

“It wasn’t just because of some of the problems we had, but we did [Stallworth] here because on top of getting a DUI and everything that entails, you can kill someone,» Smart said. «I wanted our kids to hear it from someone who’s been through something so horrible.»

Sophomore offensive tackle Ernest Green III said the players have had sessions with police officers, athletic director Josh Brooks and Smart about not putting themselves in a position to drive drunk. Smart also stressed the importance of players looking out for each other and keeping each other in check.

«It’s up to us,» Green said.

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