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October 8, 2008

Receiver Dismissed

Backup wide receiver Walter Hill has been kicked off the Georgia football team for what head coach Mark Richt dubbed a "violation of team rules."

"Walter just did not live up to the standards of doing things the Georgia way," Richt announced following practice Wednesday afternoon.

Richt said he did not know what Hill's plans were in the future. He also said that legal issues were not the reason for his dismissal.

Hill never played a down for the Bulldogs after redshirting in 2007 and breaking a bone in his hand during the preseason. He later broke a bone in his right foot, which Richt told UGASports two weeks ago.

Richt said that Hill was still in good standing with the team at that time and the dismissal only took place two days ago. Hill originally inked a scholarship to play basketball at Georgia before opting to sign and play football instead.

According to Richt, Hill's dismissal will also affect the way his Bulldogs approach recruiting receivers in time for Signing Day 2009.

"Right now it's a minimum of two … minimum," Richt said. "With Tony Wilson having surgery again, three seniors leaving (Mohamed Massaquoi, Kenneth Harris, Demiko Goodman) and Walter, that will leave us just five receivers that we will have in the spring."

Although Richt cannot comment on specific recruits per NCAA rules, the coach did seem to be sending a message to potential signees.

"I think you can look at our situation now and realize that there will definitely be some opportunities," Richt said. "That's why I said we have to at least sign at least to get us to eight, and eight is a bare-bone number at receiver. Chances are we might sign more, predicated by what we do at other positions, along with attrition. That would put us in the position to maybe find some more (receivers) there."

Baldwin no longer with team

Richt also announced that suspended safety Donavon Baldwin has been dismissed from the team and will transfer to another school.

"I'm not sure where he is going, but that is being worked on," said Richt.

Baldwin was originally suspended for the season-opener against Georgia Southern due to a DUI, but was later suspended indefinitely by Richt for getting in an altercation at a downtown Athens bar.

"He's fine, physically," Richt said. "We just decided that he would have a better chance to graduate somewhere else other than Georgia. I hope that's not intruding on his student rights, but that was part of the reasoning."

Ellerbe definitely out

Starting Mike linebacker Dannell Ellerbe has officially been ruled out of Saturday's game against Tennessee after he could not participate in drills Wednesday at the Ramsey Center.

On Monday, Ellerbe said he felt he was at 60 percent and still hoped to play.

"I'm sure he was hoping that, but it's Wednesday and he was not able to go and we were in shorts," Richt said. "He needed to get some kind of reps today, so we don't plan on playing him."

Richt said he hopes Ellerbe will be ready for next week's game against Vanderbilt. Ellerbe becomes the eighth Bulldog starter to have missed games either by injury or suspension this year.

Darryl Gamble will start at Mike linebacker in Ellerbe's place, with Akeem Dent serving as the top backup.

Darius Dewberry will start at Sam with backup help from Dent. Richt also said that freshman Marcus Dowtin (back) returned to practice Wednesday and will definitely play.

Gametime for Vanderbilt to be decided Sunday

CBS elected Wednesday to televise Alabama-Ole Miss next week, Georgia-Vanderbilt and LSU-South Carolina for Raycom (12:30 p.m.) and ESPN (8 p.m.).

The only thing is what network shows which will not be known until Sunday.

ESPN has the choice, but decided to defer until the results of Saturday's games are complete.

Saturday is Homecoming at Georgia and school and athletic officials would prefer the game be played during the day, but according to associate athletic director Claude Felton, that preference would not likely be taken into consideration by ESPN.

This and that

Richt confirmed what defensive coordinator Willie Martinez told UGASports Tuesday that defensive end Roderick Battle (neck) is expected to play against Tennessee. … The Bulldogs practiced inside at the Ramsey Center due to heavy rains that doused Athens throughout the day on Wednesday.



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