By Mike Conti
Athens-Clarke County jail records show four University of Georgia football players, including safety Tray Matthews, have been arrested on misdemeanor theft by deception charges.
The arrests, which were made Monday night by Sheriff’s deputies, came just hours before the UGA Football team was to begin their spring practices. Head Coach Mark Richt put out a statement early Tuesday indicating that he was aware of the situation.
Matthews is by far the most notable name among the four players arrested. Online jail records show Matthews faces three counts and had bond set at $4,500. He and the three other arrested players spent only a short time in jail Monday night before bonding out.
Also arrested were redshirt freshman wide receiver Uriay LeMay and defensive linemen Jonathan Taylor and James DeLoach. Taylor and DeLoach saw limited action during the 2013 season.
Online jail records show LeMay faces four counts and had bond set at $6,000, while Taylor and DeLoach each face two counts and $3,000 bond.
Multiple outlets report that campus police began investigating the players after being notified by the UGA Athletic Association that stipend checks made out to the four individuals had been cashed twice. According to a police investigation, the four players first cashed the checks electronically on mobile apps, and then went to a nearby convenience store to cash them again.
According to reports attributed by multiple outlets to UGA Police, LeMay also allegedly took a roommate’s check and re-cashed it at that convenience store.
Georgia State Law calls for misdemeanor charges to be filed when the value of the goods or services stolen is less than $500. Prison sentences of up to 18 months per count are possible under state law.