The University of Georgia has reported institutional violations of five NCAA bylaws stemming from football prospect Ray Drew’s Jan. 28 commitment announcement in Thomasville and the attendance and participation of former UGA players Randall Godfrey and David Pollack.
David Pollack speaks at Ray Drew's Jan. 28 commitment ceremony in Thomasville.
Drew, a touted defensive end/linebacker, committed to UGA and subsequently signed with the Bulldogs the following week.
The problem for UGA was that Drew had not yet signed at the time of that commitment ceremony.
According to a March 4 letter sent by UGA athletics director Greg McGarity to SEC commissioner Mike Slive and obtained by Dawgs247, UGA’s compliance staff investigated Drew’s announcement and found that the former players’ attendance violated NCAA bylaws including off-campus recruiting contacts and the prevention of institutions commenting publicly about a prospective student-athlete (PSA) until he or she signs.
UGA’s compliance staff conducted interviews with Drew, Godfrey, Pollack, the Bulldogs' current football staff and one of Drew’s teachers at Thomas County Central High School as a part of its in-house investigation.
“As a result of those interviews, it has been determined that the PSA and PSA's teacher arranged for the two former letter winners to attend the announcement without the knowledge of UGA's football staff,” McGarity wrote.
Given a lack of prior knowledge by UGA’s staff, it is the school’s hope that the SEC and NCAA will view the self-reported infractions as secondary and not take additional action beyond UGA’s self-imposed move of sending a letter and brochure to all former players “detailing permissible/non-permissible activities and interactions between PSAs and former letter-winners.”
McGarity’s letter also noted that neither Godfrey nor Pollack is a member of a UGA booster organization, has financially supported UGA athletic or been asked by UGA’s staff to assist in recruiting.
Neither of them checked with UGA compliance before attending the event, according to McGarity.
Randall Godfrey also accepted an invitation to attend Drew's ceremony.
“UGA regrets that this violation occurred but believes this was an isolated/one-time incident with some unusual and atypical circumstances,” McGarity wrote.
Drew confirmed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday morning, “Georgia coaches knew nothing about it.”
Drew had also invited former NFL standout Michael Strahan, who could not attend the event.
Drew's announcement received a lot of attention because of the way he passionately implored other prospects to get on board with UGA's signing class.