Georgia LB Smael Mondon arrested on charges of racing and reckless driving

Georgia linebacker Smael Mondon was arrested Wednesday night on charges of racing and reckless driving.

Mondon’s arrest came just days after redshirt freshman offensive lineman Bo Hughley was arrested by university police for reckless driving. Both players were released after posting bond.

Though the offenses are relatively minor, they are part of a troubling trend among Georgia's football team since the deaths of offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy in a January 2023 car crash.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mondon's arrest is the 19th driving incident involving a Georgia football player in the months since the crash. On Jan. 15, 2023, Willock and LeCroy were killed when the vehicle LeCroy was driving slammed into two poles and multiple trees. Two other passengers in the vehicle, including offensive lineman Warren McClendon, were injured in the crash.

The crash happened in the hours after Georgia’s national championship celebration and came as LeCroy was allegedly street racing with defensive lineman Jalen Carter at a high rate of speed. Carter, now a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, pled no contest to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing.

Willock’s father has filed a lawsuit against the school and Carter because of the crash and the other passenger in the car LeCroy was driving, Victoria Bowles, has also filed a lawsuit. Bowles’ suit accuses the Georgia athletic department of negligence in allowing LeCroy to drive the vehicle. LeCroy had a blood alcohol content at twice the legal limit.

The suit from Willock’s father seeks $40 million in damages.

At SEC media days last year, Georgia coach Kirby Smart said the crash had brought his team closer together and said at the time that Georgia’s football program doesn’t “have more now than we’ve had in the past.”

“What concerns me most is the safety of our players, and when you drive at high speeds it’s unsafe,” Smart said last July. “We don’t want that to happen. We’re going to do all we can to take that out and make sure that’s eradicated.”

In March, Florida transfer Trevor Etienne was arrested for DUI and reckless driving.

“As we also know, sometimes kids don’t make the best decisions,” Smart said in March. “The older you get sometimes the tougher the consequences are for your mistakes. He’s not going to let this mistake define him. He’s embarrassed, he’s upset. He knows he made a mistake. It’s a teaching moment and we hope he gets better from it.”

Etienne had a court hearing the day before Mondon’s arrest and pleaded no contest to reckless driving as well as guilty to a charge of being a minor in possession. The DUI charge was dropped.

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