NCAA Football

Georgia AD: Car accident victims are not on college duty

In Georgia’s most extensive comments on the wreck that killed football player Devin Willock and a recruiting officer, athletic director Josh Brooks said Tuesday that the two were not on department business at the time of the incident, which occurred after the Bulldogs celebrated their second straight national championship. title.

The fatal wreck also left offensive lineman Warren McClendon with minor injuries and seriously injured another member of the recruiting staff.

The incident, which occurred in the early morning hours of Jan. 15 not far from the school’s Athens campus, has raised questions about the relationship between athletes and those who work in the athletic department.

“Out of respect for the families involved, we have refrained from making any public statements until this point about the circumstances of the tragic accident that claimed two lives and injured two members of our campus community,” Brooks said in a statement.

“However, we want the public to know that the athletic department is conducting a thorough review, in coordination with appropriate legal counsel, to fully understand the circumstances surrounding this tragic event. We want to emphasize that these individuals were not engaged in athletic department duties surrounding the time of this incident.”

An SUV driven by 24-year-old Chandler LeCroy, who worked in the recruiting department, left the road on a curve, clipped a pair of utility poles, hit two trees and came to rest against an apartment building.

Willock, 20, was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. LeCroy died a short time later after being taken to a nearby hospital.

McClendon, who had announced hours earlier that he was entering the NFL draft, suffered a gash in the middle of his head. The other university employee, Victoria Bowles, survived with serious injuries.

The accident happened after a parade through Athens and celebration at Sanford Stadium to honor Georgia’s 65-7 rout of TCU in the national championship game.

The police report listed EAN Holding as the owner of the 2021 Ford Explorer, which is the official name of the car rental company doing business as Enterprise.

It was not clear who had rented the vehicle, although it looks similar to the ones the university used to recruit visits.

Speeding on a road with a 40 mph limit was cited as a cause of the crash, along with other, unspecified factors. Police said they are still investigating.

Brooks said the university was cooperating with police and would also review its policies to determine if changes should be made in the wake of the incident. He said football coach Kirby Smart was part of those discussions.

“Our review is preliminary at this time and the athletics department is cooperating fully with law enforcement officials to determine all the facts surrounding this tragedy,” Brooks said. “Coach Smart and I are also actively reviewing relevant football policies, and at the conclusion of that review, we will take steps to implement any improvements to our policies and procedures that may be necessary.”

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