"We are trying to make room for guys who want to do things right," Richt said in a statement released by the school.
Matthews, who was an ESPN 300 member and ranked the No. 10 safety prospect nationally by ESPN's RecruitingNation in the 2013 class, endured a short, up-and-down career with the Bulldogs after enrolling on campus early in 2013.
Tabbed as a starter after being named the team's most improved defensive player at the end of last year's spring practices, Matthews dealt with a nagging hamstring injury during the season and played in just eight games, starting six, in 2013. He finished his freshman year with 36 tackles, including 23 solo stops, registered an interception and forced a fumble.
Matthews might be most remembered for his blunder with fellow safety Josh Harvey-Clemons when they collided with each other and tipped a Nick Marshall pass against Auburn into the hands of wide receiver Ricardo Louis, resulting in a 73-yard, game-winning touchdown pass for the Tigers with 25 seconds remaining.
Harvey-Clemons, who was a top recruit in the 2012 class, also was dismissed for a violation of team rules before spring practice.
Matthews was one of four Georgia players arrested and charged with theft by deception back in March.
I'm sorry UGA family.I swear to God I love yal.I'm crying right now but I won't forget. Love the dawgs.Auburn or Louisville will be my home
- TriggaTray28-F$C (@Trigga_Tray28) June 3, 2014
The dismissals of Matthews and Harvey-Clemons leave the Bulldogs without three starters from last season's secondary. Sophomore cornerback Shaq Wiggins, who started eight games in 2013, announced in early May that he was transferring.
Both Wiggins and Harvey-Clemons have since transferred to Louisville, where former Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is now coaching the Cardinals' defense.