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Thursday, March 29, 2012
Updated: March 30, 2:17 PM ET
Bacarri Rambo suspended 4 games

By Radi Nabulsi
DawgNation

Georgia All-American safety Bacarri Rambo has been suspended for four games for failing a drug test, his high school coach said Thursday.

A source close to the situation also confirmed to ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach that Rambo's suspension was drug-related.

Alan Ingram, Rambo's coach at Seminole County High School in Donalsonville, Ga., said he believes Rambo was a victim of circumstance.

"Bacarri went down to Panama City Beach with some friends," Ingram said. "One of the nights he went to bed before they did. He got up the next morning, was hungry and found some brownies on the table. He had some with some milk and told me, 'I got high.' The other guys got up and told him that the brownies were not for him. Apparently they were laced with marijuana.

"I think that is the story. I think that is exactly what happened. Not many times would I say that, but he has never lied to me before."

Rambo was suspended for the Bulldogs' opener against Boise State last season for an unnamed rules violation but still earned All-America honors while leading the SEC with eight interceptions.

Linebacker Alec Ogletree also will be suspended to start the 2012 season, a university source told DawgNation. A report on Georgia's Scout.com site, dawgpost.com, on Wednesday said Ogletree would miss anywhere from two to four games for breaking team rules.

Georgia coach Mark Richt refused to comment Thursday on the suspensions of Rambo and Ogletree.

Before Richt entered Thursday's post-practice news conference, UGA sports information assistants distributed a statement from Richt: "There is a process we follow regarding team guidelines and policies. I cannot make any comment until that process has run its course."

Richt referred to that statement as soon as he entered the room and answered questions related to possible suspensions in only the vaguest possible terms.

He even refused to confirm that Georgia players have suspensions pending.

"I can't confirm anything," Richt said. "I'm just going to be waiting for us to go through our process and then when there's something to report, I'll report it to everybody. ...

"I'll just say that I'm not thrilled when things like that happen. I can say that."

Ingram said being suspended has left Rambo distraught.

"He was devastated," Ingram said. "Bacarri said, 'If I turn myself in, it is a four-game suspension. I don't want to let everyone down.' He wanted to go to (Georgia coach) Mark Richt and turn himself in, but he decided not to. He said, 'We'll roll the dice and see what happens.' "

Rambo's suspension has yet to be confirmed by the university or the Georgia athletic association. The association is an independent, non-profit entity that administers the athletic programs for the University of Georgia.

Georgia sports information director Claude Felton said late Wednesday night he could not confirm Ramo's suspension. Athletic director Greg McGarity said by text he had no comment, and Felton had not returned calls Thursday.

Said Ingram: "He met with the athletic director yesterday, and the AD encouraged him to appeal it."

Ingram said Rambo was selected at random for a drug screening upon his return to Athens from Panama City Beach. He did not pass the screening, according to Ingram.

"He was praying very hard on it," Ingram said. "He said that the reason he came back to Georgia was to be a two-time All-American. He could have gone into the NFL draft. He knew he was going to be a target, a high-profile thing, so he knew he was going to be tested and checked and everything else throughout the year. He had already been tested five or six times last year and never tested positive."

Georgia already has lost starting cornerback Sanders Commings for the first two games of the season and possibly could lose its other starting corner in Branden Smith, who was arrested during spring break for marijuana possession.

Smith's situation is unresolved. To lose a third starter in the secondary for four games would be a big blow to the defense.

Radi Nabulsi covers Georgia football for DawgNation. Information from David Ching was used in this report.