ATHENS - Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree are not in limbo as far as the Georgia football team is concerned. Whether the pair of defensive standouts are suspended or not has long been decided.
But when the public finds out is another matter.
Head coach Mark Richt once again on Tuesday declined to confirm anything. It was pointed out that the team's official depth chart left out two suspended players - Sanders Commings and Chase Vasser - but included Ogletree and Rambo.
"I just think we'll just have to wait and see," Richt said, grinning. "We'll wait and see. Time will tell."
There was some nervous laughter in the room.
"I'm glad we can laugh about that," Richt said.
Later, Richt was asked if there had been a change in policy when it came to announcement of suspensions.
"I don't know if there's anything etched in stone. But we are handling it a little different this year," Richt said. "I don't even know if I can say why. But we definitely are handling it just a little different."
So what is that change? In a follow-up interview, Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity explained it like this:
"If there's something that's a situation like Sanders Commings, who's arrested, all these types of things, then we go ahead and deal with that at that time. Then it goes through our review process and then the determination is made by our committee on what the suspensions, if any, should be. And that's usually made public because it's a legal matter.
"Those that are institutional policies, or may be team policies, what have you, there's no reason to go ahead and make those announcements until it's the right time. And the head coach can go ahead and make that determination when is that. Because of competitive advantage."
In other words, Vasser and Commings were announced because it was legal trouble; Rambo and Ogletree are because of internal UGA policy, so the school and team feel they can make the announcement at their own choosing.
The pair of players were reported to have failed drug tests earlier this year; UGA has declined to confirm that. Rambo is facing a four-game suspension because it is his second violation, according to his high school coach. The length of Ogletree's suspension is less clear. The players could have been cleared, or the suspensions could have been reduced, or they could be four games ... UGA still will not say anything.
McGarity confirmed any announcement on Rambo and Ogletree could come before Saturday, after the game, next week .... whenever Richt wants. And Richt has stated that he wants to keep other teams guessing on which personnel Georgia will have available.
"It's up to the coach to make that decision on when to do it," McGarity said. "Like I said, you've got competitive issues that are at the forefront, and it's nothing that - they're institutional policies, they're not situations where they've broken the law or been arrested. We deal with those pretty quickly."
Georgia did not have to consult with the SEC about any of this.
"No, no, no," Mcgarity said. "None of this is affected, unless you violate NCAA rules or SEC policy. These are more or less, what you're referring to is institutional team rules, essentially."