University of Georgia Football Player Expelled for Stealing Underage Drinking File

A former football player at the University of Georgia has been expelled after officials said he broke into an office at the school and stole a file with information about an underage drinking case against him.

Matthew Martin Pick, a walk-on redshirt freshman, was already on probation for violating UGA's alcohol policy and faced suspension after Athens-Clarke County police arrested him in February for public drunkenness and underage possession.

Pick, 20, broke into UGA's Judicial Programs office and stole the file to avoid getting suspended, UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said.

"He was maybe being sent home for numerous semesters, and desperate times sometimes get desperate actions," Williamson said.

Pick, from Oakton, Va., was expelled Tuesday, the Office of Judicial Programs said.

Although Pick is on the Bulldogs' 2007 roster, he turned in his equipment before spring practice began last month, UGA athletic department spokesman Claude Felton said.

Pick had been on probation since July 26, a month after Athens-Clarke County police arrested him on an underage alcohol charge, according to judicial programs documents. Pick agreed to take an alcohol education class and knew he would be suspended if he broke the alcohol policy again.

But police arrested Pick a second time Feb. 10 when an officer saw him take a bicycle from the back of a pickup and throw it on the ground, according to a police report.

The student was "very intoxicated" and had someone else's driver's license, although he was not charged with possession of a fake ID, according to the report.

UGA employees discovered the judicial programs burglary when they arrived for work on March 28 and found damaged ceiling tiles, police said. When employees inventoried the office, they found that the only thing missing was Pick's disciplinary file. That led police to suspect him.

Officers got a search warrant for Pick's dorm room and found alcohol and other evidence linking Pick to the break-in.

Pick's roommate, a freshman offensive guard for UGA, was arrested last month for having a fake ID. Tanner Seth Strickland was among more than a dozen students who were charged as university police dismantled a fake ID ring.

Pick, who was released on a $5,000 bond, is scheduled to appear April 24 in Athens-Clarke County Magistrate Court on a burglary charge and a third underage possession charge.

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