Former UGA assistant tennis coach reaches plea deal

Georgia associate head coach Bo Hodge watches a doubles match during an NCAA match between Georgia and Tennessee on Friday, March 25, 2016 in Athens, Ga. (Emily Selby/UGA)

Former Georgia men’s tennis associate head coach Bo Hodge recently reached a plea agreement on charges that followed a police investigation into the school’s nationally-ranked tennis programs.

 

Hodge pleaded guilty Thursday in Clarke County Superior Court to the felony charge of possession of a scheduled II controlled substance, according to online court records. He was accused of possession of the amphetamine Adderall, which requires a prescription.

Under terms of the plea deal, Hodge will be on probation for three years and was sentenced as a first-time offender. He will be banned from college coaching for 12 months, until May 1, 2018, and will undergo a “mandatory six week intensive rehabilitation program,” at Athens Area Commencement Center that includes drug and alcohol testing through the center and random testing thereafter and pay $32 in fees per month during his probation.

“They were in agreement that he didn’t need to be coaching at this point,” said Western Judicial Circuit district attorney Ken Mauldin. “He needed to work with this and wasn’t going to have an opportunity this year.”

Upon completion of probation, Hodge’s record will be restricted from any kind of employer on a background check. If probation is violated, he can be brought back, adjudicated and re-sentenced to maximum sentence of 15 years in prison with credit for probation, Mauldin said.

Hodge was suspended in early May after a UGA police investigation into the possible theft and mishandling of prescription medication. He was arrested July 11 and charged with a felony for purchasing a controlled substance and with misdemeanor theft by taking.

After his suspension, Hodge was fired from his job at Georgia. Women’s tennis assistant coach Drake Bernstein was suspended, but was not charged and was reinstated to the tennis program on Sept. 1.

Alex Diaz, son of Georgia men’s tennis coach Manuel Diaz, still faces charges of sale of a scheduled I or II controlled substance, a felony. Alex Diaz has withdrawn from the university, but is expected to rejoin the team next semester.

 

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