The University of Georgia has fired football recruiting staffer Victoria Bowles and a colleague amid her ongoing lawsuit against the University of Georgia Athletic Association and Philadelphia Eagles rookie defensive tackle Jalen Carter stemming from a fatal crash she survived in January, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The school said Bowles was fired for refusing to cooperate with an investigation into the crash that killed fellow recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy and former offensive lineman Devin Willock on January 15.
"Applicable policies require university employees to cooperate with internal investigations," UGA said in the statement obtained by the AJC. "Over the course of several months, Ms. Bowles was asked — on numerous occasions — to speak with our investigators and provide information, and through her attorney, she repeatedly refused to cooperate. As a result, we were ultimately left with no choice but to terminate her employment."
Bowles was placed on unpaid leave in march after previously being placed on medical leave immediately after the crash took place. Her attorney, Rob Buck, claims her termination was due to the filing of a lawsuit in state court in Gwinnett County on July 1) accusing UGA athletics of negligence by allowing LeCroy to drive the SUV that crashed hours after the Bulldogs' national championship parade.
"Tory, like all other perceived liabilities to the football program, became expendable to UGA, and despite her loyalty and meager salary, has been steamrolled," Buck told the AJC following Bowles' firing.
Bowles, who was also traveling in the SUV at the time, said LeCroy claimed to have been granted "permission" to keep the rented SUV "until tomorrow" prior to the crash, despite UGA officials publicly claiming to have advised her that "rental vehicles were to be turned in at the immediate conclusion of recruiting duties" after news of the crash.
The lawsuit claims LeCroy had a history of "super speeder" violations under Georgia law prior to reportedly driving at least 104.2 MPH when the SUV crashed on January 15. Police had previously reported that LeCroy's blood alcohol concentration was .197 at the time, which is nearly 2.5 more than the legal limit in the state of Georgia.
The lawsuit also accuses Carter, who was previously reported to be driving another vehicle suspected of racing the SUV at the time of the crash, of illegally leaving the scene without speaking to police and failing to render aid after the crash.
"Despite LeCroy's passenger, [former Georgia offensive lineman Warren McClendon], stating to him that he could not locate Devin Willock, Defendant Carter left the scene after less than 10 minutes when another UGA football player at the scene yelled at him: 'Yo...hey, JC...you might want to go ahead and go get the f--- on yo....'" the lawsuit states via ESPN. "As Defendant Carter was aware at the time, he was jointly responsible for the crash, and had a legal duty to remain on the scene. Instead, in part obviously fearful of bad publicity and the effect on his NFL draft status, he hoped not to be questioned or take any responsibility for his actions."
Carter was booked into the Athens Clarke-County Jail on charges of street racing and reckless driving in relation to charges stemming from the fatal crash in March, having briefly left the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis at the time to surrender to police. The former Georgia standout was selected by the Eagles at No. 9 overall in April.