Anyone familiar with UGA sports has probably heard of Jeff Dantzler.

Jeff has been a fixture in UGA sports broadcasting for a while now despite making a bone-headed decision in the past that put him on-the-bench for a semester or two.

Dantzler got his job back, and appeared to be thriving as a local radio personality.

And then- he got popped for a DUI.

Eye On Sports Media says that Dantzler’s arrest was never reported by the local media for the following reasons:

  1. The Athens Banner-Herald didn’t consider it newsworthy, and felt that it would provide celebrity to a person who truly doesn’t qualify.
  2. The newspaper felt that it wouldn’t make sense to report a DUI of a person that most people wouldn’t recognize.

It seems like Dantzler is operating in some sort of quasi-local celebrity world that has it’s own rules. His DUI arrest is not newsworthy enough to be publicized, yet it’s also such a grievous error that he’s been taken off his regular duties effective immediately.

How is this fair? How can he be unimportant and important at the same time? He’s a nobody (so we don’t report his arrest) yet he’s a role model to kids (so we can’t let him talk about sports on the local 100 watt AM radio station). He’s not famous, yet he’s too famous.

It’d be great to see the Athens Banner-Herald admit the real reason they didn’t publicize his arrest- namely, they didn’t want to give any ink to an advertising competitor (the AM piece-of-shit radio station where Dantzler did a talk show). It’d also be great for the AM piece-of-shit station to grow a pair and let the guy make an on-air apology and continue broadcasting like every other job in the universe.

It was only a few years ago that a major on-air radio personality in Atlanta got a DUI. The station’s response? A few days off to clear her head, an on-air apology, and then business-back-to-normal.

Small-town media, small-town thinking, small-town politics all conspire to save Dantzler public embarrassment from his arrest, yet also take away his livelihood. It’s not a fair trade.