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Georgia loses recruit over state policy

ATHENS, Ga. -- Chester Brown was so excited about the opportunity to play football at Georgia that he got his commitment date tattooed on his left forearm. But the Samoan-born offensive lineman is now being forced to look elsewhere.

An anti-illegal immigration measure passed by the state Board of Regents in 2010 requires "the verification of a student's lawful presence in the United States" in order to enroll -- documentation Brown's family is unable to produce.

Brown, who attends the Bradwell Institute in Hinesville, Ga., initially cited "personal reasons" for decommitting, saying that he didn't want "anything bad to happen to me, anything bad to happen to my family and most of all I don't want anything bad to happen to Georgia."

But Brown had no choice, said a family spokesperson, who added that the decision left him heartbroken after developing relationships with Georgia recruits, coaches and members of the team. He had been talking up the Bulldogs to other would-be Georgia commitments for the Class of 2012 for months.

"It has been rough on Chester," the Brown family spokesperson said Tuesday night. "He went to school today and he just got bashed from all of these teachers calling him dumb and stupid for decommitting. He came home and just cried. And they don't know the situation."

The spokesperson, who wished to remain unnamed for fear of further hurting the family, confirmed that Brown's decommitment was related to the Board of Regents' policy.