UPDATED 6:40 p.m. ET: It didn’t take long for Florida coach Will Muschamp to take action on tight end A.C. Leonard following the sophomore’s arrest for domestic battery.
Muschamp said in a release this evening that Leonard is suspended from team activities and issued the following statement:
“This behavior will not will be tolerated. It is not what we expect from the University of Florida football program.”
I know. It’s the offseason and a Florida player was arrested. Stunning.
The latest legal brush comes courtesy of sophomore tight end A.C. Leonard, who according to a police report obtained by the Gainesville Sun, was arrested last night and charged with simple domestic battery.
The report states Leonard and his girlfriend — they’ve lived together for about the past month — were involved in a verbal dispute at around 7:20 when the fight escalated into a physical confrontation. Leonard reportedly “shoved [his girlfriend] forcibly with both hands in her chest/neck area. The force of the shove knocked her down to the ground, causing her head to strike a dog cage that was behind her.”
Leonard then reportedly told the woman to leave and attempted to drag her by her hair out the door. When she resisted, the police report states Leonard grabbed his girlfriend by her feet and pulled her out of the apartment before locking her out. Again, this is according to the woman.
The arresting officer said he saw bruises on the woman’s elbow and arm. Leonard was booked in a Alachua County jail and held overnight.
Appearing in court this morning, Leonard said “I never hit her. I just wanted her to leave.” A judge ruled that Leonard is to have no contact with the woman until the matter is resolved.
Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.
With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future. The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.
Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.
At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas. The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.
Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels. He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.