At this rate, Florida may not be able to field a full team and, in the process, fulfill a long-running joke.
Wednesday afternoon, UF announced that running back Jordan Scarlett and wide receiver Rick Wells have been suspended from all team activities. That means that, at bare minimum, the two will be sidelined for the 2017 opener this weekend against Michigan.
The loss of Scarlett is particularly significant as he led the Gators in rushing last season with 889 yards.
The suspensions of Scarlett and Wells are related to a scam involving the misuse of scholarship funds that earlier this month led to the suspension of seven other Gators. The most noteworthy player in that initial group was Antonio Calloway, who led the Gators in receiving yards each of the last two seasons.
The 10th player suspended for the opener is James Robinson, who was twice cited for marijuana in 2017. The wide receiver was the second-highest rated recruit in UF’s class this year.
Incidentally, the suspensions for the other nine could continue on beyond the Michigan game.
Even with the start of a new season fast approaching, Florida’s offseason of off-field discontent continues.
Firstcoastnews.com was the first to report Thursday that linebacker Ventrell Miller and James Robinson were both cited for marijuana possession on Monday. Police were called to an on-campus apartment by a residential assistant who smelled the “strong odor of burning cannabis” coming from one of the rooms. From the website’s report:
Once inside the room, officers found a cloud of smoke and a styrofoam cup that police say appeared to be used as an ash tray. Robinson and Miller were in the room.
Officers asked Robinson where the cannabis was and he said it was in his top drawer. There were two small bags of marijuana and Robinson and Miller admitted to each owning one of the bags, the report says.
Miller, a freshman, is one of seven Gator football players suspended for the opener against Michigan. This incident is unrelated to that suspension, raising the specter that it could extend beyond the opener — if he’s still a part of the team.
This is Robinson’s second brush with the law involving weed this year.
Robinson was arrested for a pot possession offense during an official visit to Ohio State in late January. As a result of his arrest, Florida reportedly was set to prevent Gators head coach Jim McElwain from adding Robinson to their recruiting class. However, he did end up signing with the Gators this past February and was the team’s second-highest-rated recruit, behind only offensive lineman Tedarrell Slaton.
Earlier this month, he was finally cleared academically and enrolled at the university.
Per a school official, it’s expected that the football program will issue a statement on the incident at some point this afternoon.
Just when you thought you have seen it all on National Signing Day, think again. Four-star wide receiver James Robinson has landed with the Florida Gators after what has been quite the sequence of events over the past couple of days.
Robinson was arrested for a pot possession offense during an official visit to Ohio State over the weekend. As a result of his arrest, Florida reportedly was set to prevent Gators head coach Jim McElwain from adding Robinson to their recruiting class. So much for that, because McElwain tweeted some interesting new son his Twitter account to announce the addition of Robinson to Florida’s Class of 2017.
Rivals ranks Robinson as the 16th best wide receiver in the nation and the 19th best overall recruit from Florida. Robinson tweeted earlier this week he would not be announcing his decision on National Signing Day after the weekend arrest threw a curveball in the recruiting process. You just never know what will happen on National Signing Day.