At least legally, a handful of Florida Gators finally have some breathing room.
According to the Associated Press, seven UF football players — junior wide receiver Antonio Callaway, junior defensive end Keivonnis Davis, sophomore defensive lineman Richerd Desir-Jones, freshman linebacker James Houston, freshman linebacker Ventrell Miller, junior running back Jordan Scarlett and redshirt freshman wide receiver Rick Wells — will enter a pretrial intervention program that could result in felony charges against them being dropped. If the players make restitution and “comply with probation protocols,” the charges will be dismissed.
That’s provided a judge signs off on the recommendation of the state’s attorney, who filed the paperwork with the courts Thursday. It’s expected to take a couple of weeks for the judge to process the requests.
All seven of the players, along with redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Smith and freshman offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort, have been suspended in connection with the misuse of scholarship money in general and, specifically, for making improper charges on their student IDs at the school bookstore and then selling those items for cash. A police investigation stemming from the allegations led to the felony charges being filed a month ago.
While this legal hurdle has been cleared, they still haven’t been cleared to return to the playing field. The AP writes that “[t]hey have to go before the university’s Student Code of Conduct Committee to determine potential punishment.”
As for Smith and Telfort, they remain the subjects of an ongoing police investigation that’s related to the initial charges. It was reported in late February that the Gainesville Police Department had recommended four additional felony charges be filed against Smith.