If one report is accurate, things are about to get very real for a couple of members of the Florida football team.
Citing unnamed sources, thereadoptional.com reported overnight that “Antonio Callaway, Jordan Smith, and one other player are likely to be arrested on charges of felony grand theft, with the possibility of further misdemeanor charges being tagged on, according to a lawyer representing one of the players.” That trio is part of the group of nine Gator football players who have been indefinitely suspended in connection to the misuse of scholarship money in general and, specifically, for making improper charges on their student debit cards at the school bookstore and then selling those items for cash. The Read Optional has further added that the players then claimed that the debit cards had been stolen.
In addition to Callaway, a junior wide receiver, and Smith, a redshirt freshman defensive lineman, the other suspended players include junior defensive end Keivonnis Davis, sophomore defensive lineman Richerd Desir-Jones, freshman linebacker James Houston, freshman linebacker Ventrell Miller, junior running back Jordan Scarlett, freshman offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort and redshirt freshman wide receiver Rick Wells.
Charges against the three players, one of whom is unnamed, are expected to be filed later on this week, next week at the latest. It’s also expected that the other six players will be arrested as well.
Restitution for the debit card scheme has already been made, the website noted.
The off-field trouble for the football program doesn’t end there, however, as The Read Optional is also reporting that a separate investigation into players using stolen credit cards is underway. From the website:
This morning, we reported that several players were also being investigated in a separate credit card fraud case being run in conjunction by the Gainesville Police Department and the University of Florida Police Department.
Both police departments uncovered the stolen credit card details from the same victim while operating its own individual investigations — the GPD into Jordan Smith paying his rent with stolen credit card details; and the UFPD into the student debit card scheme, an investigation that broadened over time.
The investigation into the stolen credit card information is ongoing, with other student-athletes to be interviewed on Wednesday.
All nine players remain indefinitely suspended from the football program and, based on this report, they will remain that way for the foreseeable future.