Not surprisingly, one Florida Gator with off-field issues will be taking his leave of Gainesville.
Citing “my recent actions and coaching changes,” Jordan Smith announced on Twitter that he “will not be returning to the University of Florida and will be looking for other opportunities to further my education and my football career.” The redshirt freshman defensive lineman added that “Florida was amazing to me and I will always be a Gator at heart.”
The “recent actions” to which Smith referred in his tweet stemmed from a controversy that first surfaced in mid-August.
Smith was one of what were ultimately nine Gator football players who were indefinitely suspended in connection to 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 felony charges being filed in late September.
Seven of those 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 — entered into a pretrial intervention program in October and, if they make restitution and “comply with probation protocols,” the charges will be dismissed.
The cases involving Smith and the ninth suspended player, true freshman offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort, remain open. It’s believed that Telfort, who reportedly has 30 felonies pending, is transferring as well.
Callaway has decided to leave the Gators as well, although he’s moving on to the NFL and entering the draft. 247Sports.com reports that Davis’ playing career may be over because of injuries sustained in a scooter accident that occurred sometime after his suspension.
The status of the other five players with the football program moving forward is unclear.
None of the suspended players played a down for the Gators this past season.
With Shark Week upon us, Ole Miss is playing right into the theme with the announcement of its brand new “great white shark” uniform selection for the upcoming season. When Ole Miss takes the field for the season opener against Texas Tech in Houston, they will do so in a uniform featuring white from head to toe, including the helmet.
Ole Miss traditionally wears a blue helmet, so coming out in white is a brand new look for the Rebels. It also completes the idea of going all in on a great white shark theme, which is a play off the idea of Ole Miss embracing the land shark as its spirit animal on the football field. The video showed no nameplate on the back of the uniform, but that may just be because it is a demo uniform used specifically for the promotional video.
Ole Miss faces Texas Tech on September 1 in Houston’s NRG Stadium.
The Sun Belt Conference will introduce a brand new conference championship game beginning this season, and the player of the game will be taking home quite the unique reward. The Sun Belt Conference championship game MVP will be given a championship belt, as opposed to a traditional trophy. It looks fantastic.
With the Sun Belt now home to the best conference championship game MVP prize, it is time for other conferences to step their game up!
Iowa defensive tackle Brady Reiff could face some upcoming internal discipline following an arrest over the weekend. Reiff was arrested for public intoxication early Saturday morning by Iowa City police.
According to Hawk Central, Reiff was released from jail at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, a little less than seven hours after his arrest. A statement from Iowa Athletics Director stated the university was aware of the incident and was gathering more information on the story.
At this time, there has been no discipline handed out to Reiff from within the Iowa football program or athletics department, but some form of punishment should probably be expected down the line. A loss of playing time in the season opener would appear to be the most likely result given the misdemeanor caliber of the crime involved.
Reiff recorded 13 tackles, one sack and one interception while appearing in 12 games for the Hawkeyes last season. Reiff is expected to compete for a starting job on Iowa’s defensive line this season.
South Florida is switching apparel providers this season, leaving behind Under Armour for a new deal with Adidas. And with a new apparel partner now officially on board, the time has come to see what Adidas has up their sleeves for the Bulls.
South Florida shared a video on its Twitter account with the first look at the new uniform design, which looks fairly common to what most Adidas uniforms look like. One of the most notable changes to the uniform is the removal of “USF” from the front chest of the uniform and replacing it with text that reads “South Florida.”
The pants read “Bulls” on the legs and the USF “U” logo makes appearances on the hips and wrist bands. The first look at the helmet looks pretty interesting as well, with a chrome green face mask. The details of the helmet can be a bit more difficult to make out, although it appears at one point to be a green USF logo outlined in white (and gold?) on a gray helmet.
Reaction to the new uniforms among USF fans seems to be a bit mixed, but we will have to wait and see how the feelings are when USF reveals the full home and away assortment of uniforms down the road. As with many uniforms these days, it should be expected USF will have some combinations to keep them looking fresh on a weekly basis.