As expected, Will Muschamp took part in the weekly SEC coaches teleconference. Just as expected, the Florida head coach had little or nothing to say about a pair of off-field incidents this week involving three of his football players.
Following allegations of a sexual assault committed Sunday morning, quarterback Treon Harris was suspended by the football program Monday. It appears that will remain the case as Muschamp stated there has been “no change” in the status of Harris, who likely would’ve gotten the starting nod for the LSU game in place of Jeff Driskel were it not for the off-field issue.
Other than it’s “a serious charge,” Muschamp declined to elaborate on Harris’ situation. “Our statement on Monday was self-explanatory ,” the coach said.
“We have no tolerance for sexual assault on our campus,” the statement from UF President Bernie Machen read, in part.
According to a new report from the Tampa Bay Times, the alleged sexual assault started with a group of students, including Harris and the alleged victim, celebrating the Gators’ win over Tennessee. Citing multiple people familiar with eyewitness accounts, the Times wrote that “Harris told the students he celebrated with that he would make sure an 18-year-old woman got home safely.” From the paper:
Harris and the female student, also a freshman, spent part of Saturday night together. The group met up at a local night club. The students, some of whom had been drinking, later left the club and went in a caravan of two to three cars to get something to eat, before some of the group returned to the Springs Residential Complex, a group of on-campus apartments.
According to those familiar with the witness accounts, the woman said Harris sexually assaulted her after they arrived at the Springs, where they both live. Those familiar with the investigation said evidence was collected from Harris’ room.
Harris has not been charged, although police continue to investigate the alleged victim’s claims. The lawyer for Harris stated he’d be “surprised, disappointed” if his client were to ultimately be charged.
The incident involving Harris, along with a fight between two teammates — quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg and defensive lineman Gerald Willis — outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Monday night over a pair of cleats, left Muschamp to handle what could quickly become twin distractions for his team.
As for the Gator-on-Gator fisticuffs, Muschamp labeled it a misunderstanding that he wishes “both young men had handled differently.” Neither player will be punished as a result of the incident, Muschamp added.
With Harris suspended, Muschamp also confirmed that Driskel will get the start against the Tigers. Either Mornhinweg or Will Grier will serve as the No. 2 quarterback.