Charges dropped vs. Florida's Thompson, Tennessee's Thomas

(Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports)
(Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports)

Charges were dropped in legal cases against two SEC players – Florida’s Chris Thompson and Tennessee’s Coleman Thomas.

The misdemeanor simple battery charge against Thompson, a junior wide receiver, was dropped Wednesday due to a lack of evidence. According to the Gainesville Sun, the State District Attorney’s Office said the alleged victim decided “not to prosecute the case.”

Thompson charged April 1 after being accused of scratching his girlfriend on the arms and neck while attempting to get his cell phone from her. Thompson’s attorney said he had the right to get his phone back after his girlfriend “found a text message” from another woman.

“He was legally entitled to make what is called defense of his property, which in this case was his phone,” said State Attorney Bill Cervone. “That’s what he was doing, and the injuries that resulted were inconsequential.”

Thompson, who had been competing for a starting role, did not play in the team’s spring game on Saturday. The program has not confirmed if or when Thompson will rejoin the team.

(Kevin Jairaj - USA TODAY Sports)
(Kevin Jairaj - USA TODAY Sports)

Elsewhere, Thomas, a sophomore lineman who started five games for the Vols at right tackle last season, was hit with a felony theft charge on March 13. He was accused of stealing an Xbox and three video games from a dorm room, but the charge was dropped Wednesday morning.

"Since obtaining the arrest warrant in this case, (the University of Tennessee Police Department) conducted additional investigation into the matter," Knox County district attorney general Kyle Hixson said, per The Tennessean. "This investigation included discussions with Mr. Thomas and with other witnesses. Following this additional investigation, UTPD concluded that there was a lack of evidence that Mr. Thomas knew that the item was stolen at the time he possessed it."

Thomas’ attorney, Don Bosch, said the felony charge against Thomas was a “rush to judgment.”

"Mr. Thomas did not commit any crime and was unaware that the Xbox and three video games in question had been stolen,” Bosch said in a press release. “He fully cooperated from the first minute he was notified by law enforcement, and it was unfortunate that such a hasty decision to charge Mr. Thomas was made solely by the University of Tennessee Police Department."

According to a police warrant, Thomas, 19, took the Xbox and three games and “sold them at a GameStop store in Knoxville.” Thomas said he did not know the items were stolen when he sold it to the store.

Thomas was suspended from team activities following his arrest but was reinstated on Wednesday.

For more Florida news, visit InsideTheGators.com.

For more Tennessee news, visit VolQuest.com.

- - - - - - -

Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!