Florida said seven players have been suspended for the Gators’ season-opening game vs. Michigan.
Included in the group is wide receiver Antonio Callaway, Florida’s leading receiver in 2016.
“We have a small group of players that have made some choices that are extremely disappointing,” Florida coach Jim McElwain said in a statement. “Action has been taken – they have missed some practice and will miss the Michigan game. We will use this as a learning opportunity and we will have some players step up as we move forward.”
The other players suspended are defensive end Keivonnis Davis, defensive tackle Richerd Desir-Jones, linebacker James Houston, linebacker Ventrell Miller, defensive lineman Jordan Smith and offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort.
Per ESPN, a school official said the seven “were suspended for using school-issued, cost-of-attendance credit cards to buy electronics from the school bookstore and then selling those items for cash. The electronics were considered impermissible items for the players to buy with their cost-of-attendance cards.”
Callaway was cited for pot possession earlier this spring. He was suspended in 2016 but reinstated to the team after a Title IX investigation regarding an accusation of sexual assault. According to the Tampa Bay Times, a second Title IX investigation by the federal government has been opened and it appears to be releated to Callaway’s case at the school.
Davis had 27 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 2016 and he and the other suspended players are projected backups for the Gators.
Callaway had 54 catches for 721 yards and three touchdowns in 2016. He was also the Gators’ primary punt returner. Without Callaway, Florida’s top receiver heading into the Sep. 2 game vs. the Wolverines at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium is Brandon Powell. He had 45 catches for 387 yards a year ago.
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