Florida Gators sophomore tight end A.C. Leonard entered a plea of no contest to a misdemeanor charge of simple domestic battery on Wednesday and was sentenced to six months of probation for his actions, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Arrested on Feb. 15 after an altercation with his then-girlfriend of 17 months turned heated, Leonard was charged with allegedly shoving her to the ground and pulling/dragging her out of the apartment by her feet/hair. He refused comment when he was arrested, only telling police: “I never hit her. I just wanted her to leave.”
As a response to his player’s arrest and charges, Gators head coach Will Muschamp suspended Leonard indefinitely from team activities, saying in an official statement: “I certainly do not condone this type of behavior – it is not what we expect from the University of Florida football program.”
Leonard returned to the team on March 26 following a six-week suspension. Though his case was still pending at the time, he was allowed to rejoin practice and team meetings. His status for the 2012 Orange & Blue Debut on April 7 remains up in the air.
“I felt like he’s done the things that I’ve asked him to do from the standpoint of the measures that I took with him to this point. And I’ve allowed him to practice only – only,” Muschamp said on March 29. “No decision on the fall has been made. No decision about playing has been made. He still has an awful lot of things to do in order to play for our football team and play for the University of Florida. He’s very remorseful about what happened. He made a mistake. And that’s all I’m going to comment on at this point. All he has been cleared to do is practice.”
In addition to his six months of probation, Leonard will be forced to pay $628 in state fines and court costs. He is already taking part in anger management counseling, which the court has mandated that he continue. The Sentinel also reports that Leonard was ordered to have no contact with the victim and that his medical records be open to the State Attorney’s Office for the foreseeable future.