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Non-answers being delivered by Florida Gators head football coach Jim McElwain are nothing new. In fact, as verbose as McElwain can be about basically any topic other than football — basketball, music, food, home remedies — when it comes to specifics about the gridiron and his players, he actively searches for ways to avoid answering questions.
Which brings us to Tuesday at the 2016 SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Florida.
The first question was not new: Is there any update on the status of sophomore wide receiver Antonio Callaway and junior Treon Harris, neither of whom were with the program in spring?
McElwain appears to have delivered his standard “status quo” answer, though he actually added some insight that Callaway is not on campus as he’s not registered for Summer A classes.
The second question was a smart one: When’s the last time you’ve spoken to Callaway?
“That’s being handled,” McElwain replied, according to the Orlando Sentinel‘s Edgar Thompson.
Mac said suspended #Gators WR Antonio Callaway is not registered in Summer A. Asked when last spoke to him, said, 'That's being handled.'
— Edgar Thompson (@osgators) May 31, 2016
What’s important to remember here is that McElwain and Callaway are not simply coach and player, they seemed to be incredibly close during Callaway’s breakout freshman campaign and McElwain’s first season in 2015. For McElwain to choose not to answer that question — or for the answer to be such an exceedingly long period of time that McElwain felt it best to remain silent — is worthy of concern for Florida.
Callaway and Harris have both been separated from the Gators since January. McElwain announced the duo were indefinitely suspended with little coming out about the reason for either player’s absence from the program.
Back on March 11, Callaway’s attorney wrote in a press release sent to OnlyGators.com and other outlets that Callaway was suspended on an interim basis by the University of Florida on Jan. 27 for a Student Conduct Code violation as a reaction to “an incident which supposedly occurred in early December 2015.”
Johnson claimed that Florida presented no evidence providing legitimacy for Callaway’s suspension and that his firm “conducted its own investigation as to the allegation that is the basis for the suspension” and found “no good reason why this investigation has not been closed.” As such, Johnson stated there is “no merit” to either the allegation or Callaway remaining suspended by the school.
Callaway has stayed silent on the matter, of course. His Instagram account, however, shows that he has posted five Gators-related images within the last month.
No one has spoken on the behalf of Harris at the time as he is serving his third suspension since joining the Gators.
According to 247Sports‘ Thomas Goldkamp, Harris is the defendant in a civil eviction lawsuit over delinquent rent of more than $2,000. It is not believed that this is the reason for Harris’s initial suspension, though it is most certainly not helping his case with UF or anyone else he’s in trouble with at this time.