Florida LB Antonio Morrison arrested for battery

Updated: Monday, June 17 at 11 a.m.

The quiet and incident-free offseason in Gainesville, FL is no more as Florida Gators sophomore linebacker Antonio Morrison was arrested early Sunday morning for first-degree misdemeanor simple battery after allegedly striking a bouncer.

According to Gainesville Police, Morrison and a group of men visited Kava Lounge at 1007 W. University Ave. and inquired about the cost of entering establishment. The bouncer at the front door told him the price and explained he would not be receiving a discount, information that caused Morrison to become enraged.

“Don’t you know who I am? I am a UF football player! I am Antonio!” he responded, according to the official police report.

When Morrison was again told he would have to pay full price, he allegedly threw a “closed fist” and connected “on top of the left side of [the victim’s] head” before leaving the scene.

Morrison was positively identified and had his identity confirmed at the scene by a witness.

After being read his Miranda rights at his on-campus dorm, he admitted to being at Kava Lounge and getting into a “scuffle” with the victim though he contended that it was not a “big deal.” Morrison, 19, also admitted to being intoxicated at the time of the incident and therefore did not remember much of what transpired.

He was booked at 6:03 a.m. into Alachua County jail, where he remains in custody.

A four-star rated prospect in 2012, Morrison appeared in all 13 games for Florida as a true freshman, starting three contests. The early enrollee out of Bolingbrook, IL finished with 34 tackles (2.0 for loss), a sack and a forced fumble, receiving SEC All-Freshman team honors at the season’s end.

His most notable play of the year came when he appeared to knock out and force a fumble from Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel during a rivalry game on Nov. 24.

Morrison was listed as the starting middle linebacker on the Gators’ post-spring practice depth chart released by head coach Will Muschamp on April 24 and is expected to be a dynamic contributor to Florida’s defense in 2013.

“Coach Muschamp is aware of the situation and handling the matter,” said senior associate athletics director and team spokesman Steve McClain in an official statement released to the media.

Update – June 17 at 11 a.m.: According to the Orlando Sentinel, Morrison will be released without bond at approximately 1 p.m. on Monday. Attorney Huntley Johnson, who represents most Florida student-athletes, told the paper that it could take anywhere from two weeks to two months for Morrison’s case to be resolved.

Tags: ,

40 Responses to “Florida LB Antonio Morrison arrested for battery”

  1. Sjkoepp says:

    Sigh. This is one of the stupidest things I’ve heard to date. The kid is an incredible athlete but seems like a hot head. Suspension game one?

  2. Keith says:

    This is one guy we can’t afford to lose. This needs to be handled in house. But that was a incredibly stupid move

  3. Danny says:

    Not only will this kid be charged with assault and miss the first half of the season at the very least, the Florida University compliance program needs to investigate community special benefits given to football players. It’s obvious this kid expects local business to give him a special price and that is against Bylaw 16.02.3, someone might as well notify the Universities compliance program so they can start their investigation. I do want to say this kind of stuff happens everywhere and all the time but the student athletes should no better to avoid it and not ask for it!!!

    • Well…

      (1) He has already been charged with simple battery, not assault.
      (2) It’s the “University of Florida” not “Florida University.”
      (3) Yes, I do agree they should be looking into whether or not it is common practice for free/discounted admission.

    • Tractorr says:

      First, great job jumping to conclusions. While I acknowledge that Antonio did wrong here, we have no idea what actually transpired. In other words, how do we not know that the bouncer didn’t escalate the situation. Of course this does not give Antonio the right to hit someone but very often people attempt to put themselves in the best possible light in these situations.

      Second, people really don’t understand what the terms assault and battery mean do they especially in the state of Florida. Assault is a threat that the assailant has the capability of carrying out. Battery is physically hitting someone. Battery is the more serious crime. Simple assault has a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine where simple battery has a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail and a $1000 fine.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Not sure where you get the idea that it sounds like the athletes get special benefits, because this story suggests that they don’t.

      It’s a single incident. A real bummer, but it happens when testosterone and alcohol come together, especially in underage drinkers. It’s also way too early in the investigation to jump to any conclusion about what happened, and there’s a big difference between filing a criminal complaint–which can often get someone arrested regardless of how factually accurate the complaint is–versus getting a conviction. This bouncer might have been a good honest guy just doing his job, or a bad guy looking for some notoriety against a UF athlete, or, as is most often the case, somewhere inbetween.

      Sorry, but I don’t agree that the sky is falling.

      • Gator John says:

        I think the prevailing thought is there was an expectation to recieve reduced or or even no cover to get into the club. This expectation MAY come from other places that provide such reduced fees for athletes. Morrison has been around G’Ville for awhile, and it’s plausible to believe his actions are from other freebies he may have recieved. Not saying this is true, just saying it’s plausible.

        • Might be the case. Doesn’t mean he should hit the guy.

          • Gator John says:

            Agreed. I was just answering Michael’s comment as to why there is talk about improper benefits.

            • Michael Jones says:

              I understand that’s a reasonable inference to draw from what we know so far, Gator John, but at this point it’s just one of other plausible interpretations. You make a good point, but I think you also agree that we need more evidence and we need to see how this plays out before we jump to any conclusions. I’m all for punishment that meets the crime, once it’s been established that a crime has been committed.

        • Gator John says:

          and yes, I know I spelled receive wrong..twice…think I need a drink myself!

          • Michael Jones says:

            Ha. . . your refreshingly civil tone and self-deprecating humor more than compensate for any spelling errors. . .

  4. Mike says:

    Sounds like then he either needs to be charged with simple battery, because he hit someone–how you jump to conclusions on that one is a mystery considering there was a victim and witness. Sounds more like the Gainesville PD is playing favorites charging him with the lesser offense and knowing UF “policy” in these matters, like we all do, sure nothing will happen to this kid. Glad fans like Keith and others in the UF family feel that America shouldn’t hold anyone responsible for hitting people while drunk or anything worse!!! Glad I’m not a gator!!!

    • Accusing the GPD of playing favorites is laughable. Morrison was charged appropriately. Assault and battery are not the same thing – battery is worse.

    • calgator says:

      We’re glad too!!!

    • Michael Jones says:

      I always get a kick out of people commenting on websites that focus on teams they are not even a fan of. Says a lot about that person’s quality of life. I’m so busy that I can hardly keep up with OGGOA, let alone go around surfing and commenting on other school’s websites, lol.

  5. joe says:

    If That “Don’t You Know Who I Am” Stuff Doesn’t Work For Reese, What Makes You Think It Will Work For You.

  6. Alex says:

    I WILL NOT BE SPOKEN TO THAT WAY! I AM A DIVISION MANAGER! I DRIVE A DODGE STRATUS!

  7. nate says:

    This is a character issue, and one of those things that can make or break an entitled man. Either he learns to get over himself or he doesn’t, and letting the full weight of the law rest on him for a while might return him to reality. Or it won’t; we’ll have to see.

    For the sake of his future as a human being who represents the University of Florida, his family, and himself, I hope somebody comes to visit him–around Wednesday.

  8. Mike says:

    If this happened at UGA the guy would be kicked off the team, and jailed for a year. I hope the police and UF doesn’t show favoritism toward him since he is a great football player. The law is the law, and justice need to be apply.

    • Frank Fitton says:

      Ahhhh, yes cause Georgia kicks out players for those types of things. Sanders Commings got arrested for battery AND domestic violence just last year. This offense plus another major one. He got suspended 2 games. Your contentions are ridiculous.

      Laughable mang

  9. MAR says:

    If this story is true, he should be booted. I think he would be if he weren’t so highly touted going into the season. That is a major slip up. He doesn’t deserve all the privileges that come with being an athlete at UF ( if he really said and did that). Muschamp has done a pretty good job cleaning up the program and needs to continue the process. You can’t punch bouncers no matter what, even if they escalate it. UF does not need that kind of stupidity representing the Gators.

    • Smith says:

      Wouldn’t be surprised if he gets booted or not but I think if he doesn’t then he should be allowed to prove he wants to still be part of the program. Kicking him out won’t do him any favors since he would most likely fall back into bad habits. I think you suspend him how ever many games people feel is appropriate (thinking 2-4), makes his grades while doing some kind of anger management course, and he has to EARN his way back onto the field. That means putting him on scout/second team or moving him down on the depth chart.

      I DO NOT condone student athletes, troubled teens, etc using violence as an excuse but pushing them to be better people I think is more vital than throwing them back to where they are easily influenced.

      • What Morrison did is bad but he’s not getting a four-game suspension. He’ll miss a game, maybe two. It happened far enough away from the season that Muschamp can suspend him from team activities for two months, allow him to return to practice and then miss the first game.

        • Smith says:

          I know that will be the most likely outcome but you can’t expect him to learn much from it since you aren’t kicking him where it hurts and that is on the field. Muschamp is definitely doing all he can to clean things up but you can’t hold these players hands 24/7. More responsibility needs to be dealt to players who screw up.

          • First you have to wait until the case is ruled on legally. Then you punish accordingly.

            • Smith says:

              Couldn’t agree more. I guess I’m more concerned about the frequency of this across all of CFB. You don’t just inherit character flaws overnight. I hope things get sorted out because he is a difference maker, and has a bright future.

      • Tractorr says:

        I said lets not jump to conclusion earlier because what if it turns out the bouncer pushed him first or something like that after all what this sounds like to me is a couple of macho jerks not wanting to back down. Not saying this excuses this sort of behavior and he should be punished because he shouldn’t be putting himself in these sorts of situations to begin with. Like Adam said let’s see how this plays out first.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Wow. It would be great to be as perfect as all of you people who are recommending such extreme penalties for the first mistake this 19 yr old kid ever made. Did I miss something? Did the bouncer die or even have to be hospitalized?

      Also, not really sure how punching a bouncer is so much worse than punching other people, especially since bouncers voluntarily take jobs that focus primarily on trying to control and subdue rowdy drunk people, and especially since a lot of bouncers are cocky, macho, arrogant hotheads themselves looking for trouble.

      I’d hate to have some of you for a judge and jury. Like Adam says, let the process play itself out before we decide whether to ban Morrison from the planet.

  10. Drew says:

    Lol that Mike thinks UGA punishes players. Something about the pot and the kettle comes to mind here. If you’re glad you’re not a Gator take your trolling back to Georgia and get off our site.

  11. Tom Thompson says:

    No one has mentioned that he admitted he was intoxicated at the time and he is only 19 years old. Shouldn’t there be a charge for this also?

    • He admitted to being intoxicated at a prior time (when the incident occurred). He was not arrested at the scene but later at his dorm. Therefore, I’m not sure if a breath or blood test was administered; if one was, it may have been later when he was booked at 6:03 a.m. By that time, the alcohol likely would have worn off unless it was a significant amount. Either way, that’s a misdemeanor and a fine and nothing compared to the battery arrest, which is the important one. Underage drinking is quite minor.

  12. Tractorr says:

    I hate to be the cynic here but I think I have to go there. In a football college town (any football college town) especially one with as many entertainment options as Gville, it is not in the best business interests of an establishment to be responsible for getting a projected starter kicked off the team. I don’t think this is right nor am I happy about this, but I totally expect these charges to disappear or be minimized to something lower. Again I am not saying this is right simply that this is the way of the world.

    • If Morrison is punished, it is his own doing. The establishment is not responsible unless the bouncer is found to have purposely aggravated Morrison.

      • Tractorr says:

        I am not saying the establishment is responsible. I am saying it is bad PR for an establishment serving mostly college kids to get a star football player in trouble, and that it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if said establishment owner doesn’t lean on an employee a bit to get this to go away.

        Like I said in a previous comment this is all provided that everything went down as the establishment said it went down.

  13. MAR says:

    I work as security for a club as a part time job. If a potential customer wants to come in and displays the attitude in which AM ALLEGEDLY displayed, whether he/ she is a football star, playboy model, president of the USA, etc. or not, entry will be denied at all costs. As security usually has their hands full watching over a crowd, especially in a college town club, nothing is more frustrating than an idiot with a “holier than thou” attitude. That being typed, I hope he is not guilty of these actions. If he is, what an idiot….