Antonio Callaway not one of five Florida Gators suspended for opener

By Adam Silverstein
August 29, 2016
Antonio Callaway not one of five Florida Gators suspended for opener
Football

Image Credit: ESPNI

There will be Florida Gators missing from the field on Saturday, Sept. 3 against the UMass Minutemen, but sophomore wide receiver Antonio Callaway won’t be one of them.

Head coach Jim McElwain announced Monday that Callaway “should be good to go” for the game, meaning that he has not received a team suspension despite offseason allegations of sexual assault and an admission on the record of marijuana usage.

The decision should understandably come with some scrutiny, particularly considering the way the University of Florida handled the end of Callaway’s student conduct hearing by assigning a season ticket holder and former student-athletes as the hearing officer.

While Callaway will be on the field Saturday, freshmen wideouts Tyrie Cleveland and Rick Wells will not. The duo is suspended for the first game while waiting for the state to decide on charges following a BB gun incident that had the players arrested on a pair of felonies.

McElwain also said another player, an unnamed “senior who made some choices” would be suspended for the opener. He was not pressed by the media in attendance to identify that player.

It was previously announced that junior cornerback Jalen Tabor and redshirt sophomore tight end C’yontai Lewis would be suspended for the UMass game after getting into a “nasty fight” during practice. The two were suspended for one week of camp and returned to the field last Thursday.

That makes five players (four announced) suspended for the game, plus injuries.

10 Comments

  1. South Bleachers says:

    I understand the ruckus surrounding a former student-athlete being involved in the Calloway hearing. But for conversation sake, who is to say that Jake Shickel isn’t completely ethical and as a former student, doesn’t have the integrity and ethics of the school completely at the forefront of his decisions. Maybe the Urban thug era disgusts him and he wants to see that not happen again? I would bet that there is a long list of former students at schools everywhere appointed to these types of hearings. No? I am not unequivocally supporting the move. I am just wondering why we instantly brand it as wrong? (social media)

    • It’s wrong because UF could have just as easily found someone who wasn’t a former SA and wasn’t a season ticket holder. So even if UF handled the situation flawlessly until then and Shickel acted without bias, it casts unnecessary doubt.

      • Alex says:

        Agree. It was utterly irresponsible and plain stupid to appoint somebody with ties to the University.

      • Ed says:

        Let me see if I understand your point of view: because Calloway is an athlete he should be handled different from any/every other student accused? Wouldn’t that open a totally different can of worms and actually show discrimination against him?

      • Michael Jones says:

        I don’t get why some people have such a hard time getting their minds around what was wrong with what UF did. Nobody is saying that there was “actual bias.” That’s not the point or even close to the point. It’s the frigging APPEARANCE of bias or favoritism in the selection of the presiding hearing officer that tainted an otherwise stellar handling of the situation and it could have been so easily avoided.

        I’m a UF alum and very much a UF homer but this one is easy. . we blew it in the selection of the hearing officer.

    • BRLgator says:

      Its a perception issue. There were literally hundreds if not thousands of people who could have been the hearing judge who are not former student athletes.

  2. AJ says:

    I guess the part that I disagree with is that Mac’s decision to let Callaway play “understandably should come

    • AJ says:

      …Under scrutiny.” The University already flubbed the ending of a well-run investigation. That included Callaway being banned from campus for almost 8 months. I know people like to see games as the great measurable way to punish players but given what he has already gone through (and some level of presumed innocence) I think he has already served more than his due time.

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