Freshman running back Jordan Scarlett has been suspended by the Florida Gators for the 2016 Citrus Bowl following an arrest, head coach Jim McElwain confirmed this week.
According to Alachua County Court records obtained by OnlyGators.com, Scarlett was cited for first-degree misdemeanor possession of marijuana (less than 20 grams) and drug paraphernalia. He was served with a notice to appear in court on Dec. 23 and has an arraignment set for Jan. 1, 2016.
Scarlett will miss Florida’s bowl game against the Michigan Wolverines as a consequence of his actions, according to 247Sports.com, which first reported his arrest. A University of Florida Police Department report notes that Scarlett was found with marijuana and a pipe in his dorm on Dec. 19 after a residence hall director smelled the substance originating from his room and called campus police.
The Gators actually have two additional players suspended for the Citrus Bowl, albeit for different reasons. Florida confirmed an Orlando Sentinel report from Sunday that redshirt senior transfers right tackle Mason Halter and linebacker Anthony Harrell have both been ruled academically ineligible to play in the game.
“They weren’t able to come to this bowl game and yet they’ll work on their Masters this coming semester. That’s just part of the rules, the NCAA rules,” said McElwain first on Halter and Harrell before discussing Scarlett. “He’s not going to play in the game, but he’ll be back with this team. I’ll tell you: He’s a great kid and handled it the way you should handle it – stood up, was honest – and I’m proud of him for that. He’ll be back with us as we get going for winter classes, which start the fifth, so we’re back after it in a hurry.”
Scarlett, a reserve who totaled just 181 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries, barely saw action for the Gators this season outside of two games in which he toted 8+ carries. Junior Kelvin Taylor will start at running back in the bowl game with freshman Jordan Cronkrite (41 carries, 140 yards, three touchdowns) spelling him out of the backfield.
Halter, who started all 13 games for UF, sitting out creates room for freshman Fred Johnson to likely fill in as the starter at right tackle. Harrell spent most of the season as a special teamer and reserve linebacker, totaling three tackles (two solo) in limited work.