Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer and seniors center Mike Pouncey, safety Ahmad Black and defensive end Justin Trattou represented the University of Florida on Wednesday by appearing at a number of press conferences at the 2010 Southeastern Conference Media Days from Hoover, AL.
HAMMOND’s SCHOLARSHIP REVOKED
Though most of the pre-event hoopla surrounded allegations that former Gators center Maurkice Pouncey accepted $100,000 from a runner for an unnamed agent, the biggest piece of news Meyer divulged was that (former?) Florida wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr. has had his football scholarship pulled after being arrested for driving under the influence and underage possession of alcohol in June.
“Frankie Hammond, Jr. is off of scholarship at Florida. If he tries to come back and play, which I understand he will, he will have to pay his own way and earn a spot like every other person who would like to be a member of Florida football – on his own,” Meyer said. “There will be playing time taken away from him, and he will be on probation like other players who have made mistakes. If he does something again, it will be probable dismissal. As of now, he is not on the football team. He is working out and training away from the team, and he’s off of scholarship. And we’ll see how he shows up and if he goes. If he goes, then we’ll make the adjustment as we move on.”
Last Friday, Hammond was sentenced to a year of probation and 50 hours of community service as part of a plea deal with the prosecution of his case. He was suspended from team activities by the coaching staff and university just one day after being arrested.
REACTIONS TO POUNCEY ALLEGATIONS
Before the Gators had the chance to be asked about the rumors surrounding Pouncey, the player denied that he was paid by an agent through a two sentence statement that was released early Wednesday. “I did not accept $100,000, it is an absolutely ridiculous claim,” he said. “I have completely cooperated with the investigation and answered any and all questions put to me.”
Nevertheless, Meyer and Florida’s players were asked about the alleged incident.
“Anytime [there is] an accusation about a recruiting rule or a phone call or I simply hear it, I go right to our compliance and they go through the right channels. And then I’ll go to the source,” Meyer said. “When the [Maurkice] Pouncey anonymous note or whatever came through, it went right to our compliance, I went to Maurkice and he said it didn’t happen. I certainly didn’t investigate – we have people that do that. I have not been this concerned. I don’t like our pictures going across the ticker and everything else. If something happened, then he should be punished severely. If it didn’t happen, then that’s nonsense. I heard his denial today, and we stand by Maurkice Pouncey.”
“First, I’ll start by saying I talked to my brother and it’s not true,” his brother Mike told the press. “He pretty much cleared that up in the statement today. I feel bad about it because it ruined somebody’s name that don’t really know who me and my brother are.
Those that know who we are know we’re not those kind of people. We pride ourselves on having a great clean name. It’s just hard right now. [...] We’ve been totally cooperative with any questions that they have to ask us. We’re just ready for it to be done with. [...] My mom and my dad, they took it real personal because, you know, we come from a great family. We pride ourselves on being great people, having a family-type organization as far as our family goes. You know, they took it pretty tough.”
AND THE REST…
With the two juiciest tidbits out of the way, the rest of the media availabilities focused on the latest news surrounding agents tampering with student-athletes and, you know, the upcoming football season. Some choice quotes have been provided…after the break:
Continue Reading » 2010 SEC Media Days: Hammond’s scholarship pulled, Pouncey reactions and other Gators notes