Florida Gators sophomore Mike linebacker Antonio Morrison‘s two-game suspension has been dropped to one game, head coach Will Muschamp announced on Monday.
Morrison, who was suspended by Muschamp on July 21 after being arrested for the second time in five weeks, will be held out of the lineup when Florida hosts Toledo on Aug. 31 but return for UF’s trip to Miami on Sept. 7.
“After a thorough review of the Antonio Morrison situation and how he’s handled his punishment, I’m going to suspend him for this game only,” Muschamp said. “I just don’t feel like his actions warranted a two-game suspension.”
Expected to start for the Gators, Morrison was first arrested on a charge of misdemeanor simple battery on June 16 after allegedly striking a bouncer. He accepted a deferred prosecution agreement from the state of Florida, agreeing to pay fines, perform community service and complete other tasks during a six-month probationary period in order to get the charge expunged from his record.
Morrison was then charged with resisting arrest without violence and harassing an on-duty animal after he barked at a police dog early in the morning of July 21.
Muschamp immediately suspended Morrison for two games after learning of the second arrest, but the charges were completely dropped two days later with state attorney Bill Cervone saying Morrison’s arrest was “overzealous to the point it was embarrassing.”
Due to the nature of the second arrest and the punishment Morrison has already received – missing numerous practices and undergoing internal punishment – Muschamp felt it was necessary to allow him to the field early.
“He’s very remorseful about the whole situation, and we’ve moved forward,” Muschamp added. “Guys make mistakes and have poor judgment at times. I’m just disappointed with how the entire night was handled.”
Redshirt junior Michael Taylor will start in Morrison’s place against Toledo.