Florida starting RB Jordan Scarlett suspended, bringing total to 10 out for opener vs. Michigan

By Adam Silverstein
August 30, 2017
Florida starting RB Jordan Scarlett suspended, bringing total to 10 out for opener vs. Michigan

Image Credit: UAA

Suspensions for the Florida Gators going into their 2017 season opener against the Michigan Wolverines have now reached double digits as head coach Jim McElwain announced Wednesday that junior starting running back Jordan Scarlett is one of three additional players who will miss the game.

Scarlett and redshirt freshman wide receiver Rick Wells join freshman WR James Robinson, whose suspension was announced Monday, as the three newest players sitting out. They link up with the seven previously suspended players — a group led by junior star WR Antonio Callaway — to make 10 Florida football players who will not make the trip with the team to Arlington, Texas.

According to the Associated Press‘ Mark Long, Scarlett and Wells are suspended for the same reasons as the prior seven suspensions, misuse of school-appropriated scholarship funds. Robinson was suspended after being cited for possession of marijuana.

McElwain said in a press conference Wednesday that Scarlett, Wells and the other seven players will be suspended until the situation is resolved.

“As you know, one thing I will never do is look the other way, try to hide something,” he said. “The guys on our team understand their responsibility. With that, people think of the distractions and that type of thing. And yet, it’s an opportunity for more guys to go and play and play their tails off.”

He added: “We’re not afraid to make a decision, and we’re not [going] to hide anything. At the end of the day, that’s actually a positive because people know that, no matter what it is, we’re going to handle it. We’re not going to put it aside. We’re not going to enable. We’re going to teach lessons. Ultimately, in doing that, we’re better off for it.”

The loss of Scarlett is a the biggest hit yet for the Gators as the three-down back was expected to tote the rock early and often on Saturday at AT&T Stadium. Scarlett earned the starting job during the 2016 season, proving he could be the lone No. 1 back while picking up 889 yards and six touchdowns on 179 carries. He entered 2017 ready to carry a big load.

Instead, Florida will go with sophomore Lamical Perine in his place. Perine averaged 4.6 yards per carry in 2016 but also proved to have sure hands, averaging 17.9 yards per reception. Redshirt senior Mark Thompson and true freshmen Malik Davis and Adarius Lemons are in line to get carries behind Perine. Redshirt senior WR Brandon Powell and other playmakers could factor into the equation.

With Scarlett and Callaway sidelined, the Gators are now without their leading rusher and receiver from a year ago entering perhaps the biggest season opener in program history. Of the other eight players suspended, only junior defensive lineman Keivonnis Davis was expected to see extended action.


  1. Mg says:

    This has to be a joke. What other major program has this ridiculous amount of suspensions. This is direct reflection of McElwain.

    • fatback says:

      How many other major programs would have covered this up and we’d never hear about it? Perhaps the actual suspensions are a direct reflection of McElwain? Kids do stupid things, can’t fault the parent/coach unless they do nothing to correct it

    • Michael Jones says:

      No it’s not and it’s ridiculous to claim it is . . unless you have proof. . something more that just an outrageous conclusion probably prompted by your dislike of McElwain. Prove that McElwain knew it was going on or that he could have anticipated it and prevented it. . otherwise he’s just a victim too of some very bad choices by players who otherwise appeared to be good kids.

  2. 1974Gator says:

    What a bunch of baby ducks!! Are these kids safe to cross the street by themselves? Keep it up Mac. Maybe their sitting out one of the biggest games they may have ever played in and not playing in a truly awesome venue like Jerry’s House will hurt them enough to think again when confronted with the same choices in the future. If I were their teammate I would be really pissed.

  3. Cal says:

    Box seats. Great hotel. 20 great friends. Awesome venue. Dorks acting up and staying home. How many other D1 teams kick off the season with 10 starters watching Netflix at home? What a huge buzz strip.

  4. M Palmer says:

    These 10 players don’t have any respect for the Program; the Coaches; their teammates; and themselves. Very stupid choices made by players who have a lot to look forward too. Gator Nation has been looking forward to this game all off season. T
    hese suspended players did a selfish act that effects not only them, but the University, its fans & supporters. Time for Coach to send a message !!!!! And time for the players that want to be there to step up & put a stop to this nonsense ……

  5. Scroud says:

    If I recall correctly, Coach Spurrier used to joke (when he was at SC) that he always liked to play Georgia in the beginning of the year because there were always a few of their best players suspended. Florida is at risk of becoming that same joke.

  6. Jim says:

    The biggest opener in Program History was Florida’s opener against #1 ranked Houston. Hopefully we will have a similar outcome this time.

  7. Michael Jones says:

    What a disgrace. Is that a football team? Or an organized crime gang we are giving scholarships to up there? Very disappointing. . and embarrassing. . and a black eye on the program.

    BUT IT IS NOT A REFLECTION ON MCELWAIN UNLESS SOMEBODY CAN PROVE TO ME THAT HE KNEW THAT NONSENSE WAS GOING ON OR THAT HE COULD HAVE ANTICIPATED AND PREVENTED IT. Those kids are supposed to be using their brains to pass college courses. . not figure out how to rip off the university.

    • Mark says:

      He’s the captain of the ship…He picked everybody on the ship…Of course it is a reflection on him…He gets 4.5 million a year, not just to coach but also because the football program is the focal point for the University and must be a positive reflection of the University. At press conferences during a cosching change, University Presidents and Athletic Directors talk about how well the program is represented off the field and you do do that by instilling culture, leadership, and recruiting and selecting young men who have fooball talent AND will represent the program well. This obviously doesnt look good for Mcelwain, this is the last thing Administration wants to see.. Mcelwain gave them all scholorships and has given several of them second chances so he IS accountable..

  8. Rich says:

    How can I go from incredibly excited for the Gators to kickoff the football season to 100% disappointed and not excited at all? THIS is how…

    Everyone watching the game will get an ear full of how many Gators are suspended. They’ll get the story over and over again. It makes the University of Florida look like Thug U. Perception is everything and when we roll into this high profile game with 10 guys suspended it’s not going to look good, it will linger as well.

    I’m so disappointed in these players and somewhat the staff as well. Where are the locker room leaders who knock the shit out of the idiots trying these things? Where are they? Calloway, you want to make a few million in the NFL? No? Great… go make a few hundred dollars illegally now. Scarlett, you too? Great… I hope you guys know the little money you got out of this will CO$T you both possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in future employment. The NFL sees guys with multiple suspensions and your are marked with character issues. You’ll get drafted if you’re that good but you will definitely tumble down on draft day..

    Rant over. I’m sorry. It’s just the College Football season is my favorite time of the year and I feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut. No Starting RB, No Starting WR, 10 suspensions in all. Florida with huge Black eye on Profile Game. Greater possibility of starting 0-1… All excitement gone..

  9. Michael Jones says:

    Upon further review. . you have some very poor kids who also happen to be good athletes on scholarship going to school with other kids driving Mercedes and BMW’s. Something has to be done to put a little spending money in these kids’ pockets. It’s just not fair. Give them all $50 a week.

    Not saying that what happened was justified. . but it is certainly understandable and definitely predictable. The difference between the “haves” and the “have nots” on campus must be brutally painful. And don’t tell me that they are getting food and an education. I know that already and they earn every penny of that. Being a DI football player is like a full time job. Plus they have to go to class. Why shouldn’t these kids be allowed to take a girl to a movie every now and then just like everybody else?

    I guarantee you that the poverty some of these kids come from most of us could not even fathom, let alone relate to. They are all hoping to make the NFL but so few of them do. Let’s push for NCAA legislation that levels the playing field a little bit. . they provide a hell of a benefit to our university. . let’s help them out too.

  10. William says:

    I enjoy the fact that our coach has a moral compass & stuck by the rules.
    Follow suit Gators you have a leader now become leaders. I wish well for all of the 10 players that get to step up this weekend we’re all watching boys!

    Marijuana is just about legal everywhere & it literally grows on trees what was the money really for? If you were 10 untalented adults committing organized credit card fraud in gang colors instead of Gator colors you may have caught a Rico act charge. Enjoy your sense of entitlement.

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