August 13, 2017
The Florida Gators will be shorthanded when they open their 2017 season against Michigan.
Per Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, the football team has suspended seven players for the upcoming game, including receiver Antonio Callaway.
In addition to Callaway, Keivonnis Davis, Kadeem Telfort, Jordan Smith, Richerd Desir-Jones, Ventrell Miller and James Houston are also suspended due to a violation of team rules.
Mark Long of the Associated Press and Brett McMurphy reported the suspensions are due to a misuse of school-issued funds. Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times reported it’s not related to cost-of-attendance funds, but he noted “there are possible other misuses of funds.”
“We have a small group of players that have made some choices that are extremely disappointing,” head coach Jim McElwain said in a statement, per Jill Martin of CNN. “Action has been taken—they have missed some practice and will miss the Michigan game. We will use this as a learning opportunity and we will have some players step up as we move forward.”
The two powerhouse programs are set to battle Sept. 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
While Davis was expected to make an impact along the defensive line, Callaway is easily the biggest name on the list. The junior led the Gators with 54 catches and 721 receiving yards last season while adding four touchdowns from scrimmage.
He is also the team’s top returner with his ability to make an impact on both punts and kickoffs.
Callaway has dealt with off-field problems in the past, including a citation for marijuana possession in May.
The suspended players will hope to be able to return for the team’s second game, which comes against Northern Colorado on Sept. 9.
Read more Florida Gators Football news on BleacherReport.com