GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The status of the nine suspended Florida football players is still up in the air heading into the No. 24 Gators’ SEC opener against No. 23 Tennessee on Saturday. Coach Jim McElwain said Wednesday that there was no update during his press conference.
It’s been a month since the first round of the suspensions were announced.
And while there isn’t an end in visible sight, McElwain said his focus right now is on the team and the players he has available.
“It’s no concern,” McElwain said.
Here’s what we know about the situation:
Nine players from the Florida football team — a group that includes starting running back Jordan Scarlett and star wide receiver Antonio Callaway — have been suspended since before Florida’s season-opening loss to Michigan.
On Aug. 13, Florida announced the indefinite suspension of seven players: Callaway, freshman linebacker James Houston, freshman offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort, junior defensive end Keivonnis Davis, redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Smith, redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Richerd Desir-Jones and freshman linebacker Ventrell Miller.
Scarlett and wide receiver Rick Wells were added to the list on Aug. 30.
The players have not been part of team activities since their suspensions were announced, and McElwain has said on multiple occasions that the players will remain suspended until the problem is resolved.
A source told SEC Country after Scarlett and Wells were suspended that all nine suspensions are related, but the exact nature of the incident is still unclear.
The website The Read Optional and 247Sports’ GatorBait.net initially reported on Aug. 13 that the discipline is for misuse of school-issued funds provided to players as part of their scholarship agreements. ESPN used that same language on Aug. 31 following the second round of suspensions, reporting that they were for “making improper chargers on their student IDs at the school bookstore and then selling those items for cash.”
However, when asked about an investigation into members of the Florida football team on Aug. 30, UF Police Department spokesman Maj. Brad Barber said there is “an active and ongoing investigation into the allegations of credit card fraud.”
Since the investigation is active, there is no official police report yet. Barber is limited about what he is able to say regarding the incident and was not able to provide specific names when asked if it was centered on or limited to the nine players believed to be connected to that matter. On Aug. 31, Barber told the Tampa Bay Times’ Matt Baker “This investigation is fairly recent, and it’s beginning.”
Ever since the suspensions were announced, McElwain has been mum about providing updates.
“We were made aware of some things and you can take that for what it’s worth,” McElwain said on Aug 30. “The thing is when we were made aware we immediately took action.”