GAINESVILLE, Fla. — It’s looking like the suspensions of nine Florida football players — including star wide receiver Antonio Callaway and running back Jordan Scarlett — might last longer than most initially anticipated.
UF Police Department spokesman Maj. Brad Barber wrote in an email Thursday morning that the investigation into credit card fraud “is still active and on-going” and that there was a delay in the investigation due to the department’s operations during Hurricane Irma. There is no timetable for when the investigation will be completed, he said.
“Please understand these types of investigations do take some time to complete,” Barber said.
Barber initially confirmed to SEC Country on Aug. 30 that there was an investigation into 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.”
However, nine players are currently suspended while the investigation is ongoing. The first batch 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 — were announced as suspended on Aug. 13. Scarlett and wide receiver Rick Wells were added to the list of suspended players on Aug. 30.
The players have not been part of team activities since their suspensions were announced. Florida coach Jim McElwain has said on multiple occasions that the players will remain suspended until the problem is resolved and on Wednesday said he had no update regarding their status.
When asked Wednesday how the uncertainty of how long the suspensions will be could impact the team, McElwain said “It’s no concern.”
The No. 24 Gators (0-1) open SEC play at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday against No. 23 Tennessee (2-0).