GAINESVILLE, Fla. — After months of uncertainty and unanswered questions, the Antonio Callaway saga produced a new development on Tuesday.
It was revealed that Florida had modified the interim suspension of the Gators’ star wide receiver, according to a press release from his attorney, Huntley Johnson. Callaway can now attend classes on campus and use the athletic facilities, neither of which he’s been able to do since Jan. 27, when the school suspended him for a student code of conduct violation.
UF coach Jim McElwain said last week the situation was “being handled.” The investigation into Callaway’s violation is still ongoing, so the alteration to his suspension does not mean he’s back on the team and cleared to play this season.
However, Callaway is now allowed to work out with UF players and athletic trainers at a critical time in the offseason, especially for someone who was forced to miss all of spring football.
The absence not only kept Callaway from improving his game, but it also leaves him out of football shape. Playing pitch-and-catch on your own time just doesn’t have the same affect as putting on pads and practicing weekly in the March heat.
Florida recently began its offseason strength and conditioning program, which will help get the players physically prepared for the fall. Callaway is now able to participate in those grueling workouts, and he probably needs them in the worst way.
By being on campus, Callaway can also take part in the player-run practices with the team. He missed the opportunity to catch passes and develop any chemistry with Florida’s new quarterbacks this spring, so the throwing sessions this summer will help make up for lost time.
If and when Callaway is able to rejoin the team, whether that’s before or during fall training camp, he would already have some his timing and rhythm established with the quarterbacks.
Johnson said Tuesday he’s working with the university on a resolution in the case. He called for Callaway’s reinstatement in March.
“There is no good reason why this investigation has not been closed,” Johnson wrote in his first press release regarding Callaway. “This allegation has no merit.”
Student privacy protocols with code of conduct prevents Johnson, McElwain and the university from commenting on the nature of the allegation. Based on the modification to his interim suspension, the investigation appears to be getting closer toward a final ruling.