Mullen Issues Statement on May Incident Involving Several UF Football Players

It’s been a wild 24 hours if you happened to check twitter Wednesday night and stumbled on an article released by First Coast News (yeah, we’ve never heard of them either). The story details an incident that occurred on May 28th at the University of Florida’s Keys Residential Complex involving a (nearly violent) disagreement between several Gator football players and disgruntled community members. You can read the full police report at the bottom of this article and we honestly encourage you doing that over reading the embarrassing ‘click bait’ promoted by First Coast News.

The story is nothing short of wild to take in, resembling a cross between an episode of Last Chance U and the movie Anchor Man. You know the scene:

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It involves a local Gambler who goes by the name of ‘Tay Bang’, air-soft guns, and a frying pan. Yes… a frying pan. The article and others immediately sent Gator fans into a panic with flashbacks to last Summer when nine Gators were suspended for a credit card scam weeks before the season opener, including star running back Jordan Scarlett. The incident this time involved tight end Cyontai Lewis (as the focal point), freshman quarterback Emory Jones, wide receivers Rick Wells, Kadarius Toney and Tyrie Cleveland, defensive tackle Kyree Campbell and tight end Kemore Gamble. Every name listed is either a starter for the Gators or expected to be a significant contributor. Yes, I immediately panicked and was preparing for a long night of table flipping and scotch. And then I read the details…

The incident occurred at the end of May, about two months ago, and the Gainesville  Police Department closed the case on June 26th. Nobody was harmed, nobody was arrested, and everything was turned over to UF’s conduct office and the coaches to be handled internally. Eventually the shocking news began making its way to more credible sources within the Gator community and more light has since been shed on the incident. Inside the Gators reporter Kassidy Hill made some phone calls to parents, where many were surprised to hear the incident was surfacing months later and expected no further sanctions to take place, detailing “No actions are pending. I called him [unnamed football player] as soon as I saw the article. The guys spoke with the coach already and it’s been resolved.” Dan Mullen then issued a statement this afternoon:

“We were made aware of the incident when it occurred and immediately began following campus protocol,” the statement read. “This has been an opportunity for us to educate our players about the dangers and negative perceptions that can occur when conflict arises, and how important honesty and good decision making is.”

Translation: they were stupid, nothing bad actually happened, but truly they were REALLY stupid and it’s already been handled. Oh and they were stupid. Don’t expect any suspensions related to the incident.

Now, while we’re taking a more ‘eye-rolling approach’ in writing about this incident, this is still a very serious situation – one that the University, Mullen, and especially the players cannot have on their hands. Being involved with a known gambler is very bad and something that can lead to NCAA investigations. Going toe-to-toe with individuals who do not have scholarships or more to lose is plain stupid. Carrying around air-soft guns on campus and using them in a threatening way is dangerous and the definition of asinine. A frying pan as a weapon is actually just sort of funny…

Overall the situation is a bad look for what has already been a difficult off season for the Gators, especially in the wake of Justin Watkins being arrested and suspended. Florida and its players need to rise above this level of embarrassment, and fast. Mullen has an opportunity to (internally) make an example of these players and hopefully help them grow and learn while raising the expectations of the program. Hold your breathe Gator fans… we’re just over a month away…

Uf Police Report 6-16 Watermakred by Destiny Johnson on Scribd

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/384761522/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-zo5NC1PyyRDp6CAdBAhq&show_recommendations=true

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