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Seven Gators suspended for season opener

15 August, 2017, 00:58 | Author: Christina Hansen
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Florida will be without star receiver Antonio Callaway and six other players when it opens the season against MI on September 2.

The season opener against No. 9 MI just got a lot tougher for No. 16 Florida. "We will use this as a learning opportunity and we will have some players step up as we move forward", coach Jim McElwain said in a statement.

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As first reported by Sports Illustrated, wide receiver Antonio Callaway and six other players will not be making the trip to Texas, as they have been suspended for what the school is calling a violation of team rules. It's the first-ever regular season meeting between Florida and MI.

The school has not commented on the reason, although multiple media outlets are reporting the players allegedly misused funds provided to them as part of their scholarships.

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The other players suspended were linebackers James Houston and Ventrell Miller, offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort and defensive linemen Keivonnis Davis, Jordan Smith and Richerd Desir-Jones.

While Davis was expected to make an impact along the defensive line, Callaway is easily the biggest name on the list. He eventually pleaded no contest last month to possession of drug paraphernalia and was fined $301. However, the federal government has opened another Title IX investigation that his case appears to be at the center of.

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Callaway will undoubtedly be the biggest subtraction against MI, as he looks to be the Gators' No. 1 receiver this season as well as the primary kick and punt returner. He had 27 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 2016.

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