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Introducing the Incarce-Gators: Florida’s all-arrested team

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Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 12:57 am | Updated: 5:35 pm, Wed Aug 28, 2013.

Antonio Morrison’s arrest last weekend is not a unique case.

Since Urban Meyer took over the program before the 2005 season, 44 Florida players have been arrested. That’s enough players to start on both sides of the ball and have players ready to come in reserve.

The long arm of the law knows no bounds. Players arrested vary in talent. Walk-ons have been nabbed, as have All-Americans.

We want to narrow down the list. Who cares that a walk-on linebacker was arrested for marijuana possession two years ago? We’re going to reduce the list to the best of the best at each position.

We bring you the Incarce-Gators.

Quarterback: Cam Newton. Newton was the backup quarterback in 2008 when he was arrested and charged with burglary, larceny and obstruction of justice after he stole another UF student’s laptop and threw it out of a window, according to police.

Newton received a pre-trial deferment and was sentenced to community service and probation, but Meyer suspended the quarterback for the 2008 season. Newton transferred to a junior college, finishing his Florida career with 40 passing yards.

Newton eventually transferred to Auburn, where he won a national title and the Heisman. Meanwhile, Florida was languishing in the John Brantley era, so you can thank Newton for that.

Running back: Chris Rainey. Before he electrified fans with long runs all over the field in 2011, he had a run-in with the law that older UF students might remember.

Rainey was arrested on aggravated stalking charges in September 2010 after texting his girlfriend that it was “time to die,” according to police.

Meyer suspended Rainey indefinitely, and the running back returned at the end of October after missing five games.

Rainey had a relatively quiet senior year off the field in 2011, but was entertaining on the gridiron. He racked up 1,451 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns. The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Rainey in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and he played his rookie season there.

Rainey is currently a free agent, as the Steelers cut him after he was arrested on simple battery charges on Jan. 10.

Wide Receiver: Riley Cooper. There were several eligible players who could have made the cut at receiver, but I picked Cooper due to the uniqueness of his citation.

Cooper was cited with a misdemeanor charge of resisting an officer and failure to comply with the police or fire department in February 2009, according to the Orlando Sentinel. That’s something different.

Cooper’s case was dismissed, and Meyer never revealed any action taken against him.

The current Philadelphia Eagles receiver finished his Gators career with 1,496 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Tight end: A.C. Leonard. Leonard is the first player who appears on this list who was arrested under Will Muschamp.

Leonard was arrested on simple domestic battery charges in February 2012 and was suspended from the team.

Leonard came to Florida and caught eight passes for 99 yards in his only season with the Gators. He left the program four months after his arrest and transferred to Tennessee State.

Offensive line: Jessamen Dunker. Like Cooper, Dunker makes the list due to his crime. However, Dunker’s crime is not noteworthy due to its oddity, but for its severity.

Dunker was arrested for felony grand theft auto on Jan. 16 after police said he possessed a stolen mo-ped and drove with a suspended license.

Dunker, a four-star recruit, never played a game for the Gators. He redshirted his freshman season and decided to transfer in April.

Defensive line: Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap was one of the bricks Meyer built his Florida dynasty on, but he had some trouble with the law in 2009.

Dunlap was arrested after he was found asleep behind the wheel at a green light, according to Alligator archives.

After police roused him, he was arrested for second-degree DUI — a misdemeanor.

Dunlap was sentenced to six months probation and 50 hours of community service, and Meyer suspended him for the 2009 Southeastern Conference Championship game.

Dunlap wrapped up his Florida career with 84 tackles and 19.5 sacks. He’s currently playing for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Linebacker: Antonio Morrison. The newest addition to the list of arrested Gators, Morrison was arrested for punching a bouncer at the Kava Lounge, according to police. Morrison was charged with simple battery.

According to a Gainesville Police Department report, Morrison said, “I am a UF football player. I’m Antonio,” to the bouncer, which paints an interesting mental picture.

Morrison, now a sophomore, started three games for Florida in 2012, making 34 tackles and recording one sack.

Muschamp has not made a public decision on what Morrison’s punishment will be.

Cornerback: Janoris Jenkins. Who else? Jenkins was arrested three times at Florida. The final arrest came in April 2011, when Jenkins was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana – the second such offense in three months.

Muschamp cut Jenkins from the team following his final arrest. Jenkins ended his Florida career with 121 tackles, 25 pass deflections and eight interceptions.

Jenkins played his final college season with Division II North Alabama and was selected with the 39th overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams.

Safety: Matt Elam. The recently departed Elam had a successful run with Florida, and few remember that he was arrested while Meyer was still coaching UF.

Elam was arrested for underage possession of alcohol in July 2010, when Elam was a freshman.

The safety pled no contest and did not miss a game.

Elam finished his Gators career with 168 tackles, five sacks and six interceptions. He was selected 32nd overall by the Baltimore Ravens in this year’s NFL Draft.

There you have it: the best of Florida’s troublesome players.

But it’s not all bad. Florida did not have a kicker or punter arrested in Meyer or Muschamp’s programs. Good job, special teams.

Contact Adam Lichtenstein at alichtenstein@alligator.org.

Ed. note: This article was corrected slightly to fix some non-factual spelling errors 6/20/13.

Welcome to the discussion.

2 comments:

  • The Truth Teller posted at 12:18 pm on Thu, Jun 27, 2013.

    The Truth Teller Posts: 1

    How is this article an embarrassment to the papery? The embarrassment is a university that has always put football on a pedestal above all. No one gave a shit what Urban Meyer was doing when his teams were WINNING. Once there was some backsliding, it was all about smoke and mirrors, fake heart attacks and quitting, coming back and quitting again. (Nice role model. When the going gets tough ... take a year off and then go to Ohio State, another rule-less football factory.)

    Almost three-dozen arrests on Urbie's watch, but two national championship and a Heisman trophy so no one in Gainesville cared. Kudos to Adam Lichtenstein for having the stones to write something that won't make him popular with his blinded-by-football peers.

    I graduated from UF over a decade ago, soon after that first championship, and this paper read like a suck-fest and a watered down Gainesville Sun, with that hack Pat Dooley who would never say an ill word about the holy Gators. Nice to see that writers from this generation aren't afraid to call it like it is. The arrests at Florida have been DEPLORABLE the past few decades.

    All those years spent pointing fingers at Florida State or calling Miami "Thug U" sure have us looking stupid now. Yeah, the Canes are in trouble with the NCAA, but I'd take kids who accepted a free dinner at Benihana, a yacht ride and paid entry to a club over domestic battery, robbery, drug possession, DUIs, possession firearms, grand theft and more.

    Who was it a few years ago that stole and used a credit card from the dead girlfriend of walk-on Ronnie Bass, who also perished in that motorcycle crash? Classy bunch we've fielded over the past few years, which went ignored as the wins piled up and #15 proved to be a class act, the real deal and the model everything.

    Hopefully calling out this behavior will light a fire under Coach Muschamp as he needs to put an end to this mess Coach Meyer left us. A broken culture of entitled football players here and is HAS TO CHANGE!

     
  • SlapYoMomma posted at 2:46 pm on Thu, Jun 20, 2013.

    SlapYoMomma Posts: 1

    This article is an embarassment to the newspaper and editor. Urban had a horrible history of dealing with these things and recruiting bad people, Muschamp has done a ton better. Ahern, Jenkins, Cooper, Dunlap, Brown etc.. were all Meyer's kids. He can keep that crap at Ohio State now, Muschamp don't play that shyt. Morrison getting in a fight is normal college kid behavior, Murder is a whole different level. Urban covered up hundreds of failed drug tests, let Percy hit a coach, Ahern strong arm robbed a keg from a kid on campus, and on and on. Urban lost control, if anyone is to blame for "incarce-gators", it's him.

     
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