UPDATE: The female student who accused Treon Harris of sexual battery has withdrawn her complaint, Harris' lawyer Huntley Johnson confirmed Friday.
When Florida football coach Will Muschamp met with reporters on Sept. 24, a question about player discipline arose.
Throughout the offseason, the fourth-year head coach had just one player involved in legal trouble — true freshman cornerback Jalen Tabor, who was cited for marijuana possession of less than 20 grams in May.
“I just think it’s a daily education for your team to understand, No. 1, there’s consequences in our program for when a young man makes a poor decision. It doesn’t mean he’s a bad person, but there are consequences. They understand that,” Muschamp said. “But I think that we do some things in the offseason — and during the season as well as far as what we call beyond football — as far as educating our players on the decisions they make affects them for the rest of their life.”
But another incident surfaced Monday — one of a much greater magnitude.
UF true freshman Treon Harris is being investigated for alleged sexual assault of a female student on Florida’s campus Sunday morning. He has been suspended from the Florida football team, UF announced in a statement released Monday afternoon.
The team was informed Monday morning via text message of Harris’ suspension and was told they will be addressed about the matter at practice.
The University of Florida Police Department’s crime log showed that a sexual battery case occurred at UF’s Springs Residential Complex between 2:30 a.m. and 3:25 a.m. on Sunday, but did not identify who was charged in the case.
Maj. Brad Barber, UPD public information officer, confirmed Monday afternoon that the case at Springs is the one involving Harris.
“The victim did not report assault until early Monday morning,” Barber said.
UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes, who also confirmed the incident at Springs involved Harris, declined to comment on Harris’ whereabouts or where he lives on campus.
A source who lives “just a few doors away” from Harris confirmed to the Alligator that Harris does indeed live at Springs. A separate source confirmed the victim in question also lives in Springs.
There was a heavy police presence inside the Springs Complex Monday morning, with police questioning residents on Harris’ floor and a security guard as well the head of his floor stationed outside his room most of the morning.
According to the second source, who is not an eyewitness but is close to the team, Harris allegedly forced himself into the victim’s room and allegedly sexually assaulted her there. The source also said the victim has a roommate, but it is unknown if she was in the residence hall at the time of the alleged assault. Even if she was, per the source, it is not uncommon to be unable to hear what is happening in another room based on how the Springs Complex’s suites are built — a bathroom separates rooms.
According to a release, the Gainesville Police Department was asked by UPD to collect potential items of forensic evidence in relation to the Harris case.
Huntley Johnson, Harris’ attorney, said they are “cooperating with the investigation fully,” but would give no further comment.
The case is still being investigated, according to the release.
“We have no tolerance for sexual assault on our campus,” UF president Bernie Machen said in a released statement. “The university is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for every member of the UF community. We must strive to protect all of our students from sexual harassment and assault, and do everything in our power to promote a safe learning environment.”
Dan Apple, an assistant communications director at the University Athletic Association, announced via email at 11:10 a.m. Monday that Muschamp’s weekly Monday press conference was cancelled. No explanation was given as to why the press conference was cancelled. Muschamp was not available for comment.
The press conference is being rescheduled for later in the week, according to the email.
Florida is coming off a 10-9, come-from-behind win against Tennessee on Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn. The Gators scored all 10 of their points against the Volunteers in the fourth quarter on back-to-back drives led by Harris, who replaced starter Jeff Driskel with eight seconds remaining in the third quarter.
On the season, Harris has completed four of his six pass attempts for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Both touchdown passes came against Eastern Michigan on his first two career attempts, going for 70 and 78 yards, respectively.
With Harris suspended, Driskel will likely be Florida’s starter against LSU on Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. True freshman Will Grier or redshirt sophomore Skyler Mornhinweg will serve as Driskel’s backup against the Tigers.
Staff writers Jonathan Czupryn, Graham Hall, Richard Johnson, Jordan McPherson, Melissa Mihm and Morgan Moriarty contributed to this report.
Update: Treon Harris' lawyer, Huntley Johnson said in a statement that the rumors regarding Harris forcing his way into the alleged victim's room are false.
"Mr. Harris has never been inside the young lady’s room," Johnson said in the statement. "We understand that all of the evidence was gathered from our client’s room, which is where the interaction between the two parties took place."
A University Police Department officer, left, and a Gainesville Police public service technician transport evidence bags to a GPD forensic crime unit vehicle at the Springs Residential Complex at about 2:30 p.m. Monday. The residence hall is the location of an alleged sexual assault that took place Sunday morning.