It wasn’t so long ago the running joke around the SEC was that Mark Richt had lost control of the Georgia Bulldogs following a seemingly never-ending string of player discipline issues. If he has not already, Florida head coach Jim McElwain could be the new butt of similar mockery.
Florida’s season opener against Michigan in Arlington is still a couple of days away, which means there is plenty of time for a few more suspensions to be handed out in Gainesville. In news no coach ever wants to be attached, McElwain has had to issue a grand total of 10 suspensions to players ahead of the season opener, with a handful more having been handed out today.
That’s right. Florida has 10 players suspended for the season opener against the Wolverines.
If you had over 9.5 suspended Florida players vs. Michigan, you just cashed a winner https://t.co/hOJYmhakdG
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 30, 2017
The latest suspensions have been handed to running back Jordan Scarlett (Florida’s leading rusher from 2016) and wide receiver Rick Wells for their connection to an earlier incident that resulted in the suspension of seven Gators, including star wide receiver Antonio Calloway. On top of those nine players connected to an issue regarding the alleged misuse of scholarship money. Another wide receiver, freshman James Robinson, has also been suspended following a second citation for marijuana this year.
So, what exactly is going on in Gainesville? For starters, McElwain has some character issues he needs to address with his team if these suspensions are any indication. As the face of the Florida program, McElwain will always be under pressure, and the questions will only get hotter if the suspensions continue and Florida is not winning enough games. Winning can so often be the cure to any adversity, but Florida may not have enough players to win enough games to make that a luxury.
McElwain trying to make UF's roster as nonexistent as Michigan's.
— Jeff (@saintwarrick) August 30, 2017
As for this weekend, Michigan may have a roster in need of replacing a large number of starters from last year, but at least Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines have those players available. Florida is ripping apart its own depth through their own poor decision-making in the offseason. If Florida manages to beat Michigan this weekend, it may be the stunner of the weekend.