Late in the afternoon on August 13th, Florida head coach Jim McElwain announced that seven Gators will be sidelined for Florida's season opener against Michigan, most notably junior wide receiver Antonio Callaway.
Last season, he started eleven games for the Gators and became the first Florida player since 1996 to score a rushing, receiving, punt return, passing, and kick off return touchdown. He's obviously talented, but lately it seems more talk has been about his life off the field than on, most recently his involvement with credit card fraud. Perhaps it was this latest incident, the news of which broke yesterday, that led McElwain to suspend him.
What It Means
A daunting task just became a little more daunting. However, on a more positive note, it gives other guys a chance to step up and shine. With Callaway out, another wide receiver has the chance to gain valuable experience, show Coach Mac-and all of Gator Nation-what he's made of and how he can play, something that will only make him-and the entire team-better in the long run.
I think this was the right decision. This suspension shows Callaway that there are consequences to your actions, an important and invaluable lesson. Obviously, we want to leave Arlington with a win under our belt, but what's more important is helping him learn from his mistakes and grow as an individual. Winning is important, but it isn't everything. I think we also need to remember that Antonio Callaway is one guy, and one guy does not make a team. Yes, losing him hurts, but we have other playmakers and other stars who will carry his weight and (hopefully) lead us to a win.
What are your thoughts on Callaway's suspension? How do you think this will affect us?
Note- The six other players suspended are James Houston, Kadeem Telfort, Keivonnis Davis, Jourdan Smith, Ventrell Miller, and Richard Desir-Jones.
All stats taken from FloridaGators.com