Atkins to transfer

Published: Friday, June 30, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 30, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
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Special to The Sun
The short but tumultuous Florida career of Avery Atkins is over.
Florida coach Urban Meyer decided Thursday to grant Atkins' request for a release and the rising sophomore will transfer to another school, possibly Bethune-Cookman in his hometown of Daytona Beach.
"After a complete evaluation, we have granted Avery Atkins his release from the Florida football program," Meyer said in a statement.
Atkins first asked for his release early this month, but Meyer turned down the request saying it was the first time he had refused to release a player. Two weeks later, Atkins was accused of repeatedly punching Benarah Sanford, the mother of his child, and of felony false imprisonment. There have been no charges filed or arrests stemming from the incident. Atkins was suspended from the team indefinitely by Meyer on June 20.
Atkins denied both accusations. He also was accused of aggravated battery in a sworn complaint on April 17, but that case is closed.
Atkins missed the final week of spring practice this year to be with Sanford while she was delivering.
The 5-foot-11, 189-pound cornerback was one of the jewels of Meyer's first recruiting class and the second to transfer (quarterback Josh Portis being the first). He played as a true freshman and was penciled in as the starter this year at one of the cornerback spots because of the departures of senior Vernell Brown and junior Dee Webb, who left for the NFL.
Contact Pat Dooley at or 374-5053.

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