Muschamp kicks Jenkins off team
Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.
At his introductory news conference in December, new Florida football coach Will Muschamp introduced Gator Nation to what he called “The Florida Way.”
It is a code of conduct, he said, that he would demand his players follow that is designed to make them stronger in the classroom and more accountable in the community.
Four months into the job, it appears Muschamp has implemented, and is enforcing, “The Florida Way.”
On Tuesday, he booted All-SEC cornerback Janoris Jenkins off the team following the senior's second arrest for marijuana possession in a span of three months.
Muschamp announced his decision on Twitter.
“After meeting with Janoris Jenkins today, we both felt it was in his best interest to move ahead to the next stage of his career,” Muschamp said on his Twitter account. “We appreciate Janoris' contributions to the University of Florida during his time here and wish him the best of luck.”
Muschamp was in Broward County for a speaking engagement Tuesday night and could not be reach for further comment.
But, enough is enough, apparently.
Jenkins, 22, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana Saturday night in downtown Gainesville. He was arrested on the same charge Jan. 24, when police found him with less than 20 grams of marijuana in a restroom at a downtown night club.
Jenkins, a Pahokee native, accepted a plea deal on the first charge with the State Attorney's Office on March 18 and was ordered to pay court costs of $316. He has a court date of May 12 for the most recent charge.
On top of Jenkins' second arrest Saturday, it was reported Monday that two other Florida players — defensive end Kedric Johnson and outside linebacker Chris Martin — were arrested in January for possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana. Both accepted deferred prosecution agreements in February.
Those four recent arrests run the UF football team's arrest total to a whopping 34 dating back to December of 2004. In comparison, state rival Miami has had only four arrests and Florida State 16 over the same time period. Georgia is the SEC leader with 42, while Tennessee has had 26.
Although Muschamp did not specifically address the rash of arrests under former UF coaches Ron Zook and Urban Meyer during his introductory news conference four months ago, Muschamp obviously had that dubious track record in mind when he introduced “The Florida Way.”
“We're going to have programs set for our players that are going to help with leadership development, character development and the mental conditioning it takes to be successful,” he said. “It's all about making good choices and decisions. There are a lot of distractions out there. There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you make a poor choice and decision.
“There's nothing more frustrating to me than to see a young man make a poor choice and somebody says, ‘He must be a bad kid.' He's not a bad kid, he's a kid who made a poor choice or decision.
“I want to do a great job of conditioning our players to make good choices and decisions. That's something that we can supplement our plan with here at Florida along with our football, along with our academic, along with our social, along with our spiritual to make sure our players are exposed to those type of things.”
Muschamp has said on several occasions that his players are going to be educated on “The Florida Way,” and that he will demand they follow it if they want to play for the Gators.
“There's a certain thing that I'm going to refer to as The Florida Way, and that's the way they need to act and that's the way they need to represent our university,” Muschamp said. “I'm going to demand that and I think that you'll understand in time that that's something that's very important to me.
“'When you walk into a home and you talk about being a student-athlete at the University of Florida, I talk in terms of I want all of our student-athletes to come into our program to be a better person for having been at Florida. And I'm not just talking from a football standpoint. I'm talking about the off-the-field things.
“I'm going to emphasize it. If our kids don't want to get their degree, they don't need to be here. If they're not going to go to class and act the right way, they don't need to be here.”
Senior Moses Jenkins, junior Jeremy Brown, the only returning starter, and sophomores Cody Riggs and Jaylen Watkins are competing for the starting jobs at cornerback.
Sun sports writer Kevin Brockway contributed to this report.