UF's Morrison issues public apology
Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 3:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 3:47 p.m.
Antonio Morrison seems to be a man of few words. But, then it only took a few for him to get his message across Wednesday afternoon.
At an informal news conference that he requested, the Florida sophomore middle linebacker apologized for his actions that led to two arrests and a one-game suspension, and then made it clear that he is moving on.
"First off, I want to apologize for getting in trouble the past few weeks,” Morrison said. “It's sincere for me. I apologize to my coaches, my teammates and everybody for everything that went wrong. It's behind me. I'm moving forward from it. I learned from it. I just want to play football."
When pressed to give details about his two arrests this summer, Morrison declined. He also said he did not feel he needed to tell his side of the story
“I ain’t setting no story straight,” he said. “I’m coming to talk to y’all to tell you how sorry I am and how I take responsibility for everything that happened.”
Morrison said he requested the opportunity to meet with the media.
“Yeah, that’s me,” he said. “I’m not (going) to run from you all. I’m not going to (talk about) this weeks down (the road), the Kentucky game and you all still asking about this. I want this to be done with.
“I’m coming and telling you all right now, any of you interview me after this, I don’t want to talk about it. I already discussed this with you all. It’s football from here on out. We’re talking football.”
Morrison was arrested June 16 for allegedly striking a bouncer outside a downtown club. A few weeks later, he was offered and accepted a deferred prosecution agreement with the State Attorney’s Office.
He was arrested a second time July 20 for barking at a police dog. Before that charge was dropped a few days later, UF coach Will Muschamp suspended Morrison for the first two games of the season.
Muschamp reduced the suspension to one game (Saturday’s opener against Toledo) on Monday. Muschamp said Morrison has faced additional punishment over the past month, including being held out of the first week of camp.
Morrison would not reveal his punishment beyond the suspension.
"I ain't going to get into detail of what I did,” he said. “But the whole situation, overall, that sent a message to me, and I learned from the whole situation overall and I apologize again. I'm very sorry to all the Gator fans, my coaches, my teammates. That's me. That's not me being forced to do this. I wanted to come do this. I can't run from it, you know what I'm saying?"
Morrison said it hurts to miss a game and he feels he’s letting down his teammates.
“Of course, man,” Morrison said. “Me not being out there, my teammates were let down. At the same time, they support me. They’ve got my back. We’ve got guys, multiple guys that can play (linebacker). So, it ain’t no big drop-off.
“I just learned. I’ve just learned to be a better person from it. I’m still the same person. I haven’t changed. I just learned a lot from the situation on how to deal with things and how to handle things.”
Morrison was asked if his experiences will lead him to make possible lifestyle changes, such as staying away from downtown late at night or early in the morning.
“I take responsibility for being out,” he said. “I said that. I’m really sorry for that. I take responsibility for the whole situation.”
Morrison said he is not concerned about others passing judgment on him.
“That’s them. That’s their opinion,” he said. “Everybody’s got their own opinion, you know what I’m saying? I can’t change anyone’s opinion. Your opinion may be different from his opinion.”
Morrison said his main focus now is playing football, starting with the Miami game next week.
“It’s football, man,” he said. “That’s all it is. It’s football.”
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.