UF football staffer not charged for cyberstalking

(Brad McClenny/Staff Photographer)

The State Attorney’s Office has elected not to file charges against former University of Florida football assistant director of player personnel Otis Yelverton, who was arrested in April for aggravated stalking.

“There’s just not enough (evidence) to warrant a criminal prosecution,” State Attorney Bill Cervone said Tuesday. “In the context of two people who were having an acrimonious breakup, the one statement that is being pointed at as threatening does not rise to the level of a credible or serious threat that would warrant the prosecution.”

Yelverton was arrested April 22 by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and charged with aggravated stalking, a third-degree felony.

 According to the ACSO arrest report, Yelverton had been harassing a woman he had been dating for more than a year before the two broke up on April 14.

According to the report, Yelverton harassed the woman, contacting her more than 40 times via phone calls, texts and Facebook messaging. He also allegedly threatened to blow up her car in a voicemail.

“Today, I am vindicated,” Yelverton said in a statement released by his lawyer. “This matter was about two people that cared for each other, struggling over a period of time with the dissolution of our relationship. In that process, hurtful words were exchanged. While not a crime, I deeply regret using hurtful language and am committed to being more mindful of the things I say and the context in which I say them. I already have begun seeing a counselor to help me better handle such difficult personal situations.”

 At the time of his arrest, Yelverton was placed on leave by UF. The University Athletic Association terminated his employment May 29.


    • Absolutely 6. The State electing not to press charges doesn’t mean he never laid his hands on her, or sent texts on his company phone. In most domestic violence cases it’s the parties involved that just want it to go away.
      It’s best that he move on from a job where he is involved with student athletes daily

      • Sure, I could say the same thing about lots of historical episodes where people were never prosecuted, but simply black listed and never able to work in their field again, based on mere accusations. He was not even accused of any misconduct with a student. We live in an atmosphere today where a mere accusation by a woman against a man can ruin his life.

        • This is true; however, “innocent until proven guilty” only applies to the court of law. People like to repeat that phrase everywhere but the fact of the matter is that the court of public opinion matters. It behooves professionals to realize that fact. Many employers have personal conduct expectations and they do not require criminal convictions to make decisions based on these expectations.

          Yes, Mr. Yelverton was not convicted of a crime. But his conduct simply put UF in a bad position. Hopefully, Mr. Yelverton has truly learned. A “voicemail in which he threated to blow up a car” sounds like hard evidence of inappropriate conduct, rather than a “he said, she said” situation. However, even in cases where the allegations have absolutely no proof and there is a chance one party is lying to ruin the other person’s life, at some point you have to make a decision to be with and stay with an individual who is apt to “go nuclear” during a souring relationship.

          • Fair enough TJ. Of course sometimes the decision to get out of the relationship (or an attempt to get out) is what causes the person to go nuclear. That can be a problem for either gender depending on which side of the coin you are on.

          • You are certainly correct about that and there is never an easy way to get out of a close relationship. However, you try your best to have a personal standard and do your best to find a partner with a similar standard. The partner has to show that standard in good times and bad, toward you AND other people. I find that a lot of times when a relationship sours and the parties behave terribly toward each other — that is not the very first time those parties behaved terribly. They were just willing to accept this behavior in each other when it was directed toward a third party.

            But yeah, you do your best and in the end, everything is God’s will (or luck if that’s what you believe).