Suspended UF football players offered pre-trial intervention

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Seven of the nine Florida football players suspended for possible credit card fraud have agreed to pretrial interventions with the State Attorney’s Office that could lead to third-degree felony complaints against them being dropped.

If the seven meet the requirements of their intervention, the charges eventually will be dropped.

Those offered pretrial intervention were wide receiver Antonio Callaway, running back Jordan Scarlett, linebacker James Houston, wide receiver Rick Wells, linebacker Ventrell Miller, defensive tackle Richerd Desir-Jones and defensive end Keivonnis Davis.

Each case will be presented to court over the next few weeks for formal approval.

There is still no timetable for their possible return to the team.

“We’ve been made aware of some updates in the legal process and there are still steps to go that include the University student conduct code,” UF coach Jim McElwain said in a statement released by the school.

State Attorney Bill Cervone released the following statement Thursday afternoon: “After reviewing the facts involved, the relative roles and culpability of the various defendants, and their individual backgrounds, seven of the defendants have been identified as being qualified for participation in a statutory felony Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program

“This program reflects the legislative intent and policy of the State of Florida mandating that offenders such as these defendants be given an opportunity to avoid potential lifelong consequences associated with a felony prosecution and conviction, provided that they comply with program requirements.

“PTI is in essence a voluntary probation for an initial term of 12 months, after the successful conclusion of which charges are dismissed without any legal findings.”

Those seven players were all charged with two third-degree felonies in a sworn complaint filed by University Police on Sept. 25 for fraud under $20,000 and using another person’s credit card without their consent.

The two other suspended players — defensive end Jordan Smith and offensive tackle Kadeem Telfort — are still being investigated by the State Attorney’s Office. Telfort is facing a possible 30 third-degree felony charges and Smith five.

Smith and Telfort made fraudulent charges to multiple stolen credit card numbers, according to the complaint.

Six of the seven other players — Callaway, Scarlett, Davis, Houston, Miller and Desir-Jones — all allegedly made a single charge to a stolen credit card number ranging from $500 to $2,000. Wells allegedly attempted to use the card twice.

All the players used a stolen credit card number to transfer funds to their UF Bookstore debit accounts, then using the funds to purchase various items, mostly electronics, according to the complaint. Smith allegedly made multiple transfers, while the other eight made a single transfer.

The nine players have been suspended from all team activity since before the start of the season.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Every one of them should be dismissed from their scholarships and school. They were aware of what they were doing. Set an example and let them find other employment! What about the one who has the agent that made the money good.

  2. Sets a pretty damn poor precedent to keep them on–they are adults or should at least be held to that standard. They can go be super stars someplace else, we’ve been through that before. So much as pertains to the head coach, can’t agree…..he’ll either be hoisted up on his own petard, or turn things around in the time left.

  3. Okay, so you dismiss them and Auburn or some other team will pick them up. Didn’t that happen with Cam Newton? What they did was wrong. But tell me this, how is a young man supposed to earn spending money when it’s either football practice or studying. They should pay back, have their credit cards taken away. I wonder how many young men and even women did some stupid thing they regretted later. Much happens, not everyone gets caught. Many colleges cover up for the sake of a win. They are adults you say? Yes, they can fight for their country, vote and drive, but they can’t buy a beer. We set some odd standards. And a coach cannot and should not be held responsible for all and every player every minute of the day.

    • I agree with your sentiment overall but please do not include the following line in your argument as a defense for stealing or any other crime: “how is a young man supposed to earn spending money when it’s either football practice or studying.”

      Besides the fact that a lot of people are cash strapped and stealing is never the answer — these players weren’t exactly starving. They bought electronics and such.

  4. Coach Mac and Cheese can take the dismissed players with him and he will have an instant team. We they all get arrested again and thrown in jail Coach Mac and Cheese can apply to coach the Correctional Institute’s team. This way they can all stick together.

  5. Wow…this is a pretty tough crowd here. Has no one in this thread ever heard of making a mistake? I realize that Calloway is a multiple offender, but as far as you know, this is the first misstep for several of these other young men, and you’re ready to snatch their lives away. There definitely should be consequences, but maybe a second chance is in order. I didn’t realize that all you other judges had never made a single mistake in your lives, even as a 19 year old kid. I’m impressed.

  6. C’mon, guys, if the legal system has room for mercy, like this pretrial thing, then so should the fans and the coach. I don’t know how the hell they looked at Calloway and thought he was eligible for this, but for the other guys it’s a one-time mistake and they deserve a break. If they screw up again they’re stuck with the felonies and off the team, so the stakes are really high now. I would think that would be enough to scare anybody straight.

    • If Calloway was eligible then you don’t know that the other guys are first offenders either. Not sure if getting kicked off the team is “snatching their lives away’, but they haven’t returned for a reason. That’s why we got Second Chance U. Mind your P’s and Q’s, go to class…get a second chance. And if you’ve ever watched the show, very few do what needs to be done to succeed in big time college football.
      Life is so damned simple sometimes.

  7. If any one of us did that as a student, we would be going to jail and kicked out of school. Other than being fast, tall, or having good hands, what have any of these players done to deserve going to college at one of the best institutions in the country? This was not a mistake. This was a criminal act and they should be held responsible. The game doesn’t come before harm to somebody’s credit and financial situation (the credit card victims). Send them to a second rate school that has nothing going for it other than football.

  8. I had my debit card numbers stolen and my account drained. If I had not had some cash in my safe it would have been very tough. Anyone who steals should not be let off easy. It is quite possible that someone went hungry after these guys stole from them.

  9. I love how this website went from a system in which folks were at least required to create a fake FB account to troll to a system in which you don’t even have to do that. Just type in whatever name and a troll can post 10 times with 5 different names. It’s so obvious that Gatorsports just does not give a shit about its follower-ship. It’s easy to fix this issue. Just hire a dang free intern to do the job. I’m sure there is some journalism or business student who would love the opportunity to add something to their resume.

    • I’ve commented on this before. I don’t think we have a wave of trolls here, I think this what social media has become. I’m an old time Gator and have gotten to where I don’t like coming here because it’s just so negative. I got blasted by Trooper and tunaboat for letting my emotions about this subject get the best of me. I know we are in a real low right now but day after day of Mac sucks, Nuss sucks, the QB sucks, the new unis suck, everything sucks just saps the Gator right out of me.
      It’s not trolls…it’s the new Gator fan.