Walking into a classroom on the first day of the semester and coming face-to-face with a star athlete is one of the most relieving feelings a college student can experience. They’re not there because of their intelligence and desire to learn more about the subject. Their enrollment in that class means one thing: It’s as easy as a Bourbon Street bar rat. Just because these athletes weren’t blessed with an abundance of intelligence does not necessarily point towards their involvement with criminal activity, though. Being stupid isn’t a crime, unless you’re a University of Florida athlete.
A new report released by Outside the Lines (Who knew they were still on the air?) investigated Florida’s men’s basketball and football teams between 2009 and 2014. What they discovered was that not only were they kicking the competition’s ass, they were also kicking the ass of the local community. Eighty players — or 24 percent of their athletes — were named as suspects in crimes between 2009 and 2014. Shockingly, nothing came of most of those cases.
Twenty-five Florida athletes had multiple run-ins with police, often without facing charges or any public airing of what they did. Several police reports gathered by Outside the Lines also revealed that Florida athletes, if not suspected of criminal activity themselves, often hung out with people who were known offenders.
Of all of the players involved in crimes, 56 percent were not prosecuted or had the charges dropped, pointing to an interesting standard in which athletes were held.
A few cases stood out, such as that of Jenoris Jenkins, who was guilty as sin three times before anything ever came of his illegal activity.
In another Florida incident, on May 30, 2009, police arrested cornerback Janoris Jenkins for fighting and resisting arrest. An officer wrote that he saw a group of men fighting and yelled at them to stop, but they continued. He drew his Taser and fired at Jenkins after he saw him punch another man in the head. But Jenkins got up and ran away, ignoring commands to stop.
His charges were dismissed after claiming self-defense.
On Jan. 22, 2011, police caught Jenkins smoking marijuana in the bathroom of a local nightclub. Jenkins pleaded no contest and the court withheld adjudication, which means he was not convicted. Three months later, police caught Jenkins smoking marijuana in a parked car. This time, he was kicked off the football team and would later be found guilty.
Ol’ Urban was really playing hardball with his apparent three strikes policy. Although Aaron Hernandez was not mentioned in any reports, a man named Oscar Hernandez, who has been convicted of delivering weapons to Aaron Hernandez, was mentioned. He was mentioned in connection with a couple of other UF players who were all involved in a traffic stop that led to the discovery of some weed. Those charges received “deferred prosecution.”
It all makes you wonder what exactly happened behind the scenes while the university was cloaked by the legacy of St. Tebow. If anything, Urban had a knack for recruiting criminals..
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