Florida has suspended seven players for its season-opener against Michigan on Sept. 2 (3:30 ET on ABC) — including its top playmaker, wide receiver Antonio Callaway — for making improper charges on their university student IDs at the school bookstore and then selling those items for cash, university officials confirmed to ESPN Sunday.
One source said that the cards did not have the proper amount of funds on them to purchase the items.
The others are offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort, linebackers James Houston and Ventrell Miller and defensive linemen Jordan Smith, Richerd Desir-Jones and Keivonnis Davis.
“We have a small group of players that have made some choices that are extremely disappointing,” head coach Jim McElwain said in a statement, though he did not elaborate on the reason for their suspension. “Action has been taken — they have missed some practice and will miss the Michigan game. We will use this as a learning opportunity and we will have some players step up as we move forward.”
Players are expected to either return the items or repay the bookstore for the items, but it’s unknown if school officials will take any further action.
This is not the first time Callaway has faced suspension during his time at Florida. He was suspended last spring amid sexual assault allegations. Callaway was accused of sexual assault in December of 2015 but testified that he was “high on marijuana” during the incident and was “so stoned I had no interest in having sex with anyone.”
Callaway was later cleared during his hearing in August of 2016 and was reinstated to the team after the hearing.
In May, Callaway was cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession after officers smelled marijuana in a vehicle driven by Kendrick Williams, 40. Callaway was a passenger in Williams’ car and officers found 7 grams of marijuana in his pocket during a search. Williams also was found with marijuana.
Callaway and the driver claimed ownership of the drugs, but prosecutors dropped the charge as part of a July plea deal. Callaway also was fined $ 301.
Callaway had 54 catches for a team-high 721 yards and three touchdowns last season.
Florida is ranked No. 16 in the coaches’ preseason poll, while Michigan is ninth.
Information from ESPN’s Mark Schlabach was used in this report.