Gainesville — Two University of Florida freshmen were arrested early Monday morning. This wouldn’t have made headlines in the area had it not involved two wide receivers that Jim McElwain and the Gators football team is expected to rely heavily on.
Tyrie Cleveland and Rick Wells were arrested and charged with two felonies after firing a BB gun at someone inside the Keys residence dorms. The shooting resulted in shattered glass on a door and on two panels surrounding the door on the south side of the building. The damage was estimated in excess of $1,000, resulting in one of the felony charges. Both players admitted to the crimes and were booked into the Alachua County Jail.
Cleveland was the number two ranked WR in the nation last year and flipped his commitment from Houston to UF on signing day. Cleveland and Wells were childhood friends in Jacksonville before Cleveland relocated to Texas before high school.
McElwain, has to send a message to these two student-athletes. A suspension is necessary given the circumstances, despite what the charges may be lessened to (if not completely dropped).
Less than a decade ago, Urban Meyer ran a loose ship, eventually seeing it spiral out of control. “Mac” can’t allow that to happen this time. To be fair to the head coach, he has released a statement, albeit short and concise, indicating that he will come down hard on the players involved.
Here’s a statement from Coach McElwain on Tyrie Cleveland and Rick Wells. pic.twitter.com/bzkwWexdLt
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) July 18, 2016
McElwain simply stated that “This is not behavior that we expect, and as I often talk about, there will be consequences for their actions.”
Hopefully, McElwain can teach his team about risk/reward and consequences from this incident. It would be wise for the rest of the team to learn from the mistakes of two high profile freshmen, and it would serve the McElwain’s best interest to set the tone that this behavior will not be accepted at the University of Florida.