Fall Sports · Football

OPINION: It’s time for UF to part ways with Antonio Callaway

Antonio Callaway has been one of the most electric players since his arrival on campus in 2015. Despite being on a sputtering offense for much of his two years at Florida, Callaway has shined having caught 89 passes for 1,399 yards. In fact, Callaway has shined so much that top NFL Draft prognosticators have projected him as a first round pick in 2018.

Unfortunately, Callaway has also been unable to keep himself out of trouble. Callaway spent the entire spring and summer of 2016 suspended for his role in an alleged sexual assault, and when he was eventually cleared it was because he said, “I was so stoned that I had no interest in having sex with anyone.”

“I was so stoned that I had no interest in having sex with anyone.”

-Antonio Callaway

After the investigation concluded, Callaway was allowed to return to the team and was eligible to play the first game of the season against UMass.

I was very critical of Florida head coach Jim McElwain for the lack of a suspension at the time, but I also understood that it was just pot and it was a first offense (being that the sexual assault case was complete). I assumed that McElwain would level a punishment far worse than a missed game.

However, Callaway has gotten into more trouble this off-season. In May, he was arrested on a charge of marijuana possession. And while the arrest is a big deal, the fact that he was driving around Gainesville with a 40-year old known felon with a lengthy record including cocaine possession, drug trafficking, and lewd and lascivious behavior with a minor between 12 and 16 years old, is much more concerning.

Even after that incident, McElwain chose to discipline from within and not to suspend Callaway for the season opening game against Michigan.

It took the most recent incident, this time for his misuse of financial aid for McElwain to suspend his star receiver.

Callaway is a junior. He knows how his financial aid money is supposed to be used. He blatantly defied the laws, and fortunately for him UF is refusing to prosecute. Callaway should have set an example to the other six athletes that committed the crime, instead he chose to go along with it.

Due to his numerous off the field transgressions, and the fact that Florida is loaded at wide receiver*, the time has come for the Florida Gators to release Antonio Callaway from his scholarship.

* The Florida Gators two-deep depth chart at wide receiver is full of former ESPN 300 prospects.

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3 thoughts on “OPINION: It’s time for UF to part ways with Antonio Callaway

  1. I’m inclined to agree with you. I hate to see anyone get kicked off a team, but… If we were desperate for talent and ability, then maybe I could understand keeping him. But we’re not. To me, the player comes before a win, and I think booting Callaway off the team would be far better for him as a person than a one game suspension would be.

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  2. Obviously he doesn’t think that his actions are warranted for dismissal. WRONG! Not setting the example for underclass men is bad! Coach Mac needs to set the example. I’m all for releasing him from his scholarship. If he really wanted to be and stay a Gator he would make better decisions. He’ll still get drafted because of his talent. Just look at Joe Mixon of OU! We don’t need that kind of player at UF! Too bad! But I hope he does the right thing! Or at least a 3 game suspension would be great! Just him because he’s been in trouble before! Go Gator!

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