Florida hasn't played a game yet, but head coach Will Muschamp has already let loose a mini-tirade after a minor "controversy" stemming from Saturday's no-contest between the Gators and Idaho.
Wide receiver Demarcus Robinson and defensive linemen Darious Cummings and Jay-nard Bostwick were all scheduled to be suspended for the opener, which was suspended due to weather following the opening kickoff and subsequently cancelled.
Despite the no-contest, Muschamp announced on Monday that the trio would be back for this weekend's matchup with Eastern Michigan.
"We did have Darious Cummings and Jay-nard Bostwick suspended for the first game for a violation of team rules. They will be back this week with us," Muschamp said in quotes released by Florida. "They’ve not just as far as a suspension of a game but they’ve had a lot of other things from me as well as Demarcus Robinson who had a university sanction that’s been resolved."
That caused a negative reaction from a few folks around the country, including ESPN's Woody Paige, who called it the "lamest thing he's ever heard," according to Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel.
Muschamp fired back on Wednesday on the weekly SEC coaches teleconference.
"They were with the scout teams [last week]," Muschamp said. "It's not just about suspending players for games, OK? There's a lot of things that go into discipline. It's about altering and changing behavior, which we've done here."
Muschamp made sure to point out, while the three players didn't technically miss a game, that there was much more under the surface that his critics might not know about.
"There's a lot of things that go into those situations—a lot more than people know," Muschamp said. "It's very frustrating for me as a coach or any coach to have someone being critical, and you don't even have all of the information. At the end of the day, I make the decisions in the program, I handle the discipline of this program and it's been handled very well."
Muschamp is right.
It's not his fault Mother Nature decided to drop lightning all around "The Swamp" on Saturday night, when the suspensions were being administered.
He's also right about those players suffering punishment behind the scenes. It's not a picnic to be on the scout team, especially when you're supposed to be stars of the team. That's what those players had to do all week leading up to the Idaho game.
They did miss a game. Every Gator player did.
Let's be real, Florida would have had the Idaho game in hand by halftime. So would missing those 30 minutes of football really be what alters and changes player behavior?
The punishment leading up to the game is far more effective in accomplishing Muschamp's stated goal.
Does that mean players shouldn't be suspended for games? No.
This is just a unique circumstance in which Mother Nature prevented the final pieces of the punishment to be in place.
Should the three players practice as contributors this week and then sit against Eastern Michigan? No. That's punishing the whole team. If their suspensions carried over, the responsible thing would be to put them on scout teams again while the rest of the team prepares for the Eagles.
They already did that.
Don't blame Muschamp for lifting the suspensions. Praise him for being honest, forthcoming and firing back at critics who just don't get it.
Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and video analyst for Bleacher Report and co-host of the CFB Hangover on Bleacher Report Radio (Sundays 9-11 a.m. ET) on Sirius 93, XM 208. Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of CFBStats.com, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports.
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