Antonio Callaway Among 7 Florida Players Suspended vs. Michigan

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2017

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 12: Antonio Callaway #81 of the Florida Gators in action during the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Rob Foldy/Getty Images

The Florida Gators will be shorthanded when they open their 2017 football season against Michigan.

Per Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, the football team has suspended seven players for the season opener, including receiver Antonio Callaway.

In addition to Callaway, Keivonnis Davis, Kadeem Telfort, Jordan Smith, Richerd Desir-Jones, Ventrell Miller and James Houston are also suspended due to violations of team rules.

Mark Long of the Associated Press and Brett McMurphy reported the suspensions are due to a misuse of school-issued funds. Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times reported it's not related to cost-of-attendance funds, but he noted "there are possible other misuses of funds."

According to Edward Aschoff of ESPN.com, the players had "improper charges on their university student IDs at the school bookstore and then [sold] those items for cash."

"We have a small group of players that have made some choices that are extremely disappointing," head coach Jim McElwain said in a statement, per Jill Martin of CNN. "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."

The two powerhouse programs are set to battle Sept. 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

While Davis was expected to make an impact along the defensive line, Callaway is easily the biggest name on the list. The junior led the Gators with 54 catches and 721 receiving yards last season while adding four touchdowns from scrimmage.

He is also the team's top returner, as he can make an impact on both punts and kickoffs.

Callaway has dealt with off-field problems in the past, including a citation for marijuana possession in May.

The suspended players will hope to be able to return for the team's second game, which comes against Northern Colorado on Sept. 9.

Related

    Henderson on Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist list

    Florida Gators Football logo
    Florida Gators Football

    Henderson on Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist list

    Swamp247
    via Swamp247

    Gators WR Jacob Copeland wins SEC freshman of the week

    Florida Gators Football logo
    Florida Gators Football

    Gators WR Jacob Copeland wins SEC freshman of the week

    Swamp247
    via Swamp247

    Reese says Gators' run game issues are still about fits

    Florida Gators Football logo
    Florida Gators Football

    Reese says Gators' run game issues are still about fits

    Swamp247
    via Swamp247

    Heisman Odds: Joe Burrow Jumps to Favorite with Jalen Hurts Post Tua Injury

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Heisman Odds: Joe Burrow Jumps to Favorite with Jalen Hurts Post Tua Injury

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report