Janoris Jenkins testing the 'Florida Way'

April, 23, 2011
4/23/11
11:19
PM ET
We're about to find out what the "Florida Way" really means, or if it means anything at all.

First-year Florida coach Will Muschamp has been outspoken about the importance of the Gators' players conducting themselves with class and representing the university in the proper manner.

It's all part of what he calls doing things the "Florida Way."

Unless his star cornerback, Janoris Jenkins, has been wrongly accused by police, Muschamp has a decision to make that will go a long way toward defining the "Florida Way," and rest assured that his players and those players thinking about joining the Florida program will be watching.

[+] EnlargeWill Muschamp
Cliff Welch/Icon SMIWill Muschamp has stressed the importance of the Gators' players being responsible representatives of the program and the university.
For the second time in three months, Jenkins is facing a marijuana possession charge.

According to Gainesville police, Jenkins was spotted sitting in a car early Saturday morning smoking what an officer later found to be a marijuana cigar. He's scheduled to appear in court on May 12.

Back on Jan. 22, Jenkins was hit with the same charge, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, after Gainesville police officers said they found Jenkins in the bathroom of a nightclub rolling a marijuana cigarette. He accepted a plea deal on that charge.

This is Jenkins' third run-in with the law during his time at Florida. He was arrested and tasered in May 2009 after fighting with five other people despite an officer ordering him to stop. He signed a deferred prosecution agreement, agreeing to probation and community service.

It's obvious that Jenkins has a history of finding trouble off the field. It's just as obvious that he doesn't have one ounce of respect for the "Florida Way" if he was truly sitting in his car in a public parking lot puffing on a blunt a month removed from accepting a plea deal for another marijuana charge.

Muschamp said Jenkins' punishment would be handled internally following the January incident.

And given the long laundry list of Florida players arrested on the watch of Muschamp's predecessor, Urban Meyer, any punishment handed down now by Muschamp that doesn't have some real teeth in it would be purely cosmetic.

Jenkins is an outstanding player, one of the top returning cornerbacks in college football. He's one of those guys who can take away an entire side of the field.

What he's done now, though, is paint his head coach into a small corner of that field.

Muschamp didn't mince words about player discipline when he took the job back in December.

"There’s a certain thing that I’m going to refer to as the 'Florida Way,' and that’s the way they need to act and that’s the way they need to represent our university,” Muschamp said at the time. “I’m going to demand that, and I think you’ll understand in time that that’s something that is very important to me. When you walk into a home and you talk about being a student-athlete at the University of Florida, I talk in terms of wanting all of our student-athletes to come into our program to be a better person for having been at Florida, and I’m not just talking from a football standpoint. I’m talking about the off-the-field things.”

Well, here's Muschamp's chance to prove that the "Florida Way" is a lot more than just a bunch of talk.

Chris Low | email

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