- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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The very quiet offseason for Florida's football team ended over the weekend, and a very important player is in trouble.
Rising sophomore linebacker Antonio Morrison, who is expected to start at middle linebacker this fall, was arrested early Sunday morning for allegedly punching a bouncer at a nightclub because he didn't get a discounted cover. According to the Gainesville Police Department report, the bouncer was punched in the head before Morrison and his friends fled across the street and left in a car. He was charged with misdemeanor simple battery.
The police report also states that Morrison yelled, "Don't you know who I am? I am a UF football player! I am Antonio!" when he and his friends were told they'd have to pay full cover.
Morrison was later booked into the Alachua County Jail at 6:03 a.m. Morrison admitted to being out drinking (he's 19) and being at Kava Lounge, where the altercation took place. The statement also says that Morrison admitted to getting in a "scuffle" with the bouncer but that "it wasn't that big of a deal."
Well, he was wrong about it not being a big deal. Morrison is one of Florida's top players coming back and he's expected to be one of the top players at his position in the SEC this fall. This isn't exactly the way he wants to start his career as being one of the faces of this defense.
Florida spokesman Steve McClain said coach Will Muschamp is aware of the situation and he's handling the matter. This is the first arrest for Morrison, but his alleged behavior has to be extremely embarrassing for Muschamp. Let's not be naive and think that athletes, especially football players, aren't discounted when they go out. It happens everywhere, but for him to get so upset that he got violent because he was denied a discount is just ridiculous.
Oh, and for him to play the "Don't you know who I am?" card is just shameful. You just don't say that. Honestly, no one should ever play that card if they want to be taken seriously.
Obviously, all the facts haven't come out yet, but this sort of behavior proves that Morrison has a lot of growing up to do. He's a college student -- and a sophomore at that -- but he's supposed to be a leader on Florida's team. This isn't how a leader acts.
13hSam Khan Jr.
2dSam Khan Jr.