- Chris Low, ESPN Senior Staff Writer
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There certainly are worse crimes than barking at a police dog, and it now sounds like the charge against Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison could be dismissed.
Nonetheless, what landed Morrison in Florida coach Will Muschamp's doghouse was the fact that Morrison was out at 3 o'clock in the morning and would even put himself in that position after being arrested last month for punching a bouncer at a nightclub. Morrison is suspended and will miss the Gators' first two games against Toledo and Miami, but Muschamp said Morrison would be with the team to open preseason camp next week.
"It was just poor judgment on his part," Muschamp said Tuesday. "I always tell our players, 'Be careful what you ask for. If you want to be a major college football player, you’re going to live in a fish bowl. You’re going to be held to a different standard, so accept that responsibility.' "
One of the things Muschamp has worked hard to create at Florida is an environment where the players police themselves. It hasn't always been easy, especially when the culture he inherited under his predecessor, Urban Meyer, had often times allowed star players to pretty much play by their own set of rules.
"When players take ownership of the team, they take pride in what they’re doing," Muschamp said. "I met with the leadership group yesterday, and they were very disappointed in what happened [with Morrison]. They feel embarrassed, and when that starts happening, you’re reaching them.
"They’re not all going to be perfect. It just takes a little bit of time to nurture that environment."
2dSam Khan Jr.
3dSam Khan Jr.