A.C. Leonard leaving Florida program

Updated: July 18, 2012, 2:08 PM ET
By Michael DiRocco | GatorNation

HOOVER, Ala. -- Florida tight end A.C. Leonard, who in April pleaded no contest to a charge of misdemeanor battery stemming from an altercation with his live-in girlfriend, is leaving the program, coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday.

Muschamp said he met with Leonard on Tuesday and the two decided it would be best if Leonard transferred. Muschamp had suspended Leonard following his February arrest, but allowed him to return to the team March 26 and participate in the last part of spring practice.

Muschamp said during the summer that Leonard would serve a suspension of some kind during the season.

The 20-year-old Leonard was arrested Feb. 15 after Gainesville Police Department officers responded to a call made by a 21-year-old female Florida student at The Polos Apartments on Southwest Williston Road, according to public information officer Cpl. Angelina Valuri.

The victim, who said she had been dating Leonard for a year and a half but only living with him for a month, claimed Leonard assaulted her during a verbal argument, Valuri said.

The woman claimed Leonard shoved her in the chest with both hands and knocked her to the ground. As she was falling, the woman said she struck her head on a dog cage, according to Valuri.

The woman said Leonard, who is 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, grabbed her by her hair and dragged her toward the front door, ripping out chunks of her hair and breaking a necklace in the process. The woman said Leonard then grabbed her by both feet, dragged her out of the apartment and locked the door, Valuri said.

The woman had abrasions on her left forearm and right elbow, injuries consistent with being dragged on a carpet, Valuri said.

Leonard pleaded no contest and was ordered to serve six months' probation, pay $628 in court costs, participate in anger management classes and have no contact with the woman.

Leonard caught eight passes for 99 yards as a freshman last season.

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter

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