GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida defensive end Jermaine
Cunningham and a former teammate were arrested Wednesday on a
misdemeanor battery charge because they allegedly hit a restaurant
worker with a sandwich and cups, police said.
Former LSU track star and Olympic hopeful Xavier Carter was also
charged with resisting arrest without violence, a misdemeanor.
Cunningham, Carter and former Gators linebacker Jon Demps were
released Wednesday afternoon on their own recognizance. They were
ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim.
Carter was also ordered to have no contact with Demps or
Gainesville police said Cunningham and Demps were arrested after
a restaurant employee told officers the players harassed him when
told they needed to pay for a bag of chips. The two became verbally
abusive toward the man and hit him with a sandwich and empty soda
cups, according to a police report.
Demps and Cunningham fled the area. They were later found on the
An officer saw Carter walking with Cunningham. According to
police, Carter ran when a patrol car's lights started flashing.
Carter was arrested a few minutes later.
Florida coach Urban Meyer, whose Gators play
Michigan in the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day, said he would
wait for more details before deciding whether to punish Cunningham.
"Once I know the whole thing, I will let you know what we are
going to do, how serious it was," Meyer said. "I am kind of
getting some reports. Complete ignorance is what it sounds like,
which I guess in my world I have to deal with a lot of ignorance."
Cunningham, a sophomore, is tied for the team lead with 6½ sacks
and is third with 62 tackles.
Demps was a sophomore at Florida last year but left the team
after the season.
Meyer, who has had nine players arrested since January, said he
spoke to his team about making better decisions.
"I talked to them about it, but I am not going to be out
chasing them around and all that," Meyer said. "What I have to do
is really develop and recruit guys I think are going to be going to
bed at night. I was also in college at one time and know what goes
on. We have to keep teaching them.
"I will either eliminate them or discipline them and try not to
let it happen again," he said.