Florida Gators Athletes Had Most Number Of Crime Suspects From 2009-14 Per ESPN

Posted: Jun 15 2015, 1:13am CDT | by , Updated: Jun 15 2015, 1:15am CDT, in News | Latest Sports News


Florida Gators Athletes Had Most Number Of Crime Suspects From 2009-14 Per ESPN
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  • The Florida Gators men's basketball and men's football teams had the most number of crime suspects from 2009-14.

The Florida Gators men's basketball and men's football teams had the most number of crime suspects from 2009-14. In addition, the university also had the most number of repeat offenders, per a June 14 update from ESPN.

The Florida Gators men's basketball and men's football teams had the most number of crime suspects from 2009-14.

This was the finding of an "Outside the Lines" investigation of 10 major football and basketball programs in the United States from 2009-14, per a June 14 update from ESPN's Paula Lavigne. 

According to the investigation, a total of 80 University of Florida athletes from the two said programs were listed as suspects in more than 100 crimes. This number represented 24 percent of the university's rosters, per Lavigne. 

In addition, the ESPN update says "Florida had the most repeat offenders" which was 25 in all. These student-athletes were often never charged. Their incidents were also often not reported to the public. 

Lavigne also reveals Florida Gators athletes, if not suspected of being involved in any criminal activity, "often hung out with people who were known offenders."

She cites an example not included in the "Outside the Lines" investigation involving former Gators linebacker Ron Powell, whom a state trooper pulled over for a lane violation last year. The officer on the scene noticed Powell's address on his driver's license was a popular drug house in Florida. 

The trooper then asked a canine officer to scour Powell's car and sure enough, she discovered a white powdery substance she tested positive as cocaine, per ESPN. 

Lavigne obtained a transcript of the canine officer's conversation with Powell:

"You have cocaine in your car, all right," she told Powell. "There's reasons why I asked the questions I asked. You can't answer questions straight. But you're not in handcuffs, okay, so just chill out."

Authorities determined that the vehicle Powell used was a rented one. The canine officer wrote in the police report she believed the cocaine she discovered most probably did not belong to Powell but to a known drug offender. After giving Powell a verbal warning, she let him go, per ESPN. 

Powell had a previous run-in with the law two years earlier, when he yelled at and threatened store owner Gregory Christell because he won't give him freebies in addition to the items he purchased. 

Police gave Powell a trespass warning for the incident. It wasn't publicized, but Lavigne says authorites did report Powell's rant to a staff member of the University of Florida athletics office.

Christell told "Outside the Lines" a lot of college athletes think they deserve preferential treatment because of their status.

"They get to campus, and they feel like they can get away with stuff," Christell said. "They feel like they're above the law. These college athletes, in general, get away with more stuff that happended that didn't reach the papers."

Another repeat offender which the "Outside the Lines" investigation singles out is current St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins. 

On May 30, 2009, Florida police arrested Jenkins "for fighting and resisting arrest," per Lavigne. One officer saw a group of men fighting and ordered them to stop, but they did not. He eventually tasered Jenkins after he punched another male in the face. Jenkins ran away from the scene, ignoring the policeman's pleas to stop.

When police caught up with Jenkins, he told them he just defended himself after he thought someone wanted to steal his gold necklace. Jenkins' lawyer, Huntley Johnson, seconded his client's claim. Prosecutors eventually dropped their charges against Jenkins, per ESPN. 

Almost two years later, on Jan. 22, 2011, authorities caught Jenkins smoking marijuana in a local nightclub's bathroom. He pleaded no contest and was not convicted. Three months later, he was caught doing the same thing inside a parked car, per Lavigne.

This prompted the Gators to dismiss him from their football team. He was later found guilty. 

A year before Jenkins got into a fight, another Gators football player, Moses Jenkins (no relation) "was cited for having a stolen parking decal," per Lavigne.

Two years later, Moses Jenkins and teammate Carl Moore were both inside a vehicle which was discovered to have marijuana under the former's seat. The driver, Oscar Hernandez, admitted it belonged to him. He received a citation and deferred prosecution, per ESPN. 

Lavigne says Oscar Hernandez was found guilty of delivering weapons to former Florida Gators and New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who received a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his role in the murder of former semi-pro footbal player Odin Lloyd in June 2013. 

The two Hernandezs are not related, per ESPN. 

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The Author

Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.




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