From NEIL SHULMAN at inallkindsofweather.
Multiple sources have confirmed to me that five Gator football players have been involved in credit card fraud.
Per the source, at some point during Summer B, Antonio Callaway, Jawaan Taylor, Brad Stewart, Kadeem Telfort, and Jordan Smith went into a store and bought $1500 worth of items on three student credit cards. The credit cards were issued to them as part of their athletic scholarship, and were given to purchase items needed as student athletes. The items purchased did not fall under this category. The players then went out and sold the items.
An additional source has since told me that Taylor was not involved.
The Gainesville Police Department does not plan on making any arrests, and the University of Florida does not plan on disciplining its players; the school is more interested in being compensated than in punishing the players. Given that the players did not have explicit permission from UF to either buy the items or sell them, that is a form of stealing, so if there were to be charges filed, they would be “scheme to defraud” charges, which are a third degree felony.
At this point, allow me to dispel a few rumors floating around:
-The amount of money spent on the credit cards was not $150,000, but $1500. UF tightly monitors what happens with its credit cards, and would have figured it out immediately had the amount been much more.
-These events took place some time ago, so arrests would have been made had the amount been significantly larger.
-The credit cards did not belong to fellow UF students, and were obtained by the players fully legally. They were not stolen.
-Malik Zaire and Chauncey Gardner, two players rumored to have participated in this, were not involved.
-No player will be kicked out of school or dismissed from the team because of this. If suspensions do happen, they will come from Jim McElwain, not the school, and they figure to be minimal.
I’m still tying up a few loose ends to this story, and will have everything for you by tomorrow or Monday. But for now, know that the crimes committed were not nearly as horrible as the rumors claim they were.