The Florida Gators football team has suspended three players for the team’s season opener September 5 against the Sun Belt’s New Mexico State Aggies. ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reported the suspensions.
The three players, wide receiver Latroy Pittman, defensive back Marcus Maye and defensive lineman Alex McCalister, were suspended for violating “school policy.”
Florida suspends WR Latroy Pittman, DB Marcus Maye & DL Alex McCalister for opener vs. NM State for violating school policy
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 21, 2015
Pittman, a senior, is not a tremendous loss for the Gators. In three years with the team, he has only 19 catches for 188 yards, though he did break out for 15 receptions and 164 yards last year. Playing under the offense-oriented Jim McElwain, he could be in line for an excellent senior campaign.
Maye is a junior who is a bigger loss. He had 62 tackles, an interception and two forced fumbles last season and is definitely in line to continue improving playing alongside teammate Vernon Hargreaves III.
The biggest loss, however, may be McCalister. He only had 22 tackles last season, but eight were for a loss and he also had six sacks and a forced fumble.
Granted, that isn’t to say that the Gators are in danger of losing to New Mexico State, a team that has gone 4-20 in two seasons under coach Doug Martin and has not had a winning season since going 7-5 under Tony Samuel back in 2002. If anything, this probably just means that the game will be a slightly smaller blowout.
But the fact of the matter is that the first game of the season gives coaches an idea of who is going to perform well over the course of the entire year, and not having certain players available affects that. Hopefully, Pittman, Maye and McCalister can stay out of trouble and on the field for the remainder of the season as the Gators look to resurrect under McElwain.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports