Florida basketball is down another frontcourt player: Cody Larson is leaving the Gators, according to multiple reports.
Breaking: #Gators forward/center Cody Larson has decided to leave the team.— Cody Jones (@CJonesScout) October 26, 2012
Just confirmed with #Gators spokesman that big man Cody Larson is leaving the program. Was removed from scholarship in offseason.— Thomas Goldkamp (@Goldkamp247) October 26, 2012
Larson was removed from scholarship in the offseason, with coach Billy Donovan explaining that the redshirt sophomore had failed to fulfill unspecified responsibilities to remain on scholarship. The move made room for the transfers of former South Carolina center Damontre Harris and former Virginia Tech forward Dorian Finney-Smith.
Florida released statements on Larson's departure from Donovan and Larson through Twitter.
"I know this was a difficult decision for Cody. He has made great strides in his personal growth and I'm very proud of him for that. All of us here wish him the best as he moves on from our team."
"After a lot of careful thought, I have decided that I need to place my focus on my personal life and my academics. I really appreciate Coach Donovan and the whole staff here at Florida for the support they have given me and that made this decision even harder."
Larson had been largely ineffective during his career at Florida, redshirting in the 2010-11 season as a freshman and never playing more than 17 minutes in a game last season. Larson's career high as a Florida player was four points, achieved twice, but he failed to score in SEC play. Larson was whistled for three or more personal fouls in each of his six games with double-digit minutes in 2011-12. His loss means Florida has one fewer big body on an already undersized team, but he was unlikely to play much in 2012-13 in any case.
Larson also has a couple of arrests in his past: He was arrested while in high school in South Dakota, and again in the St. Augustine bar incident that also involved Florida's Erik Murphy.
Donovan tends not to pull scholarships, but choosing between his word and Larson's, I'd tend to believe the coach. I wish Cody the best, even if he was the lesser of the two Codys tagged with the #PoorCody hashtag (hi, Cody Dent), and hope he goes on to finish his education and have a productive life.