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Florida vs. Eastern Michigan: Three suspended Gators eligible to play vs. Eagles

Will Muschamp broke the news Monday that three players suspended for Florida's opener are now eligible to play against Eastern Michigan. It's more than fine to be discomfited by this.

Andy Lyons

Florida's three announced suspensions for its season opener against Idaho — those of defensive tackles Jay-nard Bostwick and Darious Cummings for violation of team rules, and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson for a "university sanction" — will not linger into the Gators' new season opener against Eastern Michigan, Will Muschamp told reporters on Monday.

Muschamp also said Robinson's suspension was a "completely separate issue" from the one that cost him the final two games of the 2013 season — which runs contrary to some of the theorizing that I laid out in the Saturday post on the suspensions linked above.

Thus, the penalties being assessed here — Cummings and Bostwick serving one-game suspensions, and Robinson serving the third game of a three-game suspension spread over two seasons — are consistent with the penalties assessed for the second and third violation of Florida's policy for drug use by student-athletes.

I wrote Sunday about what I think should happen with those players' suspensions, in light of the game's termination/cancellation/suspension:

Remember, Jay-nard Bostwick, Darious Cummings, and Demarcus Robinson were all set to serve suspensions last night and be eligible to play against Eastern Michigan, indicating that their suspensions were just one-game penalties. I've seen half-hearted arguments for them having served those suspensions on that one play last night, but I think Florida will require them to sit at some point this season.

Personally, I think those players should sit for this week's Eastern Michigan game, because that's what common sense tells me should be the resolution, but it's worth noting that there is precedent for creative discipline here: Channing Crowder was suspended for Florida's opener in 2004, and ended up serving that suspension against Middle Tennessee State in October, but playing in Florida's games up to that point.

I don't know if the rules that permitted that creativity are the same as those in effect today, but I thought (and still think) that was a mockery of what a suspension is supposed to do, and I hope Florida doesn't administer its punishment in that same way.

I'm a little disappointed in this decision, even if I do think — especially because Muschamp didn't say no outright, as would have been easy, when asked about whether those players would miss a rescheduled Idaho game — that the prospect of future punishment exists. And I'm disappointed even though I'm sure all three players faced other unannounced punishments internally: Announcing a suspension and, by all appearances, crediting it as being served after a one-play "game" makes that suspension look toothless, and makes Florida look shady, whether or not that's entirely true.

I will, however, note that this isn't the first or only time suspensions have been creatively administered in college football of late. Texas A&M kept two players suspended for its hurricane-postponed game against Louisiana Tech in 2012, but allowed both to play against Florida in what became the Aggies' true opener.

I'm gonna choose to hate the player and the game on this one.