Florida freshman running back Jordan Scarlett was cited for marijuana possession on December 19, and will reportedly be suspended for the Gators' meeting with Michigan in the Citrus Bowl, as Thomas Goldkamp of 247Sports first reported on Sunday.
According to a University Police Department arrest report, Scarlett was cited after a residential hall director smelled a strong odor of marijuana emanating from Scarlett's room on the evening of December 19, prompting a search conducted by UPD. After being Mirandized, Scarlett admitted to smoking marijuana and produced "a pipe that he used to smoke marijuana" and "a half smoked marijuana cigarette," both of which tested positive for marijuana on the scene.
Scarlett was charged with possession of not more than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of narcotic equipment, both first-degree misdemeanors. If convicted, Scarlett could face up to a year in prison and a fine of $1,000 on each charge — but these are the sorts of offenses that first-time offenders routinely plead down to deferred prosecution agreements. Scarlett's arraignment is scheduled for January 6.
The wrinkle here is Scarlett's reported suspension, which is an unusual step. To the best of my recollection Florida had six players cited for possession of marijuana under Will Muschamp — Janoris Jenkins (twice), Kedric Johnson, and Chris Martin in 2011, Leon Orr in 2012, Loucheiz Purifoy in 2013, and Jalen Tabor in 2014 — and none were suspended as a direct result of those charges.
Jenkins was dismissed by Muschamp in April 2011, but that dismissal had more to do with a continued penchant for trouble with the law — Jenkins was arrested thrice as a Gator, and twice under Muschamp — than an individual arrest for possession. Orr and Tabor remained Gators and became contributors after taking deferred prosecution agreements; both of their citations were revealed months after they occurred. Johnson and Martin would leave Florida's program before their careers were over, but for reasons largely unrelated to their citations. And Purifoy's charge was dropped.
If Jim McElwain is willing to suspend a player for an arrest on charges of possession of weed and what sounds like a bong — charges that will almost certainly end with a deferred prosecution agreement and nothing more for Scarlett from a legal standpoint — he's stepped up Florida's discipline in this realm.
Scarlett is Florida's third-leading rusher in 2015, with 34 carries for 181 yards on the season. But 96 of those yards came in relief of Kelvin Taylor against Georgia, and Scarlett hasn't had more than eight rushing yards in a game since that day.