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Florida wide receiver Alvin Bailey arrested in Tampa for failure to appear

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Pay your traffic citations and meet your court dates.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Florida wide receiver Alvin Bailey was arrested Saturday in Tampa for failure to appear at a court date related to a traffic infraction, as first reported by Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.

Bailey, 20, was arrested at 3:38 p.m., booked at 5:07 p.m. and remained in jail on $5,000 bond four hours later. He had been cited May 12, his second time for driving with a suspended license, and a warrant was issued for his arrest June 9 when he missed his scheduled arraignment in court.

Bailey later posted that bond and was released:

Failure to appear is typically a dumb decision after a string of other dumb decisions, and that appears to be the case here with Bailey. Hillsborough County court records show he has four open cases on various traffic offenses — speeding, failure to display a driver's license, driving with a suspended license without knowledge, and, finally, driving with a suspended license (with knowledge, essentially), which is a criminal charge. That charge being criminal is why a warrant for his arrest was issued after missing a June arraignment.

The penalty for failure to appear is a fine and/or term of imprisonment not to exceed the term of the principal charge, and since knowingly driving with a suspended license for the first time is a second-degree misdemeanor, Bailey was only doubling up on a relatively minor charge by no-showing his court date — it was stupid, yes, but it was merely duplicating previous dumbness, rather than exacerbating it.

And it's likely Florida won't do much to punish Bailey after he makes the restitution he needs to make to the state to get the matter settled. The only other Gator publicly known to have been arrested for failure to appear in recent years was men's basketball player Damontre Harris, whose suspension (and eventual dismissal) from Billy Donovan's program had much more to do with a slew of other issues than his February 2013 arrest on that charge.

But the twin notes of Bailey being arrested for this on Saturday afternoon and a report about Caleb Brantley and Adam Lane being cited for not paying a bar/restaurant tab in early July breaking on Saturday sure makes it look more like Florida's players are inveterate scofflaws, despite the program's insistence that the Brantley/Lane citations had been known and previously dealt with internally.

When reporters get chances to speak to Florida coach Jim McElwain in August, I expect he will be quizzed, and perhaps extensively, on what punishment was meted out to all three players, and about player discipline in general.