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Florida vs. New Mexico State: Gators' Alex McCalister, Marcus Maye, Latroy Pittman suspended

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Three Gators being suspended for Florida's season opener for violation of team rules? I know what this smells like.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It must be almost time for football season, because Florida's using Friday afternoon for news dumps.

The latest: Alex McCalister, Marcus Maye, and Latroy Pittman will all miss the Gators' 2015 season opener against New Mexico State on September 5 "due to University Athletic Association policy."

Due to University Athletic Association policy, defensive lineman Alex McCalister, defensive back Marcus Maye and receiver Latroy Pittman will not play Sept. 5 against New Mexico State.

That phrasing — "due to University Athletic Association policy" — is sort of new, but Will Muschamp's mention of Demarcus Robinson's suspension to begin the 2014 season claimed it was "due to a university sanction that is now resolved."

That suspension was consistent with the penalty for a third violation of UAA policy governing drug use by student-athletes, and Florida's suspended multiple players for its season openers — suspensions consistent with the penalty for a second violation of that same university policy — for multiple years.

A second violation of that university policy carries a suspension for 10 percent of a season, which is usually understood as one game for football players; a third violation carries a suspension for 30 percent of a season, which typically translates to three games.

Florida will likely be just fine against the Aggies without those three players, though Maye is a returning starter at safety and McCalister was almost certainly going to make his first start as a Gator in Geoff Collins's "RUSH" role. McCalister is just one of several talented edge rushers on Florida's roster, and Maye figures to be replaced for the evening by Duke Dawson or Marcell Harris, both of whom have flashed their talents in brief cameos in Florida's talented secondary. I would also expect both defenders to retake their positions after their suspensions.

Pittman, on the other hand, might slip further down a muddled wide receiver depth chart if other players shine in his absence. Working mostly as a slot receiver in 2014, Pittman had 15 catches for 164 yards — but he now faces stiffer competition from sophomores Brandon Powell and C.J. Worton for snaps in that role.