Florida Gators freshmen James Robinson and Ventrell Miller were cited for marijuana possession in their on-campus apartment early Monday morning, per multiple reports. The news was first reported by Matthew Head and Neal Bennett of Jacksonville-based First Coast News, which cites a police report.
The police report says a residential assistant walking outside of the Keys residential complex on campus smelled a "strong odor of burnt cannabis emanating in the air" around 12:30 a.m. Monday. He called University police who found the apartment and knocked on the door. A suite mate identified Robinson as the person who occupied the room that the odor was coming from.
Once inside the room, officers found a cloud of smoke and a styrofoam cup that police say appeared to be used as an ash tray. Robinson and Miller were in the room.
Officers asked Robinson where the cannabis was and he said it was in his top drawer. There were two small bags of marijuana and Robinson and Miller admitted to each owning one of the bags, the report says.
Both players were issued a notice to appear and an on-call dean was notified.
The University of Florida Police Department crime log lists an incident occurring at the Keys Residential Complex on Monday at 1:04 a.m as a “narcotics violation,” and lists its disposition as “notice to appear,” both things consistent with a citation for marijuana possession..
Robinson and Miller both hail from Lakeland — Robinson, a wide receiver, attended Lakeland High School, and Miller, a linebacker, attended the city’s Kathleen High School — and it is no surprise they would room together in Keys, where Florida attempts to house many of its on-campus student-athletes.
Both freshmen now have multiple scrapes with trouble on their rap sheets this year. Miller is currently suspended as part of the incident — reportedly a misuse of funds — that got seven Gators suspended for the 2017 season opener, and Robinson was famously cited for marijuana possession on a recruiting visit to Ohio State in January that led to Florida initially ending its pursuit of the four-star wide receiver before reversing course to much fanfare.
Obviously, Miller finding trouble twice in Gainesville before the end of the first week of his first fall semester — once while already suspended — would seem somewhat more troubling to Jim McElwain and other Florida decision-makers than Robinson’s two citations for marijuana possession, and either player could merit discipline for this misdeed.
But a Thursday statement from Florida...
Statement from UF spokesperson on James Robinson/Ventrell Miller: "Coach Mac is aware and it has been dealt with." #Gators— Jordan McPherson (@J_McPherson1126) August 24, 2017
...nearly matches the one made when junior wide receiver Antonio Callaway was cited for marijuana possession in May, except for tense: This “has been dealt with,” while Callaway’s citation “was being dealt with.”
Callaway remained part of the team in good standing until his involvement in the same incident with Miller, with a source telling Alligator Army over the summer that Callaway was never suspended for that incident.
And given that Florida has suspended players for citations for marijuana possession before under McElwain — Jordan Scarlett missed the 2016 Capital One Bowl, and Mark Thompson missed Florida’s 2016 meeting with Georgia — McElwain et al. are, at minimum, opening themselves up to a line of criticism about what seems to the world to be a pattern of capricious discipline.