Nine Florida football players face third-degree felony charges amid an alleged fraud ring, per Alachua County Courts records released Monday afternoon.
The players who face a handful of charges each are starting wide receiver Antonio Callaway; starting running back Jordan Scarlett; receiver Rick Wells; linebackers James Houston and Ventrell Miller; and defensive linemen Jordan Smith, Keivonnis Davis, and Richerd Desir-Jones, while offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort faces a whopping 30 charges.
Gators OL Kadeem Telfort has 30 felony charges in the credit card fraud
— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) September 25, 2017
— Jordan McPherson (@J_McPherson1126) September 25, 2017
Smith, who reportedly was the ringleader of the group, faces five counts of fraud, including swindling property valued at under $20,000 and impersonation (using or possession of a person’s identification without consent), plus three additional impersonation charges.
The other seven players face only the first two counts each.
The players were already suspended for all three of Florida’s games so far this season.
According to the Associated Press at the time of the suspension, the reasoning behind the suspensions involved “misusing school-issued funds.”
ESPN further reported the players bought items with their university student IDs at the school bookstore and then sold them for cash.
Head coach Jim McElwain was asked Monday about the felony charges.
Here’s what he had to say, via SEC Country:
On breaking announcement of felony charges for some of the suspended players: “I’ve been over at the radio station. I’m sure I will be (informed) when I get back, I guess.”
Do felony charges change things for those guys? Nods, “Darn right.”
Is this Antonio Callaway’s last strike? “You’re asking me something I don’t even know anything about. I don’t know that that’s fair.”
The team’s 2016 leading receiver has missed time before.
Callaway accounted for 721 yards and three touchdowns, along with 218 yards returning last season. In May, Callaway was cited for marijuana possession, but he was not suspended, and McElwain stated he was dealing with the situation internally, without a public announcement of discipline.
He was suspended from the team, along with former quarterback Treon Harris, in January 2016 in the wake of a sexual assault claim made against the two. He did not practice with the team that spring, but returned to classes during the summer and participated fully in fall practice.
Scarlett ran for 889 yards and six touchdowns last year and was expected to be the starting running back this season.
We’ll update this story as more information comes available.