Florida receiver Antonio Callaway has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
Prosecutors dropped a marijuana possession charge as part of Monday’s plea deal, which State Attorney Bill Cervone said was standard for cases involving small amounts of drugs. Callaway also was fined $301.
Callaway, the team’s top playmaker, was cited on May 13 in Gainesville. He was a passenger in a SUV that officers pulled over for a seatbelt violation. Police said officers smelled marijuana in the SUV and found 7 grams of the drug in Callaway’s pocket.
Callaway is entering his junior season. In two years, he has 89 catches for 1,399 yards and 11 touchdowns.
He was suspended last spring amid sexual battery allegations. In court documents, Callaway admitted smoking marijuana, though he was eventually cleared of the battery allegation by a Title IX investigation.
Florida coach Jim McElwain hasn’t said whether Callaway will be suspended for the season opener against Michigan.
Defending Big 12
The Big 12’s decision to restore a football championship game was based only on the league wanting to boost its chances of getting a team into the College Football Playoff, Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Monday.
At the start of football media days, Bowlsby said he feels good about what the Big 12 is doing and he defended the league against the idea that it is among the weakest of the power five conferences.
“I think our perception is somewhat a product of not being in the playoff two of the three years. That’s a really short window,” Bowlsby said. “It gets a little tiresome because I know we play at a very high level, and I know top to bottom we’re the best in the country in terms of balance.”
Bowlsby touted the postseason success last season - the league was 4-2 in bowl games, including 10-time Big 12 champion Oklahoma’s 35-19 win over Auburn in the Sugar Bowl. The Sooners were part of the CFP in 2015, the only Big 12 team so far to make it in the current “final four” format.
“Make no mistake, it’s not about making the playoff,” Bowlsby said. “It’s about winning national championships.”
Not having a team from the the state of Texas ranked in the final AP poll or the final College Football Playoff ranking last season is an embarrassment to the entire state, TCU coach Gary Patterson said Monday.
“We should be embarrassed we don’t have a team in the top 25. There’s a lot of good football players that come to our schools that can play and play at a high level, and we need to play better. It’s simple as that,” he said.