It will come as no surprise to anyone who follows college football that often, players get arrested. Cases at Florida and other top program around the country draw plenty of media attention.
But Sports Illustrated and CBS News spent six months investigating some of the top football schools in the country. The news organizations checked thousands of public and court records, finding that 7 percent of players on the rosters of SI’s preseason top 25 had some sort of criminal past more serious than a suspended license or open container citation.
From the story:
“The number of players with criminal histories turned up by the SI/CBS News investigation reinforces a pervasive assumption that college coaches are willing to recruit players with questionable pasts to win. More surprising, however, is just how little digging college coaches do into players’ backgrounds before offering them a scholarship.
“Among the 25 schools in the investigation, only two — TCU and Oklahoma — perform any type of regular criminal background searches on recruits. But even TCU and Oklahoma don’t look at juvenile records. No school does, even though football and basketball players are among the most high-profile representatives of a university. (Of the 25 schools, only Virginia Tech did any type of background checks on admitted students, and admissions questionnaires at more than half the other universities ask applicants if they have ever been arrested.)”
With a preseason No. 7 ranking by SI, Florida was included in the study. It should come as no surprise that the investigation found that seven current Gators have faced criminal charges.
Under former coach Urban Meyer, the Gators had 31 arrests in his six seasons. Standout cornerback Janoris Jenkins was the first arrest under new coach Will Muschamp after he was charged with misdemeanor possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana in January. He has plead not guilty.
Arkansas (18 players charged) was the only other SEC school to rank ahead of the Gators. Alabama (five) and LSU (three) were also included. Florida State (nine) and Miami (eight) were the only other Florida schools included.
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