Florida suspends 2 more for Michigan game, including leading rusher

Florida running back Jordan Scarlett (25) rushed for 889 yards in 2016. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

The number of Florida players suspended for the opener against Michigan on Saturday is now 10.

Gators coach Jim McElwain announced Wednesday that running back Jordan Scarlett and wide receiver Rick Wells have been suspended from all team activities, joining wide receiver Antonio Callaway, defensive end Keivonnis Davis, defensive tackle Richerd Desir-Jones, linebacker James Houston, linebacker Ventrell Miller, wide receiver James Robinson, defensive lineman Jordan Smith and offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort as suspended UF players.

According to multiple reports, Scarlett, the team’s leading returning rusher, and Wells, a redshirt freshman who sat out the 2016 season, were involved in the scheme that led to the suspension of the other players excluding Robinson, who was suspended for a marijuana citation. When the suspension for Callaway, Davis, Desir-Jones, Houston, Miller, Smith and Telfort was announced, a Florida spokesperson said the players “were suspended for using school-issued, cost-of-attendance credit cards to buy electronics from the school bookstore and then selling those items for cash.”

“The electronics were considered impermissible items for the players to buy with their cost-of-attendance cards,” the spokesperson said.

“We have a small group of players that have made some choices that are extremely disappointing,” McElwain said in a statement earlier this month. “Action has been taken – they have missed some practice and will miss the Michigan game. We will use this as a learning opportunity and we will have some players step up as we move forward.”

When the suspensions were announced, McElwain did not say if the players would be held out beyond the Michigan game, scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday.

Of the suspended players, the losses of juniors Callaway and Scarlett are the most significant. Callaway led the Gators with 54 catches for 721 yards in 2016 while Scarlett rushed for 889 yards and six scores.

– – – – – – –

Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!