Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain announced Wednesday the suspensions of junior cornerback Jalen Tabor and redshirt sophomore tight end C’yontai Lewis. The two have been immediately barred from attending practices and team activities.
Tabor, a preseason first-team All SEC pick, and Lewis will also miss the season opener on September 3 against UMass.
According to multiple sources, the suspension stems from a fight between the two at yesterdays practice, where “multiple players had to restrain the two from each other.” Tabor allegedly swung his helmet at Lewis, crossing the lines of the “typical” training camp fight.
Jalen Tabor's suspension not drug related. He was suspended for getting into a serious altercation Tuesday with C'yontai Lewis, per sources.— Zach Abolverdi (@ZachAbolverdi) August 17, 2016
“We will not look the other way when it comes to breaking of team policies. I want to echo what I said earlier, these are both fine young men who will learn and be stronger from their actions… There are life lessons in everything we do. We will be better because of it and no one person is bigger than the Florida Gators."
The suspensions continue an offseason of discipline for the defending East champs. McElwain suspended former quarterback turned wide receiver Treon Harris and receiver Antonio Callaway (faced sexual assault allegations). Harris joined the team this summer, while Callaway was recently cleared of any charges following a Title XI investigation.
True freshman receivers Tyrie Cleveland and Rick Wells were arrested in July on criminal mischief charges over an incident involving a BB gun. Security camera footage showed the two shooting inside a University of Florida dorm at Gator teammate and fellow incoming freshman Joshua Hammond. Cleveland, one of the Gators most heralded 2016 signees, and Wells’ status remain up in the air as the season draws closer.
The suspensions of Tabor and Lewis shouldn’t hurt the Gators Week 1, but any further discipline will only hinder the teams chances of repeating in the East.