Morrison apologizes for ‘trouble’

Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison apologized Wednesday for

“getting in trouble the past few weeks,” but declined to discuss

details of his two arrests or what he had to do as punishment.

Morrison is suspended for Saturday’s season opener against

Toledo. Coach Will Muschamp initially suspended the starting middle

linebacker for at least two games, but reduced it to one game

Monday.

“First off, I want to apologize for getting in trouble the past

few weeks,” Morrison said. “It’s sincere for me. I apologize to my

coaches, my teammates and everybody for everything that went wrong.

It’s behind me. I’m moving forward from it. I learned from it. I

just want to play football.”

Morrison will be eligible to play Sept. 7, when the 10th-ranked

Gators play at Miami.

The sophomore from Bolingbrook, Ill., is expected to be one of

Florida’s top defenders this season.

The Gators can only hope he’s better at tackling than

apologizing. He failed to come across as sincere or remorseful

during an 8-minute session with reporters Wednesday. He brushed

aside many questions, seemed defiant during some answers and even

had a huge tattoo on his right arm that read “Don’t Trust Me.”

“I’m not fixin’ to run from y’all,” he said. “I want this to be

done with. I’m coming and telling y’all right now. Any of y’all

interview me after this, I don’t want to talk about it. I already

discussed this with y’all. It’s football from here on out. We

talking football.”

All the recent talk about Morrison centered on two arrests

during a five-week stretch this summer.

He was arrested June 16 for allegedly punching a bouncer, an

incident in which he reportedly told the victim “I am Antonio”

before he punched him. Morrison received deferred prosecution on

the simple battery charged, a deal in which he was ordered to stay

out of trouble for six months.

He was jailed again on July 20 and charged with barking at a

police dog and resisting arrest. Both charges were dismissed a few

days later.

According to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Morrison

walked up to an open window on a police car around 2:30 a.m. and

barked at a K-9 named Bear. The dog barked back, leading a deputy

to arrest Morrison for interfering with a police canine.

“I learned a lot,” he said. “I took responsibility for

everything. I just learned a lot from the whole situation as a

person.”

Morrison declined to say what he was ordered to do as punishment

and refused to divulge anything Muschamp told him about being our

late or getting in trouble.

“I ain’t going to get into detail what I did,” Morrison said.

“But the whole situation, overall, that sent a message to me. And I

learned from the situations overall, and I apologize again. I’m

very sorry to all the Gator fans, my coaches, my teammates. That’s

me. That’s not me being forced to do this. I wanted to come do

this. I can’t run from it, you know what I’m saying?”

Muschamp missed the first eight days of fall practice before

being partially reinstated.

“Worst part was being away from my teammates and not being

around football,” he said. “I mean, what else am I supposed to do?

Me missing practice, that’s a lot to me. Me missing those days in

camp, that’s a lot to me. So it’s hard.”

Nonetheless, when asked whether he has changed anything about

his social life, Morrison scoffed.

“I take responsibility for being out,” he said. “I said that.

I’m really sorry for that. I take responsibility for the whole

situation.”