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.”