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Antonio Callaway can now attend classes at Florida, is allowed to use athletic facilities
June 7, 2016
5:04 pm
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College BattleGround
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Image EnlargerKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

While Florida’s most exciting receiver from 2015 isn’t back yet, this sounds promising.

Florida’s Antonio Callaway is allowed to take classes at the school and to use its athletic facilities, his lawyer and Florida confirmed on Tuesday. The news was first reported by The Gainesville Sun‘s Robbie Andreu, who passed along a statement from Callaway’s lawyer, Huntley Johnson, and confirmed aspects of it with Florida spokesman Steve McClain.

Callaway’s interim suspension has been modified so that he can attend classes on campus, his attorney, Huntley Johnson, announced via email Tuesday.

The modification also allows the sophomore from Miami to make use of the facilities at the university.

“He’s allowed to use the athletic facilities and he will be around the program,” McClain said.

In the email sent by Johnson & Osteryoung, P.A. Attorneys at Law, Johnson said: “We are working through the process that the University has in place to reach a final resolution in this matter. There will be no further comment at this time.”

A modification allowing Callaway to attend classes is likely a step toward him returning fully to the Gators, and a positive sign for his possible full reinstatment that comes after Jim McElwain’s confirmation that Callaway was not enrolled (in Florida’s ongoing Summer A term) during the SEC’s spring meetings last week.

But I think it’s worth noting that Johnson’s public comments on his client’s status have gone from “There is no good reason why this investigation has not been closed” in March to “We are working through the process that the University has in place” in June. It is a sign, perhaps, that Johnson’s abilities to agitate on his clients’ behalf are more effective when directed at institutions other than the University of Florida itself.

That said, an easing of Callaway’s suspension — which stems from an alleged student conduct code violation, and has been in place since late January — suggests that the university’s committed to allowing him the privilege of pursuing his academic career while its process plays out. That Florida does not see Callaway’s presence on campus as an untenable prospect is probably a good thing.

I also think it’s interesting, and maybe telling, that Johnson — who vociferously defended the also-suspended Treon Harris in 2014, when Harris was suspended for a week spent as the subject of a sexual battery complaint that was eventually withdrawn — is only involved on Callaway’s behalf in this case, one that I have been told is connected to both players. Andreu confirmed with a source that Harris’s status has not changed.

I wrote in April that it seemed more likely that Callaway would return than not, and then wrote last week in discussing McElwain’s update that Callaway’s patience with the University’s process of handling his suspension and his own handling of his academics are crucial to his chances of playing in orange and blue.

Andreu reports — as had been reported earlier in the spring — that Callaway remained enrolled during the spring semester, and was taking classes online while barred from attending them in person.

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