GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Will Muschamp came to his own defense Wednesday, ripping critics who questioned his decision to reinstate three players suspended for a season opener that lasted just 10 seconds.
Muschamp said on the weekly Southeastern Conference coaches call that “it’s not just about suspending players for games.”
“There are a lot of things that go into discipline,” Muschamp said. “It’s about altering and changing behavior, which we’ve done here. I think our discipline speaks for itself and how we’ve handled our football team, OK? So it’s not just about missing games, If it was just about suspensions, you never have an issue, right? So at the end of the day it’s more than that, and there are a lot of things that go into those situations, a lot more than people know.”
Muschamp suspended receiver Demarcus Robinson and defensive tackles Darious Cummings and Jay-nard Bostwick for last week’s season opener against Idaho. But the game was called after the opening kickoff, which was delayed nearly three hours because of lightning and then eventually halted for good because of unsafe playing conditions.
The Gators announced Wednesday that they decided not to reschedule the game. The schools also agreed to play in Gainesville in 2017.
Muschamp said Monday that Robinson, Cummings and Bostwick will play Saturday against Eastern Michigan.
He could have kept their suspensions in place against Eastern Michigan or said they would be suspended against Idaho if the game had been rescheduled. He did neither.
“It’s very frustrating for me as a coach, or any coach, to have someone being critical and you don’t even have all the information,” Muschamp said. “So at the end of the day, I make the decisions in this program, I handle the discipline in this program, and it’s been handled very well.”
Muschamp has seemingly cleaned up a program that had plenty of issues when he took over in 2010.
After replacing Urban Meyer, Muschamp had 11 players suspended a total of 14 times during his first two years on the job. He’s had four players involved in five arrests since, including just one in the last 400-plus days.
In other news, Florida will be without backup linebacker Jeremi Powell for at least three games following knee surgery.
Muschamp said Powell had arthroscopic knee surgery Wednesday to repair torn meniscus. Muschamp said Powell should be back following the team’s first of two open weeks. That means Powell will miss games against Eastern Michigan, Kentucky and Alabama.