Here we go again.
Florida wide receiver Chris Thompson has been charged with simple battery. He has earned the dubious distinction of being the first player under Jim McElwain to get in trouble with the law.
The charge comes in connection with an altercation with his ex girlfriend last Wednesday. The Gainesville Police Department said that Thompson got into an argument with his ex about another girl who had texted him. According to the Gainesville Sun, here’s what happened next: his ex girlfriend took his phone, Thompson went to grab it back from her and scratched her arms and neck, causing her to file a complaint.
The good news is that this is not the sort of crime that’s going to result in Thompson’s dismissal from the team, nor should it. This is nothing compared to what AC Leonard (dragging a girl by the hair out of his apartment) and Gary Brown (striking a girl in the face) did to their female victims. Those actions warranted immediate and harsh punishment; this does not. Those players were weeded out of the Gator football program; Thompson should not be.
But Thompson should be on the receiving end of a strict, fatherly talking-to from McElwain, and a warning that any further instances of such behavior will carry the sort of punishment that Brown and Leonard received. I’m a big believer in second chances when it comes to off the field behavior (with obvious exceptions like instances of murder and rape), but those second chances have to be earned. I can see myself rooting for Chris Thompson again- if he stays out of trouble and walks a straight line from here on out.
So why don’t you do everyone a favor, Chris, and do that. Don’t make the Gator Nation embarrassed to have you on this football team.