Two days after Florida basketball players Erik Murphy and Cody Larson were arrested and charged with third-degree felony burglary, Gators head coach Billy Donovan addressed their arrest and subsequent suspension from the team.
On Tuesday, he expressed his disappointment in the two players, but said he’ll wait for the legal process to run its course before he makes any decisions about the long-term futures of the players with the program.
“I know obviously there was some unfortunate events that I was very disappointed that took place this weekend with Cody Larson and Erik Murphy,” Donovan said. “All I can say is I’m disappointed in those guys, they’re disappointed in themselves, and we’ll have to wait and see what happens going forward.”
Donovan suspended the pair from the team after Larson and Murphy were arrested and charged with burglary early Sunday morning in downtown St. Augustine.
He hasn’t had a chance to find out much about the incident yet in the wake of making new coaching hires for his staff.
Once he has a chance to understand what happened more fully, he’ll be able to make a better decision on whether to keep either of the two players.
Part of his decision may ultimately depend on how the case progresses from a legal standpoint.
“I talked to them both yesterday and told them up front that I was not in a position to talk about what they were going through,” he said. “They’ll have to get legal representation, and they’re going to have to make some family decisions and do some things. I’ve got to see the way all this plays out in it.”
Their arrests were the first for the Florida basketball team since June 2007, when guard Brandon Powell was arrested by Gainesville police in a marijuana sting.
“I think we’ve been fortunate here that we haven’t had a lot of that kind of stuff,” Donovan said. “That’s the disappointing part, but sometimes those things happen.”
As far as the two players’ futures with the Florida basketball program are concerned, Donovan won’t make any decisions in the immediate future.
They will remain indefinitely suspended until he can watch the legal process unfold and make a more informed decision.
“The fact that they were arrested is very disappointing. So for that, they’re going to be suspended from all activities,” Donovan said. “At the end of this process, the truth’s going to come out, exactly what happened. From that truth, I’ll have a chance to react to it.”