Erik Murphy cleared to return to Gators

A little less than five months after Erik Murphy was arrested and charged with third-degree felony burglary in downtown St. Augustine on April 10, Florida head coach Billy Donovan announced he has been cleared to return to the team.

Erik Murphy has served his punishment,’’ Donovan said in a University of Florida statement. “We’re all disappointed with what transpired, but there’s no question Erik has learned a great deal through the whole process and understands what a great opportunity and privilege it is to play college basketball.’’

Murphy was arrested along with teammate Cody Larson and team manager Josh Adel after fleeing from a parking lot where he and Larson tried to break into a car, according to a police report.

The junior power forward from Rhode Island was charged with third-degree felony burglary, but the charge was reduced to misdemeanor trespassing on May 6.

St. John’s County court records show Murphy filed for a pre-trial disposition for the trespassing charge on July 6 and reached a deferred prosecution agreement for it on July 27.

According to the UF release, he will have to pay restitution and court costs, as well as serve 50 hours of community service.

Murphy averaged 4.3 points and 3.2 rebounds as a sophomore and is expected to be a key contributor in a frontcourt looking to replace seniors Vernon Macklin, Alex Tyus and Chandler Parsons.

Larson, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound redshirt freshman from South Dakota, was not mentioned in the UF release or Donovan’s statement.

His felony burglary charge was also reduced to a misdemeanor trespassing charge on May 6, St. John’s County court records show.

According to court records, Larson is scheduled for sentencing for the trespassing charge on Oct. 31 at 1:30 p.m.