Larson leaves Gators basketball

Florida forward Cody Larson announced Friday that he has left the Gators basketball team after entering this season as a non-scholarship player for the first time in his three years at UF.

At Florida’s media day on Oct. 10, UF coach Billy Donovan stated that Larson had not met expectations both on and off the court to remain on scholarship heading into the 2012-13 season. Larson was arrested with senior forward Erik Murphy back in April 2011 on charges of third-degree burglary.

After Larson was reinstated on the team, the redshirt sophomore played sparingly last season for the Gators, scoring 12 total points and rebounding 21 shots in 25 games.

“After a lot of careful thought, I have decided that I need to place my focus on my personal life and my academics,” Larson said in a UF statement released Friday. “I really appreciate Coach Donovan and the whole staff here at Florida for the support they have given me, and that made this decision even harder.”

The loss of Larson comes five days before the Gators’ first exhibition against at home against Nebraska-Kearney. While not expected to heavily contribute on the court, Larson’s 6-foot-9 frame became more valuable in practice after transfer Damontre Harris suffered a labrum tear and underwent surgery.

“I know this was a difficult decision for Cody,” Donovan said in the statement. “He has made great strides in his personal growth, and I’m very proud of him for that. All of us here wish him the best as he moves on from our team.”

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john boothe
John is a former editor and sportswriter with The Independent Florida Alligator and is a recent graduate of the UF College of Journalism and Communications. Over the last three years, he has also written articles for the Ocala Star-Banner and the Gainesville Sun while covering Florida Gators basketball, soccer, women’s lacrosse and local high school sports. A proud native of Ocala, Fla., John likes to fish the Withlacoochee Bay for trout and redfish and listen to bluegrass in his spare time.