Antonio Morrison had an unannounced press conference with the media today — his first availability since being arrested twice this summer — and apologized for his actions that eventually led to him being suspended for the home opener against Toledo. Before fielding questions from reporters, Morrison led off the press conference with a statement.
“First off, I want to apologize for getting in trouble the past few weeks,” Morrison said. “It’s sincere for me. I apologize to my coaches, my teammates and everybody for everything that went wrong. It’s behind me. I’m moving forward from it. I learned from it. I just want to play football.”
For the better part of an eight minute interview, Morrison refused to talk about either incident, his punishment from the team or the conversation he had with Will Muschamp about reducing his suspension from two games to one.
He did, however, say that it was his choice to speak with the media and not something that the coaching staff or school had made him do. When asked if he wanted to be there, in front of more than a dozen reporters answering questions, Morrison said he volunteered to speak with the media.
“Yeah. That’s me. I’m not trying to run from y’all,” Morrison said matter-of-factly. “I want this to be done with. I’m coming and telling y’all right now, any of y’all interview me after this, I don’t want to talk about it. I already discussed this with y’all. It’s football from here on out. We talking football.”
While Morrison said that he wouldn’t discuss the specific conversations he had with Muschamp, or what kind of punishment he had behind closed doors, he did speak about letting his teammates down and how hard it was to be away from the game of football.
“Of course. Of course, man. Me not being out there with my teammates was a let down. At the same time, they support me,” Morrison said. “They’ve got my back.”
His head coach has his back as well. Muschamp acted swiftly following Morrison’s second arrest, handing down the two-game suspension. Morrison’s case was quickly thrown out by State Attorney Bill Cervone, but Muschamp declined to update Morrison’s status until Monday, when he announced that Morrison would only sit out the first game against Toledo.
“I think he’s remorseful about the whole situation,” Muschamp said of Morrison. “We’ve moved forward. Guys make mistakes and have poor judgment at times. I’m just disappointed with how the whole night was handled.”
When it comes down to it, Morrison is a 19-year old kid. He made mistakes — most kids do — but his mistakes are thrust into the spotlight because of the university he plays for and the position he has on the team. Morrison says he has taken responsibility for his actions and is simply ready to move on.
“I learned a lot. I took responsibility for everything. Everything I took responsibility for. I just learned a lot from the whole situation as a person.”