Cleat-gate; much ado about nothing

Florida head coach Will Muschamp explained about a misunderstanding that went a little too far on Tuesday about a pair of cleats…

It has been a trying few days following the big win over the Tennessee Volunteers for the Gator football program and the fans of that program. Monday brought to light an investigation into sexual battery on freshman quarterback Treon Harris, who happened to be the hero of the game on Saturday. Tuesday the police were called again because two players were fighting outside of Ben Hill Griffin stadium following practice. Just not the kind of things you want as headlines for your program at this time.

On Muschamp’s SEC teleconference call on Wednesday he made sure that questions really couldn’t be asked about the investigation into Harris, an investigation that still hasn’t produced charges against the freshman.

“I know there will be some questions involving the Treon Harris situation,” Muschamp started. “I think our statement on Monday was self-explanatory. This is a serious charge. There has been no change in Treon’s status and I don’t have anything to add on the situation at this time.”

He was much more candid on the fight between sophomore quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg and freshman defensive end Gerald Willis. Muschamp did his best to describe exactly what happened that led up to the ordeal and it involved some confusion that can happen with hundreds of cleats being dried at the same time.

“About the fight… it was a situation where it is LSU week and Gerald Willis is from Louisiana and he is excitable at times,” Muschamp said. “It was a total misunderstanding of what happened with (some cleats). We have an air blower on the cleats that dry the cleats out. Skyler Mornhinweg used to be number 17 last year and Gerald didn’t have his cleats… we believe he left them in Tennessee. For Monday’s practice he needed someone’s cleats and he borrowed Jordan Sherit’s cleats (number 17 now). He went out to practice in Skyler’s cleats and didn’t realize whose cleats they were. When they came in… I wish the young men had handled it a little differently.”

Muschamp said there won’t be any public discipline for the outburst.

“There was no stealing involved,” he said. “If there was stealing involved they wouldn’t be on our football team any more… that is a team rule. It was a misunderstanding and it was completely blown out of proportion in my opinion. It is no different than training camp when we open up a practice and get a ‘melee’ on the field… I call it a skirmish.”

The distractions aren’t wanted, but they just have to be dealt with the best way possible.

“It is what it is,” he said. “You handle situations in this role and you move forward and manage the football team and that is what we’ve done. We have preparation and things we need to handle within the organization and that’s what we do.”

Muschamp can’t bother himself with what the perception of things are after the previous two days. With about 16 months of being almost completely clear from the police blotter, he only wants to deal with the facts and not what others may think of things.

“As far as things are perceived, I have to worry about the reality of things,” he said.

The current quarterback situation…

Now they have to prepare the next quarterback. Mornhinweg and freshman Will Grier have been working with the second group all week as they move toward the LSU game. No decision has been made about who the next guy in would be.

“We haven’t made that decision at this time,” Muschamp said. “Both Skyler and Will have been repping at practice and done a nice job. We will visit that as the week moves forward.

Grier was recently cleared to practice after issues with back spasms and now he has mended and cleared to play.

“He is fine and good to go,” Muschamp said of the freshman. “He practiced yesterday and looked good.”

As for Driskel, the starter who was replaced on Saturday after being ineffective, Muschamp says he will bounce back.

“Jeff is a very strong, tough mentally guy,” the head coach said. “He and I had visits Sunday and Monday about moving forward. He was going to play in this game whether he started or not and we expect him to play well.”

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