Kan Li / Scout

Callaway found not responsible for violation

Hearing Officer John J Scheckel in the student conduct hearing of Florida sophomore receiver Antonio Callaway has found the All-American pass catcher not responsible for violation of the student code. In a statement released on Friday, a week after the hearing, Scheckel passed on his ruling.

With no accuser or anyone representing the accuser present, Antonio Callaway’s hearing went on anyways and at the conclusion of the hearing Scheckel said he had enough to make a decision.

In a four page document released about the hearing, Scheckel pointed out numerous things he discounted and allowed to be a part of the hearing, noting things on both sides of the argument that he would not allow. In conclusion, there wasn’t enough to find Callaway responsible.

“For all the foregoing reasons and for the totality of the evidence I find the burden of proof was not met and I find Mr. Callaway not responsible,” Scheckel finished in his report.

Scheckel had to determine if any of three different misconducts happened in this instance. The three were conduct causing physical injury or endangering another’s health or safety, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct. The three were described in the letter sent by Scheckel.

Scheckel was asked by the accuser’s attorney John Clune to recuse himself from the hearing days before the hearing because of possible bias given his position with the University as an Athletics’ booster, as a former athlete at the school, and in a position within the University as a board member on one of the many schools within.

Scheckel refused to step aside citing the following in the letter sent out on Friday.

“I denied the request. While he did not impugn my integrity, he was concerned with bias. I recounted my experience training, education and life involvements, and indicated that I believed that I would not be biased in any way in favor or against any of the parties. I have prosecuted rape cases. I have sat in judgement of lawyers. My family has dealt with rape issues. Note that this is a student conduct hearing which is often held by a member of the University community. The issue is an alleged conduct violation by Mr. Callaway.”

The public report had some details of the case including the fact that Callaway was admittedly high on marijuana when the supposed incident took place. That was not a part of the hearing, but a separate issue that may have to or already has been dealt with by the football program.

Callaway was suspended from campus and the team from January until mid-June, the start of Summer-B classes. He was allowed to take classes off campus during the time and was able to maintain his eligibility. He has been practicing with the football tea since the start of fall practice a week ago.

This should close the book on Callaway’s ordeal with the student board, but both parties do have 10 business days to appeal the decision. That is not expected.

Stay tuned for more and check our message board for more as we discuss the latest regarding this story.


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