Tim Tebow has great respect for the Gators' senior captain who was arrested on Tuesday and charged with second degree burglary following an incident at a Gainesville tow company.
"Tony's a great player and a great friend," Tebow said following the Gators' Tuesday night practice. "He's a great kid. He wasn't trying to do anything that was wrong. It was just an unfortunate event."
It's still unclear whether Joiner will be able to play in the Gators' biggest regular season game of the year, but if it were up to the sophomore quarterback, Joiner would be playing.
"I think in his heart he wasn't trying to do anything wrong," Tebow said. "Yeah, I think he should play."
Tebow may have a little say in the matter as a member of the team's Leadership Committee that handles in-house disciplinary issues.
"We'll talk about it," Tebow said. "I don't know exactly what steps are going to be taken."
As for the rest of the Gators, Tebow doesn't think Joiner's arrest will be a distraction as the team prepares for LSU.
"I think they are handling it well," Tebow said. "We have great coaches that are talking to them and making sure everyone is on track, focused and worrying about the game plan. I think our team's leaders are really stepping up and trying to get everyone to focus on the game plan and that's it."
Reports indicate that Joiner made arrangements with the tow company to pick up his girlfriend's car that had been impounded. When he arrived at the lot, no one was there, but the gate was open, so Joiner went in and begin to pull the car out. It was then that witnesses stopped him and called the police. The owner of the lot did not want the Gainesville Police Department to press charges against Joiner.
"It's upsetting," Tebow said. "I don't think he was thinking of doing anything wrong. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It wasn't something he intentionally tried to do."
Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski
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