Fall From Grace: Top Five Florida Gator Scandals

The WWE has seen its fair share of scandals over the years. Time and time again though Vince McMahon was able to brush them off until their latest scandal involving an alleged three million dollar hush fund may have done Mr. McMahon in for good. The Florida Gators have been no stranger to controversy themselves over the years. So in honor of the turmoil the WWE find themselves in, here are the top five scandals in Florida Gators history.

 

5

Tony Amato Is Fired After One Year

Tony Amato took over as just the second ever head coach of Florida women’s soccer program in 2021 after long time coach and founder Becky Burleigh retired.

Amato came to Gainesville with a successful resume as coach of the Arizona Wildcats.

After one season though Amato found himself back on the job hunt.

Florida went 4-12-4 during the 2021 season. Reports then began to surface of mistreatment of players, including many comments deemed derogatory in regards to their diet.

One player even claimed that she contemplated suicide due to Amato’s treatment.

Amato was let go in April of 2022 for what Athletic Director Scott Stricklin called a “disconnect with the players.”

 

4

Dan Mullen Hit With Show Cause Penalty

One of Dan Mullen’s downfalls as head coach of the Florida Gators was his inability to recruit against the top guns of the SEC.

So as far as scandals go it’s a bit embarrassing for Mullen to have the recruiting struggles that he did AND that’s after it turned out he was committing fairly significant recruiting violations.

Mullen and his staff were guilty of illegal messaging to recruits. They also have an illegal tour of the football facilities to 127 athletes who were on their way to a tournament.

As part of the penalty, Mullen was restricted from off campus recruiting and was placed on probation.

 

3

Urban Meyer Has A Bunch Of Players Get Arrested

No college football team is going to be filled 100% with choir boys. But after the confetti had been swept up from the 2008 national championship squad, people began to notice that Tim Tebow might have been the only choir boy from that team.

The Orlando Sentinel began tracking Gators that had been arrested. The listed included Chris Rainey, Carlos Dunlap, Riley Cooper and Cam Newton.

By 2021, it had been reported that 41 members of the 2008 championship team had been arrested at some point, including a tight end that shall not be named.

 

2

Florida Tries To Cover Up Cam Newbauer

It’s one thing when scandals are out in the open and unfold in real time. It’s another thing when people feel like there is a cover up happening.

Cam Newbauer was given a contract extension in March of 2021 to keep being the Gators’ women’s basketball coach despite a 46-71 record.

Then in July of 2021, Newbauer mysteriously resigned for “personal reasons.”

It wasn’t until September of 2021 that it was revealed the toxic culture Newbauer had created that ultimately led to his departure.

Among the issues within the program was Newbauer throwing balls at players in practice and Newbauer making derogatory comments about black players.

Florida AD Scott Stricklin even admitted that he knew of issues that were within the program dating back to his first season in 2017, but still opted to give the contract extension.

 

1

Charley Pell Nearly Gives Gator Football The Death Penalty

Scandals in the 80s tended to be a bit more brazen and salacious. Before Spygate, before SMU was caught paying players, Charley Pell was trying to do it all at once.

In 1979, Florida went 0-10-1. By 1983, Pell had led the Gators to a 9-2-1 and their first ever top ten finish in school history.

Just one problem, Pell had 107 infarctions looming over the program.

Among the allegations was spying on opposing team’s practices and the old time tradition of paying players straight cash.

Pell would be fired and Florida would be placed on probation. Florida would win the SEC title in 1984 but later had to vacate the title.

Florida would also finish with the top record in the SEC in 1985 and 1990, but due to probations were unable to claim being SEC champions.

 

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