Instead of a suspension for pleading no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge against his girlfriend, Florida tight end A.C. Leonard instead is transferring from the SEC school coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday.
The 20-year-old Leonard was arrested Feb. 15 after Gainesville Police Department officers responded to a call made by a 21-year-old female Florida student at The Polos Apartments on Southwest Williston Road,
Muschamp said he met with Leonard on Tuesday and the two decided it would be best if Leonard transferred. Muschamp had suspended Leonard following his February arrest, but allowed him to return to the team March 26 and participate in the last part of spring practice.
The victim, who said she had been dating Leonard for a year and a half but only living with him for a month, claimed Leonard assaulted her during a verbal argument, according to police.
The woman claimed Leonard shoved her in the chest with both hands and knocked her to the ground. As she was falling, the woman said she struck her head on a dog cage, police said.
The woman said Leonard, who is 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, grabbed her by her hair and dragged her toward the front door, ripping out chunks of her hair and breaking a necklace in the process. The woman said Leonard then grabbed her by both feet, dragged her out of the apartment and locked the door, Valuri said.
The woman had abrasions on her left forearm and right elbow, injuries consistent with being dragged on a carpet, police said.
Leonard pleaded no contest and was ordered to serve six months’ probation, pay $628 in court costs, participate in anger management classes and have no contact with the woman.
Leonard caught eight passes for 99 yards as a freshman last season but was expected to be a bigger part of the Gators’ attack this season. There was no immediate word where he would resume his career.