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Mullen Responds to Gators Out-of-the-Field Problem Series



TAMPA, Florida – The personal beliefs of the Florida coach on violence against women, Dan Mullen, have not resulted in a zero tolerance policy for her program.

Although Mullen expressed disappointment at having two players and a staff member accused of violence against women last month, he acknowledged Wednesday that it would be "hypocritical if you look at it. my story to say that it's a 100% business ".

Mullen's past experiences help explain why Brian Edwards and Otis Yelverton, assistant director of player staff, are still part of the program.

"Obviously, everyone who knows me likes me to take an extremely strong position on it," said Mullen before a break in his annual recall tour. "I do not see anything acceptable about it, no violence against women, that it 's about a violent act or an unlawful sexual act at the time. but I also like having all the information before making a final decision. "

"I do not see anything acceptable about it, no violence against women," said Florida coach Dan Mullen. "But I also like to have all the information before making a final decision." Alan Youngblood / Star-Banner via AP

Edwards was charged last week with grabbing his two-year-old girlfriend by the neck while she was trying to leave their apartment. A witness intervened and called 911, according to the Gainesville police. Edwards was arrested on a battery charge, a first-degree offense. He pleaded not guilty.

Yelverton was arrested on April 23 on a cyberbullying threat, according to Alachua County court records. Police said Yelverton had threatened to blow up his ex-girlfriend's car on a voice mail and called her, texted or sent a message on Facebook 40 times after they broke up. Yelverton, 51, has been arrested on charges of third-party criminal harassment.

Yelverton was put on administrative leave.

Edwards is still attending classes in Florida, but has been suspended from all team activities.

"In the past, players have had certain situations to which I gave them a second chance," said Mullen, citing the former Jeffery Simmons, defensive striker from the state of Mississippi. "I had a lot of information to make that decision – it was not a whim – in retrospect, I would maintain my decision that I had made last time, with Jeffrey Simmons." But J & I Had a lot of information to make that decision, probably maybe it was not even public or that people were not doing research or did not know how to make that decision. "

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Simmons was filmed in 2016 by hitting a woman during a fight involving both her sister and her mother. Simmons apologized for the incident and had no problems during his three years in the state of Mississippi, the first two under Mullen.

"Often you hear different aspects of history," Mullen said. "I try not to judge 100% of the truth.My work is not an investigator.It's the best way to make a decision, once you have all of This is not always great to expect to get all the information, but it is the best way to make a decision.

On April 6, Florida quarterback Jalon Jones was also charged with committing sexual violence in a 30-minute window. The freshman has since withdrawn from school and intends to transfer.

Chris Steele, the highest-ranked rookie of Mullen's last rookie class, and his cornerback Jaydon Hill were named as witnesses in the police reports. They were Jones's roommates.

Steele, who asked to change dorms before the incident, left the school last month and has since announced his intention to move to Oregon.

"Many decisions were made in this decision for him and his family," said Mullen, who traveled to California with his wife in hopes of convincing Steele to return. "One of the things we have done is to try to support him, I support him from the day he arrived on campus until today, we always try to support him and to help him implement his decision and help him in the future. "

The absence of violence against women is one of Florida's "core values" and it is included in the panels hung in the team's meeting room.

"It's really disappointing for us when we have individuals – whether it's an athlete student or a staff member – to make a decision that affects them." negatively, but that also shines a bit on the program, "said Mullen. "[It’s] really disappointing because we spend a lot of time making decisions with our guys. … We spend a lot of time making good decisions in life, making good social decisions and getting better in life. Obviously, when this kind of thing happens, it is very disappointing for us when a few people do it. "


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