Monday, June 15, 2009

Interesting Stuff from Orlando Sentinel

Much has been made in recent weeks of the legal troubles of the University of Florida's football team, and the Orlando Sentinel even cataloged the 24 charges that UF's football players have faced since Urban Meyer took over as head coach.

So it was interesting to read a story from the other side of this spectrum, instead of ganging up on the players, Sentinel staff writer Jeremy Fowler did an article about Huntley Johnson, an area defense attorney who has handled 23 of the 24 cases for the football team.

From the article:

"Sentinel research shows that of the 23 cases handled by Johnson, 21 resulted in dropped charges, a plea deal or pre-trial deferment plans that help first-time offenders avoid charges after fulfilling court-ordered stipulations.
The remaining two cases are unresolved, including sophomore cornerback Janoris Jenkins' arrest two weeks ago on charges of affray and resisting an officer. Eight felony cases have been reduced to misdemeanors or thrown out of court."

According to the article, Johnson said he complies with NCAA rules when it comes to providing legal services to the athletes, including NCAA bylaw 16.3.2 which states that, "universities can provide legal expenses on a student's behalf only regarding eligibility matters. For personal cases, athletes must pay the same amount as a firm's average customer."

Also of note, one of Johnson's quotes from the article: "I don't represent the University of Florida. I don't represent football coaches. I represent the kids."
All in all, it's an interesting profile on the man who deals with (almost) all of the football team's recently well-documented legal troubles.

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