We mentioned the story of Florida forwards Erik Murphy and Cody Larson in our Morning Five post earlier today, but a new detail has emerged that makes the story even more ridiculous. As we noted before the two players were involved in an argument at a St. Augustine bar where they claimed to have lost a wallet. When they confronted an employee working at the bar who was counting money at the end of the night they were thrown out of the bar. According to reports, the two players along with Josh Adel, a student-manager on the basketball team, were seen trying to break into the car of a bar employee in the nearby parking lot. When employees confronted them, the three ran away, but Adel was caught about about a block later. According to police officers, they convinced Adel, who used to have a Twitter account and was apparently planning to have a wild weekend, to call Murphy and convince him to turn himself in. Murphy agreed and walked back to where the police were to turn himself in. This is the part where it gets interesting…
Larson, still on the loose, then called Murphy seven or eight times while Murphy was in the back of the police car and they began to discuss how they would get out of the charges while on speaker phone. That’s right. They were discussing how to get out of an arrest on speaker phone in the back of a police car with officers present and a tape recorder in the car. Eventually Larson was convinced by the other two to turn himself in. Murphy and Larson were charged with one felony count of third-degree burglary while Adel was charged with principal to burglary (as the lookout). All three were released after posting bond.
The University of Florida has not released a statement on the matter yet, but we can’t imagine that this will end well for the three particularly Larson, who already had received a 120-day suspended jail sentence and 2 years probation on charges of illegal use and possession of Hydrocodone while he was still in high school and he is still within that 2 year window now. Billy Donovan was aware of the charges when he was recruiting Larson, but decided to offer him a scholarship anyway. The arrests could be a big blow to the Gators next season as the two 6’10” forwards were expected to fill some of the massive void created by the departure of Alex Tyus, Vernon Macklin, and Chandler Parsons. Murphy averaged 4.3 PPG and 2.3 RPG in just 10.8 minutes per game as a sophomore and was expected to complement Patric Young on the inside as the Gators transitioned to a very different team. Larson, who redshirted this past season, but was a highly touted recruit even with his legal problems, was also expected to contribute significantly. Now, it appears that Donovan will have to scramble to find additional help for Young on the inside unless he decides to keep either one or both of these two on the team despite the arrest.
Update: Audio from the time around the arrest where, in an attempt to get Larson to turn himself in, Adel says, “We’re not in f-ing Gainesville. They [St. Augustine Police] don’t give a f-.” Later on Murphy tries to come up with ways to get out of the arrest before Adel talks him out of it.
(Video clip with the audio from the arrest available here via SportsByBrooks)