Florida Gators forward Cody Larson loses scholarship but remains with team
Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan said today he did not renew the scholarship of forward Cody Larson, but Larson has accepted Donovan's offer to remain with the team and pay his own way in school.
Larson, a redshirt sophomore from Sioux Falls, S.D., has had two previous incidents involving legal trouble, but Donovan said that was not the overriding factor in his decision.
"Cody has had some responsibility issues over the last year,'' Donovan said. "And I think certainly some of the things with Cody’s past were well-documented, and it had nothing to do with those things. It had more to do with his level of responsibility here. Last year, I’d say midway through, there were some things I wanted to see him do during the course of the year that he knew that there was a possibility that if he didn’t do these things, he may not be back. And he came up short on those things. I told Cody that I was going to evaluate his situation at the end of the year. I had been through some different situations with Cody and trying to help him get better on the court, off the court, in the classroom, taking care of his responsibilities and it was something that he was not doing.''
Larson said the added financial responsibility of paying for school has been difficult, but for now it's settled and he can focus on playing. He admits he's made mistakes and
"I've been playing basketball all my life, and I kind of took a step back and put things in perspective,'' he said. "It made me think about my life after basketball, think about what I was doing as a player and as a person. And it really kind of focused me and kind of whipped me into shape."
Larson said remaining under Donovan's tutelage was the most important reason he wanted to remain with the team.
"I just wanted to be under coach Donovan,'' he said. "It gives me a great opportunity to - not only as a basketball player but as a person - grow. Anybody who plays under coach Donovan is a better person because of it, as well as a basketball player."