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No internal reprimand for Nature Coast QB Ja'Juan Story

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Tue. August 17, 2010 | Izzy Gould | Email

Nature Coast quarterback and Florida commitment Ja'Juan Story will receive no punishment from his current team after he was charged Sunday with misdemeanor battery.

Story, 18, allegedly punched a woman, knocking her to the ground and leaving a mark on her left cheek while trying to break up a fight between two women, according to a Hernando County Sheriff's Office report. Story is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 15. Story denies punching anyone. 

Sharks coach Mark Nash said Story had not been arrested, and was simply handed a citation to appear in court.

"I'm not an authority on law and police work and things like that," Nash said. "It's my understanding he wasn't arrested and he had a misdemeanor citation. Along with that comes a court date. In essence, that's exactly what you get when you get a speeding ticket."

Nash said Story, who is listed as 6-4, 185 pounds, is allowed to practice and participate until he is told otherwise.

Unlike some bay area counties, Hernando County does not have a written rule instructing schools how to handle a student's run-in with law enforcement. In Pasco County, for example, the school handbook mandates an arrest leads automatically to a 20-day suspension from extra-curricular activities.

"I haven't been told he needs to be suspended or anything," Nash said. "Until I am told he needs to be suspended he's our starting quarterback. ...It's an unfortunate mistake. A lapse in judgment will taint an opinion of what I know to be a great kid with a great heart. The way I look at it was I wasn't there, I don't have the reports and I'm a football coach. if I'm not told to suspended him I'm not going to suspend him. I don't know all the facts."

Asked if he believed Story punched the woman, Nash said, "I can't picture Ja'Juan Story punching anybody. If Ja'Juan Story punches someone as big as he is and as strong as he is, that person is going to be in big trouble."

Story was one of the bay area's most sought after recruits with 28 scholarship offers before committing to Florida.

igould@tampabay.com

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