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Florida suspends two basketball players after arrest

GAINESVILLE — Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan suspended sophomore forward Erik Murphy and freshman forward Cody Larson after the two were arrested and charged with felony burglary Sunday in St. Augustine.

"I'm aware of Cody and Erik's situation and very disappointed with the news," Donovan said in a statement released Monday. " … I'm not going to comment further until I have more information and get a chance to meet with both student-athletes."

Police said Larson, 19, and Murphy, 20, were arrested after employees at Scarlett O'Hara's Bar saw the players breaking into a co-worker's car in a parking lot.

According to the St. Augustine Record, police Sgt. Jason Etheredge said that while Murphy was handcuffed and left alone in the back of a police car, Larson kept calling Murphy's cell phone. Etheredge said a recording of the players in the car includes admissions that they participated in the burglary.

USF TRANSFERS: As expected, USF said sophomore guard Mike Burwell, who averaged 1.7 points a game, requested and has been granted a release to transfer along with junior guard Shedrick Haynes. Coach Stan Heath has known of the departures long enough that both scholarships are spoken for, with recent commitments from junior college combo guard Blake Nash and prep point guard Anthony Collins.

BETTING ALLEGATIONS: A former University of San Diego star and nine others were charged with running a sports betting business to affect the outcome of games, federal authorities said. An indictment named Brandon Johnson, USD's all-time leading scorer who finished his career last year; Thaddeus Brown, an assistant coach in 2006-07; and Brandon Dowdy, who played in 2006-07 at USD then at Cal-Riverside. Authorities did not say how the scheme worked and said they were trying to determine its scope.

BAYLOR: Freshman standout Perry Jones said he's staying in school, skipping the chance to declare for the NBA draft.

CONNECTICUT: The Hartford Courant reported that Kemba Walker, the star of this season's national title team, will announce today that he will skip his senior season and declare for the NBA draft.

TENNESSEE: Former director of basketball operations Ken Johnson provided two free tickets to the mother of an athlete in March, a secondary violation that played a role in his firing and the firing of coach Bruce Pearl and his staff. The school detailed the violation in a letter March 25 to the SEC. The name of the athlete was blacked out.

WOMEN: Stanford assistant Bobbie Kelsey will replace Lisa Stone as Wisconsin's coach.

FOOTBALL: Villanova won't take a vote scheduled for this week to decide if the program, now in Division I-AA, would move to the Big East. In a statement, the school said the league needs time for due diligence.

JURISPRUDENCE: A grand jury will hear a first-degree murder case vs. former Virginia lacrosse player George Huguely, 23, who is accused of killing his girlfriend. Yeardley Love, 22, a member of the women's lacrosse team, was killed May 3, 2010.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report, which used information from Times wires.

Florida suspends two basketball players after arrest 04/11/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 12:01am]
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