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Florida Gators football player kicked off team

GAINESVILLE — Florida cornerback Jacques Rickerson was dismissed from the football team after his arrest Tuesday morning for what police say was domestic battery against his girlfriend.

Rickerson, a redshirt sophomore from St. Augustine who played in all eight games this season, making 10 tackles, was involved in an argument that turned violent after his girlfriend asked him to leave, according to a police report.

While Rickerson, also a key player on special teams, remained in the Alachua County Jail, coach Urban Meyer dismissed him from the team, saying his conduct was unbecoming to the program.

"Jacques Rickerson is no longer part of our team — that is not what our program is about," Meyer said in a statement. "My focus and our team's focus is with the players who are part of the program and preparing for the Vanderbilt game."

Court records show Rickerson did not have a first appearance hearing Tuesday morning, and no bond had been set. Because Florida law requires a defendant to personally appear before a judge in domestic violence cases, Rickerson, who faces charges of domestic battery by strangulation, was expected to spend another night in jail.

According to an Alachua County Sheriff's Office report, Rickerson struck his girlfriend on the side of her face and used his hand to choke her around her throat. When she attempted to scream for help, the report states, Rickerson pushed her neck further into the bed's mattress and grabbed a pillow, using it cover her face.

Rickerson, 20, is also accused of blocking the door when she tried to leave and grabbing her cell phone when she attempted to use it to call the police.

"The victim sustained visible injuries to her arm, neck and upper chest," the report states.

Rickerson was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession on Feb. 9, 2007, but charges were dropped two months later.

Antonya English can be reached at english@sptimes.com.

Florida Gators football player kicked off team 11/04/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 7:39pm]
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