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Two Florida freshmen face felony charges in BB gun shootings

Published Jul. 19, 2016

The Florida Gators' quiet offseason is over.

UF incoming freshman wide receivers Tyrie Cleveland and Rick Wells were arrested Sunday after being accused of firing BB guns and causing more than $1,000 in property damage at Keys Residential housing on the Gainesville campus.

The two are being held in Alachua County Jail on two felony charges.

Cleveland and Wells, both 18, were charged with criminal mischief for damaging property of more than $1,000, a third-degree felony, and shooting a missile inside an occupied dwelling, a second-degree felony.

"This is not behavior that we expect," coach Jim McElwain said in a statement. "As I often talk about, there will be consequences for their actions."

A UF Police Department report said an officer was sent to Keys Residential at 11:30 p.m. Friday and observed three windows had been shattered and had a small, round hole in each. A review of video surveillance revealed two males shooting at someone around 6:45 p.m.

The officer eventually identified the men with their ID cards to be Cleveland and Wells.

Wells admitted his wrongdoing to the officer and turned over the BB gun, according to the report. The players were arrested and booked around 3:30 a.m. Monday.

The arrests were the first of a Florida player since receiver Chris Thompson in early April. Thompson was arrested after being accused of simple battery and dating violence, charges that later were dropped.

Cleveland is the top offensive recruit and along with Wells among five receivers in the 2016 class. Both players are Jacksonville natives, but Cleveland moved to Houston and finished his high school career there.

Ranked the No. 2 wide receiver in the nation, Cleveland was expected to play this season.

Each player is enrolled in summer school. The team begins practices Aug. 4.

Also, former FAU assistant Bryan Gillooly was named to the Gators' swimming and diving coaching staff. Gillooly will be in charge of the divers.

SEX ASSAULT SCANDAL: Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said league members are committed to the difficult task of "eradicating sexual assault" on their campuses in the aftermath of a scandal at Baylor that has damaged the image of the conference.

Baylor is reeling from allegations that its staff failed to properly handle accusations of sexual assault involving some of its former football players.

"We are very committed as a group of 10 schools to eradicating sexual assault on our campuses," Bowlsby said at the start of football media days in Dallas. "It almost goes without saying that when you combine alcohol and drugs and raging hormones and the experiences of 18- to 22-year-olds, it's probably unrealistic to think that these kinds of things are never going to happen."

ALABAMA: Coach Nick Saban suspended guard Alphonse Taylor indefinitely from the team, a day after the redshirt senior was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence. Taylor started all 15 games at right guard during the 2015 national championship season.

OHIO ST.: Running back Bri'onte Dunn was dismissed for a violation of team rules. Dunn had one season of eligibility left.