A long night for Florida against Alabama back on Oct. 1 seemed to be that much longer when the news surfaced that former Tide player Reggie Myles had accused starting Gator defensive lineman Dominique Easley of assaulting him outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Last week, the University Police Department that investigated the accusations filed a complaint against both Easley and Myles, charging the former with misdemeanor assault and the latter with criminal mischief, larceny and disorderly intoxication. But fortunately for the Gators (and Myles), state attorney Bill Cervone has elected not to press charges against either party.
Perhaps recognizing the target audience for interest in the case, Cervone drew on a time-honored football metaphor in an official statement announcing his office's decision (emphasis added):
“There are no clean hands in this situation. There is also no harm done, despite protestations to the contrary, that outweighs these factors. Any harm to either party is in essence canceled out by the harm to the other party.Myles had claimed that Easley tackled him on a stadium walkway in what he described as an unprovoked attack. That he wound up with the heavier burden of charges, however, would seem to indicate neither UPD nor Cervone were able to take his story at face value.
“To use an appropriate analogy, I am therefore calling offsetting penalties and declining to file any criminal charges against either Easley, Myles, or anyone else.”
The news will be highly welcomed by Florida fans who might have seen filed charges result in the suspension of their team's leading tackler-for-loss. Particularly with run-heavy Vanderbilt on the schedule this wek, Easley's ability to close down running lanes could prove vital as the Gators attempt to claw their way out of a four-game losing streak.
But even if Easley was a third-string special teamer, the way the past month has gone for Will Muschamp's team -- and the way the Gators' arrest record has remained in headlines of late -- the news would still be greeted just as warmly. At this point, the Gators will take every possible positive they can get.