Joiner practices with Gators, but Meyer removes captaincy

Updated: October 3, 2007, 7:59 PM ET
Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida safety Tony Joiner practiced Wednesday, one day after he was charged with felony burglary for allegedly trying to take his girlfriend's car out of a towing company's impound lot.

Coach Urban Meyer stripped Joiner of his captain's status and said the senior starter has not been cleared to play Saturday at top-ranked LSU.

Meyer said Joiner would not see the field as long as he is charged with a felony.

"I'm dealing with the facts that I know and that's he was out at the ridiculous time of the day and that's not what I expect out of a captain," Meyer said. "So as of now, he's not a captain at the University of Florida. Any further disciplinary action is going to be a result of what I find out on the legal side of it."

Joiner walked off the practice field with his head down and was off limits to reporters.

Meyer said sophomore Dorian Munroe would start in place of Joiner against the Tigers.

Although the felony charge could be reduced to misdemeanor trespassing, Joiner's case could take several days or maybe even a couple of weeks to work its way through the state attorney's office.

Joiner was arrested around 5 a.m. Tuesday outside the fenced impound lot, Gainesville police said.

The owner of the property called the whole thing a misunderstanding, saying Joiner had arranged to pay the $76 towing bill and pick up the car. But when no one was there to help Joiner, police said, he pushed a heavy electric gate open, got into the car and started to drive off.

Joiner stopped to close the gate and was confronted by a witness, who then called police. Teammate and fellow safety Kyle Jackson was waiting outside the gate, but was not arrested.

Joiner was the eighth Florida player arrested in the last seven months.

His arrest also came two days after three teammates were questioned about a shooting outside a downtown nightclub. The players were not considered suspects. Their names were given to police as people who may have witnessed the early Sunday morning shooting, which happened several hours after the Gators lost 20-17 to Auburn.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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