Dunlap suspended for SEC title game
By Karen Voyles
Standout Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap has been suspended from Saturday's SEC Championship Game after his DUI arrest early Tuesday morning, UF coach Urban Meyer announced after practice Tuesday.
There is no timetable for the junior's possible return.
"Carlos obviously made a very poor decision," Meyer said. "I have not spoken to him or his family yet. I know you're going to ask if he's going to play. He's not going to play (Saturday). But I want to visit with him and his family first, and go from there."
Meyer said Dunlap's arrest only a few days before UF's biggest game of the season was "stunning".
"Stunning is probably a good word," Meyer said. "Young guys make decisions all the time. This one is a serious one. Yeah, stunning."
Meyer would not comment on Dunlap's playing future at UF. A junior, Dunlap is considered a likely candidate to forgo his senior season because he projects as a first-round NFL Draft pick next spring.
"I haven't thought about anything other than, stunning," Meyer said. "I'm very close with him and his family. I need to visit with them tonight."
Dunlap, 20, was arrested at 3:25 a.m. Tuesday by Gainesville Police Officer Robert Rogers at the signal light at Southwest Second Avenue and Southwest 34th Street.
According to police, Rogers was dispatched to the area to check out reports of a reckless driver in a Chrysler. Rogers said when he found the car matching the description, it was stopped although the traffic light was green. Rogers said he watched the light cycle through several times but the car remained stopped.
When Rogers approached the car, he said he saw Dunlap alone in the car and apparently asleep while at the wheel.
"The front windows of the defendant's (Dunlap's) vehicle were cracked slightly and officers on the scene were unable to wake the defendant," Rogers wrote in the arrest report. "Loud repetitive commands were given to the defendant who would only open his eyes momentarily and nod back off."
Rogers said he reached in through the slightly opened window to unlock the car and noticed that it was still in gear. After shifting the car into park and turning off the ignition, Rogers and other officers said they noticed Dunlap's breath smelled of alcohol, his eyes were watery and bloodshot, that he had trouble maintaining his balance and did poorly on field sobriety tests.
Dunlap reportedly refused to submit to a breath test and told Rogers and other officers that he had been at "a gathering" and was headed home.
Ugh. It's things like this that make it so frustrating that these guys who just can't keep their head on straight are born with such natural talent to squander.
As far as the football effects on this, obviously they're huge. Not only do the Gators lose a monster pass rusher who was MVP of last year's BCS title game, and who led the SEC in sacks this year, but it really messes up the whole d-line, which is a real strong point of the defense. Trattou, our best DT, now has to move out to DE. Jay Howard, who really hasn't played all that much, gets the start at DT. Also, part of the strength of this d-line was being able to rotate guys and keep them fresh, but now that's gone as well.