Attorney says former Florida DB John Huggins did not choke tutor
Before John Huggins was dismissed from Florida, reporters obtained a UF police department report in which a tutor described being choked by the Gators defensive back. Now, an attorney representing Huggins is speaking out and offering a different version of events.
Gainesville, Florida attorney Ron Kozlowski told the Tampa Bay Times that the UPD report of the incident lacks important context.
“The report generally is accurate,” Kozlowski says in a Tuesday article from Matt Baker. “Where it’s inaccurate is in one critical place.”
The attorney says that Huggins placed his hands on the tutor in a “joking manner” in the Oct. 1, 2018 incident:
The tutor took away Huggins’ phone to make sure that he would return to the lesson, which he often failed to do. Kozlowski said the woman’s remarks were done in a joking manner, and Huggins responded by joking back and putting his hands around her “the way, if you had a sister when you were a kid, you might do.”
“Absolutely no malicious intent whatsoever,” Kozlowski told the Times. “He did not choke her.”
The UPD report from last fall noted there were no marks on the woman’s neck after the incident. She declined to pursue criminal charges, commenting to police that she was more concerned with “[Huggins’] studies.”
Huggins missed five games during the 2018 season, which the attorney says came during a period in the defensive back was not allowed on campus while the allegation was investigated.
Huggins impressed during UF’s 2019 spring practice, but was absent from the team’s fall camp due to what coach Dan Mullen told reporters was a family issue. Huggins’ attorney told the Times that the player’s mother recently had surgery.
This weekend, news broke that Huggins was dismissed from the program. Mullen was asked about the dismissal Monday and did not go into detail.
During his first media availability since Huggins’ dismissal, Mullen was asked if the decision to dismiss the defensive back came from the school or the football team.
“No, it was ours,” Mullen said.
As for what went into the decision to dismiss Huggins, Mullen noted, “not living up to what we expect of the Gator standard from (Huggins),” as the reason.
“It was evolving, there were things we were looking for him to have to do,” Mullen added.
Huggins was part of Florida’s 2018 recruiting class and has reportedly entered his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal.