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Courts / Law

Coaches, Players Talk USF Football Arrests

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Mark Schreiner
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WUSF 89.7 News
USF Football head coach Willie Taggart talks about how players and coaches are dealing with the arrest of 3 players in the last three weeks at a news conference Tuesday.

While the University of South Florida football team celebrates its longest winning streak in five seasons, they're also dealing with the arrest of three players in as many weeks.

Freshman wide receiver Deangelo Antoine was arrested early Sunday morning on campus and charged with possession of a controlled substance for allegedly having Xanax pills without a prescription.

Earlier this month, offensive lineman Benjamin Knox and cornerback Lamar Robbins were arrested for allegedly firing a gun on campus, striking a residence hall.

At a news conference Tuesday, USF head football coach Willie Taggart said that he and his fellow coaches will continue counseling players about doing the right thing.

"We've got to continue to preach and make our guys understand that, each and every day, you've got to make great decisions because one little bad decision could affect the rest of your life," he said.

"The vast majority of our guys are doing what we ask them to do, we just have to make sure we continue to teach and our (coaches) hold them accountable and our players hold each other accountable to doing things the right way," Taggart continued.

"Just like that," he added, snapping his fingers, "your future can be gone away from all the work you've put in. You've got to make better choices for themselves, first and foremost, and then make better choices for this university that gave them the opportunity to get ahead in life."

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Credit Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News
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WUSF 89.7 News
Fifth year senior USF offensive lineman Thor Jozwiak said teammates are trying to help each other avoid troublesome situations that might get them in trouble with the law.

Fifth year senior offensive lineman Thor Jozwiak said that older players are trying to make sure underclassmen know what's expected of them.

"We've just tried to instill 'let's be safe and let's be smart,' Jozwiak said. "We're on the verge of something awesome here, let's not put it in jeopardy."

The Bulls take a three game winning streak to Maryland this Saturday, where they play the U.S. Naval Academy.

Antoine, Knox and Robbins have been suspended from football-related activities.

In September, former USF football player Elkino Watson was stabbed to death and current student Desmond Horne was injured in an incident outside an Ybor City nightclub. Randolph Graham, 23, faces second-degree murder charges.