Janoris Jenkins' second marijuana-related arrest of the year cost him his spot on the Florida football team.
Coach Will Muschamp announced today that he dismissed Jenkins, an all-SEC cornerback and arguably the team's most talented player, from the Gators after a meeting Tuesday morning.
"After meeting with Janoris Jenkins today, we both felt it was in his best interest to move ahead to the next stage of his career," Muschamp said in a statement released by the University Athletic Association.
"We appreciate Janoris' contributions to the University of Florida during his time here and wish him the best of luck."
Muschamp is expected to speak with the media later today at a booster club event in Fort Lauderdale.
It is unclear what the next stage of Jenkins' career will be. He would have been a senior this fall and has the option to red-shirt and transfer, which would make him eligible to play again in 2012. He also could play immediately for a Division II or III program.
Jenkins, from Pahokee, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession under 20 grams on Saturday, shortly after he had resolved a previous arrest for the same offense.
Police also arrested Jenkins on Jan. 22 for having marijuana in a Gainesville nightclub. He pleaded no contest to the charges and accepted a deferred prosecution agreement.
The Gainesville Police Department issued a press release Saturday saying an officer saw Jenkins smoking marijuana in a car shortly after midnight. He is ordered to appear in court May 12.
He also had a May 2009 arrest for fighting at a nightclub and resisting arrest. The affray charge was dropped, and he agreed to deferred prosecution on the charge of resisting arrest. He upheld the terms of his plea deal and the charge was removed from his record.
Jenkins, 22, passed on an opportunity to enter the NFL Draft in order to play his senior season for the Gators. He was widely viewed as a first-round pick. He cannot be picked in the draft, which begins Thursday, but might be able to enter this summer's NFL supplemental draft.
Part of the reason he declined a chance to be drafted this year was a shoulder injury. He played most of last season with a torn labrum and had surgery to repair it in late November.
Jenkins was a three-year starter, earning playing time immediately after arriving from Pahokee in 2008.
He is the second player from Pahokee High School to leave the team this year. Red-shirt freshman Chris Dunkley, who is from Royal Palm Beach and played one season at Pahokee, announced his intent to transfer earlier this month.
Two other Gators were arrested for the same misdemeanor as Jenkins this year. LB/DE Chris Martin and LB Kedric Johnson were arrested in January, pleaded no contest and agreed to deferred prosecution.