University of Florida officials could have avoided looking shady. They could have avoided a choice that made it appear to the outside world that the school cares more about winning football games than it cares about its female students. They could have avoided a decision that was patently unfair to an accuser, to the person she accused and to the person charged with dispensing justice.

The people in charge at Florida could have avoided all of this, but instead they either willfully or negligently chose a person who donates to Florida’s athletic department—for the purpose of buying football and basketball tickets—to be the hearing officer in a student judicial affairs hearing involving Gators star receiver Antonio Callaway. Then, when an attorney for Callaway’s accuser cited this as the reason the accuser would boycott the hearing, Florida officials—the university side, not the athletic department—then released a tone-deaf statement that proves they have no idea how much damage they could do to the people involved and to the university’s reputation.

According to a letter from John Clune, the accuser’s attorney, Callaway was accused of sexual assault by a female Florida student. His then-teammate, Treon Harris, was accused of attempted sexual assault. No police report is available, and the university—not the criminal justice system—has handled the case since the accusation was made. This is why information has been so scarce. Because the university has handled the case, the school has claimed all records are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Callaway and Harris were banned from campus from January until early June. Harris has since decided to transfer, and ESPN reported this was part of a plea agreement in the case. Callaway chose to fight the accusation in a hearing. He may be allowed to play football again, but thanks to

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