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Billy Donovan is giving troubled Gators recruit Cody Larson the benefit of doubt. Good idea?

GAINESVILLE -- Florida coach Billy Donovan has a history of taking chances on players with questionable backgrounds. The latest example seems to be Cody Larson, a 6-9, 225-pound power forward from Sioux Falls, S.D.

We'll have a story up on MiamiHerald.com shortly about Larson's travails. To make a long story short, the guy allegedly knows a thing or two about people who might at one point have illegally taken a few painkillers. Larson and a buddy were suspended from their high school basketball team in February after a run-in with the cops, allegedly over some Hydrocodone (Vicodin).

Don't want to stereotype here (well, yeah I do), but this all sounds so very South Dakota, where there is absolutely nothing to do except apparently eat a bunch of pills to pass the time. Larson, for his part, has not been charged with taking drugs. He has only been charged for living in a place where he knew illegal substances were being stored and used, a misdemeanor. At best, that doesn't sound like a great environment for young Mr. Larson. At worst, Florida basketball is about to inherit some potential drama.

Coach Billy Donovan was well aware of Larson's legal troubles during the recruitment process, meaning Donovan knows the risk he's taking on Larson. Larson's court date is set for June 22 but he'll probably work a plea deal before then. At that point, it will be up to Donovan, UF's support staff and the basketball team's leaders (Chandler Parsons and Kenny Boynton Jr.?) to keep Larson out of trouble. Hopefully this relationship will work out for both parties.

-jo-

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