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Gators offensive lineman arrested, facing two alcohol-related charges

Florida offensive lineman Trip Thurman, 20, is facing charges of possession of a driver's license or identification card with an altered date of birth and possession of alcohol by a person under the age of 21, Alachua County Court records show.

Both charges are second-degree misdemeanors.

Thurman, a redshirt freshman whose legal name is Frederick Alexander Thurman III, was originally charged on June 15 with a third-degree felony for possession of a forged driver's license or identification card after University of Florida police stopped Thurman's vehicle at the intersection of Gale Lemerand Drive and Stadium Road on UF's campus.

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Trip Thurman (GatorZone.com)
It is unclear why Thurman was initially stopped, but when the officer who stopped him asked for his driver's license the officer noticed within Thurman's wallet "what appeared to be a forged Florida driver license" which "made Thurman over the age of 21 and in turn able to purchase alcoholic beverages," according to a UPD report.

The officer read Thurman his Miranda rights and afterward, according to the report, Thurman allegedly stated the license was a "fake" and that he "used the license to gain access into night clubs."

Gainesville attorney Huntley Johnson, who has represented numerous Florida athletes in the past, filed a written plea of not guilty in Alachua court on Thurman's behalf a little more than a week after the arrest. The felony charge was reduced to the misdemeanor charge, and Thurman accepted a deferred prosecution agreement on Sept. 25 that stated he must pay $50 in prosecution fees and donate $100 to a local not-for-profit organization called Pleasant Place or perform 10 hours of community service. The agreement also stated he must "refrain from, violating any federal or state law or county or municipal ordinance" for four months. If he met those requirements, the charge would be dropped from his record.

However, two days after signing the agreement, Thurman on Sept. 27 was issued a written arrest/notice to appear for allegedly being in possession of a beer at The Florida Theater at 233 W. University Ave. during a concert by country singer Corey Smith.

According to a Gainesille Police Department record, officer Lonnie Scott observed Thurman holding a half-full can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, and when he saw the officer, Thurman "immediately placed the drink down on the ground (next to his left foot) in an attempt to discard the alcoholic beverage." The report also states that Thurman had black "X's" on his hands to indicate that he was under the age of 21.

Because he violated the terms of his deferred prosecution agreement, it's likely Thurman will now be again facing the charge for misdemeanor possession of a forged driver's license. Both cases are listed as "open" in the Alachua County Court system, and a court date has been set for December 5 at 9 a.m.

A spokesperson for the Florida football program did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Thurman is the 10th player and 12th and 13th individual arrest since Will Muschamp took over for Urban Meyer as the Gators' head coach. He is the first player to be arrested since tight end A.C. Leonard was charged with domestic battery in February defensive tackle Leon Orr was cited in May for driving with a suspended license, breaking the agreement he signed following an arrest on marijuana charges in January.

Thurman appeared in four games as a freshman last season before undergoing shoulder surgery and taking a redshirt. He has not made a start but has appeared in three games this season, mostly on special teams. Thurman, 6-6, 320 pounds, was rated by Rivals.com as a four-star recruit out of Dover High in Dover, Del.

No. 3 Florida plays No. 12 Georgia at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Jacksonville. The Gators can clinch the Southeastern Conference East division with a win.

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Great article! We really couldn't have done without this investigative journalism. Will the Herald be nominated for a Pulitzer for this piece?

One can only hope Will Muschamp forfeits Saturday's game. He's clearly lost control of this program.

Thanks again, Matt!

Well said! He had a fake ID, got caught and it didn't stop him from drinking! Great story! It's not like he was doing anything mean or stupid. There is no charge of DUI or public intoxication. He's 20. He's in college. Quit tryin' to ruin his life! (Or at least make it miserable.

Do we send r kids to college to get a degree and try to better the lives our be alcohol &drug addict. That what it sound like to me because Thayer a lot of this going on with under age college students 20 is not 21. What untill u get of age.

That's a hard-hitting piece of journalistic excellence, right there. I like this part the best:

"Trip Thurman, 20, is facing charges of possession of a driver's license or identification card with an alterted date of birth"

What meaneth "alterted"?

Cheap junk

A college student with a fake ID buying alcohol. I'm shocked.

If police made ths a priority they could arrest hundreds of students a day in Gainesville.
It's just sad that for this guy his name gets plastered in the news just because he's a backup on the football team.

This "story" will probably make ESPN.com which is also sad.

"It is unclear why Thurman was initially stopped, but when the officer who stopped him asked for his driver's license the officer noticed within Thurman's wallet "what appeared to be a forged Florida driver license"

Feel bad for this kid. Not like he was DUI, not like he hit someone. Seems to me the Gainesville PD doesn't have a lot of real police work to do.
Hey Mr Anthony l. Murphree, I had a few beers when I was 20, when I was 19 too, maybe even when I was 18. I am not an alcoholic, drug addict or criminal. Bet you I'm not the only one. It is normal for a 20 year old to want to go to bars, clubs etc and have a few beers.
Leave this guy alone and go after the real criminals.

A college student drinking and having a fake ID. I say give him the electric chair. Hey Matt you are great a regular f&@kin Woodward and Bernstein.

What else is new! A gator in trouble, hey, they should include a visit to and guided tour of the Alachua County Detention Center when recruits and their parents visit Gainesville, might be a good idea since so many of them end up seeing that compound!

ROFLMAO at Muschamps, hope his health insurance is paid up because he is going to have a stroke on the sidelines, such a flattering picture on CBS of his demeanor when he gets angry, lol!

C'mon now that is hilarious, just saying!

It's funny how people are always ready to call the canes criminals etc when the gators team has them beat hands down in that dept. Then they downplay it like it's nothing. You guys suck.

99% of college players drink -- it's no big deal and should be legal anyway. the police should go after real criminals.

Wow Anthony l. Murphree...I sure hope you didnt go to College. If you did please let me know where to not send my kids.

I'm glad I never had a fake i.d. or drank a beer in college.

Want to ruin your life?... Keep doing this and yes it is a big deal. I'm a UF fan and frankly I'm fed up trying to defend these guys every time it comes out that one of them has broken some law. It would have been better had he showed up to protect his Quarterback this past Saturday.

"99% of college players drink -- it's no big deal and should be legal anyway. the police should go after real criminals." @MeltheGeek that's is one of the sorriest comments ever. Let them drink and drive and then they are real criminals. Maybe you should sober up before you leave a comment.

Miraculously I made it through college without being arrested. Come to think of it, I've never been arrested and I never plan to.

I take no issue with the story. Facts are facts, regardless. Mr. Thurman is not your average college student, he is a student athlete on a scholarship representing the University of Florida. Also there is a general public history around the program with arrests ranging from assault to alcohol to drugs. I think the school and athletic department have done a pretty good job of addressing the issues since the incidents seem to be on the decline.

I am hopeful and confident that Mr. Thurman will learn his lesson and contribute to the Gators for the next 3 years.

Really????

I'd cut him some slack legally, however after watching the way the OL protected/blocked against UGA I am disappointed he is not fired up and using this time to gain an edge. Thurman, get focused and get to work! Your opportunity and career at UF is in major jeapordy! Get ready to compete or be ready to transfer because with the transfers and recruits on the board, playing time is going to be hard earned. Hope you're up to the task.

Not all of us are not aware about its proper use and sad to say there are several people abuses its substance for their personal gain and references like this hopefully will be an eye opener for them.

http://www.forummatters.com/forums/forumdisplay.php/16-Cannabis-Weed-Pot-Marijuana-Addiction

great article about alcohol...Want to ruin your life?... Keep doing this and yes it is a big deal. I'm a UF fan and frankly I'm fed up trying to defend these guys every time it comes out that one of them has broken some law. It would have been better had he showed up to protect his Quarterback this past Saturday.

Do we send r kids to college to get a degree and try to better the lives our be alcohol &drug addict.

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If this isn't a wake-up call, what is?
Being a football player, or even a star player, shouldn't exempt him. They should suspend him until his senior year and then give him another shot if he still wants to play. How many strikes do you get before you're out?

And when you think about it, you're not just penalizing him... you could potentially be saving his life by not letting him get away with a light slap on the wrist.

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