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Gators suspend star cornerback Jalen Tabor for opening game

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The University of Florida will enter the 2016 season without the player who may be the Gators’ best.

The Gators have suspended cornerback Jalen Tabor, along with tight end C’yontai Lewis, after the two had an altercation at a Florida practice.

“Both C’yontai and Jalen will not be involved with the team or practice due to behavior that is not acceptable,” coach Jim McElwain told the Gainesville Sun. “By no means are these bad guys, and yet consequences have been handed down. We will not look the other way when it comes to breaking of team policies.”

“I want to echo what I said earlier, these are both fine young men who will learn and be stronger from their actions. They will also be suspended for the first game. There are life lessons in everything we do. We will be better because of it and no one person is bigger than the Florida Gators.”

This is the second time the outspoken Tabor, an All-SEC selection, has been suspended for a game. The junior had to sit out the Tennessee game last season for an unspecified violation of team rules. Last season, Tabor made 40 tackles (21 solo, four for a loss), four interceptions (two returned for touchdowns), and 18 pass breakups.

Tabor’s suspension comes only days after McElwain talked about how much Tabor has matured over recent months.

“I love the guy,” McElwain said last Friday. “He’s a guy who cares. He’s a guy who has really invested in himself. I think he’s grown up immensely as far as how he’s going about his business.”

Lewis, a redshirt sophomore and a contender for No. 2 tight end, started one game last year and played in eight others, catching four passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns.

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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