Report: Florida, Muschamp passed on taking Baylor player Sam Ukwuachu

Will Muschamp reportedly passed on adding Sam Ukwuachu to Florida's roster. (USATSI)
Will Muschamp reportedly passed on adding Sam Ukwuachu to Florida's roster. (USATSI)

Sports Illustrated reported Tuesday that, in May 2013, Florida "considered taking" former Boise State defensive Sam Ukwuachu on a transfer, but decided against it after being told of Ukwuachu's violent relationship with his girlfriend by Broncos officials.

Ukwuachu would transfer to Baylor instead and was convicted last week of sexually assaulting a now-former Bears soccer player. How much of Ukwuachu's off-field troubles at Boise coach Art Briles knew before adding him to the Bears' roster has become a matter of controversy. Then-Broncos coach Chris Petersen says he "thoroughly apprised" Briles of Ukwuachu's behavior and Briles claims Petersen "did not disclose that there had been violence toward women" in their discussion.

Two unnamed former Florida staff members told Sports Illustrated, however, that the Boise staffer who spoke to them had been clear about Ukwuachu's issues. From the report by Thayer Evans and Pete Thamel:

[T]hen-Gators coach Will Muschamp decided against it after a Boise State athletic department employee detailed Ukwuachu's troubles with a girlfriend ... That included the former freshman All-America defensive end's alleged physical abuse of his girlfriend and an allegation that Ukwuachu put his fist through a window while drunk at the couple's home, one of the ex-staffers said. (Ukwuachu was not charged in either incident.)
"There was no way," one of the former Florida employees told The Inside Read of Ukwuachu. "[Muschamp] wouldn't touch him."

Asked Tuesday to comment further on his conversation with Briles, Petersen repeatedly declined to comment:

Ukwuachu was sentenced to 10 years of felony probation and 180 days in jail last Friday.

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