It's a buzz that is not going to go away anytime soon. There have been 24 arrests o..."/> It's a buzz that is not going to go away anytime soon. There have been 24 arrests o..."/>

Who is Huntley Johnson and why is he being called the Florida Gator's MVP (Sorry, Tebow)


It’s a buzz that is not going to go away anytime soon. There have been 24 arrests of Gator football players in Urban Meyer’s four seasons as head coach. Slowly but surely, Florida sportswriters are crawling from their Tim Tebow infatuation to realize that something is fishy in Gainesville. And it could be a lot worse if not for Huntley Johnson.


Johnson is the Gainesville attorney that has handled 23 of the 24 cases and has been successful in having 21 of them end in dropped charges, plea agreements, or pre-trial deferment plans. In a June 14 article, Orlando Sentinel columnist Jeremy Fowler went as far as to say that Johnson may be the Gator’s MVP next to Tim Tebow. Huntley even displays an autographed picture of Florida field in his office autographed none other by Meyer : Huntley, thanks for being part of the team – Urban Meyer.

It should be noted that Huntley is in no way paid by the University of Florida but it is interesting that virtually every Gator football player in trouble finds his way to Huntley’s office. Most of the players are referred to Huntley directly by the Gator staff. While there is no NCAA rules against schools endorsing a lawyer to athletes, Fowler said that the bigger question is how that lawyer is paid.

Per NCAA rules, the school can provide a lawyer to an athlete only when it is a matter of eligibility issues. For personal matters, the athlete must pay the same amount as the firms average customer. Huntley’s firm specializes in criminal defense cases from alleged murders to rapes to traffic defenses. Even on a minor charge, the lawyers fee can run into thousands of dollars to have a case dismissed or a plea bargain arranged.

Johnson declined comment to Fowler on his fees but also mentioned that he has worked pro bono in the past as well. While the story did not mention how many of the Gator cases were pro bono, one has to wonder what percentage of the Gator players were getting free legal services and if the same percentage of Huntley’s regular clients got this free service as well.

All questions that deserve to be answered but don’t look to the big time media. The only recent story lately on the Gator’s recent troubles on ESPN was a story where Meyer said most of his players were “good kids”.

Simply put, where is the outrage? Where are the accusations? Where is the speculation?

If you think I am being a bit over the top. let’s consider this scenario and see how the media would have covered this story if it unfolded this way:

We all know that UK has had problems with players getting in some legal situations, so let’s use the John Wall example. As we know, John Wall entered a pre trial deferment plan where his case will be dismissed after he completes community service. Now this is the same thing Huntley has done for several Gator players. Nothing fishy yet. But assume now that Calipari sent Wall to a lawyer that provided his services for free. Do you think that Forde, Parrish, and company would be howling with outrage? You betcha.

It’s just a curious matter that more people are not looking at the Florida situation and asking the questions on how firm a grasp Meyer has on the program. The Tim Tebow love fest runs for about another 10 months and then after that there is no media darling to shield the ugly truth.

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