Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators have been tripping over themselves all season, so it’s only fitting that their 2020 campaign ends with more embarrassment.
It was announced on Tuesday that the Gators were being slapped with Level 2 and Level 3 recruiting violations thanks to their coaches’ prohibited communications with high school athletes.
Mullen, along with some of his assistants, prompted the NCAA to place the Gators on a one-year probation, hitting the program multiple recruiting restrictions as well as a $5,000 fine.
Mullen will have to abide by a one-year show-cause order. This means he will not be allowed to participate in any off-campus recruiting activity during the fall 2020 evaluation period, as well as a four-day, off-campus recruiting ban during the fall 2021 contact period.
This news just adds to the firestorm that Mullen has already put the Gators through.
Firstly, Mullen throws out a defense against Texas A&M this season that couldn’t stop a runny nose in a Kleenex factory. Not only did the Gators fall behind in the playoff hunt early with the loss at Texas A&M, after the game Mullen had the audacity to say he wants 90,000 people in the stands at the Swamp during the middle of a pandemic.
Unsurprisingly, Mullen tested positive for COVID soon after that ridiculous statement, and the program had an outbreak that halted its activity for almost two weeks in October.
Through all of that, the team was able to dominate the SEC East and get the opportunity to play Alabama in the SEC title game for a chance to go to the playoffs — but inexplicably lost at home to an LSU team that’s worse than three-day-old oatmeal.
What makes it even worse is how they lost, with defensive back Marco Wilson deciding to throw an LSU players’ shoe 20 yards after a third-down stop late in the fourth quarter. The ensuing 15-yard penalty allowed the Tigers to kick a game-winning field goal.
Even after that debacle, Mullen had a chance to make a case to the playoff committee by beating Alabama in the SEC Championship, but once again failed to prepare his defense. The Gators were torched that night for 52 points.
Mullen likely doesn’t have full control of this program based on the evidence presented and if he does, it’s clear that his direction is not putting all of his players in the position to be successful on and off the field.
Advocating for full stadiums when hundreds of thousands are dying from a contagious disease, then having an uncontrollable outbreak on your own team, and then putting a defense together that lets offenses run through them like a Taco Bell quesadilla isn’t exactly emblematic of a good college coach who’s supposed to be a leader of young men.
Mullen continues to show that he has an innate ability to screw things up at Florida.
2020 just keeps giving us proof of this.