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November 4, 2006

Florida dismisses DT Marcus Thomas

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Florida 25, Vanderbilt 19

NASHVILLE Florida senior defensive tackle Marcus Thomas has been booted off the team.

Coach Urban Meyer declined to discuss the reason for Thomas' dismissal after the seventh-ranked Gators beat Vanderbilt 25-19 Saturday.

Thomas did not make the trip to Nashville. Florida co-defensive coordinator Charlie Strong said the team was told Friday that Thomas had been dismissed.

At the start of the fourth quarter, a statement from Meyer was released in the press box. It read simply: "Marcus did not meet his responsibilities and obligations to remain on the team." Meyer referred to the statement when asked further questions after the game.

Thomas missed the season opener because of a suspension for failing a drug test during the summer. He also served a two-game suspension midseason for a failed drug test, though Thomas claimed both suspensions were for the same failed test.

Thomas had started all five games in which he has been available. He was second on the Gators' sack list with four. He had 26 tackles, 5.5 for loss.

"We just made them aware (Friday), and probably some of them knew," Strong said. "I feel bad for the young man because of the talent he has."

Florida's defensive players were mum on Thomas.

"It hurts, but we have to focus on the season and keep moving," defensive end Derrick Harvey said.

For more coverage of Florida, visit GatorBait.net.

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