With friends like Huntley Johnson…

This is some article.  And this is some lede.

The warning came in December.

Huntley Johnson, a local attorney known for representing University of Florida athletes who get into trouble, wasn’t happy. His client, a star wide receiver, had been accused of sexual assault, and even though the athlete had been cleared by the university, Mr. Johnson criticized the process.

So he sent the university some demands. In a letter, he requested changes in how sexual-assault cases are handled, including how accused students are treated during an investigation. He also wanted the university to pay nearly $400,000 of the legal fees of the football player, Antonio Callaway.

If those conditions weren’t met, Mr. Johnson wrote, there would be consequences.

“It saddens us to think of the publicity that will be generated,” he told the university, “and the incredible amount of money that will be lost in the pursuit of remedies that should be reached quietly, quickly between the parties.”

Give Huntley credit where credit’s due.  He’s done exactly what he promised.

A month later, when the university hadn’t complied, Mr. Johnson showed he was a man of his word. He essentially declared war against his own alma mater and launched a barrage of public-records requests. He has filed more than 75 such requests since January.

The thousands of pages of records he obtained reveal numerous unflattering details about the University of Florida, including pornography purchases by a top administrator and improper spending on a new presidential house.

The continuing battle provides a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of one of the nation’s top public-research universities. It’s also a lesson in the disruption and damage that can occur when someone deeply connected to a university goes rogue.

Month after month, the university has been pummeled by negative headlines in The Gainesville Sun, just as Mr. Johnson promised. Is his crusade a form of accountability? Is it vengeance? Maybe it’s both.

With more to come, evidently.

The public pressure on Mr. Fuchs is likely to continue. After all, Mr. Johnson is still peppering the university with records requests.

Are more shoes about to drop?

“Unfortunately,” Mr. Johnson says, “this is not a two-legged animal. The answer to your question is yes.”

Never stand between a lawyer who knows where all the bodies are buried and his bill.

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33 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

33 responses to “With friends like Huntley Johnson…

  1. Spike

    “Nice University and football program you got there..” It’d be a shame if anything happened to it..

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    • Uglydawg

      Meanwhile in Columbus, Ohio, Corch is having trouble sleeping. “Why in the hell did I trust that backwoods southern lawyer?”

      Like

  2. Grab the popcorn if Huntley is going to go rogue on the Florida football program. If there’s anyone who knows where the bones are buried, I would assume he’s one of them.

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    • Argondawg

      No question. I believe there has been a time or two on here where we had lamented our lack of a Huntley Johnson type figure here. His clients seemed to get a slap on the wrist here or there. Now looking at it I am glad we don’t have our own Huntley Johnson or I don’t think we do. He may very well hurt the program and the university. He knows where all the soft spots are. Can you imagine the stories he has heard over the years from his own clients??? Thank god I am not a gator but if I was one I would be terrified.

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      • WarD Eagle

        I don’t get how shining a light on corruption is hurting the university of the program. Maybe it harms the current public perception, but it can only be good in the long run. Unless of course the only measure is wins.

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  3. Macallanlover

    Wait, $400K legal bills for Callaway alone? One frigging player, and how much playing time has he missed due to his conduct? I would be worrying more about what that says than some questionable spending issues by bureaucrats. Not that Callaway’s character will be penalized by the National Felon League.

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    • Uglydawg

      I gasped at the figure too. 400 K??? They could have had Cam Newton for 180k. This is a shakedown gone wrong and a lot of people at UF are going down…on both sides of this. Swamps are normally slimy places.

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    • Mayor

      You’re right. A $400K bill for that case is out of line. Expecting the University of Florida to pay it is even more out of line.

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      • I am sure his records are tight and can account for every penny of that bill. It’s all about billable hours, and he probably had an army of lawyers on Callaway’s case.

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      • Macallanlover

        I actually interpreted that to be the several cases Callaway has been involved in, but still…..

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  4. Back in the day I remember seeing a 60 minutes segment that was titled more or less: ” You don’t fuck with Roy Cohn”. I guess you also don’t fuck with Huntley Johnson.

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  5. sniffer

    Wasn’t it generally thought that Hundley repped the players pro bono, or was I alone in that? And if he’s been keeping track of billable hours, who’s been paying him? The broke ass, thugged up hood rat criminals that end up at UF (apologizes to what’s his name, the qb from some years back).

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  6. Hal Welch

    I have a feeling he’s gonna make Ole Miss’s problems look trivial.

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    • Uglydawg

      I think so, South FL Dawg. Neither side is concerned about right and wrong..about justice or injustice. They’re looking at $$$. Huntley may be his own undoing in all of this. When some of his vomituous, (invented thaat word) dealings are exposed, he could face disbarment. Wouldn’t that be something..draining the Swamp and going down the tube with the alligators…all biting and swearing and cursing one another as they circle the drain.
      Popcorn..extra butter and some really cold pilsner…

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      • Uglydawg

        Don’t know how that ^ got here. Was supposed to be a reply to South FL Dawg’s comment 6 or so posts below this. But pertinent reply to Hal also..I think Hal Welch may be the first to state this possibility…this could end up being “Death Penalty” materiel for UF…It’s going to get embarrassing.

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  7. reality check here

    I have said before I think many college administrators are scum of the earth. Certainly many are fine people, but I have seen first hand how shitty some of them are. For one thing many think anyone who is not liberal is simply a flawed stupid person. And they will say so. They are great champions of free speech unless they don’t agree with you. Tear up property? Fine as long as it is a liberal cause but don’t dare express a conservative or traditional view, especially if you are a Marine Corps veteran or former police officer like I was. I saw that first hand as an undergrad at Emory and had the misfortune of meeting some Columbia administrators.

    The other thing that struck me about the article was the mention of due process and how men accused of sexual misconduct are treated. This is a serious problem with colleges. They don’t practice due process. They have tribunals comprised of people with a predetermined outcome in mind. Kangaroo court is too tame a phrase to describe it. Anyone accused by college administration of anything should put their fate in the hands of the legal system not the schools

    Vengeance or accountability? Both are fine with me.

    Go for it Johnson.

    And Senator, I felt your loss when freeze was fired. I predict your popcorn franchise will be alive and well.

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    • paul

      The Title IX process (sexual misconduct) is neither fair nor unbiased. Nor is it supposed to be. Much, if not all of it, is dictated by the federal government. Schools have to have these processes in place or they don’t get their federal funding. At least in the area of Title IX, which is what predicated this dispute, the school has cover from the feds. I suppose that’s why Huntley is throwing a whole bunch of other poop at the fan. He’s not likely to win on the merits of his Title IX complaints.

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    • Dawgflan

      Yeah, there is a real liberal bias in academia, as I have friends in both professor and admin roles that hit against it, but I also think it is overblown and only one symptom of the problem. The real issue is not politics, but as Ward D Eagle and Twistification mention above, incompetence at minimum and institutionalized corruption at worst.

      Turning the focus to UGA, we like to focus on the Athletic Department, but in my admittedly anecdotal experience much of the University suffers from the same basic problems. Lifers in roles that have increased in prestige and received more/better resources, but lacking the skill sets, expertise, and vision to match. To be more harsh, midwits can convince themselves of greatness by surrounding themselves with others that think like them and take credit for happenstance. This is only exacerbated by the “let’s hire one of our own” pattern as seen in both the AD and President roles.

      IMHO Zell Miller deserves more credit for UGA’s rise in academic prestige than anyone on campus… The HOPE scholarship gave UGA the resources (money and better credentialed students) that fueled improved rankings, just as CBS, ESPN, and now the SEC Network have done for sports. And like in sports, there has been a gap between the resources & potential of UGA when compared to the institutional excellence required for a fully realized product.

      The things being uncovered by Huntley Johnson (porn on work computers, influence-peddling, ass-covering, rules don’t apply to me, etc.) shouldn’t surprise anyone.

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  8. Cousin Eddie

    There must be more to the story than Huntley wants his cash. He has represented several players that couldn’t afford him so was the school paying all along and just now stopped?

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  9. 81Dog

    any tidbits about former Florida assistant AD in there? Asking for a friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • that is a great idea……I know McGarity did lots of stupid stuff as an assistant down at Florida….FoIA away Huntley….or is this like asking the Russians where Hillary’s 30,000 e-mails are…..just a thing you can’t joke about?

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  10. Hogbody Spradlin

    That Huntley Johnson is a saint. So pure in his purpose, he’s a virtuous whistle blower crusading against the dastardly University Leviathan. How inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • reality check here

      Hogbody I perceive that Huntley Johnson is mean spirited scum. I also perceive he is dealing with mean spirited scum.

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      • Hogbody Spradlin

        Humor friend. A touch of humor.

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        • reality check here

          I got the sarcasm HB and hope you found no offense in my reply. I truly wish I could find humor in college administrations but I experienced too much to do that.

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    • What Fresh Hell is This?

      Blackmail by any other name. Couldn’t happen to a better institution.

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  11. South FL Dawg

    Is this the legal equivalent of a meteor game?

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  12. Uglydawg

    I wonder how Bill Clinton will tie into all of this….maybe Huntley paid him to speak on a players behalf and doesn’t want to get stuck with the bill, or shot.

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  13. DoubleDawg1318

    This plus Ole Miss means my popcorn bucket is getting empty and there’s plenty more to watch. Better load up quick!

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  14. ASEF

    There could be a 3rd party here who is more than happy to watch Huntley and the old guard cannibalize each other. Pretty savvy way of clearing your decks if you you were looking for a way to get rid of those otherwise entrenched interests.

    First rule of SEC football is keep the money flowing to the people who know where to find the skeletons. Florida knows that as well as anyone. But assuming something other than rank stupidity as motivation behind athletic department politics these days is consistently proving a really poor bet.

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  15. HillDawg

    Somewhere in Hogtown there is an administrator kicking himself for not OK-ing the payment of the 400 grand. Johnson will quietly collect the 400 and be in a position to quickly collect more at a later date with no questions asked. He has won the lottery!

    Like