GAINESVILLE -- Something isn't right here. The Gator Clause staff plans to investigate. For now, here's the evidence.
The University of Florida announced this weekend that it will sell pieces of the Final Four court for $224 apiece. From the university's website:
"Own a piece of the 2007 Final Four floor cut from the actual court on which the Gators won the National Championship in Atlanta. Each piece is approximately 1 foot x 2 foot and will be laminated with the full court design."
The University of Florida bought the Final Four court from the NCAA after its basketball team won the national championship. According to athletics director Jeremy Foley, the university paid $71,000 for the parquet. (Pretty expensive for second-hand wood.) "I want to keep buying them," Foley said. "That's the plan." Foley said the profits made from the floor, which will be chopped into 2,200 pieces, will fund scholarships.
Now, here's where the questions begin. Gator Clause was browsing through Ebay.com for Gator memorabilia -- (The GC blog staff is searching for Joakim Noah's used mouthpiece. It is the staff's collective personal mission to track down this mouthpiece and report on its whereabouts. Is someone using this mouthpiece during pick-up games at the Atlanta YMCA?) --when it found this piece of parquet, reportedly, signed by Noah. The highest bid (as of 2:18 p.m. on Sunday) was $13.49. Toss in $10 for shipping and handling and that's a pretty good bargain compared to what the university is charging.
Ebay.com CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK says the bid originated in the Midwest. This all sounds pretty fishy. If you want an authentic piece of the Final Four floor, then your best bet would be to purchase one through the university. If you think like me -- All wood burns the same. Who cares? -- then place your online bid for a fraction of the university's price. Well, if you're like me, then you don't really care at all. I own one piece of sports memorabilia -- a Bo Jackson autographed baseball when he played for the no-more Memphis Chicks.