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68 posts from March 2009

March 18, 2009

Agent Rosenhaus confident in C. Ingram

C.I. ran the 40-yard dash on Wednesday to prove his health, according to his Miami-based sports agent.

GAINESVILLE -- Sports agent Drew Rosenhaus wants to make one thing perfectly clear: Tight end Cornelius Ingram is healthy and he's not afraid to prove it.

Ingram Rosenhaus, who represents Ingram, said on Wednesday that his client ran the 40-yard dash during the Gators' pro day to demonstrate the confidence both Rosenhaus and Ingram have in Ingram's surgically repaired knee.

[PICTURED, C.I.'s knee is fine, says his agent.]

Of the former Florida Gators who participated in the NFL Combine (Ingram, Louis Murphy, Percy Harvin and Jason Watkins), Ingram was the only player who ran the 40 on Wednesday. More than 50 credentialed NFL scouts and coaches were at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Wednesday morning for the Gators' pro day.

Continue reading "Agent Rosenhaus confident in C. Ingram" »

UF commemorates Tebow's Promise with a plaque


Florida is making sure no one forgets quarterback Tim Tebow's passionate speech following the Gators' 31-30 loss to Mississippi last season.

A plaque bearing the text of "The Promise," as it has come to be known, now hangs on the wall outside the Heavener football complex attached to The Swamp, conveniently leaving out the detail of losing to the Rebels.

Tebow's speech was definitely a memorable moment in UF sports history and played a part in the Gators' run to a BCS Championship, but do you think it's worthy of such a singling out? CBS commentator Verne Lundquist said it should go down alongside Knute Rockne's "Win One for the Gipper" speech, but I think the real turning point of the season was Tebow's touchdown pass to Percy Harvin early in the fourth quarter of the next game, against Arkansas. (LINK, TD pass is around 2:05)

On the heels of the embarassing Ole Miss loss and Tebow's speech, UF was supposed to come out firing against the lowly Razorbacks, but things didn't really get rolling until Tebow fired that 21-yard strike to start a 21-point fourth quarter and kick off the Gators' incredible 10-game romp to Miami.

What's more, coach Urban Meyer ran onto the field to chest bump Tebow after the pass, and the moment relieved the pressure Tebow had been dealing with since his Heisman Trophy win. From then on, he played more like the Tebow of old, so that's the image I'll always have of this team's turnaround, whether it's on a wall somewhere or not.

Gators bounce back from weekend sweep with 9th-inning heroics against FSU


Buddy Munroe Florida catcher Buddy Munroe (pictured) didn't really mind the fact that he had a busted lower lip after the Gators' clash with rival Florida State on Tuesday night. He got it in the best possible way.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Munroe stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and 1 out. He had the chance to break a 4-4 tie and snap UF out of the funk it was trapped in after being swept by Arkansas last weekend to open Southeastern Conference play. Facing a 2-2 count, Munroe laced a deep, walk-off line drive into right-center, scoring Matt den Dekker, and he was swarmed as he jogged around the bases. Munroe was met by the rest of the team as he neared third base, and he emerged from the ensuing dogpile with a swollen lip.

"[Center fielder Avery Barnes] kind of caught me with a left cross on the way out," Munroe said. "It felt great until I got hit."

The hit gave Munroe a 3-for-5 evening with two RBIs, the first three-hit night of his career. More importantly, when the Seminoles put up runs in the 6th and 9th innings, he answered each time with an RBI in the following frame. His walk-off finally put an end to a game that spanned 3 hours and 51 minutes and saw 13 pitchers take the mound.

Continue reading "Gators bounce back from weekend sweep with 9th-inning heroics against FSU" »

March 17, 2009

Dolphins in The Swamp on Wednesday

Florida's pro day is on Wednesday and the Miami Dolphins will be at The Swamp scouting the Gators.

GAINESVILLE -- The Miami Dolphins need a receiver. The Florida Gators' three best NFL prospects this year are receivers. It should make for an interesting pro day on Wednesday in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for anyone who is a fan of both teams.

Last month, Dolphins coach Tony Sparano attended the Daytona 500 (an event I covered for The Herald) and I had a chance to sit down with him before the race and talk football. Sparano mentioned that the Fins Dolphins would be in attendance at the Gators' pro day. Duh, right?

[PICTURED, Jeff Ireland, left, and Tony Sparano. Will these guys be in Gainesville on Wednesday?]

Whether Sparano shows up on Wednesday or not, I don't know (a representative with Dolphins wouldn't confirm anything on Tuesday), but there is a good chance that Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland will make the trip to Gainesville. If Ireland isn't in Gainesville, then the Dolphins will be represented by one of their scouts. (Illinois' pro day is also on Wednesday and Ireland could be in Champagne to take a closer look at cornerback Vontae Davis.)

Continue reading "Dolphins in The Swamp on Wednesday" »

March 16, 2009

NCAA Tourney swag one of a kind

GAINESVILLE -- Everyone likes Caddyshack the movie, right? And everyone liked the 2009 BCS championship game, right?

Front Well, what if we combined both of those iconic sports memories and put it on a hat! Now that's some high-quality swag. And it can be yours, folks, if you win the Gator Clause NCAA Tournament Challenge bracket pool. Here's a link to the enter the pool. CLICK ME! All you have to do is enter the password "calathes" and you're gravy.

I got the hat a few days before the national championship game while participating in the media golf outing at the Grande Oaks Golf Club in Davie. Grande Oaks is the golf course where they filmed the movie Caddyshack. The name of the course in the movie was Bushwood Country Club. At the time of filming, the name of the golf course was Rolling Hills Golf Club. The golf course fell into Sideofhat decline until Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga bought it and fixed it up.

Anyway, the hat is brand new and this rare piece of Florida Gators national championship history can be yours if you win the Gator Clause NCAA Tournament Challenge. I was going to give the hat to my dad for Christmas, but screw him.


What's Lane Kiffin's secret?

Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin landed former Miami commitment Bryce Brown on Monday.

GAINESVILLE -- Gators fans might not hold Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin in high esteem, but high-profile running backs certainly do.

Bryce On Monday, Kiffin picked up a commitment from Kansas prep sensation Bryce Brown, the running back who was originally committed to Miami and is ranked the No.1 overall prospect for the class of 2009.

[PICTURED, This guy will be visiting The Swamp on Sept. 19.]

Brown's commitment comes a week after David Oku, another high-profile running back recruit from Nebraska, committed to Kiffin and Vols. Brown and Oku share the same street agent.

So what's Kiffin's secret? How did he get two of the best running backs in the nation -- two guys who waited until after National Signing Day to commit -- to both decide on the University of Tennessee?

Brown, of course, was a Miami commitment long before Lane Kiffin even imagined he'd be coaching in college, let alone at UT. Since replacing Phil Fulmer, Kiffin has not only salvaged the Vols' recruiting class, he's pulled in one of the best recruiting classes in the conference. Who says this guy is in over his head?


Calathes 'definitely coming back'; Plus official Gator Clause NCAA Tourney bracket pool

Friends of Gator Clause: Everyone is invited to join this blog's official NCAA Tournament bracket pool. Win BCS championship game swag!

GAINESVILLE -- Once again, the Gators missed the Field of 65 and instead are headed to the NIT. So, how did it come to this? We addressed that question in today's paper. CLICK ME! If anyone hasn't read the game story from Saturday's loss, here's that link as well. CLICK ME!

Calathes The best thing for Gators fans to come out of Saturday's loss was news that guard Nick Calathes is probably coming back for his junior season.

[PICTURED, Calathes has never played in the NCAA Tournament.]

I asked him after the loss -- hey, someone had to do it -- and here's what he said:

"For right now, I'm definitely coming back," Calathes said. "But I'll have to wait until the season is over."

So, I guess he left himself a little room to wiggle out of Gainesville. But, seriously, after watching the Gators' late-season collapse, does anyone think Calathes is going to get drafted this year? He should return to school for another season and, as UF coach Billy Donovan likes to put it, "learn how to win."

OK, just because the Gators didn't make the NCAA Tournament doesn't mean Gators fans can't enjoy college basketball's championship tournament. I went over to Yahoo! Sports and created an NCAA Tournament group for folks who just can't get enough of the Big Dance. Anyway, the winner will get some Poolside-200 cool BCS national championship swag I've got hanging up in my closet.


So, here's the link to the official Gator Clause office pool: CLICK ME! The password is "calathes". The link should take you to the group but if you have any problems, the group name is Gator Clause and the group number is 108741. Again, the group password is "calathes".


March 14, 2009

Torrey Davis quits football team

TAMPA -- Florida defensive tackle Torrey Davis recently quit the Florida football program, according to Florida sports information director Steve McClain.

McClain would not give a reason for Davis decision. When asked if Davis failed a drug test, which has been rumored, McClain said, "He left the team." McClain said that he did not know if Davis was still enrolled at Florida or if the former Gator has dropped out of school. "He left the team," McClain said.

A side note: I went by Torrey Davis' mother's house today while in Tampa covering the SEC basketball tournament but no one answered the door. (Two cars were outside and I heard people talking on the other side of the door.)

Davis was a five-star recruit from Seffner Armwood in 2007 but never turned into the force Florida coach Urban Meyer had hoped. Davis is one of two five-star defensive tackles from the 2007 class to recently quit the football team. Former Lakeland star John Brown is planning to transfer, according to Meyer.

Davis never reached his full potential while at UF, but say this for the guy: He certainly earned his scholarship. Davis made two goal-line tackles on third and fourth down during the fourth quarter of the national championship game. Those two tackles, along with safety Ahmad Black's fourth-quarter interception of OU quarterback Sam Bradford, were the defensive highlights of the game.


March 13, 2009

MSU Bulldogs join bubble talk

TAMPA -- Mississippi State defeated South Carolina 82-68 on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference. Depending on how you look at it, this could be either good news or bad news for Florida.

THE GOOD-NEWS SCENARIO: South Carolina's loss on Friday allowed the Gators to move ahead of the Gamecocks in the eyes of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee. Florida's RPI is 46 today, according to RealTimeRPI.com. South Carolina's is 49.

THE BAD-NEWS SCENARIO: Now Mississippi State AND South Carolina are ahead of Florida in the eyes of the committee. State's RPI is 78 but the Bulldogs did defeat Florida in head-to-head competition. Personally, I think State needs to win it all to make the NCAA Tournament.

Nothing is certain at this point and everything is influx with so many conference tournament games taking place simultaneously across the country, but if it comes down to the selection committee choosing between Mississippi State, South Carolina, Florida and Auburn, well, I wouldn't want to be on the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee.



TAMPA -- Hey, Kentucky, do Southeastern Conference basketball a favor and fire Billy Gillispie right now. Not tomorrow. Not after Selection Sunday. Not after the NIT. Fire Gillispie today, Friday, 13 March 2009.

Jason Friday the 13th should be the last day for the Gillispie Era. Give him the machete Crystal Lake style. Or, maybe, if you want to be poetic, fire the guy on March 15 Julius Caesar style. Either way, Gillispie needs to go. The Big Blue mystique is gone, folks, and without it the SEC just isn't the same.

It's the curse of Tubby. You know it is. The way Kentucky treated Coach Smith, the Wildcats almost deserve this Gillispie guy for a few more years. But while the Wildcats waste away, so does the SEC. For the love of bourbon and horses, buy Gillispie off with some of the reserve stuff and then send him to the glue factory. Then hire Anthony Grant and let the healing process begin. It's time to detox, Kentucky.



The Florida Gators' postseason future could be determined tonight with its game against the Auburn Tigers.

TAMPA -- That headline is pretty corny, right? Sorry, couldn't resist. But that's exactly what today feels like. This is it. Defeat Auburn tonight and Florida moves one step closer to an at-large bid. A loss would likely cement the Gators' spot in the NIT. The same fate likely awaits Auburn with a loss.

Florida's 73-58 victory against Arkansas (READ THE GAME STORY) late Thursday night wasn't a beautiful performance but the Gators' won convincingly nonetheless. Senior guard Walter Hodge, whose Hodge career wins record now stands at 115 games, led the Gators with 16 points. Nick Calathes had 11 points but still looked a bit off his game, especially in the first half when he had five turnovers to go along with five points.

[PICTURED, Walter Hodge continues to shine in twilight of his college career.]

Want something positive to take away from Thursday's win? Florida made 15 of 17 free-throw attempts. Pretty good for team that entered the SEC tournament shooting 68.7 percent from the line. Another highlight: Junior forward Dan Werner had a rare double-double. He scored 15 points to go along with 13 rebounds.

Continue reading "LAST CHANCE FOR THE DANCE " »

March 12, 2009

Is Alabama this year's Georgia?

TAMPA -- Alabama defeated Vanderbilt 82-75 on Thursday in the first round of the SEC Tournament at the St. Pete Times Forum. Palm Beach County native Alonzo Gee led the Tide with 25 points. Bama plays Tennessee at 7:30  on Friday night in the quarterfinals.

Tornado Tournament The Crimson Tide (18-13) played considerably better than their record on Thursday. Could they be this year's Georgia? Remember Georgia last season? The Bulldogs entered the SEC Tournament with a sub-.500 conference record but won four games in four days to win the SEC Tournament. Could Alabama, which went 7-9 in conference play this season, do the same thing this season?

[PICTURED, Anyone remember this tornado?]

Alabama is certainly athletic enough to hang around for four days in Tampa. Gee is a possible draft pick, 6-1 guard Senario Hillman can jump through the roof,  6-5 guard Mikhail Torrance (of Eight Mile, Ala.), who had 20 points on Thursday, is long, 6-9 freshman JaMychal Green is coming into his own at the perfect time.

Interim coach Philip Pearson, who took over for the Mark Gottfried during the middle of the conference schedule, has now won five of his last six games. Alabama, despite its poor conference record this season, was one of only two SEC teams to defeat both LSU and Tennessee this year. The other team to do it was Auburn. 


Kentucky wins; Gillispie still has a job

Balanced scoring helps the Kentucky Wildcats survive the first round of the SEC Tournament.

TAMPA -- Kentucky handled its business on Thursday, defeating Ole Miss 71-58 in the SEC Tournament's first game of the day. Guess that means Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie still has a job tomorrow. Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy might be gone, however, considering this happened earlier in the season.

The fourth-seeded Kentucky Wildcats (20-12) play one-seed LSU at 1 p.m. on Friday in a quarterfinal game. With minutes left in Kentucky's game against Ole Miss on Thursday, the Wildcats' fans began chanting, "L-S-U! L-S-U!" LSU defeated the Wildcats 73-70 during the regular season. 

Continue reading "Kentucky wins; Gillispie still has a job" »

THE ULTIMATE SEC tournament preview

With no clear favorite, the SEC tournament could be one of the most competitive contests of the postseason.

TAMPA -- Is the Southeastern Conference trending toward irrelevence in men's college basketball?

Irrelevance is probably and exaggeration but how's this for perspective: In the Big East, the conversation this weekend will be whether or not three of its teams are worthy of No.1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. SEC logo In the SEC, the conversation this weekend will be whether or not the league is worthy of having more than three teams just make the Big Dance.

Say this for the SEC: With so much parity -- 11 teams have at least six conference losses -- it should be an exciting four days of basketball in Tampa. If you live in the area, I suggest you go buy a ticket. Walk-ups are certainly welcome.

Only two teams enter this weekend's SEC Tournament at St. Pete Times Forum enter with an RPI better than 40: LSU (37) and Tennessee (22). The Tigers and Volunteers are considered locks for at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament. Beyond that, everything else is guesswork leading up to Selection Sunday.

The NCAA Tournament's selection show will be televised by CBS on Sunday evening following the SEC tournament's championship game. Here's a breakdown of the eight SEC teams that we think could make a run at Sunday's championship game. We'll start with the best and work our way down...

Continue reading "THE ULTIMATE SEC tournament preview" »

March 10, 2009

Kiffin is a disgrace to sleazy recruiting

GAINESVILLE -- Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin is in the news again. This time he told a recruit that if he signed with South Carolina over Tennessee then he'd be pumping gas for the rest of his life, or something stupid and Kiffinish like that.

We could go on and on about how wonderfully desperate Tennessee must have been to hire a guy like Kiffin Kiffin, but we'll avoid all that nonsense and focus on the facts. And, once again, Kiffin got his facts wrong. They still siphon gasoline in South Carolina.

[PICTURED, A newbie.]

That was a stupid joke, right? Banal, vapid, sophomoric, all the rest and so on. The point is, the only thing we can do at this point is laugh. This is recruiting in the SEC, folks. This is what your hard-earned booster donations are supporting. It's nothing new. Kiffin just hasn't learned how to play the game the right way.

Continue reading "Kiffin is a disgrace to sleazy recruiting" »

Was Nick Calathes robbed of SEC award?

LSU's Marcus Thornton was named SEC Player of the Year over UF's Nick Calathes and UK's Jodie Meeks.

GAINESVILLE -- The Southeastern Conference announced its all-conference teams, coach of the year (Trent Johnson, LSU) and player of the year (Marcus Thornton, LSU) today.

UF guard Nick Calathes made first-team all-conference and freshman guard Erving Walker made the SEC all-conference freshman team. Let's review the numbers of the All-SEC first team.

Continue reading "Was Nick Calathes robbed of SEC award?" »

BREAKING NEWS: Urban Meyer is a coach

GAINESVILLE -- Let's not spend too much time on this. To the people complaining about Urban Meyer's speech at a coaching clinic in Pennsylvania, shut the [bleep] up.


Orson Charles calls out Florida

The prep tight end from Tampa Plant blasted a former UF assistant coach on Sunday for a poor recruiting performance.

GAINESVILLE -- UGA prospect Orson Charles is apparently not a big fan of former Florida tight ends coach John Hevesy.

Charles, a tight end from Tampa Plant, recently chose Georgia over USC and Tennessee. Florida also Charles_orson recruited Charles but didn't make the player's short list. Why? On Sunday night, Charles said it was all Hevesy's fault. Hevesy, now an assistant coach at Mississippi State, was the point man on the Charles deal. He recruited Charles for over a year.

[PICTURED, This guy never liked the Gators.]

"John Hevesy, when he came, that was just horrible. That turned things around," Charles told Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post. "He just wasn't a good recruiter. He wasn't really recruiting me, just calling me once a month."

Wow! Talk about classy. So you didn't like the guy. So Hevesy didn't stroke your ego enough, or whatever. So he barked at you when you broke the national championship trophy. You still don't call the guy out in public like that. Poor form.

Continue reading "Orson Charles calls out Florida" »

March 09, 2009

Brass knuckles are Jamar Hornsby's weapon of choice, allegedly; Ole Miss still gathering facts

Former Florida safety Jamar Hornsby allegedly attacked a man with brass knuckles in a McDonald's drive through.

GAINESVILLE -- So you're sitting at a Starkville, Miss., McDonald's drive through at 2:15 a.m. just minding your own and waiting for your Happy Meal. Then, out of nowhere, some clown rear-ends your car. At this point, you have four logical options:

800px-Brass_knuckles_dsc04623 Option A: Exchange insurance information if there's any damage. Collect your Happy Meal and be on your way.

Option B: Ignore the bump all together. Collect your Happy Meal and be on your way.

Option C: Call the cops to report the damage and eat your Happy Meal while the fuzz sorts out the mess.

Option D: Grab your brass knuckles and assault the clown. 

Continue reading "Brass knuckles are Jamar Hornsby's weapon of choice, allegedly; Ole Miss still gathering facts" »

Kiffin quotes motivating Gators

Inside Florida's football facility, Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin -- motivational genius -- is inspiring the Gators.

GAINESVILLE -- Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin must be doing something right. He hasn't even coached a game and already he has found a way inside the Gators' football facility. This pic, posted inside the Gators' weight room, comes from the website GatorTailgating.com. (Check out the website's recipe section. Very nice.) Something tells me this isn't the only Lane Kiffin quote posted inside the Gators' football facility. (FYI: Florida coach Urban Meyer finds nothing humorous about this whatsoever.)



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