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Florida Gators coaches live in murky recruiting gray area during evaluation period

GAINESVILLE -- So, UF assistant coach Steve Addazio CAN'T answer one simple question about recruiting strategies because he says it violates rules set out by the NCAA. This happened a few days ago when I wanted one question answered during a conference call. However, UF assistant Stan Drayton CAN do a two-part series with Rivals.com.

Is UF breaking the rules here, or does UF just not know the rules? Actually neither is true. Coaches know the rules so well they know ways to skirt the rules without breaking them. Giving away recruiting strategies to the Miami Herald would just be foolish. Coaches give information to recruiting websites regularly, though. Recruiting websites are one of the ways coaches can bypass the NCAA's rules to communicate and recruit kids surreptitiously during this evaluation period.

Drayton, who's back at UF after brief stints at Tennessee and Syracuse, recently told Rivals.com that Florida plans to remain a player on the national recruiting scene. Once just a regional recruiting power, UF is now pulling in major recruits from the Northeast, the Midwest, Texas and California. Incoming freshman Ronald Powell of Southern California is nation's best high school player, according to Rivals.

Drayton per Rivals: "We understand that some of the best talent in the country is right here in our backyard. I think we are able to compliment what we get instate with what we are able to get out-of-state, but at the end of the day when you look at our roster, you're going to continue to see a whole bunch of guys from the state of Florida playing for the Gators.

"The way we balance it out is that our goal is to bring in the best student-athlete in the country to the University of Florida and we believe that the University of Florida deserves that. It's not that we are turning our backs on anyone. For us, it's just a matter of finding out who are the best student-athletes in the country and do we have a chance of getting them?

"We're always going to look to Florida first to fill our needs and then expand outward from there."

-jo-

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