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Florida Gators boosters show off considerable smarts (and wealth) in Heisman statues

GAINESVILLE -- Alabama erects statues of its national championship coaches. Florida commissions statues of its Heisman winners. Which tradition do you think most helps with recruiting?

Florida's Heisman winners -- Stephen Orr Spurrier, Daniel Carl Wuerffel and Timothy Richard Tebow -- will be immortalized (once again) after the 2010 football season when the University of Florida erects three bronze statues of the former UF passers. Price tag: over $500,000. 

QUESTION: Why erect the statues now?

ANSWER: Tim Tebow, of course.

QUESTION: Who's the big time Bull Gator who donated the money? 

ANSWER: Bill Heavener, we're assuming.

Heavener is a close family friend of the Tebows and has donated millions to the program ever since Timmy became a Gator. But it doesn't matter who donated the money. That's not the point. The Point: This is an audacious move by UF and serves two purposes. One: it pays tribute to former Gator greats. Two (the real reason): it serves as an excellent recruiting tool. This statues idea has Urban Meyer's savvy recruiting fingerprints all over it.

URBAN MEYER: "See these three statues, RECRUIT A. If you win a Heisman, you get a statue."

RECRUIT A: "I'm an eight-star recruit. I deserve a statue right now."

URBAN MEYER: "With that attitude, you'll be great at Florida State."

ANYWAY, spending half a million on three bronze statues might seem a little excessive. That's because it is. But, hey, this is the SEC, where the only thing more important than winning football games is winning recruits who win football games. Some might consider the three Heisman statues gaudy. I am one of those people. It's pretty disturbing, but I do understand the logic and respect it for being so bold and over the top. Consider these statues a sound investment. (And a shrine to Timmy. Personally, I would have went with an eternal Timmy flame.)

-jo-

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