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October 30, 2012
In order to make sure Florida Gators-related news stories don't fall through the cracks, once or twice a week The Silver Lining will take on a "news and notes" format to keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.
Long as it may seem, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin's NFL career has been a relatively short one so far, and he is using the 2012 campaign to break out in a big way. Harvin yet again dominated a defensive backfield on Sunday when he caught seven balls for 90 yards and a touchdown, scoring for the fourth time in the last five weeks. He is now the NFL's leader in receptions and yards after the catch; Harvin is also fifth in both total receiving yards and targets. There was talk a few weeks ago that he could be up for the league's Most Valuable Player this season. Though that is unlikely to happen unless Harvin takes it to another level over the final nine weeks of the regular season, his ascension to the top tier of the NFL receiving ranks should at the very least make his wallet a little fatter after the season.
Instead of being ahead of LSU, a team it defeated a few weeks ago, Florida was slotted as the third-highest ranked one-loss team (also behind Georgia) when the latest edition of the BCS was announced on Sunday. The Gators' No. 7 ranking is such mostly became of human voters as the "experts" in the Harris Poll and coaches who vote in the USA Today poll placed them eighth. Florida was actually ranked fifth or higher in five of the six computer polls used to tabulate one-third of the BCS. In fact, the Gators were ranked No. 4 overall in the computer polls, which some fans/critics hate but others believe are more accurate and free from bias.
Now an NBA player who is slated to earn $4.13 in his rookie season and another large chunk of change after agreeing to a multi-year deal with Nike, former Florida guard Brad Beal remains grounded and humble and more excited about starting for the Washington Wizards in his first-ever NBA game on Tuesday than anything else. "I'm definitely going to be conservative," said Beal in regards to his finances, according to The Washington Post. "Especially in a city like this, all the stuff that you can do, all the activities and places to go, it's easy to spend your money and get caught up in that lifestyle. I think I'm on the right path."
It is not uncommon for Gators coaches or student-athletes to bring home league awards, but the Florida soccer team dominated the SEC's regular season honors this time around with Becky Burleigh winning Coach of the Year, senior Erika Tymrak winning Offensive Player of the Year and senior Holly King winning Defensive Player of the Year. Tymrak and King also joined senior Jo Dragotta on the First Team All-SEC, and freshman Christen Westphal added both Second Team All-SEC and All-Freshman Team honors. Burleigh won SEC Coach of the Year for the fifth time in her career, but Tymrak became the first player in team history to capture Offensive Player of the Year honors. She and King will lead the Gators in their first 2012 SEC Tournament game on Wednesday at 6 p.m. against Ole Miss.
New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow remains one of the least-used players on his team, despite the fact that the coaching staff has decided to start him as the personal protector on the punt unit. In fact, aside from taking an occasional Wildcat snap and running the ball directly up the middle or being used on a fake punt play, Tebow has not done much of anything this season. That, coupled with New York's horrid play and inability to use Tebow in the right circumstances, has led to rumors that he may be traded before the deadline (Thursday) despite the fact that the team's starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez, is having a terrible season. Perhaps unfortunately for Tebow, the Jets insistent they have no plans to trade him but instead hope to work him into the offense even more going forward. That has been the status quo statement from the team each week.
Gators fans may not always notice the impact that associate athletic directors have on their program, but Florida received great news over the weekend when Mike Hill decided to stay with the school rather than leave and take a top job elsewhere. Hill was believed to be the leading candidate to be named athletic director at Clemson and would have been the second top assistant to Jeremy Foley to leave the program in the last three years (Greg McGarity took the job at Georgia in 2010). Despite the fact that Hill grew up in Clemson, SC, he told both The Gainesville Sun and ESPN that he decided to stay in Gainesville, FL because he feels like it is where he belongs. Hill was instrumental in helping setup the Navy/Marine Corps Classic, which features Florida basketball taking on Georgetown on Nov. 9 in Jacksonville, FL.