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April 29, 2013
In order to make sure Florida Gators-related news stories don't fall through the cracks, once or twice a week Orange & Blue News will keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.
Gators fans across the country are either relieved or angry now that the New York Jets have officially waived quarterback Tim Tebow. Either way, Monday's occurrence was the best thing to happen to Tebow's career since he led Denver to a playoff victory over Pittsburgh two seasons ago. Though options may be slim, they are out there for Tebow. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, a number of franchises explored trading for Tebow with the idea of moving him to tight end; he reportedly nixed those plans. A better fit for the former Florida signal caller would be a franchise willing to allow him to develop for a year or two behind a veteran quarterback who would not be fazed by the addition of Tebow to his team's roster. Whether or not he will get that opportunity remains to be seen.
April has been a great month for former Gators golfer Billy Horschel, who recorded his first-ever victory on the PGA Tour by winning the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, LA over the weekend. Horschel finished the event -20 over the four-day tournament and earned the victory on Sunday by registering a birdie on six-straight holes as he jumped from second into first place. Though the year is still young, Horschel is the second former Florida golfer to win a PGA Tour event already in 2013 as Brian Gay won the Humana Challenge back in January.
The new reality show "What Would Ryan Lochte Do?" has generated the buzz that E! expected it would with some calling the show entertaining while others wonder how a program like this could even receive a green light from a network chief. Prior to the second episode of the show airing on Sunday, former Gators swimmer Ryan Lochte told the Associated Press that he is unfazed by the negative backlash. "The more known you get in the public eye, the more haters you're gonna have and that's a given," he explained. "But you know what? All the haters, all the name-calling goes through one ear [and] out the other and I don't mind it. The way I look at it the more haters I have, it means I'm doing something right. With swimming I've been known to cut out everything. The crowd, everything. Just focus on me and my lane and what I need to accomplish so I can do that pretty much in life, too."
On Saturday, the New England Patriots traded running back Jeff Demps to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for basically nothing. New England was trying to rid itself of Demps, who insists on both running track and playing football in 2013, while simultaneously allowing Tampa Bay to acquire the player it wanted to last offseason. Though Demps may be with a team more accepting of his plans, initial reports are that the Buccaneers are noncommittal about him remaining on the squad for the 2013 season. "We've talked to Jeff a little bit. We understand what he's doing. We're just taking [his] rights to see what happens," general manager Mark Dominik told reporters when discussing the trade. Demps's agent, Daniel Rose, appears more confident. "Track and field is not a money thing for Jeff," he explained to the Tamp Bay Times. "He just loves track and wants to do it. But Tampa Bay has been great. I think they're OK with it."
Rising to the occasion on Sunday, No. 2/3 Florida softball won its seventh league series of the season by taking down No. 23 Georgia 5-0 at home in Gainesville, FL. The Gators' 17th shutout allowed the team to improve to 47-6 (16-5 SEC) on the campaign without a single series loss in conference competition. Florida, which concluded its home slate over the weekend, has now won seven of its last eight games. All that is left now for UF is its final regular-season series, on the road at South Carolina from May 3-5. The Gators have not yet locked up the SEC title as No. 3/2 Tennessee boasts a better conference record as of press time (15-4). The Volunteers had two games against Arkansas cancelled over the weekend but have a three-game series with No. 11 Missouri remaining.
Sidelined for much of the last month with plantar fasciitis in his foot, Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah returned for the NBA Playoffs and is fighting hard for his squad despite being in immense pain every time he steps on the court. In large part due to Noah's contributions, the Bulls currently hold a 3-1 lead on the Brooklyn Nets with the series returning to Brooklyn on Monday. Noah gutted out 39 minutes of basketball in Saturday's triple-overtime game, registering 15 points and team-highs of 13 rebounds and four blocks as the Bulls pulled off a 142-132 victory in Chicago. His guts and work ethic are unmatched in these NBA Playoffs, and Noah is drawing strong praise in league circles for what he has been able to do for Chicago up to this point.