June 3, 2011

The Silver Lining: Orange & Blue News

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.

Last time we spoke, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel had just been fired and former Florida head coach Urban Meyer, of course, was the top name being floated around to fill the vacancy. To quell rumors (for now), Meyer released an official statement through ESPN noting that he is not currently interested in going after a coaching job. "I am committed to ESPN and will not pursue any coaching opportunities this fall," Meyer said. "I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the people at ESPN this spring and remain very excited about my role with the network this fall. Jim Tressel has been a respected friend and colleague for a long time. I wish Jim and his family the very best now and in the future." The use of "this fall" is no doubt interesting as it gives Meyer an out should he want to take advantage of an opportunity in 2012, for example, but the fact of the matter is that he is free to do whatever he wants and there is no good reason for him to shut the door because one never knows what might be in the future.
In the opening round of the 2011 Women's College World Series, No. 4 Gators softball (53-10) took it to the No. 5 Missouri Tigers (52-9) early and often, using two first-inning runs and a pair of homers in the bottom of the third to claim a 6-2 victory. Freshman right-hander Hannah Rogers (34-6) relieved senior starter Stephanie Brombacher and tossed 4.2 innings, striking out four while only allowing two runs. Junior center fielder Michelle Moultrie was 2-3 with a homer, RBI, two runs scored, a stolen base and a pair of walks in the contest, which saw Florida force Mizzou starter Chelsea Thomas to give up more runs (six) than she has in any other appearance this season. UF moves on to face No. 1 Arizona State (56-6) in winner's bracket action on Friday at 9:30 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN3.com).

Not one to shy away from a camera, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has been hitting the media hard to promote his new memoir, Through My Eyes, which was released nationwide on Tuesday. In the book, Tebow "writes about life as he chooses to live it, revealing how his Christian faith, family values, and relentless will to succeed have molded him into the person and athlete he is today," providing anecdotes both on- and off-the-field He appeared on The 700 Club and The Sean Hannity Show earlier in the week, stopped by The Daily Show on Thursday and spent Friday morning jumping from Fox & Friends to Morning Joe to First Take.

In legal news, former Gators cornerback Janoris Jenkins was adjudicated and fined $421 for his most recent plea of no contest to misdemeanor marijuana possession. Former Florida safety Will Hill, who declared for the 2011 NFL Draft as a junior but went through the event without being selected, was arrested Thursday on an out-of-county warrant for driving with a suspended license in Lake County. He had his bond set at $2,000 for the misdemeanor charge.

Not waiting around for the NFL lockout to end, former Gators (and Cincinnati Bengals) wide receiver Cris Collinsworth has begun working as a WR coach at Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, KY, where his son Jac is currently playing. Collinsworth, who does color commentary for NBC's Sunday Night Football, said the team's head coach convinced him to take the job but he is loving getting back into learning new plays and teaching a lot of kids who his son grew up with.

Gators basketball is continuing to fill out its non-conference slate for the 2011-12 season, announcing Thursday that they will participate in the second annual Florida Citrus Sports Shootout at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL. Florida faced Central Florida (and lost 57-54) last year and will take on Stetson this time around. The Gators will begin next season by participating in the five-team Global Sports Shootout along with Ohio State, North Florida, Jackson State and Wright State. They will also play in the BIG EAST/SEC Challenge, squaring off against Syracuse on Dec. 2, and take part in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic in Sunrise, FL against a to-be-announced opponent.

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