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April 4, 2011

The Silver Lining: Orange & Blue News

Florida Football: Gators in the NFL Draft | Maistri: Spring adversity will pay fall dividends | ITG Recruiting Roundtable | Go Inside the War Room - Spring Practice Edition

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.

Louis Murphy was arrested over the weekend in Gainesville and charged with three misdemeanors in what most likely should have been a routine traffic stop. An officer attempted to pull Murphy over for reasons unknown (the police report states that his SUV was blasting loud music), but the Oakland Raiders wide receiver refused to comply, parked his car in a spot and began walking away. Also denying the officer his ID, Murphy was put into handcuffs; he eventually approved of a vehicle search. The officer found a non-labeled prescription bottle of Viagra in the car and arrested him for possession of a drug without a valid prescription, failure to obey a police officer and resisting arrest without violence.

In the midst of a minor slump, the No. 3/4 Gators baseball team broke out of it in a big way over the weekend, sweeping the Tennessee Volunteers in a three-game series to improve to 24-5 on the season. Florida outscored Tennessee 23-3 from Friday-Sunday and will face Central Florida at home on Tuesday before playing eight-straight games away from home.

Never seemingly concerned with having to hire a new assistant, Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan may look to UF's former director of basketball operations to fill the spot vacated when Larry Shyatt departed for the Wyoming Cowboys job. Two sources close to the team told me over the weekend that Florida Atlantic Owls assistant Matt McCall is a top candidate for the position. Donovan said on the radio last week that he wants to hire someone young for the job. He will likely hand veteran assistant Rob Lanier the majority of Shyatt's duties, paving the way for a younger coach to fill the third role on the bench.

Inching toward .500 in Southeastern Conference play is the No. 5/5 Florida softball team, which has been swept in back-to-back weekend series over the last 10 days. With ace senior right-handed pitcher Stephanie Brombacher sidelined since March 12 due to a variety of arm injuries, freshman RHP Hannah Rogers has had a rough go of it, dropping four-straight decisions in her stead. After starting the season an impressive 30-1, the Gators have fallen to 30-7 and are only 7-6 in-conference. Luckily for Florida, 12 of their remaining 18 regular season games are home contests, giving them an opportunity to regroup before postseason play begins.

Never one to shy away from competition, Gators incoming four-star quarterback recruit Jacoby Brissett does not seem ready to play exclusively on the gridiron. Participating in the ESPN Rise National High School Invitational last week, Brissett opened some eyes by scoring a combined 46 points in two games (including 30 on Thursday) to help his team advance to the second round of the tournament. Donovan and head football coach Will Muschamp have said on multiple occasions that it is Brissett's decision whether or not he wishes to pursue both sports, and it is looking more and more like he will do just that - at least during his first year wearing orange and blue. Though he still has an interest in basketball, Brissett has already been paying plenty of attention to Florida football even while playing on the hardwood. "Jacoby came up during his spring break and spent three or four days with us sitting in the meetings and being out at practice," Muschamp said on Friday.

Gators lacrosse is in the midst of putting together what many might consider an improbable season. Already ranked No. 6 in the country, Florida appears talented enough to compete for a national title in only their second year of existence. UF won their 11th consecutive game and improved to 11-1 on the season with a 13-7 victory over the No. 16 Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday afternoon. The Gators only loss of the season came to No. 3 North Carolina in the form of a 10-9 overtime defeat way back during their season opener on Feb. 12.


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