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July 2, 2012
The Silver Lining: Andrews moving on
The Silver Lining comes to you each Monday shining a spotlight on some of the biggest stories in sports and entertainment.
When Florida or any school recruits a player, academics and that student's ability to be admitted to the school are taken into account. If there are issues with that person being able to qualify, the Gators help set a track for them to follow in order to be cleared by the NCAA and eventually UF's administrators. However, if student goes through three years of high school not caring about their grades and suddenly flicks the switch their senior year, often times that simply is not enough to raise the average and get the job done. That is just one reason why some supremely talented kids go to prep school for a year or take the junior college route for two years. Being a successful player begins with caring about what goes on in the classroom and being mature enough to handle your business off the field. Some are so supremely talented that they can get around that and skate by but that is a minority.
She wanted to be on the sidelines for Monday Night Football and they passed her over twice, most recently for Lisa Salters. She wanted to host and ESPN gave in just a bit - giving her the first hour of College GameDay on ESPNU and some spot work on College Football Live when the regular hosts could not be there. The network also promised her a relatively prominent role on Good Morning America covering sports and entertainment stories but scaled back her contributions over the course of her two-year contract signed in the summer of 2010. Andrews feels she can do more than what ESPN was allowing her to do and believes (rightly so, in my opinion) that she was in one role that simply would not expand no matter how much work she put into becoming better in other areas. Now she is at FOX Sports where she will help build their college football coverage from the ground up while also being able to take part in NFL and MLB action, likely as an in-game contributor. And she's probably getting paid a lot more, too, which is always a good thing.
With so many Olympic spots still undecided for both the United States and other countries, there is a solid possibility that dozens of current and former Florida student-athletes will be competing for the opportunity to stick their chests out proudly on the medal stand. "Gator Nation" would have finished 18th among countries at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and may have the opportunity to win more medals this summer.
Detroit did not extend a qualifying offer to forward/center Vernon Macklin, who the team selected in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft. Macklin will play with the Pistons summer league team and could still be re-signed but will certainly have plenty of other parties interested if he is not picked up by the team once again. On the other hand, Memphis made F/C Marreese Speights a restricted free agent with a $4.4 million qualifying offer. It is unlikely that another team will sign Speights to a much bigger offer sheet, meaning his return to the Grizzlies (where he performed more than admirably last season after some rough years with the 76ers) is all but certain. Former Gators point guard Taurean Green will spend some time with Brooklyn in the Orlando, FL summer league as he looks to return to the NBA and there are unconfirmed reports that PG Erving Walker may do the same out west with Phoenix as he hopes to get his first crack at the big-time.