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December 24, 2013
12/24 Orange & Blue News
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 on New York teams shined bright over the weekend with Giants safety Will Hill and Jets wide receiver David Nelson each having one of the best games of their respective careers. Hill, who was arrested Friday for failure to play child support, still wound up not only playing but starting on Sunday. In addition to leading his team with 11 tackles (six solo), Hill picked off a pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown. Nelson registered his first career two-touchdown game while catching his first score in New York. He had not found the end zone since Nov. 27, 2011, in a game that the Buffalo Bills played against the Jets. When Hill has been on the field - not suspended for drugs - he has really showed up as a professional. But his poor decision making will continue to haunt him and keep him from earning the contract he desires.
Although Florida basketball moved up three spots in both top 25 polls on Monday - to No. 13/14 in the Associated Press and USA Today rankings, respectively - some believe UF should be even higher considering both of its losses came to top-15 opponents on the road by a total of seven points. There is also some controversy about Kentucky being listed at No. 18 in both polls due to the fact that UK is 0-3 against top 25-ranked teams so far this season. The Wildcats will have a chance to prove the doubters wrong on Saturday when they take on Louisville. Florida next plays on Sunday at 3 p.m. at home against Savannah State.
The professional basketball-playing career of Gainesville, FL native and former Gators guard Orien Green has been a rough one. In and out of the NBA a handful of years ago, Green was on his way to making a comeback when he was banned by FIBA for falsifying drug tests, a ban that is still being enforced four years later for no apparent reason. According to ESPN's TrueHoop blog, Green was suspended for two years (backdated to 2009) but is still not able to play basketball in a league in which FIBA runs or is affiliated, which includes every major money-making league in the world. Green has been tossed around by FIBA and been forced out of opportunities both in the NBA D-League and China…years after his ban was supposed to end. He once had a legitimate chance to return to the NBA but is now playing basketball in the Middle East just to pay the bills and support his family, which now includes children.
Ol' Ball Coach Steve Spurrier certainly likes to have his share of fun, but as far as Gatorade baths are concerned, Spurrier is not necessarily the biggest fan. Last Wednesday, Spurrier spoke about getting back some of his players for dousing him. "The players realize it's not all that funny to get hit with that thing. Have y'all ever been hit with one? It's not a lot of fun unless you're expecting it," he explained. "If you're expecting it, you get your Gortex on and 'alright, hit me!' But when you're not [ready], the other day they got me it came all the way down my visor, my hat, it took a while to get out. That's OK. You notice some coaches say, 'You can hit me on the back, but don't hit my hair.' There's some of those out there. You've probably seen those coaches that don't get hit in the hair."
Restless fans understandably want the Gators to hire a new offensive coordinator as soon as possible, especially considering one of Florida's most important recruits - four-star running back Dalvin Cook (Miami, Fla.) - has a commitment ceremony scheduled in just over one week. But according to multiple reports that surfaced Monday following Duke offensive coordinator Kurt Roper's visit to Gainesville, head coach Will Muschamp has neither completed his interviews nor offered the job to anyone. In fact, the multiple reports also state that Muschamp does not plan to even make a hire until the start of 2014 due to the fact that he hopes to interview coaches currently practicing with their respective teams ahead of bowl games.
Just remember, no matter what actually comes out about the Gators' hiring process, it will likely be skewed as whomever hired being the only guy Muschamp officially is offered the job. USC offensive coordinator Clay Helton was most definitely a candidate for the position; "offered" the job or not, he decided to stay at USC. Some other coaches that have recommitted to their respective schools or taken jobs elsewhere were also on Muschamp's short list. There are plenty of ways to indicate and determine mutual interest without offering a job to someone. Now all that's left is to find out who Muschamp will wind up tabbing in the most important hire of his career.