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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 running back Chris Rainey and linebacker Jermaine Cunningham found NFL homes earlier in the week, inking year-ending deals with the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets, respectively. Rainey, who was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers before the season after being arrested for simple battery (he was never charged and eventually cleared), has worked out for a number of teams over the course of the year but had not been given a second chance until now. According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, the Colts discovered that Rainey is "clean off the field - he doesn't drink or smoke" and decided to give him a clean slate in Indianapolis.
The story is a bit different for Cunningham, who was released by the New England Patriots - the team that originally selected him with the No. 53 overall pick in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. His production was never great in New England, and he was suspended at the tail end of the 2012 season after violating the league's performance enhancing substances policy. Cunningham did not see the field with the Patritos in the offseason and was cut on Aug. 31. One month later, the San Francisco 49ers gave him a shot, but he was inactive every week he was on the roster and got released 28 days later after never suiting up. Like wide receiver David Nelson, who the Jets picked up in the middle of the season, Cunningham helps he can perform well in New York.
Averaging 16.8 points per game this season for the Houston Rockets, forward Chandler Parsons has been on an absolute tear over the last five games. In that span, he has surpassed 20 points in four contests and matched a career-high with 11 assists on Wednesday evening. Parsons already has two double-doubles on the young season and is looking like an absolutely perfect piece for Houston, which is in the process of coming together around James Harden and Dwight Howard. Don't be surprised if Parsons finds his way into the NBA All-Star game this season, though it would likely be as an alternate.
The SEC Network cannot come soon enough. Florida announced Friday that due to circumstances beyond its control, Comcast will be unable to broadcast the UF-Georgia Southern game within the state on Saturday due to a "technical issue." Saturday's contest will be the Gators' final football game offered on pay-per-view as the new SEC Network, set to launch in August 2014, will provide a platform that eliminates the need to do as such going forward. UF having its game on pay-per-view is bad enough - especially at a price of $29.99-49.99 - but the largest cable provider in Florida being unable to carry the game makes the situation even worse. Then again, a large majority of people forego ordering games like these on an annual basis - either doing something else with their Saturday or heading to a sports bar/restaurant to check it out for "free." So if you live in the state and happen to have Comcast as your cable provider, be aware that you will need to make other plans for 2 p.m. on Saturday.
On Friday night, two Gators women's program will be in action taking part in high-stakes games. No. 7 Florida volleyball will play its second-to-last game of the regular season slate by hosting LSU at 7 p.m. The contest will air live at 7 p.m. on Sun Sports, so be sure to check it out. One half hour after volleyball gets underway, No. 5 Gators soccer will be competing in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament against Duke. The Blue Devils are hosting second- and third-round action, which means UF could remain in Durham, NC for third-round action on Sunday at 1 p.m. if it pulls off the victory.
Rookie tight end Jordan Reed suffered a concussion during the Washington Redskins' game on Sunday, and Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey missed his team's contest due to an illness that is affecting his kidney and gallbladder. It appears as if both players will be out of action for a second week with Reed not yet having passed the league's concussion protocol and Pouncey being listed as doubtful by his team. Each player being out of action is a blow for his respective team. Reed has come on in a major way and emerged as one of Robert Griffin III's favorite targets, while Pouncey is one of the last remaining starters on Miami's offensive line, which lost two players - Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin - in a one-week span due to the latter leaving the team and complaining of the former's bullying.