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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 quarterback Tim Tebow was profiled in a long-form piece published by Sports Illustrated that provided plenty in terms of entertainment value but little as it pertains to new information. Perhaps most noteworthy from the extremely long feature were thoughts from players other than Tebow. Nine of 10 Florida players surveyed by the writer said that they would choose Tebow as their starting quarterback over Cam Newton even though Newton, at times, looked better than Tebow during practices. Former defensive back Tony Joiner also opined that Tebow became his roommate during his senior season solely at the behest of head coach Urban Meyer. Joiner joked that that he first felt offended because Meyer had stuck him with a "white sophomore babysitter" but later said the two became close friends.
A bit of disastrous news came down Monday for Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who has apparently aggravated the leg injury that caused him to miss the end of his rookie season and most of the off-season. Beal will now miss "extended time," according to ESPN.com's Bill Simmons, who of course is a columnist and not a reporter but does have deep NBA ties. Beal had an MRI on Tuesday and has already been ruled out for two weeks. He will be reevaluated at that point. Beal was averaging 20.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game for Washington - all career-highs, of course.
The injury bug running through Florida's football and basketball teams has apparently traveled to the professional leagues as well. In addition to Beal's injury, three Gators in the NFL missed action this week due to a variety of ailments. Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey (kidney and gallbladder illness) returned to practiced but missed his second-straight game, San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald sat out his second-straight contest with a high-ankle sprain, and Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed did not practice all week due to a concussion suffered last Sunday. Additionally, Chicago Bears linebacker Jon Bostic went down with an unspecified injury but appears to be OK.
On Monday, the latest top 25 polls were released for college basketball with Florida finding itself ranked No. 15 in the AP poll and No. 13 in the USA Today Coaches' top 25. Just to put UF's difficult non-conference schedule in perspective, three of its next four opponents are currently ranked in the top 18 of the AP poll (No. 2 Kansas, No. 11 Memphis, No. 18 UConn) and the Gators' only loss this season came to No. 12 Wisconsin. Florida will also have to face No. 4 Kentucky twice and is scheduled to square off Friday against Florida State, which beat No. 10 VCU last week and should have been ranked this week.
Rolling around on Twitter this week has been two images that should no doubt be embarrassing for the Gators. The first - of redshirt junior wide receiver Quinton Dunbar and redshirt senior center Jonotthan Harrison locking up and blocking each other during the Georgia Southern game - deserves some laughs for its absurdity. The second - of redshirt freshman safety Marcus Maye eye-gouging a GSU player (9:55 mark) who had his helmet off - is certainly more disturbing. It is the second time this season that a UF player has been caught in the act of an eye gouge, the first allegedly coming to Georgia running back Todd Gurley a few weeks ago. Considering head coach Will Muschamp has supposedly been hammering home how his players should be disciplined and not making silly mistakes - which the Gators continue to make each week - this is just another bothersome trend to watch.