PARTING THOUGHTS: MUST READ, IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE 2013 SEASON, PLAYERS & TEAM
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.
Getting two players on the training camp roster for USA Basketball is nothing to thumb one's nose at, though the Florida Gators nearly had three had it not been for a freak injury. On Monday, USA Basketball announced that 19 players, including Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons, will compete for 12 spots in the 2014 World Cup. Unfortunately, Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee had to be excluded from the roster as he is recovering from minor surgery to repair a "core muscle injury," according to the team. Lee will be completely recovered from his surgery in early August but unable to play internationally. He still hopes to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, though he will be 33 in two summers and the Americans may look towards younger reserve big men.
Although it seemed like this would be another terrible week for Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey, who was accused over the weekend of assault during his birthday party at a club in Miami Beach, Florida, it appears as if those claims were unfounded and Pouncey is in the process of being cleared from any accusations. Additionally, the Miami Herald's Adam Beasley reports that Pouncey is not likely to be disciplined by the NFL for his role in the Jonathan Martin bullying incident last season. Despite Pouncey being named in the investigation as one of the primary offenders, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the paper that there has been "no change in his active status [and] we have no other information on the subject." He added that the NFL does not "anticipate having to address the issue again." That means all Pouncey will have to deal with this offseason is rehabilitation from hip surgery that is expected to keep him out the first four games of 2014.
The arrest of freshman cornerback Jalen Tabor for marijuana possession in May, which was previously unreported until Monday, broke a 10-month streak of Florida football going without a legal incident. If one chooses not to count the arrest of junior linebacker Antonio Morrison for barking at a police dog last July, it would have been 11 months since a Gators football player was arrested. Head coach Will Muschamp, in a statement released to the media on Monday, said Tabor has been disciplined internally and will not face a game suspension this season. Tabor has also resolved his legal issue by agreeing to deferred prosecution including probation, court fees and either charity work or a small donation.
On a constant rise through the ranks at FOX Sports, former Florida dazzler Erin Andrews has been elevated to the network's No. 1 broadcast team for NFL games. Starting this season, she will be the sideline reporter for Joe Buck and Troy Aikman during the game FOX Sports designates as its best of the week. In moving into the role, Andrews displaced veteran Pam Oliver, who will be entering her 20th season broadcasting NFL games. To Oliver's credit, she did not take too much offense. "I think Erin is solid," she told Sports Illustrated. "They have made a determination and it just happened to be with a position I had held for almost 20 years. It's not necessary to feel something [bad] toward the person who is assuming your role."
Rounding out NBA free agency for former Florida basketball players will be forwards Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem, the only two currently unsigned after Chandler Parsons signed a three-year, $46 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks and Matt Bonner rejoined the San Antonio Spurs. Miller appears to be leaning heavily toward reteaming with LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the Denver Nuggets are involved for his services and dangling plenty of money in front of him. Haslem, on the other hand, has never considered going anywhere but the Miami Heat and will likely sign a two-year contract for approximately $6 million.
Stories about Tim Tebow have slowed down in the last year with him buying a $1.4 million home in Jacksonville, Florida, the latest to actually make any sort of headlines. However, KISS front man Gene Simmons also recently went on the offensive on behalf of Tebow, stating that it is interesting why so many "bad guys" get a pass from the media while "good guys" like Tebow get picked on. Simmons still hopes Tebow will consider playing for the LA KISS of the Arena Football League and giving football a go on a stage other than the NFL. "Why wouldn't we want somebody who's a family guy, who doesn't use expletives, who doesn't use drugs and booze, so he won't go the way those guys do, doesn't torture dogs, allegedly or otherwise, happens to believe in God, Christianity - what's the problem? That would be a stellar citizen," he said.