FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING: Breakout Candidates: #3 - Michael Taylor | Scholarship Breakdown - UF three under the limit | Five-star lineman has three on top | UF signee Phillips to visit WKU | Breakdown of Florida prospects at The Opening II | Breakdown of Florida prospects at The Opening III | Ranking UF's Opening prospects 1-to-15 | Breakout Candidates: #4 - Mike Gillislee
In order to make sure Florida Gators-related news stories don't fall through the cracks, once or twice a week The Silver Lining will take on a "news and notes" format to keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.
London will host the 2012 Olympics in two weeks, something many Gators fans are excited about considering there will be more than two dozen Florida student-athletes and coaches participating in the games. Swimmer Ryan Lochte, who will have multiple opportunities to bring home gold medals for the United States, recently participated in an story written by ESPN about the "real games" that take place in the Olympic Village. Lochte estimates that 70-75 percent of Olympians have sex with fellow Olympians in the Village: "Hey, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do." He also said he hopes to take advantage of the opportunity this time around (he had a girlfriend in 2008). "Now I'm single, so London should be really good. I'm excited," he said.
Instead of sticking with a team that made some headway in 2011, the Houston Rockets are trying to shake things up and may wind up getting rid of rookie sensation Chandler Parsons in the process. According to ESPN, Parsons is one of four players who would be included in a package that could soon be offered by Houston to Orlando for center Dwight Howard. (The deal would also include a number of the Magic's expensive contracts and plenty of other considerations from the Rockets.) Should Parsons wind up traded as part of Houston's "sweetened" offer, he would be able to play professional basketball just minutes from where he grew up in nearby Casselbery, FL. Also considering a deal for Howard is Atlanta; one would have to assume F/C Al Horford would be a key piece of their potential offer as well.
Now officially an Israeli citizen complete with a passport and all of the necessary paperwork, former Gators F Alex Tyus has actually decided to no longer play professional ball in Israel after signing a two-year deal with Pallacanestro Cantu in Italy, according to Sportando.eu. Tyus's two-year contract is worth $525,000 over the two seasons and marks a big increase in pay. He averaged 12 points and 8.5 rebounds per game for Maccabi Ashdod in his rookie season and was named the Israeli league's Sixth Man of the Year in 2012. Tyus will continue playing for the Israeli National Team during international competition.
Instead of being the big Florida basketball story this week, the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic announcement of UF's opponent was lost in the shuffle with the Navy/Marine Corps Classic released its (expensive) ticket packages. As it turns out, the Gators will face the Air Force Falcons on Dec. 29 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, FL. Florida will be competing in their 12th OBBC in the last 13 years but will be taking on a "lower-tier" program in the event that is likely to enter with a losing record for the first time since 2008. Recent UF opponents at the OBBC have been Richmond, Kansas State and Texas A&M. Playing Air Force makes sense for UF this year due to the fact that the Gators' non-conference schedule is especially difficult this season.
Now a member of the FOX family, Erin Andrews worked her first event this past week as she was an on-field correspondent for the 2012 MLB All-Star Game. As has been noted previously in this column, Andrews is not only working with FOX Sports but is also looking to have some presence within the entertainment division. To that end she recently interviewed for a hosting gig on X Factor; though she is likely to get a callback for the job, Andrews also has some stiff competition according to Entertainment Weekly and E! Online. Those websites report that Stacy Kiebler, Mario Lopez and Rocsi Diaz (among others) are all also up for the job and that actual testing for the gig may not commence for several more weeks.
Gators women's tennis player Lisa Raymond, who will represent the country at the Olympic in London in doubles, won a Wimbledon title last weekend when she and fellow American Mike Bryan won the mixed doubles tournament. Raymond and female teammate Liezel Huber, the No. 1 women's doubles team in the world, were defeated in the semifinals by Serena and Venus Williams; however, Raymond was able to continue on in mixed doubles and picked up the fifth Grand Slam title of her career in that event. She has won 11 overall Grand Slam doubles titles and hops to bring home gold for the United States later this summer.
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(Deal ends July 20, 2012)