Donovan addresses Murphy’s eligibility, Carter’s health as Florida preps for Wake Forest

Florida Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan met with the media on Thursday to preview Saturday’s game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the 2014 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic and discuss his team as it heads into the holiday break.

GATORS MAY ADD MUCH-NEEDED DEPTH

A mid-season transfer from Duke, redshirt sophomore forward Alex Murphy has yet to suit up for Florida in a game but looks poised to take the court for the first time in Saturday. All Murphy needs to be cleared for action is for the school to post his fall semester grades, which would immediately make him eligible as it would mark the conclusion of the semester.

“We’re just trying to remain optimistic he’ll get an opportunity to play on Saturday,” Donovan said.

“This week I’ve tried to put him in a little bit more to try to get him kind of caught up and up to speed and what he needs to do. And he’s a smart kid, Alex. He picks up things pretty quickly. So I’m not really worried about that,” he added.

With Murphy practicing with the Gators for the last year, he is capable of being brought into the regular rotation without much of an adjustment. His knowledge base will go a long way to helping Donovan factor him in to his plans from the get-go.

Continue Reading » Donovan addresses Murphy’s eligibility, Carter’s health as Florida preps for Wake Forest

Gators QB Harris charged with misdemeanor

Florida Gators freshman quarterback Treon Harris received a second-degree misdemeanor charge on Tuesday for driving without a license.

The University Police Department stopped Harris in a motor vehicle on Saturday, Dec. 13 and cited him for neither possessing a license nor having one issued to him by the state.

According to The Gainesville Sun‘s Robbie Andreu, who is citing the UPD’s report, Harris was speeding on campus (10 mph over the limit) at 11:29 p.m., when an officer pulled his car over after smelling (unburnt) marijuana.

In the vehicle along with Harris were two fellow freshmen football players in defensive backs Jalen Tabor and J.C. Jackson.

Per the Orlando Sentinel‘s Edgar Thompson:

Officers smelled marijuana and found two small bags of the drug in a storage pocket of the vehicle, [UFPD public information officer Maj. Brad] Barber said. No charges were filed because none of the players was in possession of marijuana and the car did not belong to them.

“They did not determine nor did anyone admit to the possession of the marijuana itself,” Barber said.

Continue Reading » Gators QB Harris charged with misdemeanor

Florida athletics receives largest-ever $12.5 million donation for student facility

The University of Florida’s University Athletic Association on Friday announced receipt of $12.5 million from an anonymous donor, which is being billed as the largest-ever donation to the program.

The $12.5 million will go towards a massive $25 million renovation to the Office of Student Life, which the Florida Gators believe will be a huge benefit to current athletes and a massive recruiting tool for future Gators.

The renovation will improve academic programs for all 480 Florida athletes across 21 varsity sports. Renovations will begin in March for what will be named the Otis Hawkins Center for Academic and Personal Excellence.

Continue Reading » Florida athletics receives largest-ever $12.5 million donation for student facility

4 BITS: McDonald, Easley, Murphy, Harvin, Haden

1 » The San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday released veteran defensive lineman Ray McDonald, who was investigated earlier in the day on suspicion of sexual assault. “This is about a pattern of poor behavior,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “We expect a lot from our players, hold them accountable for their actions.” San Francisco stood by McDonald early in the season when he was accused of domestic violence; McDonald was arrested but never charged with the crime, and the accusation was eventually thrown out. However, two such allegations in a single season – the second of which led to the search of his home by the San Jose Police Department – was simply too much for the franchise to handle. “If this was one incident, we would be standing up here talking about due process, like we have multiple times, in multiple situations,” Baalke added. “But this is just a pattern of decision-making that Ray has demonstrated over a period of time that, once again, it’s no longer going to be tolerated.”

McDonald has been a solid contributor for the 49ers over the last eight seasons and was putting together arguably his second-best campaign with 39 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble through 14 games. He was in the first year of a five-year, $20.1 million contract that paid him $5 million as a signing bonus this season and an annual average salary of $4.02 million.

Continue Reading » 4 BITS: McDonald, Easley, Murphy, Harvin, Haden

Durkin: Cox out for bowl, McGee hopes to stay at Florida, Gators prepare for Birmingham

Florida Gators interim head coach and defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin met with the media on Thursday to discuss the early portion pf practice ahead of the 2015 Birmingham Bowl, injuries, roster developments and the team’s preparation for the East Carolina Pirates. Florida and ECU will square off on Saturday, Jan. 3 at 12 p.m. at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

UP-AND-COMER SIDELINED FOR BOWL

Redshirt sophomore defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. began to show some flashes as the 2014 season came to a close, but he will be unable to take advantage of the 20 bowl practices to take his game to the next level ahead of spring practice.

Cox, who announced on social media that he underwent surgery, has officially been ruled out for the bowl game after having a procedure on his hip.

“Bryan Cox had surgery and he will be out for the bowl game,” Durkin said. “It was a hip injury, something that was deteriorating over time that he needed to have done.”

In his second year of on-field action, Cox finished with 29 tackles (six for lost yardage) and four sacks. He will likely step into a starting role with the Gators in 2015.

Continue Reading » Durkin: Cox out for bowl, McGee hopes to stay at Florida, Gators prepare for Birmingham

FOUR BITS: Brewer trade, Ingram, Young

1 » As a versatile, affordable swingman, former Florida Gators forward Corey Brewer has already been traded twice in his nine-year NBA career and may be on the verge of being moved a third time. According to ESPN.com, the Minnesota Timberwolves put Brewer on the market Wednesday night with Cleveland, Houston and the Los Angeles Clippers emerging as the “most interested suitors” for his services. Brewer is earning $4.7 million this season and has an option on a $4.9 million salary in 2015-16; however, it is believed that “teams would hope to persuade Brewer to waive” that option in order to “help facilitate the trade” from a bottom-basement team to championship-caliber franchise. It is believed that he will consider such a move, which would allow him to reach free agency a year sooner. Brewer is averaging 10.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game this season, though he is shooting just 41.8 percent from the field and 19.5 percent from beyond the arc. His versatility and ability to swing momentum in a flash is a valued asset that should lead Brewer to a team that could help him win his second pro title.

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Brewer trade, Ingram, Young

Update: Gators’ Humphries undecided on future

Updated on Thursday at 10:40 a.m.

On Wednesday night, Zach Abolverdi of The Gainesville Sun reported that Florida Gators junior left tackle D.J. Humphries would forgo his remaining eligibility and enter the 2015 NFL Draft.

Thursday morning, Humphries vehemently denied the Sun‘s report, insisting via his Twitter account that he has not yet made a decision about his future.

“I have NOT made my decision on leaving for the NFL … Careful what you read . . . Thanks a lot Gainesville Sun!!” wrote Humphries.

Humphries, should he eventually declare, would be the fourth Gators underclassmen to leave for the draft. Juniors defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. and running back Matt Jones and redshirt junior offensive linemen Tyler Moore are Florida players that have already decided to the program before their eligibility has expired.

Humphries still has a decision to make, as do juniors defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard and linebacker Antonio Morrison, who planned to submit their paperwork to the NFL to gauge their draft stock before making decisions.

Continue Reading » Update: Gators’ Humphries undecided on future

The Silver Lining: McElwain’s staff decisions, comments from Muschamp and Mullen

You’re getting what you wanted

Over the last two seasons – and a little before that as well – my inbox, the @OnlyGators Twitter account and the comments section here on OnlyGators.com have each been inundated with requests and demands for Will Muschamp to lose his job. And while it may have taken longer than many of you have wished, it happened. Muschamp was fired, athletic director Jeremy Foley hired a new head coach Jim McElwain and – though some of you were not pleased with that replacement – the program is headed in a different direction.

Well, you know what happens when one head coach gets fired and another is hired in his place? The coaching staff changes, too. That’s the name of the game. It’s how this process works and thinking otherwise is absolutely foolish.

Continue Reading » The Silver Lining: McElwain’s staff decisions, comments from Muschamp and Mullen

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