1 » Joining a bevy of national analysts to come to the defenses of Florida Gators freshman forward Chris Walker, who has missed nine games this spring without receiving clearance or any information as to when a decision ill be reached on his eligibility by the NCAA, is ESPN‘s Jay Bilas. On Wednesday, Bilas sent the following tweet: “Dear NCAA: Chris Walker and Florida have waited long enough. The DMV now believes you are slow and inefficient.” He expanded on that thought Thursday in a conversation with Florida Today. “One, I don’t think it’s any of the NCAA’s business,” Bilas said. “But even if it is, it’s taken way too long. At some point you have to say, ‘You know what? We don’t have it. And until we do, the kid can play.’ They’ve got a clock ticking and the NCAA kind of tends to look at from their own perspective in that, we don’t want somebody else to run out the clock while we investigate. … At some point you’ve got to say, you know what the delay is unreasonable. It’s hurt the kid, it’s hurt the school and it’s just wrong.”
2 » Due to the Seattle Seahawks remaining in contention throughout the 2013-14 NFL Playoffs and ultimately earning a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII, former Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has been unavailable for head coaching job interviews despite the fact that three teams – Minnesota, Tennessee and Cleveland – reportedly had him as a frontrunner for their vacancies. Quinn told the media Thursday that he is not frustrated about the situation because it ultimately means his team has the chance to play for a title. “None. No, certainly not,” he said. “I couldn’t be more fired up to be a part of this and moving forward here keeping the focus on our team, which it is.” Quinn had never even held a coordinator job until Gators head coach Will Muschamp hired him in 2011. After just four seasons (assuming he remains in his current position with Seattle in 2014), his dream of leading a team could finally come true next offseason.
3 » Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey is excited to play in his first NFL Pro Bowl on Sunday, but he claims he’s not the only one ready to get on the field and actually try hard in the all-star game. “I really think it’s gonna be competitive, honestly,” he said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Because we’re doing walk-throughs in practice and the defensive line, they’re going full speed. They’re not even letting us block them in practice. Everyone’s excited. Some guys are mad because they got drafted later than other guys. So I think it’s gonna be a real competitive game. I know one thing, I’m gonna be going 110 percent because I’m gonna be ready to play.” Pouncey will play for Team (Deion) Sanders, while Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden was selected No. 6 overall by Team (Jerry) Rice.
4 » Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin practiced Wednesday for the first time since suffering the concussion that kept him out of the AFC Championship game. On Thursday, he spoke about returning to the field and getting prepared to play in the Super Bowl. Below are some choice quotes from his media availability:
On his injury-riddled season: “It’s been a roller coaster, but it’s all been a blessing. I wouldn’t take anything back that happened this year. It’s made me a stronger person. … Frustrating. That’s the word that I’ll use. This whole year watching every single game was frustrating.”
On whether he believes New Orleans defenders were trying to knock him out of the game (he took two big hits in that game, leaving the field twice): “I thought they were just playing football.”
On his focus for next Sunday in New York: “I’m trying to go out there and win a Super Bowl. I’m not trying to save or be a hero or do anything. I’m trying to go out there and prepare to play a game I know how to play.”
Extra BIT » Florida’s basketball coaches will be participating in the 2014 Coaches vs. Cancer Suits And Sneakers Awareness Weekend during Saturday’s home game against the Tennessee Volunteers. Head coach Billy Donovan and his assistants will all wear sneakers as “a visual reminder that prevention is the key when it comes to blocking cancer before it takes center court in our lives.”