1 » New York Giants safety Will Hill on Friday was officially suspended by the NFL for the first six games of the 2014 season, marking the third-straight year that he will open an NFL campaign unable to play due to league punishment. Hill was first suspended four games before the 2012 season for use of performance-enhancing drugs – he claims he tested positive for Adderall – and also missed the first four games of 2013 when he tested positive for marijuana and was suspended under the league’s substance-abuse policy. Undrafted after three seasons with the Florida Gators, the former five-star prospect did not play at all in 2011 and only got a chance with the Giants after supposedly staying clean of drugs and focusing on his familial duties during his year off. New York has “put a lot of time and energy into trying to keep Will Hill clean,” according to Tom Rock of Newsday. This suspension will likely end his career with the Giants.and could result in another missed season until if or when another team gives him a chance.
2 » A concussion ravaged Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed‘s rookie season, forcing him to miss the final six games as he failed to pass the NFL’s protocol for returning to the field while dealing with headaches and nausea. It was Reed’s third concussion dating back to his time with the Gators. Now entering his second year as a professional, he is confident that the medical issue is behind him and he will be able to progress with his career. “I started to get a little scared after about two months – like, ‘Maybe I’m going to be like this forever,’ or something like that,” Reed said, according to The Washington Times. “But it ended up going away. … I don’t think it’s going to happen again. I don’t think it’s going to be something that I’m going to have to deal with my whole career.” Reed will enter 2014 as one of Washington’s primary pass catchers after racking up 499 yards and three touchdowns on 45 receptions as a rookie. He will also benefit from a healthy quarterback in Robert Griffin III and the addition of wide receiver DeSean Jackson. “He’s obviously a force in the passing game,” new head coach Jay Gruden said. “We have, obviously, one of the more talented young tight ends in the NFL, I believe.”
3 » The way the Gators played in 2014, the team would have been relegated if such a thing excited in college football. But when Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive spoke on Friday about creating a Division IV in NCAA football, he was discussing building something that could be quite special. Slive believes the NCAA must approve autonomy for the “power five” conferences to provide cost-of-attendance benefits to student-athletes; if it refuses to do so, Slive envisions all five conferences breaking out of the current model and moving into a division of their own. “There are now six lawsuits that name our conference and specifically have to do with the whole cost of attendance. our conference. Yet we would like to make changes and yet we can’t because the NCAA doesn’t allow us to. We’re really caught between a rock and a hard place. We desperately would like some flexibility,” he said on Friday at the SEC Spring Meetings, according to CBSSports.com‘s Jon Solomon. “If it doesn’t [get approved], I think our league will want to move toward a Division IV. My colleagues, I can’t speak for anybody else, but I would be surprised if they don’t feel the same way.” Florida president Bernie Machen echoed Slive’s words, calling the current situation a “crisis” for the power five and noting that he is “pessimistic” about their proposals passing.
4 » The SEC on Friday announced that the Gators will open the 2014 football season with a night game. Florida will host on the Idaho Vandals on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. in a contest that will air live from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium nationally on ESPNU. UF starts the 2014 campaign with three home games all taking place after 3:30 p.m.; the Gators only had five such games – combined home and away – the previous two years.