13 Gator Bites for Friday, June 13: Graham, Dendy, Harvin, Haslem, softball, MLB, Parsons

From time to time, OnlyGators.com will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share – too much to fit into one of our truncated BITS segments. When stories like these fall through the cracks, we catch and wrap them all up with Gator Bites.

» Florida Gators redshirt sophomore guard Dillon Graham on Friday tweeted that he has “finally [been] cleared” by team doctors after missing most of the 2013-14 season following surgery to repair bone spurs in his hips. Less than a month ago, head coach Billy Donovan said he did not expect Graham to be cleared for contact until August or September. Doctors are likely allowing Graham to work out and practice in non-contact situations at this time. “He’s missed a whole entire year of development and now you’re talking about an entire summer and into the fall without it,” Donovan said on May 22. “So, when he does get back, what is he like as a player and maybe how long does it take to get him back to maybe where he was? I think that’s going to be a long process for him.”

» Florida junior jumper Marquis Dendy on Thursday captured the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championship in men’s long jump. The outdoor long jump title in school history, Dendy’s 8.00m/26-3 championship-winning mark was his best of the season. Actually, all three of his jumps would have won the crown for Dendy, who previously won the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championship in the same event. He did not even need to take the last jump but chose to do so because he was “in the moment” and also wanted to qualify nationally in the event. He returns to the field on Saturday for the men’s triple jump, an event UF has dominated in recent years.


» Dendy is actually the second Gators track & field athlete to win an outdoor title this week, following junior thrower Fawn Miller, who won the women’s javelin championship on Wednesday.

» Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi put together a scathing piece on Florida football and how it handled the forced resignation of wide receivers coach Joker Phillips, presumably due to a NCAA recruiting violation. Bianchi opines that the Gators should simply have been honest about their reason for dismissing Phillips and used it as an opportunity to prop the program up as one with high standards in terms of both winning and character.

» Lawyers representing former Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez will look to dismiss murder charges against their client when they appear in court next week. Hernandez’s defense attorneys will argue that the prosecution has only provided circumstantial evidence against their client and not properly established probable cause. Additionally, the lawyers will argue that no forensic evidence has been presented to link Hernandez to the murder of Odin Lloyd. “Basically, all that the Commonwealth showed the grand jury is that Hernandez was in a car with Lloyd and several other individuals shortly before Lloyd was shot to death,” wrote his defense in an explanation. “To compensate for gaping holes in its proof, the Commonwealth sought to portray Hernandez … as an immoral drug-user with violent criminal propensities.” Though getting the judge to dismiss these charges is a long shot – to say the least – the argument is a legitimate one and the first step for Hernandez’s attorneys in trying to avoid a guilty verdict for their client.

» UF president Bernie Machen last month expressed his opposition to the rule that allows graduate students to transfer into an institution without sitting out a year…despite the fact that the Gators added tight end Jake McGee (Virginia) to the football team and forward/center Jon Horford (Michigan) to the basketball program just weeks earlier. “If they really wanted to transfer somewhere else, they should sit out a year,” Machen said at the SEC Spring Meetings, first speaking about graduate students in general. Then he used one of Florida’s transfers as an example. “Why didn’t Horford stay at Michigan another year? Because he had a free pass. Go to grad school at Michigan. They have some pretty good grad schools. It’s really just a way for a school to fill a void at the very last minute or a player going to get more playing time without having to sit out.” As the Orlando Sentinel’s Edgar Thompson eloquently stated, “Machen is a lone voice in the wilderness” on this topic. The Southeastern Conference last moth eased the restrictions on these transfers, no longer requiring them to have two seasons of eligibility remaining (barring exceptions).

» New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan took a purposeful and some will say uncalled for shot at quarterback Tim Tebow two weeks ago while praising the addition of new wide receiver Eric Decker. “He did catch eight touchdown passes when Tebow was the quarterback,” Ryan quipped in defense of his starting signal caller Geno Smith being able to complete passes to Decker. Ryan never gave Tebow a fair any true chance to play quarterback in New York, even as Mark Sanchez struggled and Greg McElroy (third-string) floundered in his place.

» The Seattle Seahawks did not get much out of their trade for WR Percy Harvin during the regular season, but he came up big for his team in Super Bowl XLVIII by totaling 137 all-purpose yards and returning the second half’s opening kickoff for an 87-yard touchdown. Harvin now claims he feels the best he has felt since before starting his college career with the Gators. “I’m just happy to be healthy right now,” he said. “It feels tremendously good to get back on the field and be as one [team].” The NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2009, Harvin’s best season came in 20111 when he totaled nine touchdowns (one kickoff return) and over 1,300 combined receiving and rushing yards.

» Here’s former Florida power forward Udonis Haslem being hit in the face with a shaving cream pie by a bunch of young baseball players.

» A great look from People Magazine on how 17-year-old brain cancer patient Heather Braswell, who died 10 weeks before Gators softball was able to capture the program’s first national title, helped fuel the team through the Women’s College World Series. “I Know she was on the field with us,” junior outfielder Bailey Castro said. “It was what gave us a great run.”

» Former Florida first baseman/outfielder Preston Tucker has been promoted to from Double-A Corpus Christi to Triple-A Oklahoma City. A seventh-round selection in the 2012 MLB Draft, Tucker has hit well as a farmhand and was even invited to Houston Astros spring training. In 65 games this season, he has hit 17 home runs (most in the Texas League). For his minor league career, Tucker has belted 50 dingers and 153 RBIs while batting .296.

» Four Gators selected in the 2014 MLB Draft have already decided to turn pro with three signing contracts with their respective franchises. Fourth-round catcher Taylor Gushue inked a $388,000 deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday, joining eighth-round right-handed pitcher Justin Shafer (Toronto Blue Jays) and 24th-round second baseman Casey Turgeon (St. Louis Cardinals) in the minors. Eleventh-round RHP Karsten Whitson has already decided to leave school and sign with the Boston Red Sox but is not yet under contract with the club.

» For the second time in as many weeks, a former Florida basketball player is a guest on ESPN‘s SportsNation with Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons joining the program on Friday. Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal was featured on the show last week. Below is a picture of Parsons with host Michelle Beadle, for those of you that like these sort of things.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 Responses to “13 Gator Bites for Friday, June 13: Graham, Dendy, Harvin, Haslem, softball, MLB, Parsons”

  1. Dave Massey says:

    I never care about anything Bianchi says. The guy is a Canes fan and just like any other Cane fan, I don’t care what any of them have to say. I cancelled my subscription to the Orlando Sentinel a long time ago because of his biased mouth. He never has anything good to say about the Gators and always picks against us. The Sentinel really needs to realize the fan base in their area and it is not predominantly Miami fans. And I know for a fact that I am not the only Gator fan in Central Florida who won’t read the Sentinel because of Mike the Mouth. They should figure out that their job is to sell subscriptions. Too bad he wasn’t so vocal about the Shapiro situation at the U.
    I feel the same way about Rex Ryan. The guy is awful mouthy for a coach who really hasn’t accomplished anything and acts like he is god’s gift to pro football. The only thing I can see the guy has accomplished is to be overweight.
    And put me on the list that doesn’t agree with Machen on the transfer rule of graduating players going to a different school than the one they are at because their school doesn’t offer the program they want. Didn’t Tyler Murphy transfer under the same rule away from Florida? This is a rule put there for students first and athletes second.

    • Bianchi is a Florida fan.

      I do not post most of his takes because rarely do I find them to have any merit. This one I thought was interesting and worth you all reading.

      • Dave Massey says:

        …in all kinds of weather we all stick together… He is the kind of Florida fan we don’t need, thanks for all the great work you do Adam. I get my Gator news from you way faster than anywhere else and read every one of your posts beginning to end.

  2. SC Gator says:

    God I hate agreeing with Bianchi on anything, even just in general principle. Makes me feel dirty.

  3. SW FL Joe says:

    While I didn’t read the article because I don’t want to subscribe just to read Bianchi drivel, my guess is a picture of Joker allegedly committing a NCAA violation is not sufficient grounds to fire him according to his contract. Foley would have to let this play out thereby creating a major distraction during the football and more importantly recruiting seasons. In exchange for resigning I bet Joker gets paid the balance of his contract.

    • Gatorgrad79 says:

      I agree with Joe’s point – UF was in a lose/lose situation. They HAD to do an investigation and it would have cast a pall over the entire summer and then put them in a bad spot if he still ended up being dismissed just prior to the season. I hope he did get his contract paid out and wish him well. Time will tell what effect this has on both recruiting and performance of the players already on board.

  4. Kaleb Wolfe says:

    Bianchi is a Gator all the way hell he was one of the 1st sports writers to ever mention the actual possibility of Billy Donovan being the state of Florida’s greatest college coach of any sport period, I read the Jacksonville Times Union and missed his arcticles so much and I’d take him back in a heart beat I used to love his articles during the Spurrier years and I am only 32 now so I always looked forward during college football season to his articles no one could ever replace his hilarity or quick whit, no he’s a true Gator all the way just as much as I am my dad & grandad both graduated from UF as for me well I’ve never missed a Florida Gator football game since I was 9 years old ha my dad always said that I was so lucky to have came up interested in 1990 in Gator Football the way I did that I never had to suffer through the hard years when Georgia would whip up on us and as far as what Bianchi said concerning the Joker Phillips situation he’s 100% right it would’ve spared us all being more forthcoming especially in the eyes of the college sports world and trust me he only has UF’s best interst at heart and Orlando is a Gator Stronghold just as the rest of North East Florida and Jacksonville are as far as the Gators go. Go Gators lets stay healthy this season and get a little payback ( fingers crossed ) in all my years of watching college football have I never seen a team right from the start in pre fall practice get snake bitten by injuries like we did last season so as far as I’m concerned last season was basically and has to be considered a wash with maybe the small exception of maybe Alabama or some strong team in some weak conference not one damn team that suffered the injuries we endured and played our schedule even made it to bowl eligibility I understand no one here jumped on Coach Muschamp but I just had to vent I’m so sick of everyone trying to blame Muschamp for anything & everything under the sun that happens at UF on him, first of all I’d get it more if there was some phenom coach out there that would come to UF but Coach Muschamp he’s a true gator fan who grew up in Gainesville & wanted so bad to be a Gator could’ve entered Annapolis ya know that naval military academy so he’s got some brains up there in that head, he went on to walk on at Georgia & ended up earning scholarship and was the teams defensive captain, he’s young no that’s no excuse but so was Billy Donovan once young too every season even last year with walk ons starting with just a fourth of the season left he still had us ranked at the end of the season in the top ten in total defense nationally incredible the guys is a defensive guru he went in the half of the Texas A&M game and bottled up Johnny Football like nobody ever did he’s just to defense as Coach Spurrier is to offense of course when spurrier came in he changed the entire conference it’s so much stronger now than it was when he started out I’m sorry I hate to lose more than anything I really do and if we stay healthy and still only win 7 games ok then maybe the poor guy is just cursed so fire him cuz I’m just as spoiled as you all are and want to see our glory restored but if he we just can stay healthy ( fingers crossed ) I think we can surprise some so called experts out there let Driskel be a spread option quarterback finally he’s not as tough as Tebow but if he Han stay healthy if the line stays healthy if he’s a constant running threat I promise you he won’t have to be Peyton Manning or Tom Brady cuz those wideouts will be so wide open ya see that’s how it ( the spread option ) works, if that works out the kicking game works out, the defense just stays healthy there’s no reason we shouldn’t win 10 games that’s enough wins to ensure a solid recruiting class infact probably a great one and then so we continue to till we get to this final four where I’ll take a battle tested SEC team anytime Go Gators and may The Lord be looking down over our Gators in most important of seasons. Amen…

  5. Kaleb Wolfe says:

    Bianchi is a Gator all the way hell he was one of the 1st sports writers to ever mention the actual possibility of Billy Donovan being the state of Florida’s greatest college coach of any sport period, I read the Jacksonville Times Union and missed his arcticles so much and I’d take him back in a heart beat I used to love his articles during the Spurrier years and I am only 32 now so I always looked forward during college football season to his articles no one could ever replace his hilarity or quick whit, no he’s a true Gator all the way just as much as I am my dad & grandad both graduated from UF as for me well I’ve never missed a Florida Gator football game since I was 9 years old ha my dad always said that I was so lucky to have came up interested in 1990 in Gator Football the way I did that I never had to suffer through the hard years when Georgia would whip up on us and as far as what Bianchi said concerning the Joker Phillips situation he’s 100% right it would’ve spared us all being more forthcoming especially in the eyes of the college sports world and trust me he only has UF’s best interst at heart and Orlando is a Gator Stronghold just as the rest of North East Florida and Jacksonville are as far as the Gators go. Go Gators lets stay healthy this season and get a little payback (fingers crossed) whew……. in all my years of watching college football have I never seen a team right from the start in pre fall practice no less get snake bitten by injuries like we did last season so as far as I’m concerned last season was basically a wash & has to be considered a wash with maybe the small exception of maybe an Alabama or some strong team with some very very weak conference schedule, I can assure you not one…not one damn team!!!!!!!! that suffered the injuries we endured & played our strength of schedule ever would’ve even made it to bowl eligibility, Foley realized that ya know he’s pretty smart he tends to hire coaches who win, but anyone who’s ever played or even knows college football has to understand just how devastating the injuries were, and not one soul here could’ve got us to 6 wins not one damn souls now I understand nobody here exactly has jumped on Coach Muschamp this time but I just had to vent I’m so sick of everyone trying to blame Muschamp for anything & everything under the sun that happens at UF, he always takes responsibility himself for every loss even when they’re not all his fault he’s does discipline his players do you remember seeing Marcus Roberson too much last year yeahs either trust me it wasn’t cuz of injuries infact he may discipline too much anyone remember when he kicked Janoris Jenkins off the team where I know many many Head Coaches wouldn’t have dared kicked their only pre-season all American off the team in their 1st seasons say Les Miles, Jimbo Fischer, or Nick Saban especially in their very 1st seasons as Head Ball Coach look first of all I’d get it more if there was some phenom coach like an Urban Meyer was out there waiting In the wings that would come to UF but Coach Muschamp he is a true gator fan who grew up in Gainesville & wanted so bad to be a Gator and run out on to Florida Field the man could’ve entered Annapolis ya know that naval military academy so he’s got some brains up there in that head, he went on to walk on at Georgia & ended up earning a scholarship & became the teams defensive captain as a strong safety, he’s still young for a Head Coach & no that’s not an excuse but so was Billy Donovan also once young too. As for last season even then with walk ons starting in place of injured players with just a fourth of the season left he still had us ranked at the end of the season in Bianchi is a Gator all the way hell he was one of the 1st sports writers to ever mention the actual possibility of Billy Donovan being the state of Florida’s greatest college coach of any sport period, I read the Jacksonville Times Union and missed his arcticles so much and I’d take him back in a heart beat I used to love his articles during the Spurrier years and I am only 32 now so I always looked forward during college football season to his articles no one could ever replace his hilarity or quick whit, no he’s a true Gator all the way just as much as I am my dad & grandad both graduated from UF as for me well I’ve never missed a Florida Gator football game since I was 9 years old ha my dad always said that I was so lucky to have came up interested in 1990 in Gator Football the way I did that I never had to suffer through the hard years when Georgia would whip up on us and as far as what Bianchi said concerning the Joker Phillips situation he’s 100% right it would’ve spared us all being more forthcoming especially in the eyes of the college sports world and trust me he only has UF’s best interst at heart and Orlando is a Gator Stronghold just as the rest of North East Florida and Jacksonville are as far as the Gators go. Go Gators lets stay healthy this season and get a little payback ( fingers crossed ) in all my years of watching college football have I never seen a team right from the start in pre fall practice get snake bitten by injuries like we did last season so as far as I’m concerned last season was basically and has to be considered a wash with maybe the small exception of maybe Alabama or some strong team in some weak conference not one damn team that suffered the injuries we endured and played our schedule even made it to bowl eligibility I understand no one here jumped on Coach Muschamp but I just had to vent I’m so sick of everyone trying to blame Muschamp for anything & everything under the sun that happens at UF on him, first of all I’d get it more if there was some phenom coach out there that would come to UF but Coach Muschamp he’s a true gator fan who grew up in Gainesville & wanted so bad to be a Gator could’ve entered Annapolis ya know that naval military academy so he’s got some brains up there in that head, he went on to walk on at Georgia & ended up earning scholarship and was the teams defensive captain, he’s young no that’s no excuse but so was Billy Donovan once young too every season even last year with a bunch of walk-ons starting with just a fourth of the season left he still had us ranked at the very end of the season in the top ten in total defense nationally truly incredible the guys is a defensive guru he went in at halftime & made adjustments during @ Texas A&M game and bottled up Johnny Football like nobody ever did again he’s just to defense as Coach Spurrier is to offense of course when Spurrier came in he changed the entire conference it’s so much stronger now than it was when he started out I’m sorry I hate to see my Gators lose more than anything I really do I saw Ron Zook and I knew he was recruiting pretty damn good but he was no coach made at best a special coordinator or recruiting coordinator wish we had him on staff anyways I just see an extremely loyal intelligent and a coach in Muschamp that would coach at Florida till the day he couldn’t coach any longer this is as good as it gets coaching Florida I see it in him if he ever gets the chance to win a title here all he’ll do is keep coaching the Mighty Gators he’d never lie to us he’s a loyal man a special man I just hope we get to witness how special he is while he’s still Head Coach a for our Florida Gator football team all our enemies referring to our rivals want to see us fire him they want us to stay in a state of constant disarray like some terrible NFL team that hasn’t seen the playoffs in more than 2 decades & if we stay healthy & still only win 7 games ok then maybe the poor guy is just cursed so fire him cuz I’m just as like you all are & want to see our former glory restored but if he we just can stay healthy ( fingers crossed ) I think we can surprise some so those so-called experts out there first off let Driskel be a spread option quarterback finally let him do what he does best he’s not as tough as Tebow but if he can just possibly stay healthy if the O-line stays healthy & if Jeff stays a constant running threat I promise you he won’t have to be as accurate as Peyton Manning or Tom Brady cuz those wideouts will be so wide open ya see that’s how it ( the spread option ) works, if that works out the kicking game works out, the defense must stay healthy especially the defensive lines and young secondary there’s no reason if this happens and it is a big if there’s no reason with our talent level compared to the rest of the SEC especially the east that we shouldn’t win 10 games that’s enough wins to ensure some consistency within the staff assuring us a solid recruiting class infact probably a great recruiting class & then so we continue to till we get to this BCS final four where I’ll take a battle tested battle hardened SEC team anytime Go Gators and may The Lord be looking down over our Gators in one of if not the most important season in our entire Amen…the top ten in total defense nationally incredible the guys is a defensive guru he went in the half of the Texas A&M game and bottled up Johnny Football like nobody ever did he’s to defense as Coach Spurrier was to offense except we all know offense if much more entertaining of course when Coach Spurrier came in he changed the entire SEC it’s so much stronger now than it was when he started out I’m sorry I hate to lose more than anything I really really do & if we stay healthy & still only win 7 games ok then maybe the poor guy is just cursed so fire him cuz I’m just as spoiled as you all are & want to see our former glory restored but if we just can stay healthy (fingers crossed) I think we can surprise some of those so-called experts out there 1st thing let Driskel be a spread option quarterback finally though he’s not as tough as Tebow is he’s a guy but if he can just stay healthy through out a season& if the O- line stays healthy & Jeff can become a constant running threat then I promise you he won’t have to be Peyton Manning or Tom Brady cuz those wideouts will be wide open in small zone line pockets yeah see that’s how the spread offense/read option works basically you have to pick your poison you got to respect the run starts working on in the secondary starts to cheat up linebackers eyes are on the quarterback & the running back tight ends & receivers are open over the middle we need the offensive line obviously to stay healthy just as much are quarterback as well as for our defense must stay healthy especially along the lines of scrimmage as well as with an inexperienced young but talented secondary as far the kicking game ha well they just have to make the field goals as for our punters well they need to start acting like Florida Gator Punters again & boot the ball deep & high up in the sky the more hang time of course the better as well hopefully special-teams will take care if of itself so if this all happens and that’s a big if LOL & it all works out, we stay relatively healthy at the key positions especially running back quarterback along the lines of scrimmage I could easily seeing us winning 10 games especially considering the strength of the SEC East Division as well as the rest of our opponents, with winning 10 games obviously assures our coach Florida coaching staff stability & continuity as well as a respectable recruiting class if not finishing out with a great recruiting class & then i think we will then eventually make our climb to this new BCS Final Four which I’ll take a battle tested & battle hardened SEC team anytime over anyone with only 2 extra games to win it all, Go Gators & may The Lord be looking down upon our Gators protecting them especially in one of the most if not the most important/crucial season to ever occur in our program’s history in the big picture this could truly be a turning point season for us as Gator Nation as well as a Gator Family we could fall into one direction & or go into another for Florida Gator Football again I pray The Lord leads up in the right direction Amen…

  6. Kaleb Wolfe says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation…

    Adam you can delete the 1st & 2nd comments just leave the final one concerning me defending both Mike Bianchi and Coach Will Muschamp I had to correct some spelling errors that was uh the rough drafts lol so if you decide to post one please let it be the last & final version ok I’m sorry it was so long lol wasn’t my intention to write a small chapter I just felt Gator Fans need some hope that’s all. As well I put a lot of heart and though into it as well and I’d greatly appreciate it that if you do happen to print one please let it be the final one thanks Adam keep up the good work you know what you’re talking about thank god some one does ; ) you’re definetly one the more realistic gators
    As well as you always stick to the true facts and are not at all afraid to speak the truth just to appease someone if it’s wrong you simply set them straight like we both know fully that Mike Bianchi is right and has only UF’s best interest at heart I miss him up here in Jacksonville when he left the Times Union boy me and my dad still miss his stuff whenever we get the chance we try to read whatever we can

    Kaleb Wolfe

Leave a Reply | Register | Login


six × = 54