TWO BITS: Mickey Marotti; Erin Andrews’ future

By Adam Silverstein
June 23, 2010

1 » As director of strength and conditioning for the Florida Gators, Mickey Marotti runs the program almost by default during the offseason. When speaking at the 2010 Southeastern Conference Meetings recently, head coach Urban Meyer praised Marotti’s efforts for making the Gators the best conditioned team – especially when it comes down to those fourth quarter road game efforts. ESPN’s SEC blogger Chris Low sat down with Marotti and covered a few topics, excerpts of which can be found below:

How about some of the players on this team who maybe haven’t been in the spotlight that are going to need to be this coming season? Who are some of those guys who’ve had big offseasons?
MM: One young player who’s really done a nice job is Jordan Reed, who’s going to play a couple of different positions and can hopefully step into Aaron Hernandez’s role as that pass-catching tight end. He’s really matured from when he first got here. Another guy is Jaye Howard on the defensive line. He’ll be a redshirt junior and has really changed the way he does things. We’ll find out about him. The other guy is Deonte Thompson at wide receiver. He has a ton of ability, but his work ethic and his demeanor and his leadership have really changed. Sometimes it takes guys longer to mature. I can’t wait to see him. I hope he has a great year, because he has really worked his butt off.

From your perspective, how much better and how much stronger has John Brantley gotten since the day he walked onto campus?
MM: It’s night and day. He’s what we call a grown-ass man right now physically and mentally. A lot of it is maturing, and I think a lot of it has to do with being around Tim [Tebow]. But Johnny has worked really hard and grown up.

What goes through your mind when you hear Meyer laud you, your staff and the whole strength program for the Gators’ success in the fourth quarter?
MM: I don’t think it’s just what we do in the weight room. I think it’s more about the whole coaching staff, from the athletic trainers, to the defensive coordinator and his staff, to the offensive coordinator and all his coaches. We are all so much on the same page, and I think that’s why we’ve been successful here. Everybody buys in, and everybody sells the same thing to our players.

Two more BITS on Erin Andrews and women’s basketball…after the break!

2 » Former Florida dazzler and current ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews has her contract with the Worldwide Leader in Sports coming up for renewal on July 1, and there is growing sentiment that she may have some significant monetary offers that might draw her away from the network and perhaps sports all-together. Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated takes a look at Andrews’ future and the options she might be presented with in just over a week. ESPN, which has many executives who value Andrews’ contributions, may see significant potential with her increasing popularity or balk at paying her a substantially increased salary.

Extra BIT » According to a release from the organization, the NCAA awarded 12 universities and two conferences grants on Wednesday in order “to increase awareness, exposure and attendance” for their women’s basketball programs. The University of Florida was one of these 12 schools – the only one in the Southeastern Conference – to receive this grant for 2010-11. The Gators hope to increase their home game attendance and program prominence, something 10 of the 18 recipients accomplished during the 2009-10 academic year.

21 Comments

  1. O-town Gator says:

    With Erin’s contract expiration in mind, has a replacement been hired for Steve Babik as of yet?

  2. Mr2Bits says:

    Who is the fake Erin Andrews ESPN deployed for the CWS…….are they thinking cheaper replacement?

  3. Mr2Bits says:

    Also if they don’t renew her contract, who is JP going to hook up with on Thursday night football?

  4. SaraGator says:

    It’s a simple solution — Erin Andrews replace Corso.

  5. orangebluegator says:

    There’s only one Mickey in Florida and he’s no mouse. Keep up the hard work coach MM.

  6. ReptilesRule says:

    Mickey and Erin do a great job. Hope EA stays with ESPN, I enjoy her contribution and maybe she will have an expanded role.

  7. npgator says:

    Erin is a refreshing part of the college football coverage and she knows her stuff.

  8. Mr2Bits says:

    @Adam….thats her, easy on the eyes too!

  9. Wingtee says:

    A Federal Grant got awareness and attendance issues for women sports? What a waste of taxpayers dollars. Except for football most women sports scholarship exceeds mens ie… Sport for sport.there is not a lot of interest in womens sports however the dollars going out to womens sports far exeeds the interest level. Another example of wasted money.

  10. The NCAA is a governing body representing all of its member institutions – not federally funded. Even if it was – it is their own money to do with as they please. So I have no idea what your issue is, Wingtee. It’s not a federal grant, it’s an organization grant.

  11. Wingtee says:

    Allrigt Adam a grant is still a grant whether private or federal, the deal is of these institutions don’t deliver with this money it will be take back.Florida women athletics have generally been a winner a d still have not drawn what
    Ames you think that awarness workshops or marketing strategies will increase attendance?

    My issue with womens sports is that it’s too slow and lethargic and does nothing for me . Obviously I am not the only one Adam or they would t be sinking this money into this worthless project. Thanks for my scolding that you give to me for having an opinion different from yours. I know . your site you are the king, I am sure you will delete me,
    . that is the easy way out. That’s fine too, I do visit your site dailey so do what you want with my post

    • I wasn’t scolding you. I was correcting you. Still don’t understand why the issue with the grant. The NCAA has these built into their budget for this exact reason. And federal vs. private does make a difference based on your first comment.

      I have no problem with you not liking women’s basketball. Just don’t understand the outrage.

      PS- I approve every comment unless it is offensive or deemed inappropriate.

  12. O-town Gator says:

    Wingtee, if women’s sports bother you so much then don’t watch them… and nobody’s forcing you to in the first place.

  13. Wingtee says:

    O town, I don’t watch womens sports that is what my message is. Glad u enjoy them . There are many young women who are benefitting from athletic scholly’s at UF, I just don’t believe the atheletic dept gets any return in the investment. UF goes
    above
    and way
    beyond
    the call of duty to satisfy Title 9 obligations. Have you seen the Lacrosse Stadium. ? No sec to play in either, no championship opportunities. How
    stupid was that move????

  14. Considering the women’s team was immensely successful its first year and is pulling in top recruiting classes…I would say it was a pretty good move to start that team – for now. I’m just waiting for UF to add men’s soccer or men’s lacrosse…have been waiting for a while, actually.

  15. Wingtee says:

    Adam the added men sports will not happend because of
    title 9 issues at UF. It’s all about increasing awarness for our womens basketball team which has been the only failure in the womens programs .. Basketball has been abysymal and probably will remain so

  16. Wingtee – Yes, I know. But I can still hope to see them someday. Always wanted men’s soccer at UF.

    As for basketball…if that is the only failure in the women’s programs…shouldn’t the school do what is necessary to make that NOT the case? To make it just as successful as the rest?

  17. Wingtee says:

    Of coure Uf should do more to upgrde tht progrm, but with hard work and great recruiting not a grant from the NCAA. Don’t you think Florida has plenty of advantages without a grant to have an advantage over the other schools?

    • Why not both? Do you think it is beneath the school to get/take the grant? If so, I can’t help you there. Personally I have no problem with any school taking advantage of monies offered to them. Especially for their smallest programs. I do not think it speaks badly of UF in any way. The school has plenty of advantages in other areas, yes, but not that sport – as you pointed out.

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