FOUR BITS: track, Tebow, Lewis, Moss

By Adam Silverstein
June 24, 2013

1 » A total of 10 current and former Florida Gators qualified for the 14th IAAF World Outdoor Championships over the weekend by competing in events across the globe. Twenty-one Gators participated at the 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships from June 19-23 in Des Moines, IA, with six moving on to the next stage of competition. Senior Omar Craddock and reigning Olympic silver medalist Will Claye finished one-two in the men’s triple jump. (Olympic gold medalist and 2012 World Champion Christian Taylor will also compete in Moscow, Russia from Aug. 10-18.)

Olympic relay silver medalist Tony McQuay and freshman Arman Hall finished two-three in the men’s 400 meters, Kerron Clement qualified with a fifth-place finish in the men’s 400-meter hurdles, and junior Cory McGee came in third in the women’s 1,500 meters but must still meet the “B” standard qualifying time before heading off to Moscow. Additionally, Novlene Williams-Mills won the Jamaican title in the women’s 400 meters, junior Eddie Lovett will race the men’s 110-meter hurdles for the Virgin Islands, and senior Ugonna Ndu will compete in the women’s 400-meter hurdles for Nigeria. Ndu can also qualify for the 100-meter hurdles by meeting the “B” standard qualifying time in that event prior to the start of the World Championships.

2 » New England Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow has been keeping a low profile with his new team, just as the front office and coaching staff asked, but he is hoping to make up some of the money he lost after New York waived him with a new investment. Tebow, already a co-owner of a D1 Sports Training facility in Tampa, FL, recently signed on with the fast-growing chain restaurant PDQ as the company’s latest investor. A Tebow-owned PDQ, the company’s eighth location, will open in Jacksonville, FL, later this summer. He also has options to purchase additional stores and may open another location in Jacksonville as well as one or two more in Alachua County. Tebow happened in to a PDQ for lunch one day while taking a break from his charity work in Tampa. He returned to the restaurant that evening for a second meal and immediately asked his management company, XV Enterprises, to learn more about the chain.

Check out two more BITS of Florida Gators news…after the break!

3 » Competing at the IMG Academy/NFA 7-on-7 football event on Saturday in Bradenton, FL, Florida two-star tight end commit C’yontai Lewis (Tuscaloosa, AL) made headlines for his play and actions on the field. One of Rivals’ top 10 standout offensive players at the event, Lewis caught a touchdown during one scrimmage, turned to former Gators QB Cam Newton and did a Gator Chomp in his direction. “Did The Gator Chomp At Cam Newton. He was sad af,” Lewis would later note on Twitter. “He was standing in the back of the [end] zone. I had caught a td pass then turned to him & chomped him up.” According to WRUF’s Richard Johnson, who was in attendance at the event, “Cam was not amused one bit.” Johnson continued on Twitter: “Cam then turned and said ‘so disrespectful’ under his breath to a guy with him. Lewis then got a personalized Auburn jersey with Newton’s name on the back from a teammates parent and took a team picture with him.”

4 » Freshman guard/forward Sydney Moss’s decision to transfer was understandably met with frustration and displeasure from Florida head women’s basketball coach Amanda Butler, but it appears as if Butler is doing nothing to help resolve the situation. According to The Alligator’s Phil Heilman, who has been all over the story since he broke it, Butler has restricted Moss from transferring to any BCS program. Restricting a transfer within a conference or against future opponents is a common (albeit criticized) practice but not allowing a player to play for any of the most prominent Division I teams is certainly going a bit overboard. According to Heilman, Moss was displeased with her year playing for the Gators for a number of reasons, one of which was the coaching staff allegedly ignoring her family once she got on campus. “They didn’t talk to my mom the whole season,” she said. “They got me down there and then didn’t talk to my mom at all.”

Butler has recruited well for Florida over the last few years, and while she did help the Gators advance further in the 2013 NIT than most expected, the team is just 119-82 (43-49 SEC) with her at the helm over the last six seasons. Another lackluster year coupled with some questionable actions and a recent rash of transfers may wind up making the 2013-14 season Butler’s last with the Orange & Blue.

4 Comments

  1. Joe says:

    I know Foley doesn’t meddle in his coaches duties but he needs to override Butler on this one. Restricting Moss from transferring to any D1 school is just vindictive. I can see SEC schools but all of D1 is overboard. It wasn’t that long ago that UF never restricted a kid from going where they wanted. This will no doubt be used against Butler on the recruiting trail and clearly gives UF a black eye. I thought we were above this sort of thing. I mean after all isn’t Butler suppose to be the adult here.

  2. Oldflyer says:

    I expect Foley will step in. I also expect that Butler is a little miffed that Moss trashed her for not sucking up to her family during the basketball season. Talk about entitled. Usually, players have the grace and sense when they walk out on a program not to criticize the coach or program. I imagine that Butler will get past the original anger and do the magnanimous thing–whether she wants to or not.

    On another level, it must be terribly frustrating for a coach to devote time and energy to recruit a player, to try to build a program, think you have a core, and then have players leave for allegedly greener pastures after one year because the competition is too tough, or their feelings get ruffled.

    I am a little surprised that big-time coaches will accept transfers unless there is a clear and valid reason for the change–such as a family situation, or an abrupt change of staff at the previous school. Too much drama. Take the Rosario situation. He became very productive, but suppose Billy had devoted equal time and energy to developing some freshman? Would the result not have been equally good without two years of drama?

    It is clear that Butler’s results are far short of expectations. I expect that she is on a very short leash.

  3. Ken (CA) says:

    The WBB bit is a bit misleading, while there are no BCS conferences as far as basketball is concerned, even if that is the restriction that is only 6 D1 converences out of 31 that have an AQ bid to the tournament. That leaves a lot of D1 schools that she could still transfer to.

    I still keep wondering how Foley keeps hitting it out of the park in almost every sport, including finding an incredible Lacrosse coach for a team that didn’t even exist, and yet can’t do anythin gabout a really medicro set of WBB coaches. There must be very few out there that are actually all that good which could be why there is still such a lack of parity in play

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