1 » Former Florida Gators guard Walter Hodge was named Most Valuable Player of the Puerto Rican Baloncesto Superior Nacional league on Wednesday. Hodge, playing for Captanes de Arecibo, easily won by picking up 70 votes, 32 more than second-place finisher Mike Harris. One-time Gators G David Huertas finished fourth with 33 votes. Hodge received 11-of-31 first-place votes and appeared in 19-of-31 ballots. “I’m happy with the award and I thank God for keeping me healthy throughout the year. [This was] always a dream,” he said. “I have achieved several goals and now lack the greatest with the championship.” Hodge averaged 16.9 points per game while leading the league in assists (6.9) and steals (1.8) per contest. Also playing in BSN is former Florida G Mike Rosario, who is teammates with Huertas on the Ponce Lions.
2 » The best way for bottom-of-the-roster football players to prove to new coaches that they deserve to keep their spot is to report to training camp in shape and ready to learn. Former Florida offensive lineman Maurice Hurt apparently did the opposite and will start camp with the Washington football team on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list simply because he reported “out of shape,” according to new head coach Jay Gruden. The No. 217 overall pick in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Hurt started all eight games he played as a rookie but just one of 13 contests in 2012. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery ahead of the 2013 season, which he started on the PUP list before eventually being moved to injured reserve when he was evaluated in practice and not deemed capable of playing.
3 » As OnlyGators.com first reported prior to his signing, former Gators forward Chandler Parsons feels that he has a strong relationship with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. It was one of the main reasons – aside from the maximum contract, of course – that Parsons hoped to ultimately wind up in Dallas after his restricted free agent process. During an appearance on KESN 103.3 FM out of Dallas, Texas, Parsons explained why he feels close to Cuban. “I’ve developed a relationship with him throughout the years. I truly think he’s the best owner in sports,” he said. “It’s comforting playing for a team and an owner that you know they’re never going to let you be bad; they’re always going to look for ways to improve the team. I just have a special relationship with him. I trust him. The way he pitched me in that system … was too good to turn down.”
4 » In an interview with Bucknuts.com, Shelley Meyer, the wife of Ohio State and former Florida head coach Urban Meyer, provided her perspective on the Gators, their fans and her time in Gainesville, Florida. Below are some choice quotes from the interview, which can be read in full by clicking here.
On the perception from UF fans that her husband “faked a heart attack,” a term used by interviewer Dave Biddle, to get out of his contract and go to OSU:
“Well, what I learned was that Florida fans, there’s a lot of them and people want to brag on their team. … Now, when we first went down there and we were winning and we were winning those national championships, Urban was the best thing ever. But when it’s not going good or something doesn’t go the way they want, they will turn in a second. Now, to be fair, there’s a lot of fans across the country that are like that – and I’m sure there’s some Ohio State people that could do that, too. But, here is my perception [about Florida fans]: I think they feel like they were kind of left at the altar.
“They feel a betrayal, even though they were so mad at him about how our last season  went. You can’t please them. You can’t please all fans anywhere; you can’t. And I’ve just accepted that and I love when our fans are behind us and support us and I love that they love their team, but we can’t take it personally. Because, not one person that is close to us [from Florida] has ever come up and said anything bad. ‘Why did you leave? You faked it. You weren’t sick. You had this Ohio State thing lined up the entire time.’ I would hear that all the time and I was like ‘Uh, no.’ Because I was not coming here. So, trust me -that was not planned.
“So, the people who are critical of us, it’s not the people who know us. It’s the people who aren’t even around the program. They just want their team to win and whoever can get their team to win, that’s who they’re for. And if you can’t do it or if you left them, then they’ll hate you. …
“However, I will say that I love the Gators and always will. Urban worked really hard there and won two national championships. It hurts to hear some fans and media criticize him personally and make him out to be a bad guy. I still go to Gainesville a lot and hang out with our old friends, go to our favorite restaurants and I go to my old gym.”
On the 2006 national championship game between Florida and Ohio State: “Urban is an Ohio State guy. He had a buckeye in his pocket during that game. So did I. I also had a Florida coin, so I had both.”
On Urban Meyer’s multiple “dream job” comments: “Absolutely. Ohio State was No. 1, then Notre Dame and then, believe it or not, [Michigan]. … People get on Urban because he said ‘This is my dream job’ and ‘This is my dream job.’ Well, Florida was a dream job. It is a dream job. The dream job was this one and always has been this one. Always. But people see different jobs that they would all consider a dream job. Notre Dame was a dream job and he could have taken that job and almost did take that job.”