1 » In Charlotte, North Carolina, for the SEC Network‘s formal media day on Wednesday, former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow told the Associated Press that “his agent has fielded some calls from interested NFL teams” but declined to name which ones and said no deal is currently on the horizon. ESPN, to its credit, is completely open to Tebow trading in his suit for pads and has made it clear that he can return to the network at any point if such an opportunity presents itself. “I love doing this,” Tebow said. “I want to do this for a long time. I love talking football, and I love being around it.” While behind the mic, Tebow does not plan to have any Florida bias, though he told Sports Illustrated that he will obviously always be a Gators fan.
”The important thing is that you don’t take you being a fan, your bias or your past experiences into account as far as me rooting for Florida. Obviously I’ll be a Florida fan my entire life. But when I’m evaluating teams, I’m not going to be evaluating as a fan of Florida. I’m going to be evaluating as a quarterback in the SEC, someone who grew up watching it, someone who has had a lot of experience and has been in every situation. That’s the premise I’m going to be looking from. Everybody’s going to be able to do that. It’ll be hard for Marcus [Spears] not to root for LSU, but he can do that. I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but I know [Paul Finebaum] really likes Alabama. That can’t be easy for him to say. You can kind of take one hat off and put on another one and that’s your focus.
2 » The NCAA Division I Board of Directors on Thursday voted 16-2 to adopt an updated Division I model that would grant autonomy to the five major conferences and the 64 schools they represent (plus Notre Dame), allowing the leagues to “adopt rule changes on specific matters affecting the interests of student-athletes.” In other words, the universities can begin the process of providing student-athletes with full cost-of-attendance stipends along with other benefits. The areas of which the five major conferences will have autonomy include health and wellness, meals and nutrition, financial aid, expenses and benefits (student-athlete support), expenses and benefits (pre-enrollment support), insurance and career transition, career pursuits, time demands, academic support, recruiting, and personnel. Other rule changes that could follow would include allowing student-athletes to pursue paid careers, covering moving expenses and paying for families to attend bowl games. An 80-member panel (that includes 15 active student-athletes) will vote on all these issues and potential rule changes. Though other non-power conferences will also have the ability to adopt similar measures, few have the financial means to do so. For a fantastic question-and-answer piece on these developments, check out this story from CBSSports.com‘s Jon Solomon.
3 » Former Florida linebacker James Bates will be exhibiting his own folk art in Gainesville, Florida, on Thursday night. Bates asked OnlyGators.com this week to let fans know that his art, much of which is sports-related, can be viewed at Five Bar (104 S. Main Street) from 5-9 p.m. Among the football figures featured in his art work are Tebow, Steve Spurrier, Johnny Manziel, Nick Saban, Les Miles and Tee Martin.
4 » TheMMQB.com’s Robert Klemko profiled Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator
“In Quinn’s mind, [preparing for the Denver Broncos] meant watching two years’ worth of [Peyton] Manning snaps in the week after the NFC Championship Game.
That’s every snap Manning had yet taken for the Denver Broncos, watched, re-watched and mentally catalogued; 1,479 throws, 967 handoffs, 131 touchdowns, 24 interceptions and more audibles than there are minutes in a day.
Though Muschamp gets the most credit for the Gators’ outstanding defenses during his first two years with the program, Quinn produced a pair of units that were among the best in Florida school history.