Hammond gets probation in DUI plea deal

Florida Gators redshirt sophomore wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr. was sentenced to a year of probation as part of a plea deal accepted by the Alachua County court on Friday.

Hammond will also have to perform 50 hours of community service and pay a $500 fine along with court fees after being arrested on June 13 for driving under the influence and possessing alcohol as a minor. His drivers license will continue to be suspended for six months, and he will also have to undergo a substance abuse evaluation.

Suspended from team activities immediately by the coaching staff and university, Hammond recently returned to working out with the team and is only expected to miss one or two games at the start of the 2010-11 season.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap received a similar sentence in January; he was not charged with underage possession was given six months probation.

TWO BITS: Dorial Green, The Open Championship

1 » While some in the media fawned over the false commitment story surrounding five-star 2011 athlete James Wilder, Jr. (Tampa, FL) on Thursday, the Florida Gators have been setting their sights on one of the best players available in the 2012 recruiting session. That man is five-star wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham (Springfield, MO), who Florida has targeted as their No. 1 target next year. A source who spoke with OGGOA Friday told us that Green has already visited the University of Florida and met with head football coach Urban Meyer and head basketball coach Billy Donovan. Though he is a two-sport star in high school, it is unknown if he plans to pursue both opportunities in college; however, one would expect the Gators to be open to such a concession if it is requested. MaxPreps national football editor Stephen Spiewak wrote a terrific profile piece on Green on Thursday – check it out.

2 » Former Florida golfers are continuing to make noise at The Open Championship at St. Andrews. After two rounds of action, 50-year-old Mark Calcavecchia is in second place; he is 7-under through two rounds of 70 and 67, respectively, and five shots off the lead. It is also worth noting that Calcavecchia has experience in this event, winning The Open in 1989 at Troon by beating Greg Norman and Wayne Grady in a playoff. Brian Gay, on the other hand, fell to T144 (+11) after shooting an 83 on Friday. Camillo Villegas is still in action, currently T43 (-1) through 12 holes; he shot a four-under 72 on Thursday. OGGOA will update all scores when the second round is completed.

Tim Tebow’s NCAA 11 cover spoofed in Alabama

Florida Gators fans across the country were excited to hear that Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow had been chosen for the cover of EA SportsNCAA Football 11 video game. Alabama Crimson Tide fans, on the other hand, probably did not care very much…until their local Tuscaloosa, AL, GameStop managers decided to spoof the cover with an alternate version.

Rather than sell the game as-is, these guys created a custom cover for the game featuring two pictures of Tebow crying when the Gators lost to the Crimson Tide in the 2009 Southeastern Conference Championship.

Successful marketing ploy or another attempt to add some insult to injury? You decide.

Image and details courtesy of SB Nation.

Erin Andrews suing hotel chains for $1.2 million

Victimized by an interstate stalker who plead guilty to secretly filming her in the nude on numerous occasions in hotel rooms across the country last year, former Florida Gators dazzler turned ESPN reporter Erin Andrews filed suit Thursday against the man and seven hotel chains which she believes aided him in carrying out his illegal actions.

In March, Michael David Barrett, 48, was sentenced to a 27-month prison term and three years of supervised probation after he admitted to following Andrews from hotel-to-hotel over at least a period of nine months. Attempting to locate her, Barrett contacted at least 14 hotels to determine where and in what room she was staying; he was often provided with this information, which Andrews contends is an invasion of privacy.

Federal agents determined that, after finding out her whereabouts, Barrett would check into a room next to Andrews, alter the peephole device of her room and secretly shoot video of her before e-mailing it to a personal account.

Now that Barrett’s punishment has been decided, Andrews is demanding the hotels take responsibility for providing her room number and other personal information to a stranger without prior approval.

According to the Associated Press, her $1.2 million suit against the hotels claims “severe and permanent emotional distress” resulting from their inappropriate actions.

“Although I’ll never be able to fully erase the impact that this invasion of privacy has had upon me and my family, I do hope that my experience will cause the hospitality industry to be more vigilant in protecting its guests from the time they reserve a hotel room until they check out,” Andrews said in a written statement.

Though these memories still remain, she has moved on in recent months by starring in ABC’s Dancing with the Stars reality competition and signing a new contract with ESPN to remain with the network in an expanded role going forward.

Gator Bites for Thursday, July 15th

From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share with our readers. In those instances, we present a special post: Gator Bites. Enjoy.

» Former Florida Gators forward/center David Lee of the Golden State Warriors has been invited to try out for the USA Basketball Men’s National Team and will be trying to prove his worth during a training camp next week in Las Vegas, NV.

» Twilight actress Ashley Greene is a huge Gators fan, even recently discussing the team on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (watch video). Here is a picture of her Wednesday night with Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow at the ESPYs in Los Angeles, CA. Looks like a happy (and beautiful) young lady.

» Speaking of the ESPYs and Tebow, host Seth Meyers of Saturday Night Live joked about the Heisman Trophy winner during a small portion of his opening monologue. “Tim Tebow is here. Tim’s jersey is already one of the top selling jerseys in the NFL. I heard that and thought: ‘Jesus…who does this guy know? … Oh right, Jesus.’ Just kidding, Tim. And I hope this goes without saying but…just kidding, Jesus.”

» One more… Playing a slight joke on Tebow on the ride back to the hotel Wednesday night after the ESPYs was ESPN‘s NFL insider Chris Mortensen. Sitting next to him on the hotel shuttle, Mortensen told him, “You’re gonna make a heckuva H-back.” Tebow “had a good laugh.” Also confirmed in attendance were Minnesota Timberwolves forward Corey Brewer and sideline reporters Erin Andrews and Jenn Brown.

» Ranking his top six basketball players of the 2011 recruiting class, FOX Sports’ Jeff Goodman has Florida five-star commit Brad Beal (St. Louis, MO) taking the last spot. “[He] reminds me so much of Ray Allen. He’s silky smooth and can really shoot the ball from deep. Beal is also a winner,” Goodman notes.

» Three former Gators golfers – Camilo Villegas, Brian Gay and Mark Calcavecchia – are participating in The Open Championship at St. Andrews this weekend. In opening round action, the three men are T17 (-4), T46 (-2) and T73 (E), respectively.

» Sophomore jumper Christian Taylor, who had a great track & field season with Florida, won his second gold medal at the North American, Central American and Caribbean Under-23 Championships at Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar, FL, on Sunday. Winning the men’s triple jump to go along with his men’s long jump crown over the weekend, he is also a three-time NCAA Champion.

» The University of Florida‘s Stephen C. O’Connell Center has been named the host of the 2013 NCAA Gymnastics Southeast Regional.

» If you love recruiting and would like a quick update as to where the Gators are right now in putting together their 2011 class, check out this piece by ESPN recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg. Most if not all of this has already been written about here on OGGOA, but Newberg’s article is a nice recap and does provide some interesting tidbits.

FOUR BITS: Offer, future, sneakers, Spikes

1 » Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan has given a verbal scholarship offer to four-star 2012 shooting guard Michael Frazier (Tampa, FL), according to the St. Petersburg Times. Frazier, who currently boasts offers from 13 other schools ranging from Michigan to Harvard, has a 4.0 GPA and is “open to everybody right now.”

2 » Taking a look at Florida basketball on Thursday, Jeff Goodman of FOX Sports believes the Gators are in position to do something they have not done 2007 – make some serious noise in the NCAA Tournament. “Florida may not be what it was a few years back when the Gators won back-to-back national titles, but they are now in a position to make a deep tournament run over the next few years,” he writes. “In two years, the perimeter down in Gainesville will feature [Erving] Walker, [Kenny] Boynton, [Brad] Beal and Rutgers transfer Mike Rosario with a backcourt of [Patric] Young, [Erik] Murphy, [Cody] Larson and [Will] Yeguete.”

3 » To help promote the release of EA SportsNCAA Football 11 video game, the company teamed up with Nike to release a signature Nike Trainer for the occasion. Blue with orange and white accents, the sneaker features reminders of former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow’s “Promise” speech on Sept. 27, 2008, a company logo and mention of the video game. One picture can be seen here, but the rest can be found at SoleCollector.com. The site reports that the shoe will be released in “extremely limited quantities in the very near future.” In other words…if you have the ability to buy them…pick up an extra size 11-11.5 for OGGOA…or we’re not friends anymore.

4 » Answering readers’ questions about the New England Patriotsyouth movement, Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe touched on how some former Florida players are progressing. About linebacker Brandon Spikes specifically, Young says he “was already being asked to call signals in the huddle with the second unit during spring camps and could well challenge incumbent Gary Guyton” for the job. The coaching staff also values the versatility that tight end Aaron Hernandez brings to the table; he will mostly be used as a receiver and H-back and could end up being a starter.

Contract details for Mike Miller and Matt Bonner

Reported by OGGOA on July 9 and July 13, respectively, former Florida Gators guard/forward Mike Miller has decided to join the Miami Heat and power forward Matt Bonner has chosen to re-sign with the San Antonio Spurs.

Contract specifics for both players were made available Wednesday night.

Miller is set to sign a five-year, $29.8 million contract with the Heat on Thursday, according to FOX Sports. He will becoming the second former Florida player on the team alongside PF Udonis Haslem; the two Gators were also teammates in Gainesville, FL.

The Spurs have signed Bonner, a bench player for the team since 2006, to a four-year, $16 million deal that will help San Antonio maintain consistency in the front court.

OGGOA RELATED: Miller, Heat agree on five-year, $30 million deal
OGGOA RELATED: Matt Bonner agrees to return to San Antonio

Matt Bonner agrees to return to San Antonio

Former Florida Gators power forward Matt Bonner agreed to contract terms with the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.

After short stints with Italy’s Sicilia Messina (2003-04) and the Toronto Raptors (2004-06), he has spent the last four seasons with San Antonio after the team traded for him in 2006. A three-point specialist, Bonner shot 39 percent from downtown in 2009-10 and averaged 7.0 points per game as a bench player.

He was a member of the 2006-07 NBA Champion Spurs and is only one of two players (center Tiago Splitter) the team has signed so far this offseason.

Terms of his deal have not been disclosed per team policy.

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