4 BITS: Florida Gators to take on Oklahoma State in 2015 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic

1 » Florida Gators basketball was previously announced to be participating in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic for the 15th time in the last 16 seasons, but its opponent for the 2015 event was not announced until earlier this week. Florida will take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the second game of the event, which will be led off with a showdown between Florida State and Florida Atlantic. UF is 2-0 all-time against OSU with the schools not meeting since 2000. The Gators are 14-2 all-time in the event, which will be held at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, on Dec. 19.

The rest of Florida’s announced 2015-16 nonconference slate includes a season opener against Navy in the 2015 Veterans Classic on Friday, Nov. 13 in Annapolis Maryland, and a spot in the 2015 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. The latter event includes two home games (North Carolina A&T – Nov. 16, Vermont – Nov. 25) and two neutral-site contests (Saint Joseph’s – Nov. 21, Old Dominion/Purdue – Nov. 22). UF will also play at Miami in the second game of a home-and-home series, and it will host West Virginia on Jan. 30, 2016 in the third annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Reports out of Fort Myers have the Gators taking on FGCU on Nov. 27 in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, and early offseason rumors noted that Florid and Michigan State were discussing a home-and-home series that could begin next season.

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4 BITS: Jim McElwain donates $5,000 to bring Colorado State player home from New Zealand

1 » Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain put his money where his heart is, reportedly donating $5,000 to a former Colorado State football player in order to bring the man, his young daughter and his deceased wife home after all were stuck in New Zealand. According to Matt L. Stephens of The Coloradoan, former CSU defensive lineman Eli Edwards lost his wife to lupus while the family was in New Zealand so she could undergo treatment. Edwards was unable to afford to fly home after the treatments and started a crowdfunding account in order to raise money to cover the trip and funeral costs. McElwain’s donation, gifted from his private company MacFam LLC, makes up approximately one-quarter of the $20,000 raised to this point. Director of strength and conditioning Mike Kent, who joined McElwain when he took the Florida job, also reportedly donated $500.

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Nine Florida Gators selected in 2015 MLB Draft

The Florida Gators baseball team saw nine of its current players selected over the last three days during the 40-round 2015 MLB Draft, though it is unknown as of press time how many of those drafted players will leave the program to turn professional.

Junior shortstop Richie Martin was the first Florida player drafted when he was chosen by the Oakland Athletics with the No. 20 overall pick in the first round.

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Florida SS Richie Martin goes to Oakland Athletics with No. 20 overall pick in 2015 MLB Draft

Florida Gators junior shortstop Richie Martin was selected Monday by the Oakland Athletics with the No. 20 overall pick in the first round of the 2015 MLB Draft.

Martin, who has started every game for the Gators in 2015 and leads Florida in both runs (59) and stolen bases (20), is expected to turn pro after this season. He fielding .985 and batting .292 with five home runs, 33 RBI and 33 walks.

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FOUR BITS: Patriots LB Brandon Spikes released after his car was found abandoned in a crash

1 » One day after it was reported by FOX 25 out of Boston that a Maybach Mercedes registered to New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes was found abandoned on the median of a highway, the former Florida Gators player was released by the team. According to FOX 25, The OnStar representative from the car “told state police the driver of the care reported hitting a deer.” However, while an injured deer was not found near the scene, another car called in that it was rear ended at approximately the same time as the crash involving Spikes’s car. Spikes signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Patriots (with up to $1 million in incentives), returning to the team that drafted him after spending a season with the Buffalo Bills. His original tenure did not end well in New England, despite his close relationship with owner Bob Kraft, and his return to the franchise was a surprise. If this story sounds relatively familiar that is a vehicle belonging to former Miami Dolphins LB Channing Crowder was also abandoned on a highway in January 2008.

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Silver Lining for May 20: Updates on Florida Gators in the NFL; farewell to David Letterman

Get them to sign on the line which is dotted

Three weeks have passed since the 2015 NFL Draft and Florida Gators have spent the time signing rich contracts to play professional football.

The most notable deal struck to this point was that between No. 3 overall pick Dante Fowler Jr. and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite the defensive end suffering a season-ending torn ACL in his very first NFL practice and signing an injury waiver, the Jaguars did not force offset language into his contract and still inked him to a four-year, $23.5 million fully-guaranteed deal with a $15.3 million signing bonus. Fowler will bring home $4.27 million this season without stepping foot on the field.

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Dante Fowler Jr. out for season with torn ACL

Former Florida Gators defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. was carted off the field Friday during the Jacksonville Jaguars first rookie minicamp after his left knee buckled during a drill. Tests later confirmed that Fowler tore his anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the 2015 season, according to ESPN.com‘s Adam Schefter.

The injury occurred as Fowler rushed the passer only for his left knee to bend awkwardly and buckle under his weight. He was carried off the field and into the locker room, where trainers prepared him to leave the facility and visit a doctor.

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Florida Gators G Michael Frazier, C Chris Walker invited to 2015 NBA Draft Combine

A pair of Florida Gators early entrants – junior guard Michael Frazier II and sophomore center Chris Walker were officially announced on Thursday as two of 62 participants in the 2015 NBA Draft Combine.

The multi-day event, which is held in Chicago and will begin this year on May 12, consists of players being put through a series of 5-on-5 competitions, athletic drills, tests and interviews while NBA personnel (coaches, general managers, scouts) in attendance look on and evaluate their performances.

It amounts to a major job interview for these athletes to participate in ahead of the 2015 NBA Draft on June 25.

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