1 » After the student body of the 15-seed Florida Gulf Coast Eagles chanted “[expletive] the Gators” during a pep really carried live on ESPN, some fans of the three-seed Florida Gators became enraged. To atone for the actions of some of the students, the FGCU student body released the following statement on Tuesday:
“We wanted to take a minute to send you and your students an apology for the negative reaction yesterday during our pep rally. In no manner do the words that were passed yesterday reflect upon this institution of higher education. Often times, excitement and a new experience can cause rash and hasty decisions to be made. In this moment of excitement for our young school, we hope that you will accept our expression of regret. With that being said, we are definitely looking forward to some healthy competition in Arlington, this Friday.”
On Wednesday, Florida’s senior director of media relations, Steve Orlando, responded in kind, according to The Gainesville Sun:
“We certainly understand when students get excited and enthusiastic, but they’ve apologized, and as far as we’re concerned it’s over. We’re just looking forward to a great game in Arlington on Friday.”
2 » In another non-story regarding the Gators and Eagles, FGCU volleyball player Gigi Meyer (the daughter of former Florida head coach Urban Meyer) told reporters on Monday that her father was excited that the Eagles advanced to the Sweet 16 and would be rooting for them over the Gators. Some fans expectantly overreacted for no good reason whatsoever, and The Sun‘s Pat Dooley went out of his way to communicate with Meyer (who also donates time and money to Florida Gulf Coast) to get his thoughts on the situation. “Always a Gator,” Meyer said. “Billy [Donovan]’s my friend. That was Camelot the year I went to Indianapolis (2006) and they won it.”
3 » Speaking of Donovan, it was announced Wednesday that he is one of 20 finalists for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top Division I coach. Donovan has never won the award, which has been handed out since 2002-03, but was named the ESPN.com National Coach of the Year in 2011 and received the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award in 2010.
4 » The Football Writers Association of America on Wednesday announced that Florida head coach Will Muschamp will be the keynote speaker for the 2013 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet on Dec. 9. The Nagurski Award, which is handed out to the top defensive player in college football this year, has been in existence since 1993 yet never been won by a Gators player.